Ambiguities and Tensions in English Language Teaching

Portraits of EFL Teachers as Legitimate Speakers

By Peter Sayer

© 2012 – Routledge

240 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138809796
pub: 2014-11-10
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415897730
pub: 2012-06-12
US Dollars$160.00

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About the Book

The central theme of this book is the ambiguities and tensions teachers face as they attempt to position themselves in ways that legitimize them as language teachers, and as English speakers. Focusing on three EFL teachers and their schools in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, it documents how ordinary practices of language educators are shaped by their social context, and examines the roles, identities, and ideologies that teachers create in order to navigate and negotiate their specific context. It is unique in bringing together several current theoretical and methodological developments in TESOL and applied linguistics: the performance of language ideologies and identities, critical TESOL pedagogy and research, and ethnographic methods in research on language learning and teaching. Balancing and blending descriptive reporting of the teachers and their contexts with a theoretical discussion which connects their local concerns and practices to broader issues in TESOL in international contexts, it allows readers to appreciate the subtle complexities that give rise to the “tensions and ambiguities” in EFL teachers’ professional lives.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Exploring the contradictions of language teaching Setting the scene

Chapter 2: Three English teachers

Chapter 3: Squeezing more juice: Portraits of local English teaching in Oaxacan communities

Chapter 4: Legitimacy, symbolic competence, and teaching English

Chapter 5: So they can defend themselves a little: The meanings and contradictions of

teaching English

Chapter 6: Hey, take it easy!: Ambivalence and language ideologies

Chapter 7: I lasted one day and then I was gone: Performing legitimacy

Chapter 8: Conclusions: (Re)legitimizing through tensions and ambiguities

About the Author

Peter Sayer is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics/TESOL in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language