The role of linguistic and cultural repertoire in novice bilingual and multilingual EFL teachers’ induction period

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This study investigates the role EFL teachers attribute to their linguistic and cultural repertoire in the professional learning process during induction. The study draws on the understanding that teacher learning occurs at the interplay between teachers’ language and cultural background and teachers’ experiences within the sociocultural context of their workplace. Thirty novice bilingual and multilingual EFL teachers teaching in Hebrew- and Arabic-speaking schools were interviewed to obtain information about their sociocultural and plurilingual background, learning processes and practices. Teachers’ instructional materials were used for data triangulation. Inductive content analysis surfaces predominant themes related to teachers’ plurilingual and cultural background as interwoven with cognitive, practical and personal dimensions of their professional role and identity construction. Teachers’ learning processes and practices have been found to be linked to teachers’ perceived sense of linguistic hierarchy, whereby English is granted a primary role, and other languages at the teachers’ disposal, a secondary yet fundamental one, contributing to the agency exercised in teachers’ practices. Given their multiple language learning experiences, multilingual teachers exhibit stances towards teaching reflective of more ‘experienced’ than ‘novice’ teachers, particularly broader representations of language acquisition issues. The findings call for the recognition of EFL teachers’ plurilingual multicompetencies in their practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • EFL
  • multilingual teachers
  • multilingualism
  • native/nonnative English teachers
  • novice teachers
  • teacher learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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