AbstractResearchers have identified the importance of understanding language teacher identity in order to understand more about language teacher education (Johnston, Pawan, & Mahan-Taylor, 2005; Varghese, Morgan, Johnston, & Johnson, 2005). The role of previous experience in shaping language teacher identity and beliefs and practices has been commented on by many writers (e.g., Crandall, 2000; Freeman & Johnson, 1998). This paper reports on themes from semi-structured interviews conducted individually with four pre-service teachers of additional languages in the first stage of a longitudinal study of an Additional Language Teacher Education (ALTE) paper in a New Zealand tertiary institution. Results show that prior experience was pivotal to their conceptions of language teacher identity both prior to and after completion of the ALTE paper. The potential role of the ALTE paper in creating a wider net for students' experiences which could be drawn upon and incorporated into their conception of language teacher identity is discussed.
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