NNES Pre-service Teachers’ Motivation to Enter the TESOL Field

  • Cai Shengrong
Keywords: Non-native English Speaker teachers, language teacher education, teacher motivation, teacher’s career choice


Even though motivation has long been studied in the language teaching field, it has mostly focused on learner motivation, while teacher motivation has largely been ignored. This survey study focuses on non-native English speaking (NNES) teacher candidates’ motivation to enter the TESOL field. Two open-ended questions were used to elicit participant responses about their motivation to enter the teaching field in general and the TESOL field in particular. Three major themes - intrinsic value, social utility value, and prior learning/teaching experiences – were identified from the responses as the key motivational factors. The findings are compared with those from existing studies to offer a comprehensive representation of the motivational factors for NNES teacher candidates’ initial career choice in order to encourage more future research on language teacher motivation. Implications for TESOL and related teacher education programs are also discussed.