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Mambu, Unraveling relatively unclear stories: A narrative analysis...

UNRAVELING RELATIVELY UNCLEAR STORIES: A NARRATIVE
ANALYSIS OF STUDENT-TEACHERS’ IDENTITY WORK

Joseph Ernest Mambu
Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Salatiga, Indonesia
joseph.mambu@staff.uksw.edu

First received: 23 May 2016 Final proof received: 12 January 2017

Abstract
Motivated by the need for more empirical evidence of Indonesian-based novice teachers’ identity,
this paper aims to uncover nonnative English-speaking student-teachers’ identity work in their
relatively unclear narratives of teaching practicum experiences. (Narrative) discourse analytical
perspectives were used to examine two student-teachers’ narratives that were elicited in individual
interviews. An analysis of one female student-teacher’s narrative suggests that digressive plotting—
at first glance—and the use of some cryptic, and sometimes idiosyncratic, expressions can be re-
constructed by a discourse analyst such that the overall structure and message of the speaker’s
narrative is streamlined. A relatively unclear narrative was also produced by a male student-teacher.
Different from the female student-teacher’s detailed narrative with digressive plotting, the male
student-teacher’s plotting was underdeveloped. However, both student-teachers exercised their
agency, though in different degrees, when framing their personal stories. This paper concludes with
the notion that the narrative analysis makes more visible student-teachers’ identity work in which
they, with their sense of agency, overcame (inter)personal tensions or struggles narrated in stories
which are not necessarily clear.

Keywords: teaching practicum; student-teachers; narrative; identity; agency

Building on the work of Beech (2008), the notion of categorizing them as outliers not worthy of careful
“identity work” employed in this article refers to “a consideration, represent epistemic marginalization
set of active processes (such as forming, (or a limitation imposed on knowing). Barkhuizen,
strengthening and revising) which serve to construct Benson, and Chik (2014), as cited in Barkhuizen
a sense of identity” (p. 51). Viewed through a (2016), have reminded ELT researchers to empower
poststructuralist lens, a person’s identity is not research participants, whose narratives are elicited
singular nor always fixed. Rather, identity is during a research process, by not dismissing their
potentially multiple, fluid, negotiated in various voices. In view of Bamberg’s (2012) theoretical
contexts of interactions, and indexes the person’s lens, dismissing a participant’s sharing denies his or
affiliation (as well as disengagement) with certain her attempt to negotiate his/her identity and of the
social groups (Norton, 2013; Rugen, 2013; Vásquez, sense of agency s/he is in the process of creating in
2011). The current literature on narrative analysis the interaction, especially when the participant is
and identity work (e.g., Bamberg, 2012; Frank, engaged in storytelling. Addressing this limitation
2012; Mambu, 2014) also suggests that a speaker can increase the explanatory power of narrative
positions and constructs him or herself in ways that research, which is often sensitive enough to
are either similar to or different from those document voices of marginalized groups including
(positionings) of his/her interlocutor(s) in one or nonnative English speaking teachers in Asian
subsequent encounters (e.g., storytelling events). contexts (e.g., Hayes, 2013) and, specifically,
Positioning and constructing oneself together student-teachers whose narratives are hard to
with one or more interlocutors occurs especially in understand due to cryptic plotting and/or
what Bamberg and Georgakopoulou (2008) termed expressions.
as “small stories.” Small stories take the form of Barkhuizen (2016) recently called for more
“breaking news” (p. 379), “future or hypothetical research into “identity experiences of novice
events” (p. 381), and other stretches of discourse language teachers” (p. 16) such as those of student-
that are not regarded as autobiographical enough, or teachers reflecting on their teaching practices. This
“seen as analytic nuisance (e.g., as the result of bad paper aims to answer this call by uncovering
interviewing,” or “viewed as an instance of nonnative English-speaking student-teachers’
incoherent telling”) (p. 380). identity work in their relatively unclear (i.e.,
In view of the current perspectives on narrative sounding incoherent, perplexing, and/or not clearly
analysis, instances of researchers dismissing elicited developed) narratives of teaching practicum
stories that do not make sense to them, or experiences elicited in sociolinguistic interviews.

172 doi: dx.doi.org/10.17509/ijal.v6i2.4842

narrative forms. p. 6 No. 81). 2013). 106). The first is (of repetitions and parallelism. instead of viewing them as indeed shown that abstracts. does not justify their exclusion. Anindra. Some major concerns are related to teaching and inquiries into speakers’ identity work in methods (including classroom management issues). just as a conductor seeks not only to Recently. 2011) framework for stanza analysis is Though not observed using a narrative inquiry useful in this form-oriented narrative analysis. Bamberg (2012) strongly refuted previous presumptions that suggested that a narrator can select “devices from “incoherent” stories are worthless. and (3) “rambling” stories into lines. “linguistic”-oriented analysis inspired by (2) positioning him or herself closely to or distantly ethnopoetics. Bamberg (2012) linguistics” who listened to a person labeled as argues. p. written narratives by ESL However. 172-183 An important way of understanding novice teachers’ do not want to marginalize nonnative English- identity work is by analyzing narrative forms in speaking student-teachers whose stories may terms of cultural scripts/schemas and linguistic initially register as digressive or cryptic. lesson planning. and communication problems. e. Attention to teacher at a university in New Zealand. evaluations. 2013]). 2012. Labov and Waletkzy’s (1997) theoretical practicum experiences [Mambu. stanzas.g. but with though. Barkhuizen (2016) reported that hear but to understand a complex composition of Roxanne. such as choice of “incoherent” stories are certainly more complex words. In fact. recent studies (e. Teaching practicum experiences Gee’s (1991. personal problems. and episodes displaying different levels of agency. among others. the literature on analyzing they have documented in their teaching reflections. in that study. incoherent at first glance are recognized as being of in control. and self-determined” (p.” The latter accounts for “the construction of the interconnections of elements which might seem a heroic self—a person who comes across as strong.g. orientations. 1991. explore the interplay between narrative American families (see Gee. 2015) have taken up themes of student- and uncovering a narrator’s identity work. Regarding agency. 141 where forms/structures and a narrator’s identity. Leona is described as “rambling on” or “not talking about one important thing” by her white teacher). His findings 2013). full of discouraging concerns. January 2017.. constructor. among others). complicating actions. “coherent” stories (e. a narrator is engaged in (1) negotiating a “schizophrenic” (Gee. Vol.g. such consistent with a poststructuralist view that one’s that the stories’ structures become more transparent identity is not fixed. narratives will be reviewed. resolutions.. the complexity of narrative structures or at least a character who is “less influential. teachers’ concerns during teaching practicum which In the next section.. The current study presented as exemplars which are relatively easy to fills in this gap by closely scrutinizing a sense of make sense of and fit into the a priori framework agency in student-teachers’ narratives—however analysts have had in mind. that word “has 173 . 2007) in their stories. framework. 103). some may sound incoherent. 2008. Researchers must be powerful. Through his sense of “constancy and change over time” (p. either to indicate “low-agency than canonical narratives as delineated by Labov marking” or exhibit oneself as an “agentive self- and Waletzky (1997) and like-minded researchers.” However. challenged such complexity and fine detail in a narrative of her white superior who addressed her with “baby” at teaching-practicum experience is hence crucial if we their workplace. no matter how cryptic they are. The structures of discursive repertoires” (p. Here I still extend what Pavlenko Some other stories are not that clear-cut. framework. 2. and written as canonical narrative structures/forms in light of well as oral narratives of teachers’ teaching. 2011) theoretical lens of stanza for white American teachers not sharing the same analysis that allows discourse/narrative analysts to oral tradition of children raised in many African.” and hence “less blame- meticulous in their observations and analysis so that worthy. resources the teacher draws upon (Pavlenko. Additional research into Analyzing narrative forms teaching practicum experiences should strive to go It is not unusual for researchers like Labov and beyond paying attention to concerns which are Waletzky (1997) to seek canonical narratives to be perceived as bad or undesirable. Gee’s (1991. p. a graduate student working as an English classical music (Riessman. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics. 2016. for researchers and readers alike. responsible.” The former constructs “a victim role. 17). and Documenting “good” teaching experiences has coda are essential components in “successful” or actually been addressed elsewhere (Mambu. 1995]. equal validity. teaching practicum experiences. (2007) regards as a form-oriented analysis. Some stories told in a unclear they are—in which they framed the context other than that of African-American experiences of teaching practicum from a more speakers in the late 1960s in Labov’s study have positive/desirable light. especially in terms of streamlining unclear stories Ragawanti. Gee (2011) dissected “incoherent” or from other characters being narrated. pp. 106). but is likely to change (Norton. or Identity work in narratives according to doctors “with little sophistication in In navigating one’s identity. more attention was paid to students in Singapore [see Wu. In Roxanne’s view.

. whilst-teaching sessions. caring. (pseudonyms). Conversations E-G. The work. among others. some tools used The current data come from a larger narrative for analyzing the narrative data here include the analysis project I initially did in 2007 (see Mambu. in two separate sociolinguistic interviews. Jos is the The main prompt to elicit Diva’s and Bruno’s author of this article. 2) Gee’s (2011) narrative analytical framework of stanza analysis?. strategy of dividing a narrative into lines and and (2) How do the streamlined or reconstructed stanzas. First. and animated speech of other people or learners]”) (p. especially agency? latter facilitates the structuring of Diva’s story that may seem cryptic to some readers.g. This study addresses this gap Some excerpts from the first written tellings. The narrative structure of stories FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION which were relatively easier to understand has been Reconstructing Diva’s story reported elsewhere (Mambu. see Excerpt 1). across tellings. handling a “remarkable student” (Stanzas I-VI. Waletzky. Diva’s recounted pre-teaching and telling. during the teaching practice. and responsible teachers”) the second oral storytelling. having the capacity certain points. narrated and evaluated (in Labov & Waletzky’s [1997] term) their teaching-practicum experiences in multiple tellings. 9). The former provides the context shaping the narratives help to display student-teachers’ identity conversation and Diva’s extended storytelling. second oral telling. I concentrate on how to make sense of “whilst-teaching. my American written narrative about the pre-teaching= 174 .Mambu. My original intention was to find out how (Gee. teachers in undergraduate language teacher education programs in non-English-speaking Data analysis countries are needed. see Excerpt 2). Lines and stanzas allow me to put one connected thought in one METHOD chunk. More studies on the identity the narrator him or herself in the past (Labov & work of nonnative-English-speaking student. final-year undergraduate students Diva mentioned pre-teaching and post-teaching majoring in English language education at a explicitly. 1997). they had just completed their teaching Diva spotlighted her tension and sense of victory in practicum at different schools. which we found unclear or less powerful (i. Unraveling relatively unclear stories: A narrative analysis. At the time of data implication. Diva recounted her “pre-teaching. The second part Instrument seems to be embedded in the first part. 2013). The conversations and but a dangerous one<= storytelling analyzed here originate from Diva’s and Diva: =ya Bruno’s second tellings. possible when a narrator recounts his or her story. 2011). and third written telling.. as well as Jos: >You said that the class is very active differed. “when they questioned their or not sufficiently “evaluated” with descriptions. Temporal sequence Overall. Seen In a Labovian sociolinguistic interview.. The particular research transcript. did you have when doing your teaching practices?” The same prompt was asked for the first written Excerpt 1. in both the first written narrative and to be “effective. Apart from transcriptions. that is. were included in the during storytelling events. capacity to act and teach [English language comments. He interviewed the two narratives was a question: “What good experiences student-teachers. frame problem tool and the context is reflexive tool 2009).. but whilst-teaching was determined from Christian university in Java. The transcription conventions are based questions that guide my present inquiry are as on: 1) a conversation analytic format for follows: (1) How are unclear stories of teaching conversations (see Appendix) between the practices streamlined by means of Gee’s (2011) interviewers and the students and. which and sheds more light on how Indonesian student. Diva’s story can be divided into two large Participants parts. Second. collection. I allowed documents how pre-service classroom teachers both Vic and myself to chime in and ask student- demonstrated different levels of agency. Vic and I read to Bruno and Diva respectively when teachers exercised their agency in different degrees asking them for clarification. In Another recent study by Kayi-Aydar (2015) sociolinguistic interviews that I designed. she colleague. Conversations A-D. as well as Bamberg’s nonnative English-speaking student-teachers (2012) perspective. through Bamberg’s (2012) lens. declared: “I am not his Asian baby!” (p.” In this paper. they teachers (including Diva and Bruno) to elaborate on felt either being powerful (e.” and “post-teaching” experiences relatively unclear stories by Diva and Bruno (Stanzas 1-16. 101). Multiple tellings allowed me to identify what Conversation A themes and expressions transpired. Roxanne is a strong interviewers are usually required to be as quiet as agentive self-constructor.e. a very strong sexual connotation!” Infuriated. Their second tellings were Jos: And then you also elaborate (--) in the recounted directly to me and Vic.

at that point I turn. and what it will be useful for their life// 3. January 2017. And then when I found that strategy 16. And one of them gave her opinions about discussion technology 46.. or a bad image about the one that class 12. I mean in the full of spirit like that 40. Diva and Stanza 6 ̶ Pre-teaching in action (i. it was if I’m not mistaken is if-clause Conversation B Jos: =is it what you meant as a meaningful Stanza 3 ̶ Pre-teaching: An earlier plan (i. a noise? ((uses two fingers of both hands to quiz) give a gesture quoting Diva’s phrase of 5. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics.) 29. planning on the spot B. I were debaters the icebreaker (. what they think about the technology Stanza 2 ̶ Previous teaching event 34. the chance to convey 33. 6 No. we have an agreement Stanza 10 ̶ “Meaningful noise”: What the class 8. Because of that the teachers was not 19. Because of that I thought 44. planning Jos: Like(.e. Mentor teacher’s comment 18. because when several of my friends taught the quiz plan) at that class 9. and they could not doing easily 39. Because of that I tried to change it into Diva: [((mumbling debate// something about “teaching”)) ok= 31.) a game if we use it in in the final tea. And then I bring a topic that finally gave ((smiles)) them Jos: =ok 32. when I started the pre-teaching disappointed 20. an opinion.e. or “it was like a disaster if you taught at 11.) what is the icebreaker? on the spot What is the example [of icebreaker? 30. I asked them a lot of questions 45. it is a Stanza 11 ̶ Whilst-teaching in retrospect. but then when I saw that / okay 42. what I had been taught to them 4. and then when I think about that mentor's comment 23. Because it could influence the post- teaching Stanza 7 ̶ Pre-teaching in retrospect. 172-183 Diva: =oh= 24. but felt like it was too: lo:ng so for that 21. if a quiz then they had a bad perception 38.e. that it should be ended with a quiz was notorious or known for 35. it means that I had to do some changes in minutes my strategy Stanza 12 ̶ Whilst-teaching in retrospect. And then because of that Jos: [Ya you also used 28.e. Why didn’t I ask them the same questions 47. disputing 36. Because it was like a trend in this world Diva: =↑oh↓ uh i.oh no ((closing eyes with her both hands)) Stanza 8 ̶ Identifying self as a debater Not final teaching but [(__) 27. 13. 2. Diva’s own comment in response to her 22. But they are very smart Stanza 5 ̶ Pre-teaching in action (i. they said that “no. that it actually less than / no more than 30 17.. if I taught in this class 43.in the final teaching I 26.. than we use the traditional one wa. And because of that well we said that it 41. it was a trouble” 10..u:h I that technology was better used like (. but then we realize 37. And then I thought again “how can I teach was a game them?” 15. pp. but according to me it was a meaningful noise 175 . I want to know what their opinion about Jos: =and then the discussion of technology the technology in human life= 25. Vol. ya meaningful noise Stanza 4 ̶ Pre-teaching: A later plan (i. her mentor generating activity) A. I mean in the past ((laughs)) [[like Diva: [[Ya like uh Stanza 9 ̶ Whilst-teaching in retrospect. And my friends / no / my partners “meaningful noise”)) 6. because that class very noise. planning “game”) on the spot 14. that also teaching the same class 7.

Stanza 13 ̶ Pre-teaching in action.” she “felt like it was a pre-teaching activity (see Conversation A between too long for that discussion because it could Diva and me). she launched her story (Stanza 1) by influence the post-teaching” (lines 44-46. She integrated both content (through debate- “a bad perception” (line 10) or “a bad image” (line like “meaningful noise”) and language (i. 52. Stanza telling me and Vic her “[pre]-teaching plan”: “to use 12A). Stanza 16). Diva seems to have begun thinking about using “the Post-teaching. During the pre. Stanza 2. Her self-identification as a although it may be problematic from her mentor debater “in the past” (Stanza 8) appears to spark an teacher's perspective (recall that her mentor felt the insight into integrating debate in her whilst-teaching debating activity was “too long” and “could 176 . implemented that if-clause a grammar lesson that was reinforced throughout the whilst-teaching (Stanza 14). written telling. and I was curious what competition she actually meant by that. In the second telling 59. Diva clause.) and then someone rebut it. the rule seems to be framed Conversation C within her idiosyncratic notion of “meaningful Vic: What’s the difference between uh a noise” in which “someone gave his or her opinion. Unraveling relatively unclear stories: A narrative analysis. which was then refuted by “meaningful noise” because it had allowed students Diva herself as “that actually it was not a game. I expected Diva to explain the 60. without a “game” (Stanza 4). Conversations D lesson (line 13). During this pre-teaching session.e. The 62. this is the way that my friends has to use / will. The main topic for the quasi-debate. Stanza 12B). 61. Even worse. Stanza 14). I mean it had to be like in a team phrase to Vic and me.. like the language” in the class. It was 51.. to G).. 54. So uh when the pre-teaching not a “game” in a typical sense. with three speakers and the reply It stands to reason that the notoriously noisy class containing smart students (Stanza 10) inspired Stanza 16 ̶ Comparing a debating competition and Diva to draw upon her knowledge of debating and “meaningful noise” introduce the quasi-debate format to the class. and to practice using the “if- (Stanzas 4-5). probably Whilst-teaching. But then the meaningful noise is that debating strategy (line 42) was predicted to last for ((laughs)) no more than 30 minutes (line 43. Stanza 7). if- 11). And then I teach the if-clause “okay/in a debate we had like three parts. The notion of post-teaching same questions” about “technology” which she (line 46) was so backgrounded that I believe this considered to be “better” than a “traditional one” part of teaching was not very significant for Diva.” even though it was mixed Stanza 4. when someone gave his or her opinion teaching hour in the junior high school where Diva 64. And then someone rebut it did her teaching practicum typically lasts for 35 65. Stanza 11). they use if-clause competitions. Nonetheless. Instead. Diva was familiar with the rules for 56. Stanza 15). and having an extended activity for a two- like this” hour teaching period (i. The notion of pre-teaching occurred 49. with three speakers and the Stanza 14 ̶ Whilst-teaching: A debating event reply” (lines 59-61. if you 57. which is common for teacher “was not disappointed. The whilst- strategically used by her and her teaching partner on teaching must have been considered successful by the grounds that the latter would give their students Diva. But 58. And when we are in that debate Having participated in several debating 55. because they actually use English (Stanza 9).. 48. The debating game rehearsing “if-clause” constituted Diva’s pre. 2 times 35 minutes) is better than not having a plan for how to use the Pre-teaching.) and noise (. Even it was a mix with Indonesian again in Stanza 13 where Diva taught (or reviewed) 50.Mambu.e. moreover. regular debate and (. reply “oh no you are wrong because I think minutes. is technology and its usefulness (Stanza 9). Diva interacted with a (line 12) or would not be not enthusiastic about the remarkable student (see Excerpt 2.” In to “actually use English. The phrase “meaningful noise” was used Stanza 15 ̶ Displaying knowledge on a debating in the first. was clause” (lines 47-50. When I asked Diva what the remaining class time. instead of “a quiz” (Stanza 3).and whilst-teaching. rigorous debating rules were not fully implemented. cf.and whilst- thought that students “could not doing [sic] easily” teaching. (lines 23-26. And then I think that “okay / debating. okay / in a debate we had like three parts (Conversation B). I asked them several questions the rules of which were very briefly mentioned: 53. lines 3 and 4). reply ‘oh no you are meaningful noise?= wrong because I think like this’” (lines 63-65. One 63. Diva was satisfied with the some games” (line 1). but it was a game. Although Diva’s mentor example of “icebreaker” was. Diva explained that the notion of “game” with Indonesian. I mean it had to be like in a team. but then I think that they could the “if-clause” (line 53.

disappointed (line 44). I felt that she said “because [of that]” overly frequently. I mean the friends beside him was laughing “because of that. Stanza debaters” (line 28).g. 6 No. which was a relatively m. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics.= unique discourse fingerprint. Conversation D 39. then he tried to questions all the thing I said// narrative reflects the context of debating. In line 18. 172-183 influence the post-teaching”. In e. as it were. Rather. line 28]). n. In the d. Regardless. The use of this expression and Jos: And what you mean by remarkable prevalence of this word combine to form part of her students (1. 30.” I have to admit that the number a. [Excerpt 2]) is particularly Excerpt 2. and Stanza 8. Diva’s use of “because [of that]” in her f. it was him again// result of her change in her strategy (line 17) from a “quiz” to a “game. and yet it was because of the 12A).” interesting. lines 45-46. But then he also like murmur something that because debaters are trained to justify (or are used to I don’t know what it was about justifying) their arguments. the first time is that he behaved so nice context is reflexive tool. Having some meaningful post-teaching). I mean there was a naughty but licik [sly] function of this “because [of that]” marker is. line 18 Stanza 6. Her sense of agency. the expression “because Grammatical errors. And then I said “Oh my God it may be some Diva’s identity. ((laughs)) Because of that after I explain in a “game” and not a quiz. Gee (2011) states that “[s]peaking reflects context and context reflects (is Stanza II ̶ Conflict shaped by) speaking (what was said)” (p. Logical reasoning may also account for the use of “because of that” in lines l Grammar use and p in Excerpt 2. January 2017. Vol. I begin asking what the c. “and they could not doing stanza to another when transcribing Diva’s narrative easily” [Stanza 4 line 12]. may interfere with comprehension.e. and line 44 Stanza 12A). And then suddenly the three of them way of justifying is by using the word/phrase j. and debating activity (line 30). 2.” I gained insight into an aspect of k. but then when I explain some things view of this. In line 14. and the g. 18. then I gave him several question and always good reason for the students to keep their him enthusiasm in Diva's teaching practice. yet understanding the big picture—thanks to Gee’s Thus. The somewhat construct an identity as a debater and to explain frequent “because of that” as a discourse marker in some motives of her decisions in class. What do you mean by remarkable here?= While listening to her story. “I were debaters” [Stanza (i. to mark a transition from one them” [Stanza 1 line 1].” “Because of that” in line 27 did Stanza V ̶ Coda not make sense if simply followed by “I were p. Put another way. And then I said “listen it first then you context of debating reflects (or is shaped by) saying question” / “because [of that]. 27. Other Diva: Remarkable students= ((laughs)) students I interviewed (including Bruno) did not Jos: =who started to ignore your activity typically use “because [of that]” very frequently. whilst-. extended activity in class (line 43) constitutes a seems to have enabled her to put much more reason for Diva’s mentor teacher not to be emphasis on the debating activity. she decided to frame the activity l. 46. that actually they said that he was the most of that” (7 times) was not excessive. explanations of her reasoning might not have been To clarify this point.. “A remarkable student. line 14 Stanza 15. On a "remarkable student" after counting the total number of times she said Stanza I ̶ Setting “because [of that]. “what I had been taught to discourse analyst. after his friends it was him again she instructed her students to ask questions as a o. However..” I am not saying that all debaters use “because Stanza III ̶ Crisis of that” very frequently or all the time. and yet “because of that” helped her to of a number of discourse markers. remarkable ((laughs)) here is there was a boy of times she said “because” (5 times) and “because b. however. Diva’s narrative (lines 14. the use of jokes that related to me” “because of that” — I have no space to discuss “because” here — is a strong indicator that Diva is a Stanza IV ̶ Resolution debater. line 27 8. She also uses “because” (lines 25. and 48). pp. as I vicious person ((laughs)) am analyzing her narrative. 85). which occur frequently in of that” functions as a signal for me. I will identify the usage extensive. Because of that maybe I was sly I think 177 . as a narrative Diva’s narrative (e. 44 [Excerpt 1]) and lines l and p. 36. and the most typical i.5) quote unquote s. h. what I felt as a distractor that initially made (2011) transcription convention using lines and me think of Diva’s story as cryptic actually made stanzas—helps to clarify the overall narrative perfect sense and was completely coherent! The discourse. line 30 Stanza 9. That is. Diva was fully aware of the necessity of being fact that she was a debater that she framed class as a faithful to the teaching structure (pre-.

Diva attested feeling stressed rebuttals is part of debating as an “activity” (i.. Vic: [((laughs)) The larger question remains: What does being Diva: Uh but uh (2. in Excerpt 2 her strength in Diva: [but ((laughs)) debating was used to manage her notoriously noisy o Vic: That’s fineo class where there was at least one “remarkable” Jos: So my prediction [is right in this case student. In a typical Indonesian school hierarchy. Excerpt 1). Excerpt 1) that she used to be a debater. As thing” she said [line f] and some others made fun of debating is her forte. 89). which I verified at the end of a means of handling difficult situations related to 178 . see Stanzas II and III.Mambu.e. Embodying an identity as debating a debater who has some experiences of participating in debating competitions allows Diva to inhabit a Conversation F powerful space and exert herself as an “agentive Jos: Oh so he contributed a lot [in the self-constructor. Diva responded to my interest her.. Jos: Hm okay = Excerpt 2).g. teaching skills. To cope with in eliciting stories of “good experiences” in her this challenge. when frame her narrative? To dispute an argument is an they taught students with or without (draconian) action. Anindra. Diva made explicit in line 28 (lines 38-39. are reinforced throughout her narrative connotation in both parts—see Excerpts 1 and 2. regardless of her grammatical assumption with remarkable is positive inaccuracies. Her relative strength and degree of Vic: =I’m glad you asked that because (.. Stanza 10. Whereas in Diva: ((laughs)) Excerpt 1 the debating activity drove her teaching Vic: The most clever / the most brilliant practice to the extent that she sacrificed post- Jos: No I I suspect [that it is teaching. Also from his perspective on q. Excerpt 2). but the act(ions) of extended conversations mentor teachers present in class (see also where arguments are juxtaposed by questions or Barkhuizen.” in light of Bamberg (2012). Unraveling relatively unclear stories: A narrative analysis. Gee’s (2011) the frame problem tool will be used as Anecdotes abound as to how student-teachers a starting point to answer this question as I analyze were stressed out (see e. 2016). “we should see if we can r. the first time I thought that he was like the frame problem tool.) my comfort in debating. a mentor teacher v. identity is constructed through a person’s engagement in an Stanza VI ̶ Evaluation activity like debating. thus resisting the typical structure of Vic: [(--) okay that changes teaching practice by a student-teacher doing [that changes teaching practicum. 2016). ya it showed from what he gave in the teaching practice context. This tendency Diva: Mhm toward subjugation increases the likelihood that Jos: So you have good time novice teachers who do not have sufficient Diva: Good time knowledge. a naughty person that didn’t have a brain at look at the context again” (p.g. 37). supported endeavor that usually involves sequencing Excerpt 1) and that “it was like a disaster if you or combining actions in certain specified ways” taught at that class/because the class very noisy” (Gee. or confidence will fall prey to their students’ (or even mentor teachers’) Diva’s identity work ridicule. “a when sharing that her friends labeled the very class socially recognized and institutionally or culturally she was teaching as “a trouble” (line 37.. “and widen s. like Diva’s t. Diva used her debating experience as teaching practicum. 2011. ya actually he was smart engagement in a debating society outside the u. Stanza 10. p. when and this seems to have made her more comfortable she felt that one of her students questioned “all the integrating a debate-like activity in her class. Student- teachers who do their teaching practices under Conversation G mentor teachers’ supervision are meant to become Jos: Critical? the next stratum of this hierarchy. the data: Why is being a debater used by Diva to sometimes to the point of bursting into tears. like Diva’s all teaching practice in a junior high school.5) a debater have to do with a teaching practice in a Jos: ((looks at my digital voice recorder)) school? In Gee’s (2011) perspective. but then it turns out to be / what we take to be relevant” (p. Diva even (Stanza 8. experienced a tricky situation in class (e. Conversation E my conversation with Diva (see Conversation G. especially in the Stanza VI continued context of teaching practicum. he was critical actually usually maintains a very powerful position.. 37). debate?= insomuch as she constructed herself on the basis of Diva: [ya possessing a background that both her mentor =ya teacher (see Excerpt 1) and her “remarkable” Jos: =despite his being remarkable and sly? student (see Excerpt 2) did not have.

a brief and not that way tool). Stanza VI) and “critical” (line v. F. Excerpt 2). Stanza I.” and not “hav[ing] a brain at all” (lines 8. always him /after his friends it was him again/it was When Vic asked him to expand on what he him again//” (lines l. To my speech all the time then it turns out to be/ya actually he was smart” … (lines s and t. sly. of “remarkable. o. 17. pp. as I mentioned earlier. 14. my fellow interviewer Vic thought of the Stanza 1—Abstract word as engendering a “positive connotation” (see 1. Excerpt 2). “licik” (i. although practicum sites (Stanza 4). I expected him to recount his with the “remarkable” student was her ability to teaching experience more autobiographically (see keep formulating questions (akin to rebuttals in my attempts before Stanzas 5 and 6. They pay attention and concentrate to my q and r. January 2017. to build up a relatively positive image (or identity) Overall. The student was annoying and yet he was amelioratively “smart” Stanza 2—Reminiscing on an earlier self as a (line t. Excerpt 2) was foregrounded and the initial 12.e. “remarkable” was indeed utilized to imply student will be good both positive and negative connotations. I was also amazed that as “naughty. Diva sounded rational. Stanza IV. One tactic useful in dealing unclear. and a more positive image of the 10.. rather Stanza 3—Returning to his teaching session than emotional. and G. Bruno’s “small stories. 172-183 her students’ behaviors. 6 No. was teaching practicum sites backgrounded. but debating competitions) directed to the student: “. Diva did initially think of the student 7.. as far as you can Stanza VI are replete with Diva’s positive remember? “evaluation”—to use Labov & Waletzky’s (1997) term. I was amazed by the students there. the lesson next clauses overthrew the negative image: “but 9. Bruno’s is less elaborate. wrote in the first telling. as I analyzed her 3. m. especially a keyword that a rural school respected him (Stanzas 1 and 3). Choice of words is important in tidbits of stories: His amazement that his students at analyzing discourse. student The conciseness of “remarkable” to mean 4. Stanza I). their students’ success. in handling a difficult student. 54] notion of the why this way of student-teachers (lines 4-5. conversations E. 6. Vol. Diva then seems to when I taught there in (a rural school) have successfully created ambiguity through her use 2. To illustrate. Stanza 2).” student. Although I sensed that “remarkable” was used to ironically depict the Excerpt 3. I didn’t thought that / the response from the story. Gee’s [2011. The best experience actually / that is happen Conversation E. Excerpt 2).” “smart.” In retrospect. Nevertheless. I used to play around to them relatively competent speaker during storytelling. line c. which is also used by Gee (2011)—of the Stanza 5—Recalling what happened in the class student. and something observation of the “nice” behavior of the student else was backgrounded (line d. When I heard from my friends student was foregrounded. … Diva concluded with a balanced view of the student. snapshots of his teaching she was very much annoyed by him. and yet she used that is. Vic and I session (Stanzas 5-6). Bruno’s is also relatively encourage them to speak 179 . The initial Stanza 4—Comparing the rural school to other thought about the student. Jos : So what specifically happened in the That is.. p. Even when “sly” (line c. 11. n. naughty. in other words. Bruno’s narrative is comprised of of Diva herself. Excerpt 2). Stanza VI. That have already taught in many places Stanza I. And then it is happen to me ((laughter)) Furthermore. I just tried to be communicative 15. together with first teaching. though with a moralizing tone. Diva did not use a negative comparison between his and other teaching or derogatory expression for her student. They talked like this this this this and this Compared to Diva’s story. Excerpt 3). despite their meager salary Even the word “remarkable” is important here (lines 29-30). his shapes a description of a particular thing or person past self who was “naughty” and liked to make fun (cf. I thought I had to act like uh ordinary teacher Reconstructing Bruno’s narrative 16. 2. I used to be naughty also that / the practical “annoying. But in this places I didn’t get it at all the stage for conflict between her and the student. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics. Bruno only responded to my probing questions very after I explain/then I gave him several question and briefly. The students are lazy. and what being a teacher would have probably perceived Diva negatively if means to Bruno himself (Stanza 8). Stanza VI. But I tried to / at my first teaching / I tried to Similar to Diva’s story. Excerpt 2) to set 13. she had done so. teaching allows a teacher to feel happy with her slyness to keep asking the student questions. Stanza VI).” and “critical” at the same time teacher is also effective in constructing her identity as a 5. Bruno elaborated (in Diva complained that the “remarkable” student is Stanzas 7 and 8).

school contexts has been of paramount thought that he would be victimized by his students importance. So lovely and uh the environment so different hypothetical. But they didn’t / maybe they know only the uh argued.g.S. and/or a sense of identity idealized. and don’t expect reward from communicative” and “encourage [his students] to them. Hm (. But the feeling that you get when you teach (line 36). And after I taught them that feeling that you get when you teach them. You give the best to a narrative. you Stanza 7—Responding to Vic give the best to them” (between Stanzas 6 and 7). Bruno did overcome his (2013) suggestion to pay more attention to the teaching fear.Mambu.that. Stanza 5). Bruno did struggle with the fact that he 27. Is not good for the living he agentively concluded his satisfaction: “that kind 31. To answer whatever uh my question Bruno’s responses became vaguer (see e. The results of the current study are along Bruno’s identity work the lines of the new literacy studies pioneered by Instead of providing vivid details of his teaching Gee (2012). day? It does not mean Bruno has no agency. I realized that being teacher is not good / teaching sites (lines 4 and 12) was his real source of 29. Moreover. Stanza 4). that a narrator’s sense of agency surface is contingent upon his/her perceivably good … experience in one place. telling.to. as opposed to one or more Vic : I have here a sentence in which that I places inhabited by others. and the 25. It can be 22. at least in the storytelling event. and his friends’ stories of teaching in uh that tenses other schools (lines 10-12. Is that a conclusion that you had speak” in class (lines 14. You Agency is also displayed through activities said it seems that being a teacher is like reconstructed. among others. at a particular past event. I got nothing that uh only.. she had to be submissive when asked to elaborate on what happened in class. them 33. And the students will succeed finally 34. 17.to do more (.. 30. would like you to explain for me. The likelihood that he would encounter to be a teacher “naughty” students like himself and those in other 28. To bring them to reach their success The craft of understanding (if not also appreciating) 36. 21. to a mentor teacher and to make her students 180 . Bruno’s teachers and Barkhuizen’s (2016) recent call for level of agency was not as high as Diva who listening to novice teachers’ voices and identity. More before this experience or one that you importantly. Stanza 4). which grew out of his 20. Stanza 1. For instance.from a story is not solely reliant upon its highly detailed another occupation. Bruno framed his narrative in a less rambling narratives told by people of a agentive manner than Diva.only the:: (--) students will succeed finally…to bring them to situation that reach their success” (lines 32-33. Especially for the salary tension. in doing a social job. Simple present tense and present continuous tool. 23. He must have U. what was the topic on that not very agentive. line 13. I think it is after Moreover.. That encouraged me to. performed a confident debater identity. that kind of feeling you will not get from. when viewed through disadvantaged group like the African Americans in Bamberg’s (2012) theoretical lens. 18.) it seems like you accompany them CONCLUSION 35.uh had to teach. Bruno raised a powerful remark: “…being a teacher is like doing a social job. … and rigidly linear sense making on the part of a narrator. This study also supports both Hayes’ in the teaching site. I tried to measure what skill they (--) supposed favorable experience of interacting with attentive to be rural school students (lines 1-3. Stanza 5). I know in Indonesia it’s kind like that of feeling you will not got from another occupation” 32.) to. which also gives an impression that he is Jos : By the way. even if Bruno’s statement that “…the 24. it indicates his idealized (or romanticized) identity and view of the teaching Stanza 8—The moral of Bruno’s story profession. but it was mainly after he found that agentive role of nonnative English-speaking (or because) his students were cooperative. from session the viewpoint of Gee’s (2011) the frame problem 19. Unraveling relatively unclear stories: A narrative analysis. therefore. Bruno’s comparison between his teaching practice Stanza 6—Recalling the topic of his teaching site at a rural area and other schools (Stanza 4). However. And I found that they actually know that. error-free grammar in a second language. and as Vic noted based on Bruno’s first had after this experience? written narrative. line 16. With regard to Diva. Bruno “tried to be them. seemed to highlight a stark contrast between tense Bruno’s sense of agency. in which attention to session. 35) is 26.

Still interesting to explore is how an original Gee. toolkit. & Chik. In G. On the nature of dialogic identity accentuated rationality by justifying her utterances work.org/10. What remain(s) the same or differ(s) Hayes. 2. Teaching and Teacher Education. Gee.tate. F. (2015). by (English) language teacher educators to engage positioning. R.doi. and English language learners: their student-teachers in dialogue. Questions that Voices of pre-service classroom teachers. he exercised his agency as a student-teacher Journal of Narrative and Life History. 45. to triangulate her story with what her mentor or her Bamberg. the extent to which Bruno’s impression (Eds. Vol. your planned and/or implemented teaching teacher. A. analysis like mine. and Gee. (2013). Narratives of experience: over the years. A. (2014). Bamberg. class. Concerning Bruno. the narrative identity analysis. however. 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with a subject and a verb) or a truncated clause (e.. (name) : An intentionally deleted or changed name to ensure anonymity. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics. January 2017. .hh : An in-breath. A line looks like either a complete clause (i. pp. smiling). because the narrator jumped to another thought) Fal.g. word. (.false : The dash denotes a false start. 1991) in a line. 1 . 172-183 APPENDIX Transcription conventions (adapted from Wray & Bloomer.) : A very short pause. Lenny. 2.. ((smiles)) : A non-verbal cue (e. or expression.. 6 No. 2006): = : A latching symbol. shut : The arrows signal a rising ↓up and a falling intonation respectively. o utterance o : A quiet utterance. >faster : An utterance between spee inverted angle brackets ch< speeds up.e. [[ : Two people begin at the same time. (--) : An indecipherable syllable. Utterance / : The slash indicates a pause utter and marks the end of an idea ance unit (Gee. lo:ng : The colon indicates a prolonged sound. Vol. [ : Someone’s speech that overlaps his/her interlocutor.5) : A pause of measurable length. (1.g.