Introduction: Apprehending Identity, Experience, and (In)equity Through and Beyond Binaries

  • Bedrettin Yazan
  • Nathanael Rudolph
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


The negotiation of privilege and marginalization in the field of English language teaching (ELT), traces back to the field’s sociohistorical construction in and through the British and American colonial agenda of linguistic, cultural, economic, political, religious, educational and ethnic imperialism (Pennycook A The myth of English as an international language. In: Makoni S, Pennycook A (ed) Disinventing and reconstituting languages. Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, pp 90–115 (2007)). ELT was a vehicle by which to privilege British and American colonizers, and create colonial subjects modeled after their own image (Kumaravadivelu 2003; Pennycook 2010). Thus, ELT was predicated upon fluidly intertwined binaries of being, including colonizer/colonized, and Native Speaker (NS)/Non-Native Speaker (NNS). These categories were value-laden, affording linguistic, cultural and academic authority and “superiority” to individuals associated with the category of “NS,” while Othering the identities of individuals grappling with the epistemic and actualized violence of colonialism (NNSs) (see Kumaravadivelu 2016). As “local” teachers began to enter the classroom, an additional binary emerged -Native English Speaker Teacher (NEST)/Non-Native English Speaker Teacher (NNEST)- privileging “NESTs” over “NNESTs,” as teachers were collectively responsible for targeting an “idealized nativeness” conflated with the identity of an idealized colonizer. “NNESTs’” use of “local” language in the classroom to facilitate learning, was countered by the discourses of the monolingual principle (Howatt 1984), or notion that learning, and learning through, “English,” exclusively, was ideal for maximizing student growth (Hall and Cook 2012). The worldview underpinning this principle marginalized the identities of all individuals whose negotiation of being and becoming did not correspond with that of the idealized “superior.”


  1. Agger, B. (1991). Critical theory, poststructuralism, postmodernism: Their sociological relevance. Annual Review of Sociology, 17, 105–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, G. (2011). Intertextuality. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Amin, N. (1997). Race and the identity of the nonnative ESL teacher. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 580–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, K. T. (2009). Applying positioning theory to the analysis of classroom interactions: Mediating micro-identities, macro-kinds, and ideologies of knowing. Linguistics and Education, 20(4), 291–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aneja, G. A. (2016a). (Non)native speakered: Rethinking (non)nativeness and teacher identity in TESOL teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 572–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aneja, G. A. (2016b). Rethinking Nativeness: Toward a dynamic paradigm of (non)native speakering. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 13(4), 351–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Appadurai, A. (2000). Modernity at large. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. Appleby, R. (2016). Researching privilege in language teacher identity. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 755–768.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Aslan, E., & Thompson, A. S. (2016). Are they really “two different species”? Implicitly elicited student perceptions about NESTs and NNESTs. TESOL Journal, 8(2), 277–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blommaert, J. (2015). Commentary: ‘Culture’ and superdiversity. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 10(1), 22–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Braine, G. (1999). Nonnative educators in English language teaching. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Braine, G. (2010). Nonnative speaker English teachers: Research, pedagogy, and professional growth. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Brutt-Griffler, J., & Samimy, K. K. (1999). Revisiting the colonial in the postcolonial: Critical praxis for nonnative-English-speaking teachers in a TESOL program. TESOL Quarterly, 33(3), 413–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Canagarajah, S. (2006). Negotiating the local in English as a lingua franca. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 197–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Canagarajah, S. (2007). Lingua franca English, multilingual communities, and language acquisition. The Modern Language Journal, 91(1), 923–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Canagarajah, S. (2013). Translingual practice: Global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Canagarajah, S. (2016). TESOL as a professional community: A half century of pedagogy, research, and theory. TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 7–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D. (2013). Towards a plurilingual approach in English language teaching: Softening the boundaries between languages. TESOL Quarterly, 47(3), 591–599.Google Scholar
  19. Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33, 185–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103–115.Google Scholar
  22. Davies, B. (1991). The concept of agency: A feminist poststructuralist analysis. Social Analysis, 30, 42–53.Google Scholar
  23. Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20(1), 43–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Davies, B., & Petersen, E. B. (2005). Intellectual workers (un)doing neoliberal discourse. International Journal of Critical Psychology, 13, 32–54.Google Scholar
  25. Davies, B., Browne, J., Gannon, S., Honan, E., Laws, C., Mueller-Rockstroh, B., & Petersen, E. B. (2004). The ambivalent practices of reflexivity. Qualitative Inquiry, 10(3), 360–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Faez, F. (2011a). Are you a native speaker of English? Moving beyond a simplistic dichotomy. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 8, 378–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Faez, F. (2011b). Reconceptualizing the native/nonnative speaker dichotomy. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 10, 231–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gannon, S., & Davies, B. (2007). Postmodern, poststructural and critical theories. In S. N. Hesse-Biber (Ed.), Handbook of feminist research: Theory and praxis (pp. 71–106). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Hall, G., & Cook, G. (2012). Own-language use in language teaching and learning. Language Teaching, 45(3), 271–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Higgins, C. (2003). “Ownership” of English in the Outer Circle: An alternative to the NS-NNS dichotomy. TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 615–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Higgins, C. (Ed.). (2011). Identity formation in globalizing contexts: Language learning in the new millennium (Vol. 1). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  32. Holliday, A. (2005). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Holliday, A. (2006). Native-speakerism. ELT Journal, 60(4), 385–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Houghton, S. A., & Rivers, D. J. (2013). Native-speakerism in Japan: Intergroup dynamics in foreign language education. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  35. Howatt, A. P. R. (1984). A history of English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Jain, R. (2014). Global Englishes, translinguistic identities, and translingual practices in a community college ESL classroom: A practitioner researcher reports. TESOL Journal, 5(3), 490–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jenkins, J. (2015). Repositioning English and multilingualism in English as a Lingua Franca. Englishes in Practice, 2(3), 49–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kamhi-Stein, L. D. (2016). The non-native English speaker teachers in TESOL movement. ELT Journal, 70(2), 180–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kramsch, C. (2008). Ecological perspectives on foreign language education. Language Teaching, 41, 389–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kramsch, C. (2012). Theorizing translingual/transcultural competence. In G. S. Levine & A. Phipps (Eds.), Critical and intercultural theory and language pedagogy (pp. 15–32). Boston: Heinle.Google Scholar
  41. Kramsch, C. (2014). Teaching foreign languages in an era of globalization: Introduction. The Modern Language Journal, 98(1), 296–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kubota, R. (1998). Ideologies of English in Japan. World Englishes, 17, 295–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kubota, R. (2011). Questioning linguistic instrumentalism: English, neoliberalism, and language tests in Japan. Linguistics and Education, 22(3), 248–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kubota, R. (2013). Language is only a tool’: Japanese expatriates working in China and implications for language teaching. Multilingual Education, 3(1), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kubota, R. (2014). The multi/plural turn, postcolonial theory, and neoliberal multiculturalism: Complicities and implications for applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 37(4), 474–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). A postmethod perspective on English language teaching. World Englishes, 22(4), 539–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2016). The decolonial option in English teaching: Can the subaltern act? TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 66–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Leung, C. (2005). Convivial communication: Recontextualizing communicative competence. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15, 119–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lin, A. M. Y. (2013). Toward paradigmatic change in TESOL methodologies: Building plurilingual pedagogies from the ground up. TESOL Quarterly, 47(3), 521–545.Google Scholar
  50. Llurda, E. (2016). ‘Native speakers’, English and ELT. In G. Hall (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of English language teaching (pp. 51–63). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Lowe, R. J., & Kiczkowiak, M. (2016). Native-speakerism and the complexity of personal experience: A duoethnographic study. Cogent Education, 3(1) (online).Google Scholar
  52. Mahboob, A. (Ed.). (2010). The NNEST lens: Non native English speakers in TESOL. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press.Google Scholar
  53. Mahboob, A., & Lin, A. (2016). Using local languages in English language classrooms. In H. Widodo & W. Renandya (Eds.), English language teaching today: Building a closer link between theory and practice (pp. 25–40). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mahboob, A., & Lin, A. (2018). Local languages as a resource in (language) education. In A. F. Selvi & N. Rudolph (Eds.), Conceptual shifts and contextualized practices in education for glocal interaction: Issues and implications. Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  55. May, S. (2014). The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL, and bilingual education. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Medgyes, P. (1992). Native or non-native: Who’s worth more? ELT Journal, 46(4), 340–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Medgyes, P. (1994). The non-native teacher. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  58. Medgyes, P. (2001). When the teacher is a nonnative speaker. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (pp. 429–442). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.Google Scholar
  59. Menard-Warwick, J. (2008). The cultural and intercultural identities of transnational English teachers: Two case studies from the Americas. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 617–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Motha, S. (2006). Racializing ESOL teacher identities in U.S. K-12 public schools. TESOL Quarterly, 40(3), 495–518.Google Scholar
  61. Motha, S. (2014). Race, empire, and English language teaching: Creating responsible and ethical anti-racist practice. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  62. Motha, S., Jain, R., & Tecle, T. (2012). Translinguistic identity-as-pedagogy: Implications for language teacher education. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching, 1(1), 13–27.Google Scholar
  63. Moussu, L., & Llurda, E. (2008). Nonnative English-speaking English language teachers: History and research. Language Teaching, 41, 315–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Park, G. (2012). “I am never afraid of being recognized as an NNES”: One teacher’s journey in claiming and embracing her nonnative speaker identity. TESOL Quarterly, 46(1), 127–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Park, G. (2015). Situating the discourses of privilege and marginalization in the lives of two East Asian women teachers of English. Race Ethnicity and Education, 18(1), 108–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Park, G. (2017). East Asian women teachers of English: Narratives of where privilege meets marginalization. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  68. Pennycook, A. (2007). The myth of English as an international language. In S. Makoni & A. Pennycook (Eds.), Disinventing and reconstituting languages (pp. 90–115). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  69. Pennycook, A. (2010). Language as a local practice. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  70. Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Procter, J. (2004). Stuart Hall. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  72. Rivers, D. J. (2014). Resistance to the known: Counter-conduct in language education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  73. Rivers, D. J. (2016). Employment advertisements and native-speakerism in Japanese higher education. In F. Copland, S. Garton, & S. Mann (Eds.), LETs and NESTs: Voices, views and vignettes (pp. 79–100). London: British Council.Google Scholar
  74. Rivers, D. J., & Houghton, S. A. (Eds.). (2013). Social identities and multiple selves in foreign language education. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  75. Rivers, D. J., & Ross, A. S. (2013). Idealized English teachers: The implicit influence of race in Japan. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 12, 321–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Rivers, D. J., & Zotzmann, K. (2016). Isms in language education: Oppression, intersectionality and emancipation. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  77. Rudolph, N. (2012). Borderlands and border crossing: Japanese professors of English and the negotiation of translinguistic and transcultural identity. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park.Google Scholar
  78. Rudolph, N. (2016a). Negotiating borders of being and becoming in and beyond the English language teaching classroom: Two university student narratives from Japan. Asian Englishes, 18(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Rudolph, N. (2016b). Beyond essentialism: Apprehending “identity” and “motivation” through a poststructuralist lens. In M. Apple, D. Da Silva, & T. Fellner (Eds.), L2 selves and motivations in Asian contexts (pp. 217–227). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  80. Rudolph, N. (2018a). Idealization of native speakers and native English speaker teachers. In J. I. Liontas (Ed.), TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching (online). Wiley.
  81. Rudolph, N. (2018b). Education for glocal interaction beyond essentialization and idealization: Classroom explorations and negotiations. In A. F. Selvi & N. Rudolph (Eds.), Conceptual shifts and contextualized practices in education for glocal interaction: Issues and implications (pp. 147–174). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  82. Rudolph, N., Selvi, A. F., & Yazan, B. (2015). Conceptualizing and confronting inequity: Approaches within and new directions for the “NNEST movement”. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 12(1), 27–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Rutherford, J. (1990). The third space: Interview with Homi Bhabha. In J. Rutherford (Ed.), Identity, community, culture, difference (pp. 207–221). London: Lawrence and Wishart.Google Scholar
  84. Sayer, P. (2012). Ambiguities and tensions in English language teaching: Portraits of EFL teachers as legitimate speakers. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  85. Selvi, A. F. (2014). Myths and misconceptions about nonnative English speakers in the TESOL (NNEST) movement. TESOL Journal, 5(3), 573–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Selvi, A. F. (2016). Native or non-native English-speaking professionals in ELT: ‘That is the question!’ or ‘Is that the question?’. In F. Copland, S. Garton, & S. Mann (Eds.), LETs and NESTs: Voices, views and vignettes (pp. 51–67). London: British Council.Google Scholar
  87. Selvi, A. F., & Rudolph, N. (2018). Introduction. In A. F. Selvi & N. Rudolph (Eds.), Conceptual shifts and contextualized practices in education for glocal interaction: Issues and implications (pp. 1–17). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  88. Shin, H., & Kubota, R. (2008). Post-colonialism and globalization in language education. In B. Spolsky & F. Hult (Eds.), The handbook of educational linguistics (pp. 206–219). Oxford: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Simon-Maeda, A. (2011). Being and becoming a speaker of Japanese: An autoethnographic account (Vol. 53). Bristol: Multilingual Matters..Google Scholar
  90. Swan, A., Aboshiha, P., & Holliday, A. (Eds.). (2015). (En)countering native-speakerism: Global perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  91. Tatar, S., & Yildiz, S. (2010). Empowering nonnative-English speaking teachers in the classroom. In A. Mahboob (Ed.), The NNEST lens: Nonnative English speakers in TESOL (pp. 114–128). Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  92. Toh, G. (2014). English for content instruction in a Japanese higher education setting: Examining challenges, contradictions and anomalies. Language and Education, 28(4), 299–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Toh, G. (2015a). A tale of two programs’: Interrogating ‘open (closed) ness’ and ‘cultural diversity’ through critical observations of two Japanese University English language programs. Policy Futures in Education, 13(7), 900–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Toh, G. (2015b). Exposing and dialogizing racism through counter-storytelling and critical pedagogy in a Japanese EAP situation. Power and Education, 7(2), 169–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Toh, G. (2016). English as medium of instruction in Japanese higher education: Presumption, mirage or bluff? London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Vaughan, K. (2004). Total eclipse of the heart? Theoretical and ethical implications of doing post-structural ethnographic research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 25(3), 389–403.Google Scholar
  97. Weedon, C. (1997). Feminist practice and poststructuralist theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  98. Wu, A. (2010). NNEST of the month: Interview with Noam Chomsky. Retrieved from the Multilinguals in TESOL blog at
  99. Yazan, B. (2017). “It just made me look at language in a different way:” ESOL teacher candidates’ identity negotiation through teacher education coursework. Linguistics and Education, 40, 38–49.Google Scholar
  100. Yazan, B. (2018). Identity and non-native speaker teachers. In J. I. Liontas (Ed.), TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching (online). Wiley.
  101. Yazan, B., & Rudolph, N. (2018). Advocacy. In J. I. Liontas (Ed.), TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching (online). Wiley.
  102. Yoo, I. S. (2014). Nonnative teachers in the expanding circle and the ownership of English. Applied Linguistics, 35(1), 82–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Department of EnglishMukogawa Women’s UniversityNishinomiya-shiJapan

Personalised recommendations