Malaysian English language novice teachers’ challenges and support during initial years of teaching

Vishin Nair Chandran, Intan Safinas Mohd Ariff Albakri, Siti Shuhaida Shukor, Noriah Ismail, Mohd Haniff Mohd Tahir, Mazlin Mohamed Mokhtar, Noraini Zulkepli


This study investigates the challenges encountered by Malaysian English language novice teachers throughout the initial years of their teaching. This study also explores the support received by these novice teachers at the beginning of their careers. The mixed-method research design was adopted for this study. A number of 80 novice teachers participated in the study. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey and an interview with five novice teachers. The findings indicated that the most frequent challenges faced by the novice English language teachers were (1) workload challenges, (2) instructional challenges, and (3) social status and identity challenges. The results also showed that the most frequent support received by the novice teachers was collegial support. Based on the findings, one of the most crucial issues to be addressed during the teacher training was equipping the novice teachers with the knowledge and skill in managing their multiple work and responsibilities in schools. Training novice teachers in using various instructional methods, particularly on the use of computer technology is also important. The novice teachers also need to be provided with more professional development courses that can develop their confidence in teaching, help them build a relationship with students and colleagues, and educate them on how to manage their problematic learners. A structured support system with good mentoring practices during the initial years of teaching is also crucial in assisting the novice teachers to adapt to the teaching environment and carry out assigned responsibilities.


challenges; English language; mentoring; novice teachers; support

Full Text:



Ahmed, G., Faizi, W. U. N., & Akbar, S. (2020). Challenges of novice teachers and strategies to cope at the secondary level. Global Regional Review, V(I), 403-416.

Alaa, M., Albakri, I. S. M. S., Singh, C. K. S., Hammed, H., Zaidan, A. A., Zaidan, B. B., Albahri, O. S., Alsalem, M. A., Salih, M. M., Almahdi, E. M., Baqer, M. J., Jalood, N. S., Nidhal, S., Shareef, A. H., & Jasim, A. N. (2019). Assessment and ranking framework for the English skill of pre-service teachers based on Fuzzy Delphi and TOPSIS methods. IEEE Access, 7, 126201-126223.

Albakri, I. S. M. A., Abdullah, M. H., & Jusoh, A. J. (2017). Lessons from experience: ESL student teachers’ reflection during practicum through reflective journals. Studies in English Language and Education, 4(2), 226-234.

Albakri, I. S. M. A., Ismail, N., Hartono, R., Tahir, M. H. M., Abdullah, M. S. H., Sarudin, A., & Zulkepli, N. (2021). Mentoring practice during practicum: The perspectives of Malaysian pre-service English language teachers. Studies in English Language and Education, 8(2), 642-655.

Alhamad, R. (2018). Challenges and induction need of novice English as a foreign language teacher in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 6(1), 50-63.

Ariff, N., Yusof, H., & Mansor, M. (2016). Availability of novice teacher professionalism: A content analysis. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 6(12), 353-373.

Dayan, U., Perveen, S., & Khan, I. M. (2018). Transition from pre-service training to classroom: Experiences and challenges of novice teachers in Pakistan. Journal of Social Sciences, 12(2), 48-59.

Dias-Lacy, S. L., & Guirguis, R. V. (2017). Challenges for new teachers and ways of coping with them. Journal of Education and Learning, 6(3), 265-272.

Dickson, M., Riddlebarger, J., Stringer, P., Tennant, L., & Kennetz, K. (2014). Challenges faced by Emirati novice teachers. Near and Middle Eastern Journal of Research in Education, 4, 1-10.

Gopal, R., & Mokhtar, M. M. (2020). Literary texts selection for Malaysian lower secondary schools in Perak. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 8(8), 3417-3422.

Hudson, P., & Hudson, S. (2018). Mentoring preservice teachers: Identifying tensions and possible resolutions. Teacher Development, 22(1), 16-30.

Ismail, N., & Albakri, I. S. M. A. (2012). An analysis of ESL students’ attitude and interest towards learning to write essays using selected online writing links and resources. International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 11(6), 187-198.

Ismail, N., Hussin, S., & Aboswider, R. O. S. (2019). Examining the mechanisms utilized by CML web-logging instructors in ESL classroom: A case study. AJELP: The Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 7(2), 31-39.

Karatas, P. & Karaman, A. C. (2013). Challenges faced by novice language teacher: Support, identity, and pedagogy in the initial years of teaching. The International Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 4(3), 10-23.

Katitia, D. M. O. (2015). Teacher education preparation program for the 21st Century. Which way forward for Kenya? Journal of Education and Practice, 6(24), 57-63.

Kozikoglu, I. (2017). A content analysis concerning the studies on challenges faced by novice teachers. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 12(2), 91-106.

Mahmoudi, F & Ozkan, Y. (2015). Exploring experienced and novice teachers’ perceptions about professional development activities. Procedia- Social and Behavioural Sciences, 199, 57-64.

Mukundan, J., & Khandehroo, K. (2010). Burnout among English Language teachers in Malaysia. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 3(1), 71-76.

Ozturk, M. & Yildirim, A. (2013). Adaptation challenges of novice teachers. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 28(1), 294-307.

Sali, P. & Kecik, I. (2018). Challenges of first years of teaching in Turkey: Voices of novice EFL teachers. English Language Teaching, 11(4), 117- 131.

Senom, F., Zakaria, A. R., & Shah, S. S. A. (2013). Novice teachers’ challenges & survival: Where do Malaysian ESL teachers stand? American Journal of Educational Research, 1(4), 119-125.

Tahir, M. H. M., Shah, D. S. M., Shaq, M. S. Y., Albakri, I. S. M. A., & Adnan, A. H. M. (2021). Explicit vocabulary instruction: Effects of vocabulary learning on form two ESL learners. Studies in English Language and Education, 8(3), 1227-1247.

Warsame, K. B. (2011). Evaluating the effectiveness of novice teacher support structures [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Walden University.

Zulkepli, N. (2020). L2 motivational self-esteem as predictors of out-of-class willingness to communicate. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 16(4), 1898-1908.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats