Unmasking the Ideologies in Teacher Cognition: The Case of Selected English Language Teachers in Jakarta, Indonesia

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in English Language and Literature Teaching (Option I-Thesis)



First Advisor

Ma. Isabel P. Martin, PhD


Teacher cognition or beliefs largely influence teachers’ decisions, practices, and interpretation of events in the classroom. These beliefs are known to be mediated by ideological values that are packaged in with the English language, which have a significant impact on classrooms and students’ lives and should therefore be examined. This study aimed to uncover the ideologies in the beliefs of selected primary school teachers, who learned English as a first, second, and foreign language, about teaching English and being teachers of English in an intercultural school in Jakarta. A qualitative, naturalistic inquiry was employed in the study where categories emerged by examining the data primarily gathered through semi-structured interviews. The teachers’ personal stories or narratives grounded in concrete experiences that had emerged from the interviews were then examined following the notion of ideologies as partial, changeable shared ideas or beliefs of members of a group (van Dijk, 2000) and positions as fluid roles or parts assigned to one’s self and others (Harre & van Langenhove, 1999). Results showed that the teachers’ beliefs about the different aspects of ELT and their positions in their teaching context revealed evidence and traces of Phillipson’s (1992) fallacies, neoliberalism, linguistic instrumentalism, and humanistic or monastic culture. These beliefs and positions appeared to be guided and shaped by their language learning and teaching experiences as well as the norms, values, and expectations of their teaching context. Overall, this study highlighted the importance of a critical reflection of teachers’ beliefs about and positions in ELT in order for them to have greater awareness of the larger ideological forces that mediate their language teaching, to instill in their students a critical perspective about their environment, and to adapt more informed ways of teaching English in varied contexts.

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