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How do past literacy experiences influence an individual to choose an English teaching major? There is a teacher shortage across the nation that shows that not many individuals choose to become teachers. People's career choices are often influenced by experiences and this study is to find out what experiences influence those few individuals to choose the pathway to becoming an educator, specifically in English. English teaching students at Utah State University were asked to participate in a survey inquiring about their past literacy experiences in order to find which ones had the most impact on their decision to become an English teacher. Interviews of two English teaching faculty members were conducted in order to find what experiences they had that led them to their career and what experiences they've recognized that their students have had. Finally, there was an analysis of English teaching student's writing that consisted of their past educational and literacy experiences, used to find similarities and patterns amongst the different English teaching majors. Though there were many different and diverse experiences explored in this study, there were three major concepts that kept repeating themselves, the first being that most individuals who choose an English teaching major in college are influenced by another English teacher in some way. The study also revealed that those who choose an English teaching career have enjoyable experiences concerning literacy activities such as reading and writing. In addition to the already listed influences, being recognized for a talent in reading and writing is also an impactful experience that leads individuals to choose an English teaching major in college.


Utah State University

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English Language and Literature

What Experiences Influence Individuals to Become an English Teacher?