NNEST Newsletter

NNEST News, Volume 11:1 (July 2009)

by User Not Found | 10/27/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • Editor's Remarks
    • Message from the Outgoing Chair
    • Message from the Chair
  • Articles
    • NEST-NNEST Collaboration: Does It Reinforce a Misleading Dichotomy?
    • And Justice for All: Building Local Efforts on NNEST Issues
  • Announcements and Information
    • TESOL Awards and Grants
    • NNEST Resources
    • Call for Proposals: Electronic Village Online 2010
  • About This Community
    • About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section
    • NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions
    • NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement

Leadership Updates Editor's Remarks

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

Lisya Seloni, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, lisyaseloni@gmail.com (Editorial Staff)

Rashi Jain, University of Maryland at College Park, jainrashi@yahoo.com (Editorial Staff)

As many of us are reflecting upon the topics discussed at this year’s convention, this issue of the NNEST Newsletter offers articles that will not only help us ponder those topics but also urge us to challenge the status quo on various concerns of our profession.

The current issue starts with messages from our past chair, Brock Brady, as well as our current chair, Ana Wu. As many of our readers know already, Brock has relinquished his role as our chair to assume his new position as TESOL president-elect. In his “adieu” letter, Brock encourages us to contemplate the thorny issue of naming our interest section and offers his take on the matter. In turn, Ana discusses her vision as our new chair and welcomes ideas from every member of the NNESTIS.

The first article, written by Davi Reis, challenges the complacent view of collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs. Using examples in the literature, he argues that the assumption and language often used to describe such collaboration may inadvertently reinforce the NNEST/NEST dichotomy and the native speaker fallacy. He then urges us to consider ways to empower individual teachers’ strengths regardless of their linguistic and/or cultural background.

Ali Fuad Selvi, in his article, describes the “native speakerism” ideology still prevalent in the TESOL profession. According to Ali, in order to promote change toward a more equitable future, we need three As: raising awareness, building advocacy, and demonstrating activism. Using a local NNEST entity as a model, he shows how we can achieve such change by collectively and actively participating and contributing.

An active participation and contribution is also precisely what Aiden Yeh is looking for in her announcement as she invites everyone to submit proposals for Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2010.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the articles featured in this issue and thank our contributors for sharing their insights with us. Should you have any comments or feedback you would like to share, please contact either the authors or us. Finally, we would like to encourage all of you to consider sharing your views and studies and send us (kbae@uh.edu) your contributions for the next issue.

Message from the Outgoing Chair

Brock Brady, American University, bbrady@american.edu

As outgoing chair of the NNEST Interest Section, I have been asked to provide a “goodbye” piece for this issue of the NNEST Newsletter, even though this seems to put me in the role of the traditional caricature—that of a wizened old man of the previous year (e.g., 2008) handing the world off to the smiling baby of 2009. In that role, let me say a deep thank you to everyone who helped us transition from being a caucus to an IS. However we may feel about the need to make that change, I think it has been an extremely positive change, one that gives the NNEST movement more prominence, one that has made the entity more effective, and one that will position NNEST research in the vanguard of studies such as World Englishes, English as a lingua franca/international language, and social literacies. I think we are also extremely lucky to have an incredibly eager, dynamic, and well-versed team as our first elected group of IS leaders. Your vote has put the IS in very capable hands.

But let me venture forth from my hands-off role to make a suggestion about how we might think about going forward—regarding the name conundrum (i.e., NNEST or something else?). In our field it is becoming increasingly clear that the dichotomous quality of the NNEST/NEST distinction cannot begin to capture the diversity of experiences and backgrounds that English language teachers bring to our profession. There is also a growing body of research in our field that suggests that it may matter less whether you are an NNEST or a NEST and more what your linguistic, cultural, and professional background is. For example, a monolingual English speaker with significant cross-cultural or cross-socioeconomic-class experience may well have strengths when teaching English language learners that a monolingual speaker with limited cross-cultural experience lacks. From the other end of the continuum, an NNEST in an EFL setting who has limited cross-cultural experience and limited opportunities to use English in authentic communication, though perhaps effective in some local contexts, will lack the insights and awareness needed to make him or her an effective English language teacher in many other teaching contexts. On the other hand, someone identified as an NNES teacher, who, though not having English as a home language, is nevertheless bi- or multilingual or someone who has had the opportunity to live in other cultures (where other varieties of English or even other languages were dominant) would likely be very competent in a wide variety of English language teaching contexts. Add to this experiential perspective professional education and training, and breadth and length of teaching experience, and it is apparent that from a purely descriptive perspective, the NNEST/NEST dichotomy has difficulty capturing such complexities.

So as our research has shown us this continuum of linguistic, cultural, and professional experience and how it affects professional competence, it may make sense to take a cue from second language writing studies and begin to consider terms such as multilingual-cultural language teacher andmultilingual-cultural English teacher. Let me propose as well that for the sake of manageability, we simplify the terms to multilingual language teacher/multilingual English teacher (and we agree to assume the multicultural element within). That English for academic purposes has already begun speaking of multilingual writers and multilingual readers supports these terms, and the emphasis on cultural and linguistic diversity as being a strength (with professionalism implied in the term teacher) certainly concurs with both our research and our values.

One possible disadvantage to a term such as multilingual/multicultural English teacher is that it can include teachers like myself who have self-identified as native English speakers (and there are those who argue, with justification, that no matter how multilingual/multicultural you might be, teaching your native language is a different orientation than teaching English when you do not perceive it as your native language). Other disadvantages brought forward include using NNEST as a term of empowerment, and the concern of reference in NNEST studies: If we change the name, wouldn’t the research base become fragmented?

Also, there is the matter of advocacy. As long as there are those who discriminate against those whom they perceive as NNESTs, as long as native speakerism is an active ideology, we will need to use this term that has unrightfully been imposed, in order to dispossess it of stigma. Thus, NNESTremains the appropriate term for education, awareness raising, and advocacy.

Nevertheless, in research, we could begin to use a term such as multilingual English teacher (or something that is similarly less essentializing) along withNNEST so that the historic body of research remains fully recoverable. Such a transition could occur over many years. After all, the transitions from Negroto Black and later to African American occurred in the United States through the juxtaposition of the old and new terms and were finally effected only in the fullness of time.

In the meantime, education/advocacy efforts (supported by research), while continuing to use NNEST as a term, can emphasize that multilingual teachers with rich multicultural experience and thorough and appropriate professional education are those best positioned to effectively teach English in our increasingly multilingual, multicultural global society—regardless of their home language. Then as native speakerism is found to be increasingly untenable, the NNEST label can be retired.

Thus (as it should be) education can follow research, and over time, at a staggered pace, a more descriptively accurate term (such as multilingual English teacher) can replace the NEST/NNEST dichotomy, first in research and then increasingly in advocacy.

But hey, remember that I’m the old, wizened 2008 guy. It is for members to decide how we go forward. I know that the best that I’m offering here is simply another framework to look at resolving the name game.

Thanks for all your support in the past year,


Message from the Chair

Ana Wu, City College of San Francisco, ana8ways@gmail.com

Our transition from a caucus to an interest section has been successful, and we celebrated our first year as an IS at the business meeting in Denver. I would like to thank Katya Nemtchinova (past chair), Brock Brady (past chair-elect), and Luciana de Oliveira (past chair) for guiding us through this transition period and extend my appreciation to all past officers and contributors. I also wish Brock Brady well as he takes his role as TESOL president-elect.

In its first year, the NNESTIS was visible at the annual convention with 25 sessions. I would like to congratulate the presenters on a job well done and thank everyone who volunteered as proposal readers. We also had a well-staffed booth, and I have already received creative suggestions for next year; I invite you to visit our booth at the 2010 convention in Boston to see what’s new, introduce yourselves, and meet old (or new) friends.

It is also my pleasure to welcome our new officers: Aiden Yeh, our chair-elect; Li-Fen Lin, Web manager; Maribel Fernandez, electronic mailing list manager; and Rashi Jain, editorial volunteer. We are also happy to have Aya Matsuda and Ryuko Kubota as members-at-large. Kyung-Hee Bae and Lisya Seloni will continue as our diligent editor and editorial volunteer, respectively. You can read their bios at http://nnest.asu.edu/Newleaders.html to learn about our talented group. I cannot express how thankful I am to work with such professional officers who generously volunteer to help our community grow by making our IS visible, encouraging discussions and publications, and promoting advocacy.

Moving to other issues at hand, I would like to discuss two items on my list.

First, I would like to emphasize that our IS is open to all, regardless of linguistic background or ethnicity. I am often asked whether native speakers can join us or why there are not many professionals of color at our meetings. As you may know, the NNEST Caucus/IS is proud to have two members elected as the president of TESOL: Jun Liu, a nonnative speaker, and Brock Brady, a native speaker. Our official name carries the term nonnative, not because our IS is exclusively for NNES teachers, but rather because it is a place where all professionals and students can discuss multilingualism, world Englishes, and NNEST issues. Besides the academic role of our interest section, we also have a sociopolitical function: advocating for equality and recognition. For our goals to be successfully accomplished, we need the collaboration and expertise of professionals from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, and native language. So I sincerely ask that when you talk about our NNESTIS, you will educate your community as an ambassador with open arms.

Second, a great number of EFL professionals and students do not know about NNESTIS and its mission. In January 2009, when Aiden Yeh created the first workshop about NNEST issues for the Electronic Village Online, a virtual extension of the TESOL CALLIS, we had participants who did not even know what TESOL stands for. We know that most of the English teachers worldwide are nonnative English speakers (Canagarajah, 1999), but the majority of the TESOL members are in North America, and of these members, the large majority are graduate students, professors, and administrators. We still need, therefore, to extend our hands to K-12 and EFL teachers who do not have access to professional development and help them make their voices heard at TESOL. One way to do so is through networking and maintaining collegiality with our TESOL affiliates. Sharing our vast bibliography list among your peers, promoting our “NNEST of the Month” blog, or referring our e-list to people in need of professional support can be other ways. Ahmar Mahboob has helped our IS become visible in two open social network systems: Ning and Facebook; Ali Fuad Selvi has compiled an entry on NNEST in Wikipedia. Should you have ideas regarding promoting our IS and advocating our mission, I invite you to post your suggestions or comments on our e-list. I strongly believe that through your collaboration we can reach out to other EFL teachers all over the world.

I would like to close my message wishing good luck to those who have submitted their proposals. I also want to thank for your active participation and continued support in including multiple voices in our IS.

Ana Wu


Canagarajah, 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.

Articles NEST-NNEST Collaboration: Does It Reinforce a Misleading Dichotomy?

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

Professional collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs has been hailed as a desirable approach to providing support to both groups and maximizing their instructional and pedagogical strengths (see de Oliveira & Richardson, 2004; Ishihara & Maeda, 2005; Kamhi-Stein, 1999; Liang & Rice, 2006; Matsuda & Matsuda, 2004). Matsuda and Matsuda (2004), for example, have argued for a collaborative model of teacher development involving both native English speakers and nonnative English speakers in which teacher learning entails “adopting, adapting, and learning” from other teachers’ linguistic and other backgrounds (p. 177). Some of the main benefits for NNESTs mentioned in the literature include expanded opportunities for English language learning and practice, especially in regard to idioms, vocabulary, pronunciation, and sociolinguistic competence. For NESTs, the advantages include becoming more familiar with the process of learning English as a second or foreign language and having an insider’s perspective into a different culture. For both groups, collaboration can reduce preparation time (e.g., lesson planning and materials development) and, more important, create unique opportunities for professional development. Finally, students of both NESTs and NNESTs may also directly benefit from this type of collaboration by having teachers with better ability to handle cultural differences and explain various grammatical points with a higher level of overall sociolinguistic competence.

Although collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs may indeed provide a distinctive site for L2 teacher learning and development, the assumptions behind this type of partnership, as well as the language used to describe it, can sometimes work to inadvertently propagate the NEST/NNEST dichotomy. In this light, to move beyond this dichotomy, TESOL professionals may first want to consider how this type of collaboration is sometimes portrayed. Does it strengthen the notion that NESTs and NNESTs are two different species (Medgyes, 1994)? Does it position (Davies & Harré, 1990) NNESTs as inferior to NESTs and, worse yet, proliferate internalized oppression? Does it essentialize the myriad experiences and perspectives TESOL professionals represent? Though these issues are complex and controversial, exploring them further can help continue to erode the native speaker (NS) fallacy (Phillipson, 1992).

Regarding the assumptions underlying collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs, an often-cited argument in support of it is that the latter group lacks cultural knowledge, intuition, and authenticity of regarding the English-speaking world (see Moussu & Llurda, 2008, for an extensive review of NNEST-related research). But which world(s) are being used as a reference point? Are inner- or outer-circle cultures being referred to (Kachru, 1981)? Are we doing ourselves, our students, and a globalized world a disservice by implying that native speakers of inner-circle varieties necessarily have better cultural insights into the English-speaking world than do NNESTs? If so, we might be assigning too much power and prestige to already influential inner-circle cultures. For instance, what happens to, say, an Australian ESL teacher working in the United States? Though the teacher would probably be labeled as a native English speaker, does that mean that this person will have the cultural knowledge to teach in the United States? Maybe, but not necessarily. Perhaps we should instead follow Kramsch’s (1993) advice that language teaching is culture, and create a third space where we all belong: NESTs, NNESTs, and all in between.

Concerning the language used to describe collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs, one can find examples that position NNESTs, though hard-working, highly skilled, and well-deserving, as just not quite good enough. This unintentionally strengthens the idealized notion of an omniscient and accent-less native speaker (Leung, Harris, & Rampton, 1997). For example, in a paper describing the benefits of collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs for their teacher identities (Liang & Rice, 2006), the language used throughout the article seems to imply that NS status is superior to its counterpart.[i] From terms such as “ultimate native level” (p. 168) and “intuitive control” (p. 168) to phrases such as “although he was not a native speaker” (p. 164, emphasis added) and “[name deleted] was the native-speaking sounding board for appropriateness, correctness, and vocabulary alternatives” (p. 176), it would seem as if “something nonnative” (p. 169) that can be “detected” (p. 169) in one’s speech is a marker of “awkwardness” (p. 169) and objectionable difference. Thus, despite our well-intended efforts to move away from the NS fallacy and empower NNESTs, sometimes our language can actually foster the notion that reaching NS status, though impossible, is a desirable and necessary goal for NNESTs to achieve. It implies that NNESTs are professionally incapable of working independently and thus are dependent on NESTs’ natively acquired knowledge of English.

But what can we do to both support professional collaboration and continue to weaken the NS fallacy? First and foremost, we need to follow in the footsteps of researchers who have moved beyond rigid thinking and challenge our own assumptions and stereotypes when it comes to the NEST/NNEST dichotomy (see Boecher, 2005; Ishihara & Maeda, 2005; Liang & Rice, 2006). Ishihara and Maeda (2005), for example, asserted that each individual teacher can bring to the table different and multiple perspectives (e.g., NEST or NNEST, teacher educator, researcher, teacher, learner). Likewise, Liang and Rice (2006) argued that a teacher’s linguistic background, instructional practices, and personal characteristics may all be involved in teacher collaboration, in addition to one’s status as NEST or NNEST. This view of NESTs and NNESTs as, above all, teachers with different backgrounds, experiences, contexts, and perspectives can potentially help reshape our understanding of a collaborative framework for empowering all teachers.

Second, as we continue to conduct much-needed research in this area, we need to use language that discourages dichotomous thinking. Although I do concede that “all work based on the study of [NNESTs] is implicitly accepting the separation between [NESTs and NNESTs]” (Moussu & Llurda, 2008, p. 318), we can discuss NEST/NNEST collaboration in ways that do not essentialize either group or portray them as antagonistic. For example, Pasternak and Bailey (2004) were careful to include the following statement in their paper about the issues of professionalism in the preparation of NESTs and NNESTs:

The wise program administrator or teacher educator would take a step back from an “all-or-nothing” stance with regard to the relative strengths or weaknesses of native- versus nonnative-speaking teachers and would consider instead the strengths and weaknesses of each individual teacher or teacher candidate. (p. 165)

By alerting readers to this obvious though all-too-often neglected reality, the authors both advance our knowledge of this research area and work against the NEST/NNEST dichotomy.

In conclusion, I believe a flexible outlook on (and description of) collaboration between NESTs and NNESTs would take us beyond misleading dichotomies. Rather than explaining the benefits of collaboration based on stereotypical views of NESTs and NNESTs, we can instead emphasize the personal trajectories and professional qualifications of each member of a collaborative dyad. By thinking in more empowering ways, we can benefit not only ourselves, as the collaborating teachers, but the very students we serve.

Davi S. Reis is a doctoral candidate in applied linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, United States. His research interests include L2 teacher education, L2 teacher identity, NNEST-related issues, Vygotskian sociocultural theory, and narrative inquiry.


Boecher, Y. (2005). Native and nonnative English speaking teacher distinctions: From dichotomy to collaboration. CATESOL Journal, 17(1), 67-75.

Davies, D., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 20(1), 43-63.

de Oliveira, L. C., & Richardson, S. (2004). Collaboration between native and nonnative English-speaking educators. In L. D. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 294-306). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Ishihara, N., & Maeda, M. (2005). Multiple identities emerge through collaboration. Essential Teacher Compleat Links, 2005, 2(4). Retrieved June 1, 2009, from http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/secetdoc.asp?CID=1162&DID=5079

Kachru, B. (1981). Models for non-native Englishes. In B. Kachru (Ed.), The other tongue: English across cultures (pp. 31–57). Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (1999). Preparing non-native professionals in TESOL: Implications for teacher education programs. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native educators in English language teaching (pp. 145-158). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leung, C., Harris, R., & Rampton, B. (1997). The idealised native speaker, reified ethnicities, and classroom realities. TESOL Quarterly, 31(3), 543-558.

Liang, J., & Rice, S. (2006). Forging new identities: A journey of collaboration between native- and nonnative-English-speaking educators. In N. G. Barron, N. M. Grimm, & S. Gruber (Eds.), Social change in diverse teaching contexts: Touchy subjects and routine practices (pp. 161-181). New York: Peter Lang.

Matsuda, A., & Matsuda, P. K. (2004). Autonomy and collaboration in teacher education: Journal sharing among native and nonnative English-speaking teachers. In L. D. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 176-189). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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

Moussu, L., & Llurda, E. (2008). Non-native English-speaking English language teachers: History and research. Language Teaching, 41(3), 315-348.

Pasternak, M., & Bailey, K. (2004). Preparing nonnative and native English-speaking teachers: Issues of professionalism and proficiency. In L. D. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 155-175). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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

[i] These examples have been taken out of their original context and likely do not represent the authors’ views as expressed holistically in their article.

And Justice for All: Building Local Efforts on NNEST Issues

Ali Fuad Selvi, the University of Maryland, alifuad@umd.edu

Despite the fact that nonnative English speakers outnumber native speakers three to one (Crystal, 1997), that English “belongs to all people who speak it, whether native and nonnative, whether ESL or EFL, whether standard or non-standard” (Norton, 1997, p. 427), and that NNESTs comprise 80 percent of the English teachers in the world (Canagarajah, 2005), discriminatory practices against NNESTs are unfortunate realities of our profession. Although there have been some institutionalized efforts to overcome the existing discrimination (TESOL position statements in 1992 and 2006; ASEAN’s decision in 2005 on the establishment of Centers for English Language Training in Southeast Asian countries), the pervasive native-speaker (NS) model in the TESOL profession creates unethical practices that disfavor NNESTs.

In this article, I first outline the current landscape of the English language teaching profession in terms of hiring practices. Then, I discuss ways to promote change toward an equitable future, and describe local contributions of an NNEST entity within a TESOL affiliate toward global change.


As briefly outlined above, the dominating discourse of “native speakerism” in the TESOL profession contributes and reinforces “unprofessional favoritism” (Medgyes, 2001). The widespread existence of an idealized NS discourse leads to discrimination against NNESTs in hiring practices (Clark & Paran, 2007; Flynn & Gulikers, 2001; Mahboob, Uhrig, Newman, & Hartford, 2004; Moussu, 2006), raises legitimacy concerns for NNESTs among their NEST counterparts as well as their students, and consequently causes severe damage on their teacher persona by generating “I-am-not-a-native-speaker syndrome” (Suarez, 2000). The existing discrimination fueled by native speakerism also necessitates the reconfiguration of the defining norms of the field that emphasize the “professionalism” discourse instead of the “native speakerism” discourse.

The change from “native speakerism” to “professionalism” in the TESOL profession requires collective effort from every stakeholder in the process (e.g., language teachers of all linguistic identities, administrators, teacher educators, policymakers, students, and even the general public). I have argued elsewhere (Selvi, forthcoming) that the change toward an equitable future in our profession requires three “As”: raising awareness, building advocacy, and demonstrating activism:

Awareness – The stakeholders of the larger TESOL community mentioned above might not be aware of discriminatory practices that promote only NESTs and ignore the potential of NNESTs. For this reason, the first step that will lead to change is to raise awareness of the self as well as awareness of the current situation of the field.

Advocacy – The next step for individuals who gain awareness is advocacy, which is one step beyond awareness. By building a multifaceted advocacy, individuals advocate for the unique qualities of NESTs/NNESTs and advocate for “professionalism” instead of “native speakerism,” as well as seek opportunities to establish “NEST-NNEST collaboration” discourse.

Activism – Gaining awareness of and building advocacy on NNEST issues to achieve equity in the TESOL profession requires activism, which can be defined as supporting and promoting practices that realize the qualities of NNESTs and advantages of NEST-NNEST collaboration.

Raising awareness, building advocacy, and demonstrating activism is a simple, three-layered model that could be employed by individuals or organizations to overcome ideological, pedagogical, and psychological influences of discriminatory practices. In the next section of the article, I describe the model adopted by an NNEST entity within a local TESOL affiliate.


TESOL affiliates connect local professionals, support professional development of teachers, encourage information exchange, and provide valuable sources such as local conferences, professional development workshops, and newsletters. As stated on the TESOL Web site, as of November 2008, TESOL was affiliated with 98 independent local organizations (see http://www.tesol.org for the complete list) with a total membership of more than 47,000 professionals. Yet, the need for practices to support NNESTs professionally and establish NEST-NNEST collaboration has not been met by these affiliates. Unfortunately, the number of NNEST entities (e.g., in the form of an interest section, a special interest group, or a caucus) within local TESOL affiliates is very limited. For instance, although there are 48 local TESOL affiliates in North America, only two affiliates (i.e., CATESOL and WATESOL) have NNEST entities.

An example of such an entity is the WATESOL (Washington Area TESOL) NNEST Caucus, which was established as a result of an initiative spearheaded by Brock Brady in 2004 to support NNESTs professionally and academically. The caucus has its own Web site (http://watesolnnestcaucus.googlepages.com/), an electronic discussion list with over 40 members, and even a Facebook group (“WATESOL NNEST Caucus”). Members of the caucus engage in a series of activities to raise awareness and advocate and promote professionalism and collaboration in the Washington area and beyond. The activities include

  • conference presentations (at WATESOL’s fall and spring conventions, other local conferences, and the international TESOL conventions);
  • online efforts (Web site, Facebook group, e-list, etc.);
  • outreach efforts (presentations on NNEST issues at various institutions in the region);
  • assisting graduate-level courses that put emphasis on NNEST issues; and
  • letters to different institutions offering ESL classes to inform them about NNEST issues.


One of the unique characteristics of the TESOL profession is its all-encompassing nature that welcomes ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity (Selvi, 2009). Overcoming unethical and unidimensional expansion of the TESOL profession that favors only NEST and establishing a collaborative “NEST and NNEST” discourse necessitates more local efforts and practices. Having this premise as a guide, local NNEST entities, as in the case of the WATESOL NNEST Caucus, can provide a perfect venue for teachers—native or nonnative—to make local contributions that will have global impacts over the long term. The growing body of its members, positive feedback that the caucus receives at different events, institutional changes that it has initiated, and receiving calls for input in establishing local NNEST entities within other local TESOL affiliates around the world demonstrate the kind of roles that local NNEST entities can play. For this reason, I believe that this interest section serves as a model for other affiliates who would like to initiate efforts that support NNESTs. Finally, as argued before, a more equitable future of our profession will be achieved by the collective efforts of the individuals who not only envision but also work for the change.

Ali Fuad Selvi is a doctoral student and research/teaching assistant in the Second Language Education and Culture program at the University of Maryland. He is also the vice president of the WATESOL NNEST Caucus.


Canagarajah, A. S. (Ed.). (2005). Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Clark, E., & Paran, A. (2007). The employability of non-native-speaker teachers of EFL: A UK survey. System, 35(4), 407-430.

Crystal, D. (1997). English as a global language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Flynn, K., & Gulikers, G. (2001). Issues in hiring nonnative English-speaking professionals to teach English as a second language. CATESOL Journal, 13(1), 151–161.

Mahboob, A., Uhrig, K., Newman, K., & Hartford, B. S. (2004). Children of a lesser English: Status of nonnative English speakers as college-level English as a second language teachers in the United States. In L. Kamhi-Stein (Ed.), Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals (pp. 100-120). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Medgyes, P. (2001). When the teacher is a non-native speaker. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.),Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 429-442). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Moussu, L. (2006). Native and non-native English-speaking English as a second language teachers: Student attitudes, teacher self-perceptions, and intensive English program administrator beliefs and practices (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Purdue University; ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 492 599).

Norton, B. (1997). Language, identity and the ownership of English. TESOL Quarterly, 31(3), 409-429.

Selvi, A. F. (in press). ‘Change we can believe in’: Non-native English-speaking teachers in ELT profession. Essential Teacher.

Selvi, A. F. (2009, March). NNEST advocacy and awareness raising: Local efforts, global perspectives. Paper presented as part of the NNESTIS Academic Session “NNEST Advocacy and Awareness Raising: Global Perspectives 10 Years On” at the 43rd Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit, Denver, CO.

Suarez, J. (November, 2000). 'Native' and 'non-Native': Not only a question of terminology. Humanizing Language Teaching, 2(6). Retrieved April 21, 2009, from http://www.hltmag.co.uk/nov00/mart.htm.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (1992). A TESOL statement of non-native speakers of English and hiring practices. TESOL Matters, 2(4), 23.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.(2006). Position statement against discrimination of nonnative speakers of English in the field of TESOL.Retrieved April 23, 2009, from http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/bin.asp?CID=32&DID=5889&DOC=FILE.PDF.

Announcements and Information TESOL Awards and Grants

TESOL recognizes its exceptional members by offering various awards, many of which are available for our IS members. For information on TESOL awards and grants that you might consider applying for, visit http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=125&DID=1595.

NNEST Resources

Are you looking for interesting resources for nonnative English-speaking teachers? If so, you should visit the Resources section of our NNESTIS Web site:http://nnest.asu.edu/NewResource.html.

Don’t forget to check out the bibliography on nonnative-English-speaking teachers! http://nnest.asu.edu/NewBibliography1.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, Li-Fen Lin, at lifen_lin@hotmail.com. Help us keep this list very useful by including current and comprehensive information.

Call for Proposals: Electronic Village Online 2010

A Project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section

The Electronic Village Online (EVO) is a creation of TESOL's CALL Interest Section (http://www.call-is.org/info/). In this age of electronic communication, it seems a natural way to bring the issues of our profession to the international stage. Our goal is to allow learning anywhere, anytime with as little expense as possible. Thus EVO coordinators (trainers) and moderators are all volunteers, and participants need only provide their own Internet access to take part in the activities.

For 6 weeks, participants can engage with ESOL experts in collaborative online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops. These sessions bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the 4-day land-based TESOL convention and allow a fuller development of ideas and themes of the convention or of general professional interest. The sessions are free and open to all interested parties. Participants do not need to be TESOL members.

In early 2009, NNESTIS sponsored the first NNEST-EVO session. It was a discussion-based session on the issues facing NNES teachers in TESOL. Experts and renowned researchers in the field were invited as guest speakers. Details of this session can be found at http://nnest-evo2009.pbwiki.com/.

We invite you to submit proposals for EVO 2010 sessions. We will be accepting submissions for proposals by July 2009. We invite you to submit proposals for EVO 2010 sessions. We will be accepting submissions for proposals from July 13 to September 28, 2009. For descriptions of sessions from 2009, seehttp://evosessions.pbworks.com/Call_for_Participation09.

  • Aiden Yeh (coordinator), Wen Zao Ursuline College of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • JoAnn Miller (coordinator), Freelance consultant and materials developer
  • Dafne González (past coordinator), Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Susan Marandi, Al-Zahra University, Teheran, Iran
  • Moira Hunter, ESIEE & ENSAPM, Paris, France
  • Carla Arena, Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasilia, Brazil
  • Leticia Esteves, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Laine Marshall, Long Island University, Purchase, NY, USA
  • Rubena St. Louis, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Vance Stevens (TESOL PDC liaison), Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, California State University, Sacramento/Command Performance Language Institute, Sacramento, CA, USA (past coordinator)
  • Christine Bauer-Ramazani, St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT, USA (cofounder, past coordinator)

About This Community About the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section

The Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section was first established as a caucus in October 1998 to strengthen effective teaching and learning of English around the world while respecting individuals' language rights. A decade later in July 2008, it became an interest section.

The major goals are

  • 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, and
  • to encourage research and publications on the role of nonnative speaker teachers in ESL and EFL contexts, and 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.

Web Site: http://nnest.asu.edu/index.html

Discussion E-List

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

NNESTIS Community Leaders and Officers 2009-2010

Chair: Ana Wu (awu@ccsf.edu)
Chair-Elect: Aiden Yeh (aidenyeh@hotmail.com)
Newsletter Editor: Kyung-Hee Bae (kbae@uh.edu)
Editorial Staff: Lisya Seloni (lisyaseloni@gmail.com) & Rashi Jain (jainrashi@yahoo.com)
Web Manager: Li-Fen Lin (lifen_lin@hotmail.com)
E-list Manager: Maribel Fernandez (summit@montevideo.com.uy)
Historian: George Braine (georgebraine@cuhk.edu.hk)
Members at Large: Ryuko Kubota (ryuko.kubota@ubc.ca) & Aya Matsuda (aya.matsuda@asu.edu)

NNEST Newsletter Call for Submissions

Do you have some thoughts on the status of nonnative English speakers in TESOL (NNEST)? Have you done some preliminary studies on any NNEST-related issues? Do you have personal stories to share that are related to NNEST issues? Do you have some helpful tips for other nonnative English speakers in TESOL? If you do, please consider submitting an article to the NNEST Newsletter for consideration. The deadline for submissions for the December 2009 issue is September 30, 2009.

Submission Guidelines

The following types of submissions on topics related to NNEST (nonnative English speakers in TESOL) issues 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, reports on conference presentations, and papers.

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

Announcements (50-75 words) of forthcoming presentations and meetings on NNEST issues as well as forthcoming articles and books on NNEST issues.

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

All submissions must

  • be formatted using Microsoft Word (.doc),
  • be carefully edited and proofread and follow the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (the APA manual), and
  • include a short abstract (no more than 50 words) and two-sentence author(s) biography.

For more details, please visit the Newsletter section of the NNESTIS Web site at http://nnest.asu.edu.

Please send any queries and/or your submissions to Kyung-Hee Bae, kbae@uh.edu.

NNEST Newsletter Mission Statement


The NNEST Newsletter is the official newsletter of the Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL Interest Section (NNESTIS). The purpose of the NNEST Newsletter is three-fold: to inform, to inspire, and to invite. First, the newsletter informs NNESTIS 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 NNESTIS 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 NNESTIS members to share information, insights, and experiences related to NNEST issues.


The primary audience of the NNEST Newsletter is the members of the NNESTIS. The IS 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 NNESTIS who wish to gain insights into the NNESTIS and its activities.


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 native English-speaking (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 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 NNESTIS members as well as TESOL members in general.