NNEST Newsletter

NNEST News, Volume 10:1 (May 2008)

by User Not Found | 27 October 2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • Editors’ Remarks
    • Letter From the Chair
  • Articles
    • A Vygotskian Perspective on Nonnative English-Speaking Teachers’ Identity
    • Notes From an ESOL Conversation Group Leader
    • Wide Awakening of NNEST Issues: An NNES Teacher’s Perspective on Her Own Experiences
    • Are We Really Teaching English Beyond the Native Speaker?
  • Announcements and Information
    • Call to Sister NNEST Caucuses/Groups
    • NNEST Blog
    • TESOL Annual Convention & Graduate Student Forum
    • TESOL Awards and Grants
    • Position Statement Against Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of TESOL (March 2006)
    • NNEST Resources
    • NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions
  • About This Community
    • About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Caucus
    • NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement
  • Announcements and Information
    • Call to Sister NNEST Caucuses/Groups
    • NNEST Blog
    • TESOL Annual Convention & Graduate Student Forum
    • TESOL Awards and Grants
    • Position Statement Against Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of TESOL (March 2006)
    • NNEST Resources
    • NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions
  • About This Community
    • About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Caucus
    • NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement

Leadership Updates Editors’ Remarks

Sandra Zappa-Hollman, University of British Columbia, sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca (Editor)

Kyung-Hee Bae, University of Houston Writing Center, kbae@uh.edu (Volunteer Editor)

Lisya Seloni, Ohio State University, seloni.1@osu.edu (Volunteer Editor)

We are very pleased to introduce you to the 10th issue of our newsletter! There is no doubt in our minds that this anniversary deserves to be celebrated, so let’s begin with a little bit of history. Some of you might recall that it was in March 1999 when we were encouraged to “join the wave” and become NNEST caucus members. Elis Lee (1999) was telling us back then that “It seems that with the creation of the NNEST caucus, the wave is on its way. For the first time, the voices of NNESs can be heard. It is time to join the wave. Participate. Support. Share the passion. Move the wave” (p. 11, NNEST Newsletter, 1). Indeed, over the past decade, many have joined the wave, and our newsletter has served as a very effective means of sharing the voices of nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) teachers from diverse parts of the world. The wave has gathered considerable force, and it has reached faraway places. This, we believe, has helped build a strong sense of community and affiliation, and we should all be very proud of this achievement!

The current issue features four articles. In his article, Davi Reis ponders how nonnative-English-speaking teachers can come to conceive of themselves in a positive light and take on an empowering identity as legitimate professionals. He suggests that Vygotskian sociocultural theory, as a theory of learning, development, and identity formation, can help answer some of these questions.

The remaining three articles consist of narrative pieces that serve as a window into the personal experiences of NNES colleagues with a strong desire to voice their stories and views. Their aim, however, goes beyond bringing to light some of their struggles; they hope to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about NNES teachers’ rights and responsibilities. They also provide readers with useful teaching strategies, and they illustrate different ways in which fellow NNES teachers have been able to exercise their agency in their different professional communities.

Rashi Jain writes about her rewarding experiences volunteering as a conversation group leader and, among other things, she reflects on the positive impact of her nonnative speaker identity on her teaching practice. At the same time, she joins those questioning the ownership of the English language, and hopes—through her actions—to help position herself and her students as legitimate English speakers regardless of their nonnative status.

Jessica Lee compares and contrasts her job interview experiences for EFL/ESL positions in Korea and the United States, respectively. These experiences served as an awakening process through which Jessica became aware of differing perceptions others had of her own nativeness, depending on the context in which she was immersed. Along the same lines, Eszter Szenes recounts her experiences as an EFL teacher in Italy, where she had more access to teaching positions than did her Italian coworkers based on a number of factors (e.g., having a non-Italian name; having resided in an Anglophone country for a while; not having an Italian accent when speaking English). By means of her own experiences and observations she illustrates how different types of stereotypical practices may often humiliate local bilingual teachers in their countries, where they have to compete not only with native speakers but also with foreigners.

We hope you enjoy all the articles, and if you have any comments or feedback you would like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to contact either the authors or us. We always like to hear from you! Also, if you think you have any contributions (or ideas you would like to discuss) for the next issue, feel free to contact us at the e-mail addresses included above.

This is the last issue that we (Sandra, with the wonderful assistance of Kyung-Hee and Lisya) will edit, so we would like to thank you for your contributions and positive feedback. We can’t stress enough how gratifying the experience of collaboratively reviewing articles and providing suggestions to the authors has been. In this time of transition from caucus to IS status, we don’t know yet who will take over the editor role. In the meantime, if you have any questions you can contact Sandra at sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca.

Warm regards to all of you,

Kyung-Hee, Lisya, and Sandra


Letter From the Chair

Letter From the Chair

Katya Nemtchinova, Seattle Pacific University, katya@spu.edu
 

Luciana C. de Oliveira, Purdue University, luciana@purdue.edu

Greetings to all of you in the NNEST Caucus! This is a joint letter from the chair as Luciana is becoming an immediate past chair, ending her term very successfully after a year full of accomplishments, and Katya is thrilled to begin her term as a chair after 8 years of being a grassroots caucus member. As you know, the caucus was established in 1998, and the past 10 years were filled with accomplishments. We now number approximately 2,022 members. We established ourselves as a strong presence on the TESOL scene that supports and empowers nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) professionals. Each year’s TESOL conventions witness a growing number of presentations on NNES-related issues. Our research base in the form of doctoral dissertations, published books, and journal articles dealing with topics related to NNEST professionals continues to grow. Fellow caucus members take leadership positions in TESOL and its affiliates. All this adds visibility and voice to our cause and allows us to expand our scope and reach as we work to address the issues of NNES professionals all over the world. We had a year of great accomplishments.

Transition to Interest Section

As you know, the NNEST Caucus is applying for IS status. Below is a (brief) history of the latest events:
 
As you are aware, all caucuses will cease to exist as of July 2008. Caucuses had two options: to apply for forum status (which would be disconnected from TESOL) or to apply for interest section (IS) status. We had a discussion about what we should do through the e-list and we agreed that we should apply for IS status. After this, we had a discussion about the name of our IS. To keep with the history of the caucus, it was decided that it should be Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL IS. We then had an online petition signed by over 100 TESOL members to form this IS, a requirement to transition from caucus to IS. 
 
The online petition was not enough for us to transition from caucus to IS. We knew that we needed a proposal to be sent for TESOL board approval. George Braine e-mailed a few of us and started to discuss the possibility of putting together an ad hoc committee to develop a proposal to send to the TESOL Board of Directors. This committee consisted of Luciana (as chair of the caucus and chair of the committee), Katya Nemtchinova, Brock Brady, George Braine, Lia Kamhi-Stein, Jun Liu, Ahmar Mahboob, Paul Matsuda, and Ana Wu. After several discussions, we put a proposal together and sent it to TESOL the week before the convention. Writing it took quite a few days of work. We didn’t want to lose momentum as people were discussing the transition period at the conference. We also needed to propose a chair to serve next year. Our chair-elect was Katya Nemtchinova, who did a wonderful job putting together our statement of purpose for the new IS. We also needed to select a chair who would serve after Katya. George Braine nominated Brock Brady, who, until the Friday of the New York convention, was part of the TESOL Board of Directors, has extensive leadership experience, and has served our caucus numerous times. Brock agreed to serve as chair after Katya. We would have liked to hold elections, as we always do, but because of timing issues, this was not possible. In addition, we could not miss the opportunity to send in the proposal and move on. We were even not sure that we would be able to finish the proposal before the convention in New York.
 
Luciana contacted our point person from TESOL Central Office who told us to send the proposal in so she could send it to the IS Leadership Council, responsible for the IS leadership. The council read the proposal and invited Luciana to participate in the IS council assembly at the convention in New York. On April 4, Luciana attended the IS assembly and had 3 minutes to present our proposal to the IS leadership council and the IS delegates (consisting of each IS chair). After Luciana presented the proposal, she had 15 minutes to answer questions. Luciana was very pleased by the IS delegates' responses, who, for the most part, were extremely positive about our application. Many stood up and said "I'd like to support this proposal by the NNEST Caucus because....” As you can imagine, Luciana was very nervous because she knew this was high stakes for us. But she had a wonderful experience and the recommendation from the IS assembly was that the proposal be sent to the TESOL Board of Directors (without any restrictions). Luciana wrote a summary of the proposal as requested by some members at our business meeting. This summary will be available on our Web site.
 
What’s next for us? The TESOL Board of Directors will read the proposal and they will approve (or not) the proposal at the June board meeting. We will keep you updated on what happens during this transition period.

Planning for TESOL 2009

Although TESOL 2009 is almost a year away, we need to start thinking about our activities in Denver, Colorado. We will continue to pursue our traditional convention venues that have been very successful in the past: a colloquium, Academic Sessions on issues related to NNES teachers, and an NNEST booth. What we’ll be able to do in Denver will depend on the NNEST Caucus being granted IS status, but we can plan anyway! While in New York we discussed several ideas for the colloquium; we look forward to your ideas on possible colloquium topics.

An important way of supporting NNEST is your participation in Academic Sessions. We had a range of valuable and provocative sessions that reflect current cultural, educational, technological, and linguistic concerns of NNEST this year; we strongly encourage you to consider submitting a proposal to share your teaching and research stories. The deadline for TESOL 2009 proposal submission is June 1, 2008.  We would also like to encourage you to volunteer and/or stop by the NNEST booth. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends, to recruit new members, and to spread information about the NNEST mission, activities, and resources. Special thanks to those of you who participated in the caucus booth and our business meeting this year.

Increasing our Membership 
Some useful suggestions to increase our membership were made at the business meeting. Another important direction of our activity is communication and networking. Of course nothing beats face-to-face communication during the convention, but as we want to stay connected year-round we rely on our newsletter, Web site, and e-list. We, with all the members of the caucus, want to thank the newsletter editor, Sandra Zappa-Hollman, and two editorial volunteers, Kyung-Hee Bae and Lisya Seloni, for putting together so many thoughtful newsletters; Anna Wu, who has been a stabilizing force as a webmaster; and e-list managers Rosie Maum and Aiden Yeh for their help in enabling us to communicate more easily. We encourage you to continue sharing and discussing on the e-list and to submit articles for the newsletter. Until our IS status is officially approved in June, the 2007-2008 caucus officers will continue in their current roles. After that, the transitional leadership will step in to steer us as a new interest section. 
At the end of this letter, Katya would like to take this opportunity to extend her deepest thanks to Past Chair Luciana de Oliveira for her leadership and hard work, as well as her counsel, over the past year. From our business meeting discussions and previous electronic exchanges it is clear that our group has a wealth of concerns and viewpoints. Together with all the caucus members we will work on strengthening our community by broadening the perspectives and experiences it encompasses in this challenging and exciting time as we are looking forward to becoming an interest section. 

Katya and Luciana



Articles A Vygotskian Perspective on Nonnative English-Speaking Teachers’ Identity

Davi S. Reis, The Pennsylvania State University, dsr158@psu.edu

Although research supporting nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) teachers’ quest for professional legitimacy continues to expand (see Kahmi-Stein, 2005), a few questions still remain. For example, how can NNES teachers, as individuals, come to conceive of themselves in a positive light and take on an empowering identity as legitimate professionals? How can they attain a stronger sense of agency over their teaching? And above all, how can teacher educators promote and support these processes? I believe that sociocultural theory (SCT), as a theory of learning, development, and identity formation, can help answer some of these questions.

Originally developed by Lev S. Vygotsky at the beginning of the 20th century, SCT has gained increasing appeal in Western culture. In broad strokes, SCT argues that human thinking and activity are mediated by culturally embedded tools (Wertsch, 1985). Although Vygotsky’s work is usually more readily associated with cognitive development rather than identity, his writings on personality, albeit not fully developed, have helped illuminate our understanding of identity formation from an SCT perspective. As identity research continues to gain momentum in the social sciences and in applied linguistics (see Block, 2007; Norton, 2006), a small but significant number of researchers, inspired by Vygotsky’s work, have been taking on this line of inquiry and continue to contribute to our understanding of identity formation from an SCT perspective (Cross & Gearon, 2007; González Rey, 1999; Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007; Penuel & Wertsch, 1995; Stetsenko & Arievitch, 2004).

From a Vygotskian perspective, one’s “self” is deeply connected to one’s social relationships and embedded in one’s practical activity (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007; Penuel & Wertsch, 1995; Stetsenko & Arievitch, 2004). It arises from an ongoing, dialectical interaction between the person and the world. It is subject to issues of power relations and negotiation (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007; Stetsenko & Arievitch, 2004) and is constrained by the mediational means and power relations of a given sociocultural context (Penuel & Wertsch, 1995). Despite such constraints and limitations, individuals nonetheless have the potential to exert “a modest form of agency” (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007, p. 134) and negotiate more empowering subject positionings for themselves.

But how exactly can a Vygotskian-inspired view of identity formation help us understand and support NNES teachers’ quest for professional legitimacy? In general terms, I believe that identity development in the context of NNES teachers entails the collaborative reflection on and articulation and claiming of alternative subject positionings in terms of both discourse practices (i.e., the way they talk about themselves and their professional practice) and practical activity (i.e., what they do as teachers). Rather than thinking and acting based on unexamined assumptions about their skills, roles, and professional legitimacy, it involves articulating, internalizing, and claiming empowering identity options as rightful second language learners, users, and, above all, teachers. By enabling NNES teachers to probe their own assumptions and to question dominant discourses, collaborative narrative inquiry (see Lyons & LaBoskey, 2002) can help them to potentially come to a new understanding of their professional role and improve their instructional practice.

As pointed out above, one’s identity finds meaning within and is constantly shaped by a particular sociocultural context in which multiple discourses exist. For NNES teachers, this means developing a “voice” as members of a community of practice in the context of and in response to a multitude of other voices (Bakhtin, 1982). Therefore, NNES teachers are not only charged with the task of coming to an understanding of themselves as legitimate professionals in TESOL; they must also figure out how such an understanding can exist within a plethora of discourses, both supportive—such as Cook’s (1999) notion of multicompetence—and obstructive—such as “the native speaker fallacy” (Phillipson, 1992). They must challenge the status quo and, in doing so, locate this renewed identity within their local and broader sociocultural contexts.

Furthermore, because one’s identity, though unique, draws from socially constructed and recognizable identity types (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr. 2007), NNES teachers must be able to locate and identify themselves with viable, empowering, and, above all, available identity options (e.g., the “multicompetent speaker” notion addressed above). If these identity types are not made accessible to NNES teachers to begin with, they cannot internalize or infuse them with their own subjectivities (e.g., accent variety). Therefore, it is crucial that NNES teachers and teacher educators, as a community of practice (see Lave & Wenger, 1991), continue to articulate, make available, and promote such identity options so that they can be taken up, inhabited, and performed by NNES teachers. Hence the importance of communities of practice such as the NNEST caucus, established in 1998. As an official organization within TESOL, the NNEST caucus has brought visibility to NNES teachers’ plight for professional legitimacy and, in doing so, has supported many NNES teachers as they negotiate more empowering identities in their own contexts of practice. 

In addition, NNES teachers, as everybody else does, inhabit different subjectivities through their social relationships and within their educational practices. That is to say, they need the opportunity and space to discuss issues of professional identity as well as guided support as they experiment with alternative conceptualizations of self and come to new meanings about themselves and about their practice. In Cross and Gearon’s (2007) words, “[t]eacher identity resides in how teachers, as subjects of their activity systems (i.e., of ‘teaching’), have made sense of their role within their systems, and how they then choose to act within it” (pp. 63-64). Thus, teacher identity formation presupposes an exploration of the meanings attached to the practice of teaching that teachers are willing to appropriate, a commitment to developing competence to allow the instantiation of such meanings, and a constant effort to integrate theory and practice, action, and reflection (Cross & Gearon, 2007). These processes, therefore, should be promoted and supported by teacher educators.

Finally, in discussing identity formation and development from an SCT perspective, we must also acknowledge the role of emotions. For González Rey (1999), “[i]dentity is not simply a process of constructing the self-image; it is a complex cognitive-emotional process, in which emotional congruence plays an important role in the development of identity as a whole” (p. 270). Emotions thus play a pivotal role in the development of the individual in society (González Rey, 1999). In addition to the emotional demands that many teachers go through on a regular basis, NNES teachers may also experience feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and illegitimacy arising from the native speaker myth. Moreover, as identity is discursively constructed (Norton, 2006), NNES teachers face the challenge of managing their identity through English as they re-story themselves in and through a second language. Given this complex relationship between emotions and the process of identity development, NNES teachers need the opportunity to collaboratively acknowledge their emotions and reflect on how their feelings play a role in their self-concept and professional practice.

 In this light, supporting the development of NNES teachers’ professional identity entails a series of socially mediated processes. First and foremost, it involves promoting NNES teachers’ awareness of how they position themselves professionally and are positioned by others (e.g., students, institutions, the public discourse) in regard to their legitimacy and in relation to both the local and broader contexts in which they work and live. It also entails the creation of mediational spaces (Golombek & Johnson, 2004) where, through critical reflection and collaborative inquiry, NNES teachers can challenge disempowering discourses and conceive of alternative identity options as legitimate professionals. Once internalized as higher order psychological functions (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007), these renewed identities can potentially engender significant changes in NNES teachers’ sense of individual and group agency. Finally, NNES teachers’ identity development entails a commitment to change in both discourse practices and practical activity with the goal of empowering themselves and others (Stetsenko & Arievitch, 2004). In this effort, teacher educators occupy a critical position from which to guide and support NNES teachers as they “escape from the tyranny of environmental stimuli” and intentionally author “new selves and new cultural worlds and try to realize them” (Holland & Lachicotte, Jr., 2007, p. 116).

References

Bakhtin, M. M. (1982). The dialogic imagination: Four essays by M. M. Bakhtin. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Block, D. (2007). Second language identities. London: Continuum.
Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33, 185-209.
Cross, R., & Gearon, M. (2007). The confluence of doing, thinking, and knowing: Classroom practice as the confluence of foreign language teacher identity. In M. Berry, A. Clemans, & A. Kostogriz (Eds.), Dimensions of professional learning: Professionalism, practice and identity (pp. 53-67). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. 
Golombek, P. R., & Johnson, K. E. (2004). Narrative inquiry as a mediational space: Examining emotional and cognitive dissonance in second-language teachers’ development. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 10(3), 307-327.
González Rey, F. L. (1999). Personality, subject and human development: The subjective character of human activity. In S. Chaiklin, M. Hedegaard, & U. J. Jensen (Eds.), Activity theory and social practice (pp. 253-275). Oxford, England: Aarhus University Press.
Holland, D., & Lachicotte, Jr. (2007). Vygotsky, Mead, and the new sociocultural studies of identity. In H. Daniels, M. Cole, & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 101-135). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (2005). Research perspectives on non-native English-speaking professionals. In P. Bruthiaux, D. Atkinson, W. Eggington, W. Grabe, & V. Ramanathan (Eds.), Directions in applied linguistics: Essays in honor of Robert B. Kaplan (pp. 72-83). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Lyons, N., & LaBoskey, V. K. (2002). (Eds.). Narrative inquiry in practice: Advancing the knowledge of teaching. New York: Teachers College Press.
Norton, B. (2006). Identity as a sociocultural construct in second language education. TESOL in Context, 16(special edition), 22-33.
Penuel, W. R., & Wertsch, J. V. (1995). Vygotsky and identity formation: A sociocultural approach. Educational Psychologist, 30(2), 83-92.
Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Stetsenko, A & I. M. Arievitch. (2004). The self in cultural-historical activity theory. Theory & Psychology, 14, 475-503.
Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of the mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Davi S. Reis is a PhD candidate in applied linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, United States. His research interests include L2 teacher education, NNES teacher issues, Vygotskian sociocultural theory, narrative inquiry, and L2 teacher identity. He is currently teaching in the ITA program at Penn State. 


Notes From an ESOL Conversation Group Leader

Rashi Jain, University of Maryland, College Park, rjain@umd.edu

In 2004 I arrived in the United States to join a graduate program in teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) at a North American university. As I went through the program, I tried to connect the theories that I learned in the program with actual teaching practice. However, upon my arrival in the United States, I found out during the introductory student orientation programs that as an international student I faced some restrictions in terms of the TESOL opportunities. On one hand, during regular semesters, I cannot work off-campus in a position where I would receive remuneration because of my status as an F-1 Visa student. On the other hand, I have to carry a full load of courses every semester in order to complete my program in a timely manner and to retain my status as a full-time student, which essentially leaves me with little time to teach in a realistic sense.

I began my graduate studies and also began to explore the options available for gaining ESOL teaching experience given the restrictions due to my international student status. I found a way out of this predicament by deciding to work as a voluntary conversation group leader in an English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) program offered by the university to its employees and students. However, I found out that there was yet another restriction on my teaching English as a second language in the United States—the job description for the ESOL position asked for volunteers who were native speakers of English. As my few months in the United States had already shown me, I was perceived as a nonnative English speaker by the general populace. I had also found through some first-hand experiences and my readings of the literature that the “nonnative English speaker” tag carried with it expectations of lower proficiency in English and lesser legitimacy as an English language teacher, and that many people subscribed to the fallacy that the ideal teacher of English is the native speaker of English (see Phillipson, 1996). Fortunately, a professor in my program encouraged me to volunteer, and with her support and the force of my own convictions, I went ahead and met the ESOL program coordinator. The coordinator turned out to be a nonnative English speaker herself and assigned me a conversation group. Over the next 3 years, I worked with many conversation groups and learned to become a more effective ESOL teacher. 

Lessons Learned and Lessons Imparted

As a conversation group leader, I worked with several different people. Some of the group members had just arrived and wished to improve their conversational English, whereas some had been in the country for a considerable period of time but had not had any opportunity to improve their conversational skills. I met the groups for about 90 minutes every week for 10 weeks during the semester.

When I first started, I made all the mistakes in the book. I spoke too fast in class, and the group members found it difficult to understand what I was saying. I spoke too much, and the group members did not get as much opportunity to practice their conversational English as they should have. I used materials that the group members were completely unfamiliar with, and so on. It was not that I did not work hard; I would spend hours planning the classroom activities—grammar worksheets, pronunciation drills, English audiovisual aids, and other practical ideas that I obtained through online searches for ready-to-use materials. Gradually, I learned to distinguish between what worked in the sessions and what did not—through trial and error, through being creative and exercising mental flexibility, and, last, by backing my activities up with critical reflection, greatly aided by my graduate studies. From my class discussions and the assigned readings, I learned that ESOL instruction (even a once-a-week short conversation group session) goes beyond worksheets, drills, and audiovisual aids. I began to apply the lessons I was learning in my program to my conversation group sessions. I outline some of these lessons below.

First, because I spent only a limited time with the group members, which I believe was inadequate to provide any effective language instruction, I tried to share strategies that the students could take beyond the classroom to acquire conversational skills in English. For instance, when one group member mentioned that she had trouble understanding people on the phone, I suggested that she politely but firmly ask the person on the phone to repeat himself/herself or speak more slowly. When another student mentioned that he had trouble understanding idioms spoken by his American colleagues, I told the students to make note of any American expressions that they came across and did not understand and asked them to bring their notes to class. When they did, I devoted a certain amount of class time sharing the idioms, with me playing the role of an informer and explaining the meanings and the contexts in which the expressions could be used. I also asked the students to think of similar expressions in their home languages, providing them with examples from my own first language, which is Hindi. This often resulted in fascinating discussions on how the same ideas can be found in languages from different parts of the world. My purpose in bringing in the students’ home languages in the classroom was two-fold. On one hand, it acted as a mnemonic device. The students were able to remember certain American expressions and idioms better, having found equivalents and similar expressions in their first languages. On the other hand, at a deeper level, it was my attempt to validate their funds of knowledge (a concept popularized by Luis Moll; see, e.g., Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005), their culture, and the languages they are already fully proficient in. I also invited the students to bring cultural artifacts, such as traditional clothes, jewelry, and other accessories, to share their stories and experiences, and to make presentations on their countries and cultures to the rest of the class.

I further used my dual identity as an English language user and an immigrant as a pedagogical tool in the classroom. For instance, during the group sessions, I would ask the students to list the languages they spoke. Yet, surprisingly, more often than not, the students would not include English. Then I would point out to the students that they spoke English as well. My rationale was that they were successfully interacting with others and with me in the group sessions, and the only common language between us was English, which meant that they were certainly speaking this language. The students would react in different ways: Some of them would look surprised, some would laugh, and some would look skeptical. Despite the subtle resistance to claiming ownership of English (see Widdowson, 1994), I would let the idea remain in the classroom by frequently legitimating myself as an English language user, sharing with the students that I spent most of my life in India, speaking English as it is spoken in India, and that I went through my own set of struggles to adapt to linguistic and cultural differences after coming to the United States, and that the process is ongoing. However, I would explicitly tell the students that although English is not my first language and I am a nonnative English speaker, I see myself as a legitimate English language user, and that my goal as I adapt to life here is not to strive to speak like an American but to be understood by anybody who speaks any variety of English.

I believe that the students appreciated and saw values in these strategies. In fact, I would argue that given the limited time I had with them, these were the most effective pedagogical tools I had. These strategies helped me build the students’ confidence in their ability and legitimacy to use English in their daily lives, as they learned it. In addition, when I validated the cultural knowledge that the students brought to the classroom, I found that they participated more actively, they felt a certain amount of “ownership” over the language and content in the discussions that followed, and “performing” the culture-related tasks generated more English language than would otherwise be possible in a “regular” classroom discussion. 

The Road Less Traveled

Despite my positive experiences as a volunteer in the ESOL conversation group program, however, I have struggled with many troubling questions. The reality is that my teaching ideology is being shaped in an environment where my ownership of English and that of my (prospective) students could be questioned any time. I wonder, if I am not allowed to draw upon my identity as a legitimate English language user or fail to validate my students’ language use, will I still be an effective teacher? If my students, in turn, leave the classroom and go out into a world where they will always be seen as English language learners, will they ever be able to see themselves as competent, proficient, and legitimate users of English? Will they have to keep “performing” the English language and consciously illustrating their proficiency and competency in the language, so as to break stereotypes and establish themselves as valid English speakers? I am willing to engage in a critical debate on the question of my ownership over English language, and I believe that I am fairly equipped, thanks to my reflective teaching practice as well as my doctoral studies, by means of which I have acquired the theoretical knowledge to support my emerging teaching ideologies. How do I then ensure the same level of confidence for the intelligent, mature, and sensitive students I meet, who may find themselves relegated to the status of “learners only” simply because they happen to have lower proficiency in the dominant language?

Although I constantly struggle with these questions, my experiences have nonetheless strengthened my desire to become a full-time ESOL teacher and researcher, as well as to advocate for all nonnative English speakers. To quote from Robert Frost’s poem titled “The Road Not Taken,” I have knowingly “chosen the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.” I think I am on the right path. After having volunteered with the program for three semesters, I felt emboldened enough to request the new ESOL program coordinator to remove the term native speaker from the descriptions posted online and in university newsletters, so that more people like me could come forward to volunteer for the program. When I last visited the course Web page, I found out that the coordinator had changed the job description to “You do not need experience in teaching English or be a native speaker. . . .” She had also made the course description more equitable by replacing the phrase “learn about American culture” with the words “improve your spoken English, make new friends, learn more about others’ cultures and customs.” This incident has put heart into me as I prepare to become a conscious, actively contributing ESOL teacher.

References

Gonzalez, N., Moll, L. C., & Amanti, C. (Eds.). (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households and classrooms. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Phillipson, R. (1996). ELT: The native speaker’s burden. In T. Hedge & N. Whitney (Eds.), Power, pedagogy & practice (pp. 23-30). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Widdowson, H. (1994). The ownership of English. TESOL Quarterly, 28 (2), 377-389.

Rashi Jain is an international student from India whose research specialties include language pedagogy, teacher identity, nonnative-English-speaking teachers, and world Englishes. She joined the program of second language education and culture at University of Maryland, College Park, in 2004 as a masters' student, and is now continuing into the doctoral program. Rashi has been participating actively in the NNEST Caucus of the Washington Area and is working toward enhancing the international student experience within her university department and program. She is a recipient of the 2007-2008 International TESOL Leadership Mentoring Program Award.

 


Wide Awakening of NNEST Issues: An NNES Teacher’s Perspective on Her Own Experiences

Jessica Lee, The George Washington University, jsleemd@gwu.edu

I am a teacher, a student, a researcher, a woman, a mother, a Korean-American, and a bilingual and bicultural nonnative English speaker. These are all social roles that I have either purposefully or unknowingly fallen into. Prior to being an ESL teacher, I was unaware of how great a part these social roles play in my teaching career. When I began teaching and studying ESL education, I was naïve enough to think that with proper experience and education, I would be welcomed into the ESL teaching profession. Unfortunately, I soon learned that my social roles, specifically that of a bilingual and bicultural nonnative English speaker, would actually negatively impact my ESL teaching career.

I had this revelation during an interview for a part-time ESL teaching position at a college-level intensive English language program in the central part of the United States. I went into this interview having just received my master’s degree in ESL. I believed that with this degree I was qualified for the job because I had learned about various teaching methods and second language learning theories. In addition to this academic background, I also had worked as an EFL teacher in Korea for 2 years in a similar teaching context where I taught EFL to college students. The major difference between that school and the one to which I was applying was that at this new job I would be teaching ESL to diverse adult students who were aspiring to go to colleges in the United States or in their native countries. Hence, I thought that I had both the teaching experience and strong academic background needed for this job. I went into the interview with high expectations, convinced that the job I sought would help me fulfill my goals of being a great educator. Little did I know how this interview would change my perspective of who I am as an nonnative-English-speaking (NNES) teacher.

The interview started as any interview would, with introductions and resume-directed questions. But then, the interviewer asked me one question that I will never forget. She asked, “Do you consider yourself as a native speaker of English or as a nonnative speaker of English?” Instead of answering, I curiously asked what difference that would make. She replied, “Well, if you consider yourself a native speaker, you will have your own classroom, and we will compensate you for your teaching. However, if you don’t, then we will assign you to work with an experienced native English-speaking teacher, but you will not have your own classroom at first. In other words, you will not be compensated financially at first, but you will gain tremendous experience from working with a native English-speaking teacher!” Sadly, my master’s degree in ESL and previous EFL teaching experience did not appear to be important factors in the hiring decision.  

Experiences such as mine may sound familiar to many nonnative ESL/EFL teachers, and this example may represent the type of challenges that many of us often face when applying for a teaching position within the field. Often, NNES ESL/EFL teachers are not considered as competent at English language teaching as are their native English-speaking (NES) counterparts (Kamhi-Stein, 2004, see also Szenes, this issue). Canagarajah (1999) argued that this notion, sometimes referred to as the native speaker fallacy (Phillipson, 1992), derives to a certain extent from Chomsky’s (1965) linguistic theories. Such theories promote the native speaker as the authority, the model user. Chomsky (1965) portrayed a native speaker of English as an “ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous speech community, who knows its language perfectly” (p. 3). Though Chomsky never expanded his theory into its potential pedagogical implications for native speakers or nonnative teachers, Canagarajah (1999) asserted that Chomsky’s mere proclamation that the native speaker is the authority portrays the native speaker as the “ideal informant” who has “an understandable advantage” in providing grammatical knowledge (p. 78). Because of this theory, in second or foreign language teaching, it is often believed that language teachers who teach their native language have more advantages over teachers who are not native speakers of the language they teach.

Interestingly, my interview experience in the United States was vastly contrary to what I had experienced in obtaining an EFL teaching job in Korea. When I applied for a teaching position in Korea, I was much less qualified than when I applied for the U.S. teaching position: I did not have a teaching degree and I had much less teaching experience at the time. Despite this, the junior college where I was offered a job was thrilled to hire me. I believe that this was because of my near-native accent; I seemed like a foreigner compared with their Korean English teachers. Despite the fact that I was also Korean and spoke Korean fluently, to them I was an outsider or a stranger because I was a bicultural and bilingual individual. I was sometimes referred by them as a native speaker of English even though I was born and raised in Korea and had lived an equal number of years in Korea and the United States. It wasn’t until after I obtained my teaching job in the United States and I learned about the native speaker fallacy that I realized that in Korea I was perceived as an NES teacher. As such, I was perceived as the “ideal informant.” 

Even though I did not understand the complexity of the labels at the time of both of my interviews, I sensed that a teacher’s identity as a nonnative speaker was inferior to that of an NES teacher. I soon realized that “being labeled an NS [native speaker] is advantageous” (Liu, 1999, p. 91) but being labeled a nonnative English speaker is not. I learned to understand that being a multicultural and multilingual person was perceived by others as negative or positive depending on who was doing the labeling and for what purpose. My unique differences of being bilingual and bicultural, in which I took great pride, were perceived by others as negative or positive but for the wrong reasons. In Korea, I was embraced by the faculty members and students because they thought of me as a native speaker even though I was not born in an English-speaking country. On the contrary, in the United States, it seemed that no matter the amount of education or experience that I continued to achieve, I would be considered inferior in the eyes of those who adhere to the native speaker fallacy. 

Experiences like this led me to question and explore the complexities associated with being an NNES teacher. I wondered if other NNES teachers face the same kind of challenges and, more important, why NNES teachers are being treated this way. This unfairness drove me to continue looking for answers in the hope of finding voices who agreed with my belief that my status as an nonnative English speaker does not negatively impact my teaching ability. I soon learned that the native speaker fallacy has been challenged by many scholars who argue that, contrary to popular belief, being a native speaker does not guarantee that the person will be successful at teaching his or her native language (Medgyes, 2003; Phillipson, 1992). Medgyes (1994) devoted a full-length book entitled The Non-Native Teacher to this critique. In his book, he claimed that while native and nonnative English-speaking teachers are “two different species,” they can be equally “successful teachers in their own grounds” (p. 27).

Many other scholars have concurred with Medgyes’ ideas and expanded on his theory, asserting that NNES teachers can be successful, ideal ESL teachers because having undergone the process of acquiring English as an additional or foreign language enables them to be more aware of their students’ linguistic needs (Cook, 2005; Phillipson, 1992; Tang, 1997). In her study of the experiences of eight visible minority ESL immigrant female teachers in Canada, Amin (2004) found that the NNES teachers often crafted effective pedagogies in the ESL classroom based not only on their linguistic and cultural differences but also on their experiences as nonnative speakers, which enabled them to explore new models of teaching. Yet, despite many researchers’ valiant attempts to eradicate the native speaker fallacy, NNES teachers still face many challenges because of this misconception. For instance, many employers in the ESL and EFL teaching professions, like my own interviewer, still advocate the view that NES teachers are more qualified than NNES teachers (Flynn & Gulikers, 2001; Mahboob, 2004).

For a while, I have searched for ways to help change the minds of those who support the fallacy. I eventually realized that I could do this by sharing my personal experiences. Through sharing my story, I hope that other colleagues will come forward with their own experiences to provide multiple voices related to NNES teacher issues. Sharing these experiences might compel people to further question the native speaker fallacy and broach many important related areas of study. Ultimately, this questioning has the power to provide new perspectives of who we are as NNES teachers and what we do in the ESL classroom. These new perspectives can be used as a starting point to embrace the differences we bring to the ESL classroom because, as Maxine Greene (1978) once stated, “If students (and their teachers as well) are enabled to pose questions relevant to their life plans and their being in the world, they might well seek out answers in free involvement with a range of disciplines” (p. 165).

References

Amin, N. (2004). Nativism, the native speaker construct, and minority immigrant women teachers of English as a second language. In L. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.),Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 61-80). Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.

Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Interrogating the “native speaker fallacy”: Non-linguistic roots, non-pedagogical results. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English language teaching (pp. 77-92). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Boston: MIT Press.

Cook, V. (2005). Basing teaching on the L2 user. In E. Llurda (Ed.), Non-native language teachers: Perceptions, challenges, and contributions to the profession(pp. 47-62). New York: Springer.

Flynn, K., & Gulikers, G. (2001). Issues in hiring nonnative English-speaking professionals to teach English as a second language. CATESOL Journal, 13(1), 151-160.

Greene, M. (1978). Landscapes of learning. New York: Teachers College Press.

Kamhi-Stein, L. (2004). Learning and teaching from experience: Perspective on nonnative English-speaking professionals. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Liu, D. (1999). Nonnative-English speaking professionals in TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 33(1), 85-102.

Mahboob, A. (2004). Native or nonnative: What do students enrolled in an intensive English program think? In L. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 121-147). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Medgyes, P. (1994). The non-native teacher. London: Macmillan Publishers.

Medgyes, P. (2003). The non-native teacher (3rd ed.). Ismaning, Germany: Hueber Verlag.

Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Tang, C. (1997). The identity of the nonnative ESL teacher: On the power and status of nonnative ESL teachers. TESOL Quarterly, 31(3), 577-583.

Jessica Lee has experience teaching in both ESL and EFL contexts. She is currently working as a research associate in the Department of Teacher Preparation and Special Education at The George Washington University.

 


Are We Really Teaching English Beyond the Native Speaker?

Eszter Szenes, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, esze1159@usyd.edu.au

Some studies based on research conducted mainly in the United States (Braine, 1999; Matsuda & Matsuda, 2001; Kamhi-Stein, 2004) argue that the English teaching profession has moved away from the native speaker as the best model for language learners to imitate (Cook, 1999; Mahboob, 2005). Even though some studies indicate that students in European contexts are likely to accept nonnative English-speaking (NNES) teachers once they have been taught by one, most of them still expressed a preference for native-English-speaking (NES) teachers (Lagabaster & Sierra, 2002; Benke & Medgyes, 2005; Pacek, 2005). However, in the Italian context, some private language school owners still seem to insist on hiring NES teachers. Many job advertisements make it obvious that there seems to be a preference for NES teachers at most private language institutions (e.g., visithttp://www.easymilano.it and http://www.tefl.com for job advertisements). For the educators who post these advertisements, the English language appears to be a commodity to be sold to clients. As a result, native speakers are thought to increase an institution’s prestige and can be used as a marketing tool to attract clients.

As I was trying to understand why some NNES teachers might be discriminated against when applying for English teaching positions, I started to pay attention to comments repeatedly made by the staff of a school where I worked in Italy for 2 years. Since the first day of work, I kept a diary as a record of reflections from informal conversations I had with the staff. This article, based on my informal observations at one private language school in Italy over a 2-year period, aims to illustrate how, despite calls for equal treatment of NNES teachers in employment, the native speaker fallacy (Phillipson, 1992) still proves to be a deeply rooted misconception at this specific institution.

One of the most frustrating and probably most humiliating demands some NNES teachers may face in private education in Italy is that they might be asked to lie about being a nonnative speaker of English. For instance, although NNES teachers were allowed to say that they were born in a non-English-speaking country at the school where I worked, they had to tell students that they were educated in an English-speaking country. As NNES teachers often felt embarrassed because of students’ and parents’ prejudice, the administrative staff sometimes tried to ease their frustration by commenting that students and especially their parents are so ignorant that they insist on having a native teacher. When I asked the director of studies under what circumstances NNES teachers would be employed, he informed me that hiring NNES teachers is usually driven by a shortage of NES teachers. Hence, when schools are desperate for teachers, NNES teachers might come into consideration only if they are highly qualified (i.e., at least they should have a master’s degree relevant to teaching English in addition to native-like proficiency in English). 
 
In fact, the lack of qualified English teachers in Italy has been exacerbated since new immigration laws (see http://www.poliziadistato.it) have made it difficult for non-European Union (EU) citizens to obtain a work permit. Because most schools also specify that they welcome NES teachers as potential candidates, teachers outside the British Isles are practically excluded and denied job opportunities solely on the basis of where they were fortunate or unfortunate enough to have been born. As a consequence, language schools appear to struggle to satisfy the demand for NES teachers. As this has been a serious concern at the school I worked at, the obvious solution to this problem would be hiring local bilingual English teachers; however, on some occasions school administrators refuse to do so.1 An explanation for this was provided by one of the managing directors (not a teacher herself) with whom I talked, taking notes on our conversation in her presence. Her justification was that in Italy students expect to be taught by a native teacher. She added that Italian English teachers are too school-like in their approach to teaching and this is not what their students want, as they could get that in state schools. Therefore, she claimed that if NNES teachers were employed, their lessons would be a mere repetition of those in state schools. 
 
With regard to employment requirements, some schools seem to have double standards about teaching qualifications. Though an NNES teacher must be highly qualified to be considered for the job, native speakers are privileged because of their native speaker status, or what Braine (2004) called their “birthright.” In fact, at the school where this observation was made, most native teachers did not possess appropriate teaching qualifications, as the director herself admitted in her conversations with me. This is, once again, evidence of the fact previously stated by many researchers that nationality seems to be more important than qualifications and expertise in the hiring of teachers (Amin, 1999, 2004; Braine, 1999; Canagarajah, 1999). The hiring of NES teachers was also justified by the director’s claim that students insist on being taught by them, rather than admitting that NES teachers are used as an advertising asset. The fact that these “teachers” are often backpackers attempting to find a source of income is viewed as irrelevant.
 
As I noticed several times during informal conversations, many of my NES teacher colleagues admitted that teaching was the easiest and most secure job to get when they first arrived in Italy. This is illustrated by the advice I was given by a British expatriate (for whom teaching was a second job), who suggested that with my qualifications and languages I could easily get what they (i.e., NES teachers) call in English a “proper” job at a multinational company. Though this comment could be considered a friendly, helpful piece of advice, I was disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm about teaching that this NES teacher showed. What is more, her comment seemed to imply that she did not consider teaching English a profession or a “proper” job. In fact, the same view was shared by most NES teachers working at the institute where I was teaching, as they admitted that they were in Italy for a brief period of time, with the primary purpose of travelling around (not teaching), and they had no intention to work as teachers in the future. This disregard for the teaching of EFL as a genuine profession coincides with the findings reported in Johnston (1997), who conducted a study in a Polish context about teachers’ views of the English teaching profession. Johnston found that “EFL teaching is seen as marginalized and the teachers lack influence, status, and power” (p. 702). The teaching of English as a foreign language in that country is also presented as a job rather than as a profession; as a “permeable occupation that is easy to enter and leave” (p. 706). 
 
As an NNES teacher, I felt that working with NES teacher colleagues could sometimes be rewarding, yet I also often felt ridiculed or hurt by some of their comments, particularly when we were exchanging our views of classroom preparation and use of teaching resources. For instance, while preparing for my lessons in the presence of NES colleagues, some of them prided themselves on never using dictionaries, arguing that these resources were for nonnative speakers. Some NES teachers also would comment on how because they had taught the same book so many times, they did not feel the need to prepare for their lessons anymore. These comments, it looks like many of these teachers are used to teaching out of routine. Wu (2006) described a similar situation in a Japanese context, where she referred to unqualified and ill-prepared teachers as “mere entertainers” (p. 2).

Despite this situation, as Braine (1999) and Canagarajah  (1999) claimed, native nonteachers are preferred to qualified and experienced NNES teachers, especially outside the United States. My observations at the Italian language school at which I worked provided further evidence for this claim, unfortunately. The notion that language learners usually have a typical native-speaker image was discussed by several researchers (Amin, 1999, 2004; Kamhi-Stein, 2004) and it seemed to be true at this Italian school. When I instead of another Italian English teacher also working at the school was chosen to teach a new advanced-level group, I was curious to find out the rationale for this decision. Once again, the director explained that my situation was different as I have a foreign name while my colleague’s name is Italian (i.e., that my name is not English did not seem to matter because students would see me as a nonlocal from Ireland).2 She added that though I did not have an NES accent, students would not be able to discern this (only native English speakers would); in contrast, the NNES accent of my Italian colleague was seen as problematic.

These types of stereotypical practices may often humiliate local bilingual teachers in their countries, where they have to compete not only with native speakers but also with foreigners. Even though I consistently refused to tell my students I grew up in Ireland, they believed I had the required English proficiency and ability to teach mainly because I had spent time in English-speaking countries. My academic qualifications and teaching experience were not seen as possible contributors to my performance in the classroom.3 Thus, as in previous research studies, it becomes evident again that some students still believe that English can be best learned from native speakers. And, as Nayar (1994) pointed out, “Generations of applied linguistic mythmaking in the indubitable superiority and the impregnable infallibility of the ‘native speaker’ has created stereotypes that die hard” (p. 4). I therefore support Rajadurai’s (2005) claim that stereotypes and misconceptions about NES teachers as well as NNES teachers must be challenged and educators should fight against prejudice, ignorance, and discrimination. 
 
 
Endnotes

1 In fact, when applying for positions all over Italy, I was ruled out by some schools’ language policy several times only because I am not a native speaker. Most directors even acknowledged my qualifications and experience, but still explained that they hired NES teachers only. Besides, when searching for teachers, the director at my school often refused applicants because they had a foreign accent.

2 I lived in Ireland before moving to Italy in 2006.

3 Most of them never asked about my qualifications, but they always asked if I had spent time or studied in any English-speaking countries. The most important thing for my students seemed to be the fact that I had lived in the United States and Ireland, so they did not complain (as they did about bilingual Italian teachers) that their teacher was a Hungarian national.

References
Amin, N. (1999). Minority women teachers of ESL: Negotiating white English. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English language teaching (pp. 93-104). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Amin, N. (2004). Nativism, the native speaker construct, and minority immigrant women teachers of English as second language. In L. D. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.),Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English speaking professionals (pp. 61-80). Ann Arbor; The University of Michigan Press.

Benke, E., & Medgyes, P. (2005). Differences in teaching behaviour between native and nonnative speaker teachers: As seen by the learners. In E. Llurda (Ed.), Nonnative language teachers: Perceptions, challenges and contributions to the profession (pp. 195-215). New York:Springer.

Braine, G. (Ed.). (1999). Non-native educators in English language teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Braine, G. (2004). The nonnative English-speaking professionals’ movement and its research foundations. In L. D. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English speaking professionals (pp. 9-24). Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Interrogating the ‘Native speaker fallacy’: Non-linguistic roots, non-pedagogical results. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English language teaching (pp. 77-92). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33(2), 185-210.

Johnston, B. (1997). Do EFL teachers have careers? TESOL Quarterly, 31(4), 681-713.

Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (Ed.). (2004). Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English speaking professionals. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Lagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2002). Research note: university students’ perceptions of native and non-native teachers of English. Language Awareness, 11(2), 132-142.

Mahboob, A. (2005). Beyond the native speaker in TESOL. In S. Zafar (Ed.), Culture, context, & communication (pp. 60-93). Abu Dhabi: Center of Excellence for Applied Research and Training & The Military Language Institute.

Matsuda, A., & Matsuda, P. K. (2001). Autonomy and collaboration in NES/NNES teacher education. CATESOL Journal, 13(1), 109-121.

Nayar, P. B. (1994). Whose English is it? TESL-EJ, 1(1), F-1. Retrieved November 27, 2006, from http://www-writing.berkeley.edu/TESL-EJ/ej01/f.1.html

Pacek, D. (2005). Personality not nationality: foreign students’ perceptions of a non-native speaker lecturer of English at a British university. In E. Llurda (Ed.), Non-native language teachers: Perceptions, challenges, and contributions to the profession (pp. 243-262). New York: Springer.
Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford, Englad: Oxford University Press.

Rajadurai, J. (2005). Revisiting the concentric circles: Conceptual and sociolinguistic considerations. Asian EFL Journal, 7(4), 111-130.

Wu, A. (2006). The nonnative English speaking teachers' movement - How far have we gone? TESL-EJ, 10(1), Retrieved November 27, 2006, from http://tesl-ej.org/ej37/f1.html 

Acknowledgments: Special thanks to Dr Ahmar Mahboob and Martin Andrew Zavan for all their help and advice.

Eszter Szenes has been teaching English since 2001. She gained experience in Hungary and Italy, then Australia. She obtained a master of arts in English language and literature and TESOL from Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary, in 2005. She was awarded the University of Sydney International Scholarship for a PhD in linguistics, which she will commence in August 2008, under supervision of Dr. Ahmar Mahboob. Her reserach proposal is entitled “The Effect of Cross-Cultural Understanding on Students' Reaction to Nonnative English Teachers and English as an International Language.”



Announcements and Information Call to Sister NNEST Caucuses/Groups

If you are also a member of other NNEST Caucus or interests groups from any organization for TESOL educators, could you send the website or the email address of the webmanager to Ana Wu at ana8ways@gmail.com ? Thanks!


NNEST Blog

Visit the NNEST Blog (http://www.moussu.net/nnest/blog/index.html) and learn about the NNEST Caucus Member of the Month! Every month, our blog interviewer (Ana Wu) invites a different NNEST to share some aspects of their professional (and sometimes personal) lives. Take a look: you will be amused, inspired, and intrigued!


TESOL Annual Convention & Graduate Student Forum

The 43rd Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit will take place in Denver, Colorado, March 25-28, 2009. Save these dates!

The call for proposal can be found at
http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=1880&DID=10895

Note these important deadlines:
Deadline for proposals: Received by 11:59 pm EST, Monday, June 2, 2008. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered, regardless of postmark.

Deadline for Support Materials for Video Digital Media: Received by Friday, August 2, 2008, 11:59 pm EST. Support materials received after the deadline will not be considered, regardless of postmark.


TESOL Awards and Grants You may either apply or nominate someone for a TESOL award or grant; don’t miss the opportunity. Also, consider contributing to the awards and grants program by making a donation! For information on TESOL Awards and Grants, visit http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=125&DID=1595
Position Statement Against Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of TESOL (March 2006)

All educators should be evaluated within the same criteria. NNES educators should not be singled out because of their native language. TESOL strongly opposes discrimination against nonnative English speakers in the field of English language teaching.

To read the full text of this document or to download printable copies, go to http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=32&DID=37 


NNEST Resources Are you looking for interesting resources for NNES teachers? If so, visit the “Resources” section of our NNEST Caucus Web site: http://nnest.moussu.net/resources.html
Don’t forget to check out the bibliography on NNES teachers! http://nnest.moussu.net/bibliography.html
Also, if you know about other relevant resources (e.g., Web sites, publications, press releases, tips) that could be posted in this section, we encourage you to share this information with us by contacting the web manager, Ana Wu, at awu@ccsf.edu. Help us keep this list very useful with current and comprehensive information!  

NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions

Do you have any thoughts on the status of the NNEST Caucus? Do you have personal stories to share that are related to NNEST issues? Do you have any helpful tips that you would like to share with other NNES teachers/researchers? If you do, please consider submitting an article to the NNEST Newsletter. The deadline for submissions for the October 2008 issue is August 30, 2008.
 
Submission Guidelines

Any of the following types of submissions are welcome:

Feature Articles (1200-1500 words) related to teacher education, research, professional development, program administration, and sociocultural issues

Brief Reports (600-900 words), such as book reviews and reports on conference presentations and papers

Personal Accounts (500-700 words) related to NNEST issues

Announcements (50-75 words) of forthcoming events and publications on issues related to NNES teachers

Readers' Thoughts (500 words). This section gives you the opportunity to share your reactions to and thoughts about articles published in our newsletter.

All documents need to be formatted in Microsoft Word (.doc). The editors reserve the right to edit any materials submitted for publication in order to enhance clarity or style.

Please send all manuscripts as an e-mail attachment to the NNEST Newsletter editor. (Note: The October 2008 issue will be edited by a new editor. In the meantime, you can contact Sandra at sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca if you have any questions.)



About This Community About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Caucus

The Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL (NNEST) Caucus was established in October 1998 to strengthen effective teaching and learning of English around the world while respecting individuals' language rights.
1. Caucus Major Goals

• to create a nondiscriminatory professional environment for all TESOL members regardless of native language and place of birth
• to encourage the formal and informal gatherings of nonnative speakers at TESOL and affiliate conferences
• to encourage research and publications on the role of nonnative speaker teachers in ESL and EFL contexts
• to promote the role of nonnative speaker members in TESOL and affiliate leadership positions

Membership is open to all interested TESOL members, both native and nonnative speakers of English alike.

2. Web Site: http://nnest.moussu.net

3. Discussion E-List

Visit http://www.tesol.org/getconnected to join NNEST-L, the open discussion list for NNEST caucus members, or visit http://lists.tesol.org/read/?forum=nnest-l if you are already an e-list subscriber.

4. NNEST Caucus Community Leaders and Volunteers 2006-07

Chair: Katya Nemtchinova (katya@spu.edu)
Incoming Chair: Brock Brady (bbrady@american.edu
Newsletter Editor: Sandra Zappa-Hollman (sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca)
Editorial Volunteers: Kyung-Hee Bae (kbae@uh.edu) & Lisya Seloni (seloni.1@osu.edu)
Web Manager: Ana Wu (awu@ccsf.edu)
E-List Manager: Rosie Maum (rosiefiume@aol.com )
Assistant E-List Manager: Aiden Yeh (aidenyeh@hotmail.com)
Historian: George Braine (georgebraine@cuhk.edu.hk)


NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement

Purpose

The NNEST Newsletter is the official newsletter of the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL (NNEST) Caucus. The purpose of the NNEST Newsletter is three-fold: to inform, to inspire, and to invite. First, the newsletter informs NNEST Caucus members about issues, developments, and activities that are related to the professional status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL and related professions. Second, the newsletter inspires current and prospective NNEST Caucus members by providing stories of successes and struggles of NNEST professionals as well as of students, colleagues, and administrators who may be native or nonnative speakers of English. Third, the newsletter invites NNEST Caucus members to share information, insights, and experiences related to NNEST issues.

Audience

The primary audience of the NNEST Newsletter is the members of the NNEST Caucus. The caucus members are native and nonnative speakers of English from various geographic and institutional contexts. They are teachers, researchers, and administrators as well as graduate students at various stages of professional development. All of them are interested in and concerned about issues surrounding the professional status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL. The audience also includes potential members of the NNEST Caucus who wish to gain insights into the NNEST Caucus and its activities.

Vision

The NNEST Newsletter contributes significantly to TESOL by addressing issues that affect a significant portion of TESOL members: nonnative English speakers. To native English speakers in TESOL, the newsletter offers resources for understanding and addressing NNEST issues in ethical, effective, and informed ways. In order to enhance its appeal to NES members and to facilitate mutual understanding between native English speakers and nonnative English speakers, the newsletter seeks to increase submissions from native English speakers in the profession. It also seeks to further raise the awareness of the issue of diversity by encouraging submissions that address how NNEST issues interact with issues faced by other caucuses and interest sections.

Because NNEST issues affect all members of TESOL directly or indirectly, the NNEST Newsletter will continue to contribute to the overall mission of TESOL by

• promoting a better understanding of the status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL,
• prompting the discussion of NNEST issues among all TESOL members, and
• providing resources to NNEST Caucus members as well as TESOL members in general.



Announcements and Information Call to Sister NNEST Caucuses/Groups

If you are also a member of other NNEST Caucus or interests groups from any organization for TESOL educators, could you send the website or the email address of the webmanager to Ana Wu at ana8ways@gmail.com ? Thanks!


NNEST Blog

Visit the NNEST Blog (http://www.moussu.net/nnest/blog/index.html) and learn about the NNEST Caucus Member of the Month! Every month, our blog interviewer (Ana Wu) invites a different NNEST to share some aspects of their professional (and sometimes personal) lives. Take a look: you will be amused, inspired, and intrigued!


TESOL Annual Convention & Graduate Student Forum

The 43rd Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit will take place in Denver, Colorado, March 25-28, 2009. Save these dates!

The call for proposal can be found at
http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=1880&DID=10895

Note these important deadlines:
Deadline for proposals: Received by 11:59 pm EST, Monday, June 2, 2008. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered, regardless of postmark.

Deadline for Support Materials for Video Digital Media: Received by Friday, August 2, 2008, 11:59 pm EST. Support materials received after the deadline will not be considered, regardless of postmark.


TESOL Awards and Grants You may either apply or nominate someone for a TESOL award or grant; don’t miss the opportunity. Also, consider contributing to the awards and grants program by making a donation! For information on TESOL Awards and Grants, visit http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=125&DID=1595
Position Statement Against Discrimination of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of TESOL (March 2006)

All educators should be evaluated within the same criteria. NNES educators should not be singled out because of their native language. TESOL strongly opposes discrimination against nonnative English speakers in the field of English language teaching.

To read the full text of this document or to download printable copies, go to http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=32&DID=37 


NNEST Resources Are you looking for interesting resources for NNES teachers? If so, visit the “Resources” section of our NNEST Caucus Web site: http://nnest.moussu.net/resources.html
Don’t forget to check out the bibliography on NNES teachers! http://nnest.moussu.net/bibliography.html
Also, if you know about other relevant resources (e.g., Web sites, publications, press releases, tips) that could be posted in this section, we encourage you to share this information with us by contacting the web manager, Ana Wu, at awu@ccsf.edu. Help us keep this list very useful with current and comprehensive information!  

NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions

Do you have any thoughts on the status of the NNEST Caucus? Do you have personal stories to share that are related to NNEST issues? Do you have any helpful tips that you would like to share with other NNES teachers/researchers? If you do, please consider submitting an article to the NNEST Newsletter. The deadline for submissions for the October 2008 issue is August 30, 2008.
 
Submission Guidelines

Any of the following types of submissions are welcome:

Feature Articles (1200-1500 words) related to teacher education, research, professional development, program administration, and sociocultural issues

Brief Reports (600-900 words), such as book reviews and reports on conference presentations and papers

Personal Accounts (500-700 words) related to NNEST issues

Announcements (50-75 words) of forthcoming events and publications on issues related to NNES teachers

Readers' Thoughts (500 words). This section gives you the opportunity to share your reactions to and thoughts about articles published in our newsletter.

All documents need to be formatted in Microsoft Word (.doc). The editors reserve the right to edit any materials submitted for publication in order to enhance clarity or style.

Please send all manuscripts as an e-mail attachment to the NNEST Newsletter editor. (Note: The October 2008 issue will be edited by a new editor. In the meantime, you can contact Sandra at sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca if you have any questions.)



About This Community About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Caucus

The Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL (NNEST) Caucus was established in October 1998 to strengthen effective teaching and learning of English around the world while respecting individuals' language rights.
1. Caucus Major Goals

• to create a nondiscriminatory professional environment for all TESOL members regardless of native language and place of birth
• to encourage the formal and informal gatherings of nonnative speakers at TESOL and affiliate conferences
• to encourage research and publications on the role of nonnative speaker teachers in ESL and EFL contexts
• to promote the role of nonnative speaker members in TESOL and affiliate leadership positions

Membership is open to all interested TESOL members, both native and nonnative speakers of English alike.

2. Web Site: http://nnest.moussu.net

3. Discussion E-List

Visit http://www.tesol.org/getconnected to join NNEST-L, the open discussion list for NNEST caucus members, or visit http://lists.tesol.org/read/?forum=nnest-l if you are already an e-list subscriber.

4. NNEST Caucus Community Leaders and Volunteers 2006-07

Chair: Katya Nemtchinova (katya@spu.edu)
Incoming Chair: Brock Brady (bbrady@american.edu
Newsletter Editor: Sandra Zappa-Hollman (sczappa@interchange.ubc.ca)
Editorial Volunteers: Kyung-Hee Bae (kbae@uh.edu) & Lisya Seloni (seloni.1@osu.edu)
Web Manager: Ana Wu (awu@ccsf.edu)
E-List Manager: Rosie Maum (rosiefiume@aol.com )
Assistant E-List Manager: Aiden Yeh (aidenyeh@hotmail.com)
Historian: George Braine (georgebraine@cuhk.edu.hk)


NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement

Purpose

The NNEST Newsletter is the official newsletter of the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL (NNEST) Caucus. The purpose of the NNEST Newsletter is three-fold: to inform, to inspire, and to invite. First, the newsletter informs NNEST Caucus members about issues, developments, and activities that are related to the professional status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL and related professions. Second, the newsletter inspires current and prospective NNEST Caucus members by providing stories of successes and struggles of NNEST professionals as well as of students, colleagues, and administrators who may be native or nonnative speakers of English. Third, the newsletter invites NNEST Caucus members to share information, insights, and experiences related to NNEST issues.

Audience

The primary audience of the NNEST Newsletter is the members of the NNEST Caucus. The caucus members are native and nonnative speakers of English from various geographic and institutional contexts. They are teachers, researchers, and administrators as well as graduate students at various stages of professional development. All of them are interested in and concerned about issues surrounding the professional status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL. The audience also includes potential members of the NNEST Caucus who wish to gain insights into the NNEST Caucus and its activities.

Vision

The NNEST Newsletter contributes significantly to TESOL by addressing issues that affect a significant portion of TESOL members: nonnative English speakers. To native English speakers in TESOL, the newsletter offers resources for understanding and addressing NNEST issues in ethical, effective, and informed ways. In order to enhance its appeal to NES members and to facilitate mutual understanding between native English speakers and nonnative English speakers, the newsletter seeks to increase submissions from native English speakers in the profession. It also seeks to further raise the awareness of the issue of diversity by encouraging submissions that address how NNEST issues interact with issues faced by other caucuses and interest sections.

Because NNEST issues affect all members of TESOL directly or indirectly, the NNEST Newsletter will continue to contribute to the overall mission of TESOL by

• promoting a better understanding of the status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL,
• prompting the discussion of NNEST issues among all TESOL members, and
• providing resources to NNEST Caucus members as well as TESOL members in general.

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