Power and Ownership Within the NS/NNS Dichotomy

  • I-Chen Huang
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


Drawing on Bakhtinian dialogism (The dialogic imagination: four essays. University of Texas Press, Austin, 1981), this study examines power and ownership within the NS/NNS dichotomy in Taiwan. Bakhtin explicates identity, similar to one who has dialogues with others. One’s identity emerges from appropriating voices which are characterized with status and values; meanwhile, dialoguing creates space for negotiating one’s standpoint. This study comprises my narrative and 27 qualitative interviews with NNS college students. The students’ interviews are juxtaposed with my narrative to explore the effect of an idealized NS on a NNS’s self-perception. The study found that the NNS identity to which my students and I subscribed, positioned us as permanent English learners, constantly chasing English knowledge. While a NS’s accent was deemed as desirable, a NNS teacher’s fluency in English and pedagogical expertise were acknowledged in order to have her accent dismissed. The study concludes that a NNS identity evolves from a dynamic and conflicting process.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishWenzao Ursuline University of LanguagesKaohsiungTaiwan

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