IAWE Presentation

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  • Introduce ourselves...combination of personal experience and research interest...we’ve taken advantage of such privilege
  • In a survey of 600 students and teachers from a number of countries, Timmis (2002) found that students very much preferred the native speaker norm, even as teachers more involved in the ELT profession were moving away from this.Rubin, 1992: Playing the same recordings connected to different pictures, he discovered that listening comprehension lessened when an instructor was visually identified as Asian, even though the same recording was used when students were shown a picture of a Caucasian instructor (p. 519).
  • Visual and textual...especially with rise of electronic, online discourse.
  • IAWE Presentation

    1. 1. ELT Recruitment Websites, Whiteness, and Inner-Circle Ownership of English Lindsey Ives Todd Ruecker Department of English University of New Mexico
    2. 2.  Research Questions and Background  Framework: Critical Discourse Analysis  Methodology  Findings  Overall trends  TEFL Heaven  Hess Language Institute  Discussion/Conclusion Overview
    3. 3.  What characteristics are commonly attributed to the ideal candidate? Are individuals excluded explicitly or implicitly?  What benefits are emphasized to prospective English teachers?  What characteristics are attributed to target teaching countries? Research Questions
    4. 4.  Native speakerism: “an established belief that ‘native-speaker’ teachers represent a ‘Western culture’ from which spring the ideals both of the English language and of English language teaching methodology’’ (Holliday, 2006, p. 6). Native Speaker Privilege
    5. 5.  Extensive work on NEST privilege:  Hiring prejudice (Canagarajah, 1999; Thomas, 1999)  Student preference(Butler, 2007; Timmis, 2002)  Legal discourse (Ruecker, 2011)  Racism and native speakerism (Kubota & Lin, 2006; Shuck, 2006; Rubin, 1992) Native Speaker Privilege
    6. 6.  A few studies on recruitment discourses  Selvi (2010)  38 ads from TESOL Career Center and 211 from Dave’s ESL Café  60.5% of TESOL ads and 74.4% of Dave’s ESL ads had NES requirement  Other requirements: variety of English, location of degree attainment, residence/citizenship Background
    7. 7.  A few studies on recruitment discourses  Lengeling and Pablo (2012)  Analyzed 39 ELT recruitment documents, mostly from Mexico  NES consistent requirement  Other characteristics: ideal teacher young, English is easy to teach and learn, and that teachers are able to teach in beautiful and exciting places. Background
    8. 8.  Characteristics of CDA:  Uncovers the ways in which discourses create/recreate power hierarchies in society  Recognizes that micro interactions reproduce macro structures  Can focus on both visual and textual  Can focus on sentence level or more broadly on larger sections of discourse Theoretical Framework Fairclough, 1993; 2010
    9. 9.  Google search terms: teach English, teach abroad, teach EFL, english schools [name of country], teach English [insert country].  Selection criteria:  The site was in English, meaning it was targeted towards foreign teachers  The site was a recruitment space for specific schools or programs, often partnered with a TEFL certification program, not a repository of freely posted ELT ads (e.g. Dave’s ESL Cafe)  The selected sites recruited for teaching jobs in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand. Assembling the Corpus
    10. 10.  59 sites selected for analysis:  7 TEFL certification sites  6 global recruitment sites  7 sites oriented towards cultural exchange/gap year  5 school sites recruiting for multiple countries  15 Korean-specific recruitment/school sites  5 Taiwan-specific recruitment/school sites  8 Japan-specific recruitment/school sites  6 China-specific recruitment/school sites Assembling the Corpus
    11. 11.  Based on a preliminary review conducted separately, we developed a list of topoi:  Teacher Qualifications  Benefits  Work Environment  Country Description  Developed a matrix with 20 characteristics centered around these 4 areas.  Completed with the help of WebCorp, a web corpus analyzer. Analysis
    12. 12.  NES requirement on 81% of sites  “WE DO NOT ACCEPT APPLICATIONS FROM NON- NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS AND THOSE NOT RESIDENT IN JAPAN” (capitalization in original) (Modern English, Japan).  “Please also note that it is a requirement from our partner school for you to be native English speaking” (ETA). Overall Trends – NES Requirement
    13. 13.  Alternative qualifications:  “Those who are not native speakers, must display greater qualifications for teaching English then a native speaker, and/or have met with us for personal interviews. A non-native will be scrutinized more before being employed, but once employed they are judged by their ability and their customer's satisfaction just as any other teacher is. We would rather have a non-native teacher who can inspire enthusiastic learning (and spending), than a native speaker who dulls the enthusiasm of our clients.” (Heart English School, Japan) Overall – NES (cont.)
    14. 14.  Immigration Requirements: Passport from U.S. Canada, Ireland, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa  “We seem to get a high amount of applicants from the Philippines. While we appreciate your enthusiasm, we cannot change the rules of the Korean Immigration department.” (Asknow.ca) Overall Trends – Country of Origin
    15. 15.  Picture requirement:  Helped assess the “right candidate”  “If you look old, grey haired, bald, or tired looking, then job offers will be minimal. It does not seem to matter to employers that you were highly qualified or have excellent previous teaching experience” (Teachkoreanz).  “As mentioned elsewhere, it is difficult for non- Caucasian people to find employment teaching in Korea. There is an image that most schools have in their head of who they want to hire” (Asknow.ca). Overall Trends - Appearance
    16. 16.  85% sites had degree requirement, typically from any field  14% required related experience  31% emphasized no experience needed  Ideal teacher  Enthusiastic on 83% of sites  Flexible 64%  “teachers should be open minded, flexible, positive, enthusiastic and have a passion for teaching.” Overall Trends – Other Requirements
    17. 17. Site 1: TEFL Heaven
    18. 18. TEFL Heaven: Marketing Discourse  “A Teacher’s Life” video  Focus on recruit’s needs rather than institutional requirements  “If you are new, you will like. . .”  “If you have a desire to teach English abroad. . .”  References to travel and pleasure  “Ticket to travel”  “Paradisaical bliss”
    19. 19. TEFL Heaven— Images  176 Images from the site:  12 of local people of individual training participants  13 of individual training participants  15 of individual or groups of teachers  21 of individual or groups of students  49 of teachers and students together  66 of participants having fun/ generic images of sites, beaches, etc.
    20. 20. Site 2: Hess Educational Organization
    21. 21.  Catering to inexperienced teachers: “We pick you up from the airport, provide complimentary hotel accommodation, and guide you through more than 70 hours of theory and practicum training before you teach.”  Exotic travel lifestyle: life “filled with fireworks, kung fu, red lanterns, karaoke, hot springs, pushcart vendors, tai chi, fried rice, cute kids.” Hess: Marketing Discourse
    22. 22. Discussion  Colonization of education by marketing discourse (Fairclough, 1993)  Flashiness of advertisements  Students as consumers  Whiteness as “cash value” (Lipsitz, 2006)  Country requirements, exclusion of places like India, Philippines  Exchange value: travel, accommodation, salary, job guarantees, culture  Exoticization of cultures
    23. 23.  Decentralize white and native speaker normativity in classroom  Engage in critical discourse analysis  Read about and discuss white/native speaker privilege  Native and nonnative speakers should work together  Harness native-speaker/white privilege to make institutions question their practice A Few Recommendations
    24. 24.  Butler, Y. G. (2007). How are nonnative-English-speaking teachers perceived by young learners? TESOL Quarterly, 41(4), 731–755.  Canagarajah, S. (1999). Interrogating the ‘‘native speaker fallacy’’: Non-linguistic roots, non-pedagogical results. In G. Braine (Ed.), Nonnative educators in English language teaching (pp. 77–92). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum As- sociates.  Fairclough, N. (1993). Critical discourse analysis and the marketization of public discourse: The universities. Discourse & Society, 4(2), 133-168.  Fairclough, N. (2010). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. New York: Routledge.  Holliday, A. (2005). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.  Thomas, J. (1999). Voices form the periphery: Non-native teachers and issues of credibility. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non-native Educators in English Language Teaching (pp. 5-13). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  Kubota, R., & Lin, A. (2006). Race and TESOL: Introduction to concepts and theories. TESOL Quarterly, 40(3), 471–493. References
    25. 25.  Lengling, M. & Pablo, I. M. (2012) A critical discourse analysis of advertisements: inconsistencies of our EFL profession. In R. Roux, A. M. Vázquez, and N. P. T. Guzmán (Eds.) Research in English language teaching: Mexican perspectives (pp. 91-??). Bloomington: Palivo.  Lipsitz, G. (2006). The possessive investment in whiteness: How white people profit from identity politics. Temple University Press.  Ruecker, T. (2011). Challenging the native and non-native English speaker hierarchy in ELT: New directions from race theory. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 8(4), 400-422.  Rubin, D. L. (1992). Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates’ judgments of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education, 33(4), 511– 542.  Selvi, A. F. (2010). All teachers are equal, but some teachers are more equal than others. WATESOL NNEST Caucus Annual Review, 1, 156-181.  Shuck, G. (2006). Racializing the nonnative English speaker. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5(4), 259–276.  Timmis, I. (2002). Native-speaker norms and international English: A classroom view. ELT Journal, 56(3), 240–249. References
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