Translations: a self-study of teacher education practices of a non-native speaking university faculty teaching in cross-cultural contexts

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Faculty who do not speak the language of instruction in their universities as their first language face additional challenges in teaching. This study aimed to investigate a non-native speaker faculty member, Eisuke Saito, who had attempted to manage and overcome language challenges in teaching. Through an autobiographical self-study of teacher education practices (S-STEP) with reference to critical incidents, and critical discussions with co-author Michelle Ludecke, this article reveals that through listening to the students and observing their non-verbal responses, Eisuke came to deepen his understanding of the complexities of students’ problems and confusions. As a result, class discussions were utilized more meaningfully, which involved working with students as co-curriculum makers. In so doing, the non-verbal responses that were overwhelming at the beginning of his teaching career eventually started to support Eisuke in facilitating discussion in his classes. This study posits that for non-native speaker faculty to change their practices, multi-faceted efforts are necessary–starting with respecting their students as co-curriculum makers, understanding students’ needs through non-verbal signals, and considering how to add value in developing dialogue among and with students in an emergent manner based on students’ confusions or questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalStudying Teacher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • cross-cultural teaching
  • multicultural contexts
  • Non-native speaker faculty
  • pedagogy
  • self-study

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