Race Tesol

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Race Tesol

  1. 1. The need for an interdisciplinary stance inanalyzing the NES/NNES divide in TESOL Todd Ruecker The University of Texas at El Paso
  2. 2. My purpose Building on Shuck (2006), who showed us how the discourses of native speakerism use similar strategies to racist ones, and Taylor (2006), who argued that postcolonial theory can help us analyze power differences in ELT, I intend to offer a new direction for studying native speakerism by arguing that ELT scholars take a stronger interdisciplinary approach by drawing more fully on race theory. In advocating this new approach, I will utilize Harris’ (1995) concept of“Whiteness as property” in order to provide an example of how drawing from race theory can help us gain a more complex understanding of the workings of native speakerism.Paso © The University of Texas at El
  3. 3. Studies on native speakerism•  Phillipson (1992) questioned belief that native speaker is the best teacher.•  Kramsch (1998) & Cook (1999) argued that multilingual speakers shouldn’t be compared to monolingual NES.•  Others have explored from educator’s perspective (Braine, 1999; Golombek & Jordan, 2005; DePew, 2006).•  Also explored from student angle (Rubin, 1992; Lindemann, 2002; Timmis, 2002; Butler, 2007)•  Argue for English as an international language (EIL) (McKay, 2002; Holliday, 2005)El Paso © The University of Texas at
  4. 4. Need for study on ELT & Race•  “Contrary to the relative absence of discussions on race in TESOL, other fields such as sociology, anthropology, education, and composition studies have both extensively and critically explored issues of race” (Kubota & Lin, 2006, p. 472).•  Studies like Rubin (1992) and Lindemann (2002) and Curtis and Romney’s (2006) collection Color, Race, and English Language Teaching have shown a connection between a teachers’ race/ethnicity and they way they are perceived by learners.•  Some exception in in the 2006 special Critical Inquiry in Language Studies issue on postcolonial approaches to TESOL (i.e. Motha, Taylor) © The University of Texas at El Paso
  5. 5. Why use race theory in analyzingdifference in ELT?•  “I consider linguistic identities to be inextricable from racial identities because I believe Whiteness to be an intrinsic but veiled element of the construct of mainstream English” (Motha, 2006, p. 497).•  “dominant ways of talking about race in the United States persist as templates for creating arguments about language” (Shuck, 2006, p. 273). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  6. 6. Why use race theory in analyzingdifference in ELT?•  Reveals how how the inequality surrounding NES/NNES is, like racial inequality, socially constructed•  Directs us to the role of legal discourse in perpetuating inequality•  Helps us investigate how racial and linguistic prejudice work in tangent to reinforce societal hierarchies © The University of Texas at El Paso
  7. 7. Theoretical framework•  Epistemic rhetoric: “Discourse creates realities rather than truths about realities” (Brummett, 1977).•  Bakhtin: “Any utterance is a link in the chain of speech communion…” (1986, p. 84) © The University of Texas at El Paso
  8. 8. Constructing racial/linguistic difference through legal discourseCheryl Harris’ (1993) “Whiteness as Property”•  “Because whites could not be enslaved or held as slaves, the racial line between white and black was extremely critical; it became a line of protection and demarcation from the potential threat of commodification, and it determined the allocation of the benefits of this form of property. White identity and whiteness were sources of privilege and protection; their absence meant being the object of property” (pp. 1720-1). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  9. 9. Constructing racial/linguisticdifference through legal discourse•  Groups like U.S. English pushing official language policies--attack on ethnic identity (i.e. McKay & Wong, 1996).•  NES teachers as defined by the Korean and Taiwanese governments: •  “You MUST have citizenship and a valid passport from one of the following English speaking countries: Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States…these requirements are enforced by the Korean Ministry of Justice (Immigration) and receiving a visa is not possible if you don’t meet these requirements” (gone2Korea,El2009). © The University of Texas at Paso
  10. 10. Constructing racial/linguistic differencethrough recruitment discourseReview of 61 “Asian” job ads on TEFL.com •  13 no linguistic qualification •  3 bilingual or English with neutral accent •  19 NES •  26 NES from specific countries –  16 from 7-country Korean/Taiwan standard –  6 left out South Africa –  1 left out Ireland•  reflects the findings of Govardhan, Nayar, and Sheorey (1999): a survey of 237 advertisements found that native speaker or native-like was the only common requirement•  reveals how the concept of native speaker, like race, is largely socially constructed © The University of Texas at El Paso
  11. 11. Expectations of whiteness, NESstatus•  Jeremy Betham: “Property is nothing but the basis of expectation consist[ing] in an established expectation, in the persuasion of being able to draw such and such advantage from the thing possessed” (as cited in Harris, 1993, p. 1729)•  TEFL training centers advertising “guaranteed jobs” for NES “teachers.”•  NES teachers often paid more, regardless of qualifications.•  While Korea is expanding its definition of qualified ELT teachers, NES teachers from inner circle countries with 2 year degrees are treated as ELT teachers from other countries with 4 year degrees and a teaching license (Chosun, 2008). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  12. 12. Expectations of whiteness, NESstatus•  While NNES teachers armed with an MA in TESOL may have trouble finding a job, NES teachers are welcomed with the following: •  “Previous teaching experience or a related major is not a requirement to teach English in Korea” (gone2Korea, 2009). •  “The ideal candidate will be someone who works well in a team, has a positive outlook, likes meeting people, making friends and has the ability to adapt to living in a developing country” (TEFL.com) © The University of Texas at El Paso
  13. 13. Right to use and enjoyHarris wrote, •  “Whiteness can move from being a passive characteristic as an aspect of identity to an active entity that…is used to fulfill the will and to exercise power…a white person ‘used and enjoyed’ whiteness whenever she took advantage of the privileges accorded white people simply by virtue of their whiteness” (p. 1734). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  14. 14. Right to use and enjoy•  Despite doing poorly with pop grammar tests during interviews, I was told I did well.•  http://www.hess.com.tw/careers/english/5takes/ © The University of Texas at El Paso
  15. 15. The right to exclude•  Harris wrote, •  “The possessors of whiteness were granted the legal right to exclude others from the privileges inhering in whiteness; whiteness became an exclusive club whose membership was closely and grudgingly guarded” (p. 1736).•  Economic benefits to inner-circle countries to maintain ELT authority and dominance (Graddol, 2006).•  Exclusion of NNES teachers from the club of NES benefits is largely perpetuated by expanding and outer-circle institutions (Canagarajah, 1999). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  16. 16. Why draw from race theory?•  Pennycook (2001) has explained how applied linguistics, and to a greater extent, critical applied linguistics (CAL), are largely interdisciplinary•  According to Pennycook, one of CAL’s primary goals is “to find ways of mapping micro and macro relations, ways of understanding a relation between concepts of society, ideology, global capitalism, colonialism, education, gender, racism, sexuality, class, and classroom utterances, translations, conversations, genres, second language acquisition, media texts” (p. 5). © The University of Texas at El Paso
  17. 17. Why draw from race theory?•  Investigate role of legal discourse•  Piller (2002) & Bashir-Ali (2006) could have benefited by drawing from theories of “passing.”•  Shuck (2006), drawing from Foucault, has written: “Dominant ideologies maintain their hegemonic positions not because they belong only to people in authority but rather because they are pervasive in much larger discourse formations located in a vast array of communicative practices” (p. 274). Can enhance our exploration in this area by drawing from the concept of “everyday racism” (Essed, © The University of Texas at El Paso
  18. 18. Theory of critical negotiation•  From West’s (2002) Signs of Struggle: The rhetorical politics of difference•  “messy, sprawling, and emotional” and helps “create a sense of unease” (p. 15).•  Principles •  “recognize[s] the role and effect of emotion during negotiation” •  “understand[s] that negotiation is a co-constitutive process, that it is at the point of negotiation, of interaction, that meaning and identity are mutually constituted” •  “realize the importance of power relations of those negotiating” •  “insist[s] on situating negotiation within its larger social and historical contexts” © The University of Texas at El Paso
  19. 19. Critical negotiation•  1st: Role of emotion •  Discomfort/defensiveness when discussing race•  2nd: Meaning and identities are co-constituted •  Realize social construction of NES/NNES categories •  Leads to hybrid identities •  Multilingual, multicultural should be the norm •  Disciplinary hybridity•  3rd: Recognize power differences •  Need both NNES & NESs working together•  4th: Situate our discussions in larger contexts •  History of colonial oppression connected with the spread of English •  Layering of small, localized discourses affect large scale •  Drawing on race theory can teach atusPaso © The University of Texas El about larger contexts
  20. 20. Concluding commentsIn order to challenge these internalized beliefs and the power of words like native speaker, we need to expand our efforts by drawing on new tools of analysis in the form of theories developed in other fields. By doing so, we can actively work towards a future in which the teaching qualifications in our field will be based on English proficiency determined by international norms, not native speaker status, and, more importantly, teaching qualifications. Through doing this, we can work towards a more egalitarian relationship among teachers, both native and nonnative speakers, and better working conditions for all. © The University of Texas at El Paso
  21. 21. ReferencesBraine, G. (1999). From the periphery to the center: One teacher’s journey. In G. Braine (Ed.), Non- native educators in English language teaching (pp. 15-28). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.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.), Non-native educators in English language teaching (pp. 77-92). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33(2), 185-209.Curtis, A. & Romney, M. (2006). Color, race, and English language teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.DePew, K.E. (2006). Different writers, different writing: Preparing international teaching assistants for instructional literacy. In P.K. Matsuda, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, and X. You (Eds.), The politics of second language writing: In search of the promised land (pp. 168-187). West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.Essed, P. (1991). Understanding everyday racism: An interdisciplinary theory. London: Sage Publications.Govardhan, A.K., Nayar, B., & Sheorey, R. (1999). Do U.S. MATESOL programs prepare students to teach abroad? TESOL Quarterly, 33(1), 114-125.Graddol, D. (2006). English Next: Why global English may mean the end of “English as a Foreign Language.” London: British Council. University of Texas at El Paso © The
  22. 22. ReferencesHarris, C.I. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard law review, 106(8), 1707-1791.Holliday, A. (2005). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford: Oxford UP.Kramsch, C. (1998). The privilege of the intercultural speaker. In Byram, M. & Fleming, M. (Eds) Language learning in intercultural perspective: Approaches through drama and ethnography (pp. 20-35). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Kubota, R. & Lin, A. (2006). Race and TESOL: Introduction to concepts and theories. TESOL Quarterly, 40(3), 471-493.McKay, S.L. (2002). Teaching English as an international language. Oxford: Oxford UP.Motha, S. (2006). Racializing ESOL teacher identities in U.S. K-12 public schools. TESOL Quarterly, 40(3), 495-518.Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Piller, I. (2002). Passing for a native speaker: Identity and success in second language learning. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 6(2), 179-206. Schell, M. (2008). Colinguals among bilinguals. World Englishes, 27(1), 117-130.Shuck, G. (2006). Racializing the nonnative English speaker. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5(4), 259-76.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. © The University of Texas at El Paso
  23. 23. ReferencesTaylor, L. (2006). Cultural translation and the double movement of difference in learning ‘English as a second identity.’ Critical Inquiry in Language Studies: An International Journal, 3(2 & 3), 101-130.van Dijk, T.A. (2002). Denying racism: Elite discourse and racism. In P. Essed & D. T. Goldberg (Eds.), Race critical theories (pp. 307-324). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.West, T.R. (2002). Signs of struggle. Albany, NY: The State University of New York Press. © The University of Texas at El Paso
  24. 24. Thank you! If you would download a copy of this presentation or learn more about my work, please visit toddruecker.comIf you would like to dialogue more about these issues, please email me at tcruecker@miners.utep.edu © The University of Texas at El Paso

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