Constructing Professional Identity of Online English Teacherpreneurs for Sustainable Innovation in the English Language Teaching Industry: A Multi-Continental Study

Olusiji Adebola Lasekan, Claudia Méndez Alarcón


To provide professional and business advice for pre-service and in-service English teachers aspiring to become Online English Teacherpreneurs (OET) and promote sustainable innovation in the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry, this study seeks to investigate the professional identity of Online English Teacherpreneurs residing in different continents. Drawing on theoretical understandings of the relationship between teacher and entrepreneurial identity, a qualitative study using in-depth interview methodology was undertaken among OET from five continents (Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, and North America). The results showed that their professional roles as OET in EFL contexts cut across both instructional (English language teaching, coaching, and mentoring) and non-instructional roles (instructional development, English translation, and interpretation). In addition, the component of professional contexts helps determine different types of OET practitioners, their choice of professional tool, and roles. Other significant findings include identifying precarious employment and teacher burnout as motivational factors causing many teachers to engage in this private practice. The implications of these findings for the educational policymakers and future research directions were also presented.


Keywords: sustainable innovation, professional identity, teacherpreneurship, multi-continental study, EFL teacher, entrepreneurship.

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