English Teachers in Colombia: Ideologies and Identities in Academic Writing
Keywordscritical discourse analysis
Committee ChairWaugh, Linda
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractEnglish Language Teaching (ELT) can be considered an ideological enterprise especially at a time when the spread of English and the ELT profession are related to post-colonial and capitalist interests (Phillipson, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006; Pennycook, 1994, 1997a; Canagarajah,1999b). In this context, nonnative English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) face particular challenges related to the prevailing ideologies of English, which has consequences in terms of roles, status, power, and access. This dissertation is a critical discourse analysis of the theses written by twenty in-service teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Colombia on completion of a one-year graduate program, during which they were acquainted with theories, approaches, and methodologies in the field of ELT. The objective is, through a close analysis of the language feature of the texts, 1) to identify ideologies of English, teaching and learning, and 2) to describe the identities the teachers construe for themselves in their writing. The analysis is text-driven and it uses categories from different functional approaches. The analysis of the texts shows that the writers engage in ideological discourses regarding the English language, the social and economic consequences of knowing English, and the cultural aims of foreign language teaching. Their discourses convey conceptions of teaching, learning and research that are influenced by acritical interpretations of the literature available to them. This does not seem to contribute to solving their practical problems and is likely to contribute to the maintenance of the students' established roles in their communities. The teacher-authors are faced with the challenge of dealing with the contradicting interests of their own ideals of education, the constraints of the conventions of the discourse community they are trying to enter, the institutional pressures to be updated with newer trends in applied linguistics and obtain visible results, and the needs of the country to find a place in the globalized economy. The study points to the need to encourage more critical interpretations and applications of the theories and approaches emanating from the traditional academic centers which in turn should also take interest in examining the pattern of the unilateral flow of knowledge and its consequences.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching