Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Douglas Havard, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Margaret Grogan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mark Maier, Ph.D.


This mixed methods study delved into the identity construction of English as a foreign language (EFL) instructors in private universities in China through a sequential two-stage exploration. The first stage adopted a 34-item EFL teacher identity questionnaire. Ninety valid responses were collected and subjected to correlation analysis using SPSS. Due to nonnormality in the data, Kruskal-Wallis and Spearman’s rho tests were employed to derive referential outcomes. Data analysis revealed teaching experience and overseas experience were not influencing factors, whereas professional title was important in identity construction. Quantitative data provided references to participants’ recruitment and question design in the second stage of in-depth interviews, with 10 EFL instructors participating. The qualitative data results obtained from two rounds of coding corroborated and extended the statistical findings. Teacher Training and Personal Initiative emerged as supporting factors contributing to identity construction; Academic Pressure and Education Reform were identified as hindering factors. A comprehensive overview of the identity construction of EFL instructors was drawn from the synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data interpretations. In light of the findings, recommendations were proposed to facilitate the identity development of English instructors in private universities in China. These suggestions include providing rigorous school support, building a research team through mentorship, and enhancing commitment and self-efficacy.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, May 01, 2026