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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Wiggle room for teaching English as a global language? : Western-educated Taiwanese English teachers’ identities and teaching of English writing Lin, Rae Jui-Ping


As the English language spreads around the globe and is used for various purposes in different social and cultural contexts, scholars and local practitioners have called for deconstructing the ideology of native-speakerism (Holliday, 2006, 2015) and reconstructing the local subjectivity of English language education (e.g., Canagarajah, 2005; Kumaravadivelu, 2016). In this transformation process of English language education, language teacher identity has played a central role because how teachers see themselves as English speakers, writers, and teachers is closely linked to what and how they teach in the language classroom (Varghese et al., 2005). Investigating such transformative potential of English writing education in Taiwan, the present ten-month qualitative case study takes social constructionist perspective to examine four Western-educated Taiwanese teachers’ writing and teacher identities and their teaching of English writing in relation to the discourse of native-speakerism in four Taiwanese universities. Based on data generated from interviews, classroom observation, email correspondence, and class materials, the study illustrates that language teachers’ training and writing experiences, their ideologies about the English language, and students’ and administrators’ expectations of how the English language should be taught all have a great impact on teacher identity formation and teaching practices. Two participants (Ava and Beth) depended on native-like English proficiency and Western pedagogical knowledge acquired while studying in Western graduate programs to define who they were as English writing teachers. The discourse of native-speakerism was reinforced in their English writing classrooms, leaving little room for local English norms and pedagogies to develop. In comparison, the other two participants (Sarah and Nita) viewed themselves as multicompetent writers and offered more space in their writing classrooms for developing non-Anglophone Englishes. However, the possibility for writing alternative forms was denied by Nita’s students and administrators, who expected her to help students achieve high scores on standardized tests. The study adds insights into the scholarship of professional identity construction of Western-educated English writing teachers, an area of research that remains scant in quantity. It also provides pedagogical implications for teacher education programs to cultivate more agents of change (Morgan, 2010) in teaching English writing as a global communicative means.

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