The present study aimed to explore pre-service EFL teachers' reasons for choosing English language teaching (ELT) as a career. The participants of the study were second-year student teachers in an ELT department in Turkey (N=100). Data were collected by means of The Teachers' Ten Statements Test, which is a structured qualitative measure. The analysis revealed that ELT trainees seemed to be driven by a web of interacting intrinsic, extrinsic and socio-cultural motivational factors influencing their career choices. The results were discussed in relation to foreign language teacher education. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.