Creative inquiry: Exploring teacher researcher self-reflexivity through arts-based self-study

  • Kirsten Woitek George Mason University


This self-study examines the identity loss and shifts in English Learners (ELs). It helps inform teachers about EL identity and improves my practice as an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher. The data includes teaching journals, reflective journaling, personal notes from students, and EL teacher freewrites. The methodology includes self-reflexivity and dual voice poetry, which included student notes in relation to my reflective teacher journal entries, as well as artwork by Frida Kahlo and a mirror cinquain. These methods revealed the following themes: assimilation and ambivalence. Additionally, the teaching journals and colleague freewrites demonstrated positivity and inspiration. The use of poetic devices as well as a visual artifact allowed new knowledge to form about my own teaching experience and challenged my preconceived perceptions about EL identity. These findings are beneficial for my own teaching practice as well as for pre-service teachers.