Henny Tesol2010


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This is the paper I presented at the 44th TESOL conference in Boston. The paper reports a study on three Indonesian identity construction while participating in a MA graduate program in the US.

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Henny Tesol2010

  1. 1. A Study of Three Indonesian Teachers’ Identity Construction in a US Graduate Program Nugrahenny T Zacharias Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  2. 2. Research Question(s) <ul><li>Main Research Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>How did the three Indonesian teachers negotiate their teacher identities while they participated in a US graduate program? </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-research questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the factors affecting the identity construction of the three Indonesian teachers? </li></ul><ul><li>How did the Indonesian teachers identify themselves at the beginning of their stays in the US? </li></ul><ul><li>As a result of further education and/or living in the US, did the three Indonesian teachers experience any shifts in their teacher identity? </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Indonesia (cont.) <ul><li>A multilingual country </li></ul><ul><li>Population: 240 millions </li></ul><ul><li>300 ethnic groups </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Languages: 670 (Skutnabb-Kangas, 2000). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Studying NNES Teacher Identities? <ul><li>Becoming a teacher is “a continuous process” (Vinz, 1996, p.73). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teacher identity as pedagogy” (Morgan, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher professional Identities is a critical component in language teaching & classroom practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of teacher professional development. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Theoretical Framework <ul><li>Poststructuralist view identities : </li></ul><ul><li>dynamic & situated </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple & contradictory </li></ul><ul><li>To find coherence, an individual needs to negotiate these competing identities. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Participants <ul><li>3 Indonesian English Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Trilinguals: Indonesian, English, local languages </li></ul><ul><li>Fullbright scholars </li></ul><ul><li>TOEFL: >550 </li></ul><ul><li>Not immigrants but temporary sojourners </li></ul>
  7. 7. Methodology <ul><li>Focus group </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Interview: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 in-depth individual interviews; 1 hrs each: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interview 1 (Past Narratives): December 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interview 2 & 3 (Present Narratives): February 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interview 4 (Future Narratives) : May 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semi-structured </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Documents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CVs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>class assignments (personal narratives & journals) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Data Collection Procedures & Analysis <ul><li>Transcribe Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Member-checking </li></ul><ul><li>Construct a life history for each subject </li></ul><ul><li>Identify emerging themes through a thematic analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Past Narratives: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discourses affecting the 3 Indonesian identity construction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present Narratives: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple identities subsumed by NNES identities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The role of critical pedagogies to NNES identities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Being Indonesian learners in the US classroom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future Narratives : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Envisioning teacher identities </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Past Narratives: Discourses affecting Indonesian teacher identity construction <ul><li>Teachers as moral guides. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 1 </li></ul><ul><li>When I was employed as a university lecturer many of my neighbors try to match me with girls. Because you are already teacher [my neighbors think] many girls accept [me as a potential husband]. Then three months later, I met with my wife. I have to acknowledge that I am a teacher at university. She asked like the approval from her parents [to marry me] and they are OK because you know the values of becoming a teacher in terms of social perspective is very high (Ido, 12/20/2007). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Discourses … (2) <ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 2 </li></ul><ul><li>In Islam teaching we have three tenets. First, you have to dedicate yourself to your parents. Second, you need to share your knowledge and skills with others in need. For example, if you find people who cannot read then, you have the responsibility to teach them even small things like reading one sentence. Third, you have to help others (Ido, 12/20/07). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Discourses … (3) <ul><li>Nativespeakerism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NESs as the legitimate speakers of English </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yet, </li></ul><ul><li>They did not feel inferior of being NNES teachers. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Learning from subjects’ past narratives <ul><li>Teacher identity construction is made of the personal & the professional dimensions of teacher lives. </li></ul><ul><li>In the present study, the professional identities seemed to ‘dominate’ the personal ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Religious identities appeared to be central in the identities construction of the 3 teachers. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Present Narratives: Multiple identities subsumed by NNES identities <ul><li>At the beginning of their stays in the US, the teacher identities of Nesiani & Fatur became an issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 3 </li></ul><ul><li>When I was speaking, they [ NES friends ] get really impatient. They cannot understand what we are talking about because in terms of pronunciation the way we pronunciation words sometimes is not understandable. Sometimes I have problem with that and I got frustrated and they say ‘What?’ ‘What is it?’ [and then I responded] ‘Sorry pardon [of my English]’ [I wonder] Is it because of my tongue or is it because of their ears?! (Nesiani, 2/25/08) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Present Narratives (2) <ul><li>Ido’s narrative: deflecting the less-abled NNES identities. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 4 </li></ul><ul><li>When I attended [a course] ‘Introduction toTESOL’ taught by Dr. T, one of my American classmates like feel proud [ what he meant was bragging ] ‘ He y Ido I got A.’ [He is a] native speaker. [He asked] ‘ H o w about you?’ ‘ A plus’ [Ido answered] ‘How did you get more than I?’ [he asked] [Ido wondered] W h o do you think you are? and I walked away (Ido, 5/6/08). </li></ul>
  15. 15. Present Narratives (3): The role of critical pedagogies <ul><li>From an NNES to a multilingual. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Back then I did not consider English my language. I consider it as a foreign language. I speak others’ language. I remember one article that I read about bilingual. Then I realized I was a bilingual or multilingual. I knew when I was here [ in the US ]. I never knew I was multilingual and then all of these languages are mine. All of these languages are mine. So it’s really changes when I am here. It’s more like I become more aware of who I am (Fatur, 5/5/08). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Present Narratives (4) <ul><li>Nesiani: grew to be more tolerant of her pronunciation. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 6 </li></ul><ul><li>The most important thing for me is they [ NESs ] can understand what I am talking about. Accent actually doesn’t really matter for me. I mean nonnative speaker will always have accent. They cannot leave their accent so I don’t feel really intimidated as well (5/6/08). </li></ul>
  17. 17. Present Narratives (5): Indonesian Learners in a US classroom <ul><li>Fatur: always an active learner </li></ul><ul><li>Ido: classroom participation pattern was mediated by the presence of NES peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 7 </li></ul><ul><li>When I attended that class taught by Dr. DS, [In the classroom, there were] all Americans. But I was challenged to participate in the class because I need to show even I am not a native speaker I could participate in the class. Many native speakers look us [ NNESs ] down. [I think NES peers thought] it is because he is not native speaker so he couldn’t participate in the class. That judgement is wrong (2/1/08). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Present Narratives (6) <ul><li>Nesiani: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At the beginning: struggled to negotiate her learner identities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overtime: chose to be a silent learner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 8 </li></ul><ul><li>I believe that being silent doesn’t mean you don’t know anything. You silent because silent is golden. I mean it’s cool. You silent [but] actually you know everything. [You only speak] when your professor ask you to say something and then you just say and you say the right thing. I enjoyed that moment. I mean rather than keep on talking for no reason. Talking nonsense and we don’t know what we are talking about. It’s like we are not ready to talk but we have that desire to talk (5/6/08). </li></ul>
  19. 19. Learning from the 3 subjects Present Narratives <ul><li>Teacher identities are multidimensional. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher identities can shift. In the present study, the shift was mostly mediated by the critical pedagogies employed in the graduate courses & NES peers </li></ul><ul><li>The view of identities as some kind of core selves (Nesiani’s narrative). </li></ul>
  20. 20. Future Narratives (1): Teacher identities as agents of change <ul><li>Fatur: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use materials from local contexts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise students’ awareness of World Englishes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nesiani: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create independent & critical learners. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ido: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Become an exploratory and reflective teacher. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Future Narratives (2): Concerns <ul><li>Fatur: expressed concerns of going home as a Western-trained English teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 9 </li></ul><ul><li>I bring something new and they [ the senior teachers at his department ] will hate me. They might think ‘Common because you have master degree and you have a higher degree than me and then you wanna challenge us? How many years have you been working? Are you senior enough?’ That’s the question [ what he meant was thoughts ] they have In their minds, I’m just a kid. That’s why I am not excited about teaching (2/7/08). </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conclusion <ul><li>The teacher identities of the three subjects support the poststructuralist view of identities. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher identities are situated. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher identities are dynamic and can shift: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical pedagogies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NES peers in the program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, learning from Nesiani’s narrative: </li></ul><ul><li>The belief of cultural identity as a core self. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Implications for Teacher Education Programs <ul><li>TESOL programs as a site of identity construction (Pavlenko, 2003) & reflection: </li></ul><ul><li>Using personal (multilingual) narratives as pedagogical texts to introduce the concepts of identities in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teacher identities as pedagogies” (Morgan, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing/integrating issues of critical pedagogies in the second language classrooms. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Implications for Home Universities <ul><li>The need for home university to provide “effective mechanism” (Wenger, 1998) to ease teacher-returnees’ re-entry into the university. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><li>providing a space for teacher returnees to share their experiences and identity struggles while studying abroad. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing continued supports for teacher returnees as they reintegrate their participation and identities back into the universities. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Questions for Discussion <ul><li>If any, what do you take away from the presentation? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you address issues of identities in your classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>In your teaching, do you often share your ‘stories to live-by’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1999)? What’s your purpose in sharing the story? </li></ul>