Teaching English as an International Language: Identity, Resistance and Negotiation, organised by Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies (GES). Speaker: Phan Le Ha, Monash University
Building on both Western and Asian theoretical resources and a critical examination of English as an international language, this presentation examines how Western-trained Vietnamese teachers of English see themselves as professionals and individuals in relation to their work practices. It reveals the tensions, compromises, negotiations and resistance in their enactment of different roles and selves, especially when they are exposed to values often associated with the English-speaking West. The ways they perceive their identity formation problematise and challenge the seemingly dominant views of identity as having no 'core', always changing and fragmented. Their experiences highlight the importance of the sense of belonging and being, connectedness, continuity and a coherent growth in identity formation. Their attachment to a particular locality and their commitment to perform the moral guide role as English language teachers serve as the most powerful platform for all their other identities to be constructed, negotiated and reconstituted.
In this presentation, I will also discuss how my autoethnography has informed, influenced and challenged the ways I approached the issues raised above and then argue for the validity of incorporating the researcher-as-insider perspectives in research practices and the need to bring more 'Southern theory' (Connell, 2007) to scholarly discussions in Western academia.
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