European Journal of Language Policy

The formation of professional identity and motivation to engage in telecollaboration in foreign language education

European Journal of Language Policy (2019), 11, (2), 143–165.


The following article examines the potential of cross-cultural telecollaboration between (student) teachers of foreign languages to contribute to the development of their professional identity. The reported study explores the connection between (student) teachers’ conceptualisations of their professional identity and their intrinsic motivation to engage in virtual cooperation with their peers from other countries. The investigation also attempts to assess the potential advantages and challenges for the development of professional identity that (student) teachers associate with telecollaborative efforts in foreign language teacher education. The reported data were collected among 134 student teachers from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany via pen-and-paper questionnaires including closed-ended items and semantic differential scales. The results indicate a moderate degree of intrinsic motivation to engage in cross-cultural virtual communication with peers, with minor discrepancies between participant groups on various subscales of the construct. Furthermore, the study shows partial correlations between self-reported levels of intrinsic motivation and various professional identity markers that student teachers report, as well as differing degrees of value assigned to cultural and linguistic diversity as a source of professional development. The paper discusses implications of these results for foreign language teacher education policy.

Cet article examine le potentiel de la télécollaboration interculturelle entre enseignants (en formation) de langues étrangères pour contribuer au développement de leur identité professionnelle. L’étude rapportée explore le lien entre les conceptualisations de l’identité professionnelle des enseignants et leur motivation intrinsèque à s’engager dans une coopération virtuelle avec leurs pairs d’autres pays. L’enquête tente également d’évaluer les avantages et les défis potentiels pour le développement de l’identité professionnelle que les enseignants associent aux efforts de télécollaboration dans la formation des enseignants de langues étrangères. Les données rapportées ont été collectées auprès de 134 futurs enseignants de Pologne, de République tchèque et d’Allemagne, au moyen d’un questionnaire écrit comprenant des items fermés et des échelles différentielles sémantiques. Les résultats indiquent un degré modéré de motivation intrinsèque pour s’engager dans une communication virtuelle interculturelle avec des pairs, avec des divergences mineures entre les groupes de participants dans diverses sous-échelles. En outre, l’étude montre des corrélations partielles entre les niveaux de motivation intrinsèque autodéclarés et les différents marqueurs d’identité professionnelle rapportés par les futurs enseignants, ainsi que différents degrés de valeur attribuée à la diversité culturelle et linguistique en tant que source de développement professionnel. Le document discute des implications de ces résultats pour la politique de formation des enseignants de langues étrangères.

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