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It is essential to perceive language teachers’ beliefs and identities in 3 concentric circles proposed by Kachru (1985) because we will understand the norms using in those circle countries and could implement perspectives on these issues to construct beneficial identities for EFL university teachers as well as to enhance language learning environment in Thai context. Therefore, I am going to conduct the research proposal on implementing EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in the inner and outer circles into those in the expanding circle for Advanced Directed Studies course. This paper of literature review will be a part of the proposal. The purposes of the study are as follows: 1) to investigate EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in the inner and outer circles and 2) to examine EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in the expanding circle. In addition, the following research questions are 1) what are EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in the inner and outer circles?, 2) what are EFL university teachers’ beliefs and identities in the expanding circle? and 3) how could those perspectives on these issues be implemented in Thai context? There are 3 primary issues discussed, including the Circles model of World Englishes, beliefs and identities, and implication.
World Englishes were separated into 3 concentric circles, including the inner, outer circle, and expanding circles (Kachru, 1985). There were 3 main intentions to propose this model as a representative of 1) the types of a spread of English worldwide, 2) the patterns of acquisition, and 3) the functional domains in which English is used internationally (Bolton, 2008; Jenkins, 2015). The inner circle refers to countries where English is used as the first language such as The USA, The UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The outer circle is considered as postcolonial Anglophonic countries with a large and diverse speech community such as Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and so on. In the outer circle countries, English is not the first language used in the diverse communities, so it is considered as second, official, or educational language. The expanding circle consists of those countries where English is used as an international language or English as Foreign Language (EFL). However, Kachru (1985) suggested that ‘the Outer Circle and the Expanding Circle cannot be viewed as clearly demarcated from each other; they have several shared characteristics, and the status of English in the language policies of such countries changes from time to time. What is an ESL region at one time may become an EFL region at another time or vice versa’.
To explore deeper and comprehend better about beliefs and identities of EFL university teachers who are in the inner and outer circle, a number of articles related to those issues will be studied. Chan (2017) examined the attitudes of different groups of major stakeholders – teachers, professionals, and students – in Hong Kong English varieties and language learning based on their experience of English use and their beliefs and knowledge of English as an international language. The research instruments used to collect the data was a bilingual questionnaire written in both English and Chinese which concentrated on three themes of questions: factual questions – personal information, behavioral questions – use of English in daily life, and attitudinal questions – attitudes towards accents. The participants of the study, selected with purposive sampling method, were 1, 893 participants which consisted of four main groups as follows: 1) secondary students, 2) teachers, 3) full-time university students, and 4) professionals. The findings revealed that there were three out of ten factors with the highest mean scores, including Hong Kong identity, the legitimacy of ‘standard’ English varieties, and Exposure to L1 English accents in multimedia in order.
To discuss Hong Kong identity which was the highest factor affecting on the language variation and language use, the finding showed that the most of participants identified themselves as ‘Hongkongers’ rather than Chinese. That is, the Hong Kong identity might be defined in terms of Hong Kong’s differentiation from mainland China rather than the West during the colonial era (Brewer, 1999). Moreover, the findings exposed that the participants wanted to keep their local accents when talking local speakers in English; on the other hand, they wanted to pronounce native-like accents when talking with native speakers. According to these findings, both Cantonese and English are distinct markers of Hong Kong identity. These issues are relating the concept of language variation in term of phonological variety. There are a number of accents used in the world and they contain their own identity which could show that where people with the accents live and who they are. To consider the limitation of the study, it would be better whether qualitative methods were used to gather the data because this qualitative data would make us perceive the deeper insights on the issues.
The study relating to identity was conducted by Choi (2015) to investigate native language maintenance and ethnic identity of three different generations Korean – Americans in the United States. There were two research instruments used to gather the data, including questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The questions in the questionnaires focused on the personal background, language proficiency, use and choice, as well as identity and importance of maintaining their heritage language and identity. Besides, the interviews provided the participants to express their insights and opinions about themes of language and identity. The participants of the study were 181 first – generation Koreans, 1.5 – generation Koreans, and second – generation descendant who lived in Texas, the United States. The findings exposed that the heritage language proficiency – speaking, reading and writing – tended to decrease gradually among the different generations: on the other hand, English language proficiency of these generations went up, especially in the second generation. According to the language use in the family domain, the findings revealed that parents in all generations still used Korean language to communicate with their children. In contrast, the children in the first and second generations spoke to their parents with mother tongue language but the children in the third one used more English than Korean.
In addition, the findings showed about the correlation between identity and language that Korean language proficiency of the participants who identified themselves as Koreans was higher than the proficiency of those considered as Korean – Americans and Americans. The English proficiency of participants identified as Koreans – Americans or Americans were significantly higher than the proficiency of those who considered themselves as Koreans. According to this result, we might conclude that the correlation between identity and language was positive. That is, identity affects how well the participants’ language proficiency is. Moreover, the interview data revealed that even though the participants had high English proficiency, they were considered as an outsider. According to the findings of the study, we have to accept what we are and retain it as the varieties in the world’s communities as well as encourage our identity to develop our language proficiency. This study is relatively beneficial because it collected both quantitative and qualitative data to make intensely understand the relations between identity and language. However, it should be conducted in the longer period in order to perceive deeper insights on other sociocultural factors.
Gao, Jia, and Zhou (2015) investigated the EFL learning and self-identity development based on psychological and social perspectives which consisted of 7 identity categories of identity change: positive self – confidence, negative self – confidence, subtractive, additive, productive, split, and zero. Mixed methods were used to collect the data in the 4-year longitudinal study, including a self – designed questionnaire, student journals in English, interviews, and class observations. There were two sections – identity development and EFL learning motivation – in the questionnaire and seventeen topics for student journals such as English learning, life experiences, attitudes, and so on. Besides, certain participants were interviewed with the following themes, including EFL learning experiences, feelings about the English learning process, attitudes towards English and English learning, and so forth. The participants of the study were approximately 1,000 undergraduate students from five universities in Beijing, China.
The findings revealed that the most prominent identity change was positive self – confidence. However, it was not surprising that one’s self – confidence is influenced by perceived competence in English under a social condition and L2 learner identity will effect on further learning motivation. Another interesting category of identity change was subtractive. Even though the subtractive change was slow at the beginning, it increased gradually and steadily along the 4-year study. The major factors of this phenomenon might be the shifts in language use, values, behavior, lifestyle, and attitudes of the participants, especially when they were in the junior and senior years. According to these findings, the identity changes associated with EFL learning. These findings of the study are beneficial for English teachers and educators to broaden their insights on the association of identity change and EFL learning. Therefore, they could make use of this insight to create identity-based language activities and practices to foster learners’ language proficiency development. However, there are certain weaknesses of the study. For instance, the study was conducted in the universities located in the same city, so this might not allow the researchers perceive the entire insights into this issue. Another weakness of this study is that the researchers should code transcribes of the participants and summarize them into the themes, since this way will help the readers to comprehend the data easier.

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