Prof TRENT, John Gilbert   
Professor (Practice)
Department of English Language Education
Phone No: (852) 2948 7375
(852) 2948 7375
10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong
Scopus ID
Research Interest
teacher identity, discourse analysis, teacher education
Personal Profile

Dr. John Trent joined the Hong Kong Institute of Education in 2007. He completed his PhD and Masters degrees at the University of Hong Kong. His recent research includes studies of teacher identity construction amongst Native English speaking teachers in Hong Kong, second-career teachers, as well as pre-service teachers. His teaching interests include the development of classroom interaction and English across the curriculum.
Research Interest

teacher identity, discourse analysis, teacher education
Selected Output

Scholarly Books, Monographs and Chapters
Research book or monograph (author)
Trent, John, Gao, Xuesong, Gu, Mingyue (2013). Language Teacher Education in a Multilingual Context: Experience from Hong Kong. New York: Springer
Chapter in an edited book (author)
Trent, J (2017). “Being a professor and doing EMI properly isn’t easy”. An identity-theoretic investigation of content teachers’ attitudes to EMI at a university in Hong Kong.. Fenton-Smith, B., Humphreys, P., & Walkinshaw, I (Ed.), English as a Medium of Instruction in Higher Education in Asia-Pacific: Issues and Challenges. Springer. (219-239). Australia: Nil
Trent, J. (2015). Towards a multifaceted, multidimensional framework for understanding teacher identity. In Y.L. Cheung, & K. Park (Eds.), Advances and Current Trends in Language Teacher Identity Research (44-58). Oxford, United Kingdom: Routledge

Journal Publications
Publication in refereed journal
Sun, X., & Trent, J. (2022). Shaping a Sustainable Doctoral Pathway: A Critical Analysis of Reflexive Mediation Between Structure and Agency in the PhD Experience. Higher Education Research and Development, Online publication, 1-15 Doi:10.1080/07294360.2022.2073979.
Sun, X., & Trent, J. (2020). Promoting Agentive Feedback Engagement through Dialogically Minded Approaches in Doctoral Writing Supervision (doi: Innovations in Education and Teaching International, retrieved from, online publication, online
Sun, X., & Trent, J. (2020). Ongoing Doctoral Study Process to Live by: A Narrative Inquiry into the Doctoral Identity Construction Experiences - A Chinese Case. Frontiers of Education in China, 15, 422-452
Trent, J. (2018). ‘Fitting in’ or ‘Being Different’? Integration, Separation, and Identity Construction during a Teaching Practicum in Hong Kong. Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teachers' Professional Development, 22(4), 571-586
Trent, J. (2018). “It’s Like Starting All Over Again”. The Struggles of Second-career Teachers to Construct Professional Identities in Hong Kong Schools. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 24(8), 931-950
Trent, J (2017). Discourse, agency, and teacher attrition. Perceptions of “failure” amongst early career English teachers in Hong Kong. Research Papers in Education, 32, 84-105
Trent, J (2017). The NEST–NNEST divide and teacher identity construction in Hong Kong schools.. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 15,5, 306-320., 15, 306-320
Trent, J. (2015). “Inclusive and different?” Discourse, conflict, and the identity construction experiences of preservice teachers of English language learners in Australia. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(10), 106-124
Trent, J. (2015). Constructing professional identities in shadow education: Perspectives of private supplementary educators in Hong Kong. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 15(2), 115-130
Trent, J. (2015). The gendered, hierarchical construction of teacher identities: Exploring the male primary school teacher voice in Hong Kong. Journal of Education Policy, 30(4), 500-517
Trent, J. (2015). The identity construction experiences of early career English language teachers in Hong Kong: Great expectations and practical realities. Great expectations and practical realities, 31(3), 1-21
Trent, J. (2015). When communities collide: The shared construction and defense of community and identity during a teaching practicum. Teacher Development, 18(1), 29-47
Trent, J. (2014). ‘‘I’ m teaching, but I’m not really a teacher’’. Teaching assistants and the construction of professional identities in Hong Kong schools. Educational Research, 56(1), 28-47
Trent, J. (2013). The discursive construction of teacher identity: The experience of NETs in Hong Kong schools. TESOL Quarterly, 46, 104-126
Trent, J. G. (2013). Becoming a teacher educator: The multiple boundary crossing experiences of beginning teacher educators (doi: 10.1177/0022487112471998). Journal of Teacher Education, Retrieved from, online publication, 64(3), 262-275
Trent, J. G. (2012). Teacher professional development through a school-university partnership. What role does teacher identity play?. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, Retrieved from, online publication, 37(7), 1-21
Trent, J. G. (2012). Becoming a teacher: The identity construction experiences of begining English language teachers in Hong Kong. The Australian Educational Researcher, 39(3), 363-383
Trent, J. G. (2012). Research engagement as identity construction: Hong Kong preservice teachers' experiences of a compulsory research project. Teacher Development, 16(2), 145-160
Trent, J. G. (2012). The discursive construction of teacher identity: The experience of NETs in Hong Kong schools. TESOL Quarterly, 46(1), 104-126
Trent, J. (2011). Learning, teaching, and constructing identities. ESL teacher identity construction during an international experience programme. Asia Pacific Journal of Education,, 31, 177-194
Trent, J. (2011). Four years on, I’m ready to teach. Teacher education and the construction of teacher identities. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 17, 35-50
Trent, J. (2011). The professional development of teacher identities in Hong Kong. Can a short term course make a difference?. Professional Development in Education, 37, 1-20
Trent, J (2010). Teacher identity construction across the curriculum: Promoting cross-curriculum collaboration in Engklish-medium schools.. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 30, 167-184
Trent, J (2010). Teacher education as identity construction: Insights from action research. Journal of Education for Teaching, 36, 153-168
Trent, John (2010). From rigid dichotomy to measured contingency. Hong Kong preservice teachers' discursive construction of identity. Teaching and Teacher Education (Rank A*), 26, 906-913
Trent, John, & Lim, J (2010). Teacher identity construction in school-university partnerships: Discourse and practice. Teaching and Teacher Education (Rank A*), 26, 1-10
Gao, X., & Trent, J. G. (2009). Understanding mainland Chinese students' motivations for choosing teacher education programmes in Hong Kong. Journal of Education for Teaching, 35 (2), 145-159
Trent, J. G. (2009). Enhancing oral participation across the curriculum: Some lessons from the EAP classroom. Asian EFL Journal, 11 (1), 258-270
Trent, J. G. (2008). Towards a pedagogical framework for participatory learning in EAP. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 5 (4), 1-25
Trent, J. (2008). Promoting investment by Chinese learners in classroom discourse. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 18 (1), 30-48
Davison, C., & Trent, J. (2007). Language attitudes, policies and practices in English medium institutions in Hong Kong: A case study. Using a Foreign Language as a Working Language in Secondary and Tertiary Education, 36, 161-177


Home-School Partnerships to Support Ethnic Minority Student Achievement in Hong Kong
Project Start Year: 2020, Principal Investigator(s): TRENT, John Gilbert
The Identity Construction Experiences of Teachers of English to Young Learners in Mainland China
Project Start Year: 2019, Principal Investigator(s): TRENT, John Gilbert
Provision of Services for In-Service Professional Development Programme: Three-day Course for Non-language Teachers on Enhancing Classroom Communication by Using Subject-specific Language in English EDB
Project Start Year: 2017, Principal Investigator(s): TRENT, John Gilbert
The Identity Construction Experiences of Novice English Language Teachers in Hong Kong
Project Start Year: 2016, Principal Investigator(s): TRENT, John Gilbert
Language Teachers' Professional Development: A Comparative Biographical Narrative Study
The proposed inquiry aims to explore professional experiences of four different groups of language teachers, including Chinese teachers who have Putonghua as their mother tongue, Chinese teachers who have Cantonese as their mother tongue, and Native English Teachers (NET).The study, drawing on research on Nonnative English speaker teacbers in English language teaching, examines dynamics underlying the two groups of Chinese teachers' professional identity development in relation to the recent introduction of Putonghua as medium of instruction in some Hong Kong schools. The findings inform language teachers' professional development programmes, potentially contribute to the teaching of Chinese as a global language and deepen our understanding of teachers' professional identity in relation to the teaching of two international languages (Chinese and English).
Project Start Year: 2008, Principal Investigator(s): GAO XUESONG 高雪松 (TRENT, John Gilbert as Co-Investigator)
An Inquiry into Boundary-crossing Teacher Trainees
The project investigated the experience of trainee teachers as they crossed profession, social and education boundaries.The proposed study uses in-depth narrative interviews to explore teacher trainees’ expectations and aspirations prior to their entry to the teacher education program at the Institute. The study focuses on boundary-crossing teacher trainees (i.e. those from the Chinese Mainland) and addresses the complex issue of how they view and are viewed as English language teachers in multilingual contexts such as Hong Kong. The study aims to be the beginning of a longitudinal inquiry into teacher trainees’ professional development inside and beyond the Institute.
Project Start Year: 2007, Principal Investigator(s): TRENT John Gilbert