Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Research indicates many new English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers leave the profession within 5 years. However, limited research has focused on these teachers’ experiences and far fewer studies examined those with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to identify what contributes to the high attrition rate. This narrative study captured the experience of a first-year ESL teacher with CALD backgrounds. Data were collected using a three-step interview approach over the course of 1 year. The data show the protagonist’s identity as an advocate for Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) began during his extended clinical practicum and was further driven by his CALD background, unsupportive colleagues, and the marginalized status of EBs and ESL teachers. Although he overcame numerous challenges, he ultimately left his ESL position due to his unsustainable low salary. The story confirmed current research regarding systematic barriers that may prevent CALD individuals from entering and staying in the ESL teaching field. Possible implications for teacher educators and policy makers are discussed.