The Early Years of Teaching: A Cross-Cultural Study of Turkish and Polish Novice English Teachers

Müzeyyen Nazli Güngör
Gazi University
Sumru Akcan
Boğaziçi University
Dorota Werbinska
Pomeranian University
Malgorzata Ekiert
Pomeranian University
Keywords: Novice teachers, early years, challenges, critical incidents, professional understanding, diversity


Given the importance of novice teacher experiences and their long-term effects in the field, this cross-cultural exploratory study investigates the challenges of 34 novice Turkish and Polish English teachers and how they develop their professional understanding in the early years of teaching. The participants were non-native novice English teachers working with K-12 learners in culturally, socially, economically and historically diverse regions of Turkey and Poland. The data collected simultaneously in both countries in the spring term of the 2016-17 academic year were generated from two sources: a) critical incidents of the novice teachers, and b) online and/or oral interviews with these teachers, followed by comprehensive cyclical data analysis. The challenges related to pedagogical and sociocultural factors influenced the way the teachers teach in their contexts. The findings suggest that creating interactive and reflective learning contexts for novice teachers will help them better adapt to their new school settings and develop professionally

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