Native English-speaking teachers in Vietnam: professional identities and discourses of colonialism

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Abstract

This article draws on postcolonial theories of discourse and identity in an attempt to understand the ways in which native English-speaking teachers (NESTs) in Vietnam position themselves discursively in enacting professional relations with students and colleagues. The study was conducted within a tradition of critical approaches to TESOL which have suggested that the work of teaching English is complex, at times problematic, and has the potential to reproduce patterns of inequality, injustice and exclusion. Based on interviews with four NESTs in Vietnam, the article describes the ways these teachers imagined their own language and that of their students, and examines how these representations of language differentiated and subordinated the Other . In negotiating their identity as TESOL practitioners, these teachers drew upon discourses of colonialism to reproduce images of the superior Self and inferior Other , suggesting the need for a more ethical approach to engaging with difference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalTESOL in Context
VolumeS3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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