27.3569, FYI: Call for Chapters: Native-Speaker English Teachers in the Workplace

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LINGUIST List: Vol-27-3569. Sun Sep 11 2016. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 27.3569, FYI: Call for Chapters: Native-Speaker English Teachers in the Workplace

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Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2016 21:25:58
From: Damian Rivers [rivers at fun.ac.jp]
Subject: Call for Chapters: Native-Speaker English Teachers in the Workplace

Call for Chapters (Deadline November 1 2016)

Native-Speaker English Teachers in the Workplace:

Lived Experience, Status and Positioning

Editor: Dr. Damian J. Rivers

While the binary division between the so-called native speaker and the
non-native speaker has been challenged and theoretically dismantled (see
Musha-Doerr, 2009; Pederson, 2012 and Rajagopalan, 1997 for example), within
contemporary professional practice and real-world environments “language
teachers, researchers and academics from various backgrounds appear content
with performing discursive routines producing outcomes and observations so
predictable that it is as if those discussions and debates never actually took
place” (Rivers, 2017). Evidence can most commonly be seen in the recruitment
practices and discourses surrounding English language teaching where those
classified as non-native speakers face real instances of prejudicial and
discriminatory treatment (see Mahboob and Golden, 2013; Rivers, 2015 and
Ruecker and Ives, 2015 for example). Yet the juncture at which
language-teaching professionals are recruited represents a mere fragment of
lived experience as a language-teaching professional (one that actually exists
prior to recruitment into the institution). More problematic evidence can be
seen within those professional organizations, who, through rhetoric indicative
of a “warped sense of equality” (Garry, 2006: 9), actively promote the
division of language-teaching professionals on the basis of reductive logic
(e.g., the continued hosting in TESOL of the NNEST Movement and the recent
introduction of the TESOL award for an outstanding paper on NNEST issues).
Such compensations, not only weaken the demand for personal responsibility,
but also speak to the allure of victimhood and the unspoken recognition that
being categorized as a victim has distinct advantages to the point that many
within contemporary society actively seek classification as a victim (Green,
2006). However, the legitimacy of the victim and their claims can only ever be
expressed in direct comparison to a supposed oppressor or perpetrator and the
native-speaker language-teaching professional, condemned by the ambiguities of
ideology, continues to be cast as the exclusive occupier of this role. 

In recent times we have seen the dynamics between native-speaker and
non-native speaker language-teaching professionals become increasingly fixed
and entrenched within a rather toxic and unproductive discursive pattern. One
can point toward the idea of native-speakerism (Holliday, 2005) as being
unhelpful in deconstructing the binaries and divisions between
language-teaching professionals, many of who remain trapped in short-sighted
discourses of blame, entitlement and fantasy (see Myint, 2002 and Yoo, 2014).
With reference to the danger of entrapment within pre-determined
terminologies, Houghton and Rivers (2013: 3) note how “the perpetrators and
the victims may or may not be implied by the terms themselves, with the
obvious danger being that the mere use of any given term (especially terms
such as orientalism, sexism, male chauvinism and feminism) may accuse a
certain group by automatically suggesting in the minds of people who are the
perpetrators (in need of challenge) and who are the victims (in need of
protection)”. The authors further highlight how “the same can be said of
native-speakerism, a term which, within its present (albeit rather recently
coined definition) primarily casts ‘native speakers’ from the English-speaking
West as the perpetrators of native-speakerism (the subjects of the verb) and
‘non-native speakers’ from the English-speaking West as the victims (the
objects of the verb)”. 

Moreover, given that the “established belief” (Holliday, 2005: 6) of
native-speakerism has been ideologically framed, it denies contemporary
language-teaching professionals of all backgrounds an opportunity to escape or
overcome participation in the same cycles of symbolic violence. And, in
instances when native-speaker language-teaching professionals do encounter
actual instances of prejudice and discrimination, ideological ambiguities deny
them real-world protections under local laws or any modicum of sympathy and
support for their claims within the profession. Green (2006: 41) describes how
“a further consequence of emphasizing mutually exclusive group identities is
that the potential to settle difference through reason itself is weakened…I
have in mind occasions when the non-victim is defined as incapable of
understanding the plight of the victim: no white can understand the
predicament of a black person; no man can comprehend the predicament of a
woman. Any comment the outsider makes is unavoidably prejudiced and so the
possibility of resolving conflicts by the exchange of views is ruled out”. As
professional experience has revealed in attempting to resist these
ideologically framed discourses, binaries and practices, it is “useless to try
to refute an ideology [as the] attempt to refute it is likely to elicit
defensiveness and hostility” (Deutsch, 2015: 12). In other words, the
native-speaker language-teaching professional as an abstraction, condemned as
the ideological oppressor, can never been seen or understood as the victim of
real-world language-based prejudice and discrimination. This situation must
change in order to better reflect Toh’s (2013: 183-84) plea for the profession
to better “distinguish between native speaker as the socio-discursive and
socio-semiotic construct that it is, and native speakers as the unique
individuals (and indeed professionals) encountered in daily life and/or the
workplace”. The proposed volume is interested in the professionals encountered
in daily life within the workplace and how these professionals manage, relate
to and reflect upon a status (self-defined or imposed) as a native-speaker
language teacher.

Given that the background of conflict remains, the proposed volume seeks to
document, across a variety of local and national contexts, the lived workplace
experiences, institutional status and institutional positioning of those
English language-teaching professionals defined, categorized and assumed as
native speakers. While the experiences of so-called and often self-claimed
non-native speakers have been frequently reported (see Braine, 2010, 2012 for
example) in relation to their workplace experiences and struggles, the native
speaker language-teaching professional has primarily been treated within the
literature as an abstraction or a product of linguistic speculation (see
Singh, 1998 for example) and therefore their real-world experiences within the
workplace have either been silenced or limited to a small volume of personal
narratives such as in Rivers (2013) and Bueno and Caesar (2003). The proposed
volume is particularly interested in documentations that challenge the
assumption that native speaker language-teaching professionals are the
exclusive recipients of a higher institutional status or better working
conditions than their non-native speaking counterparts. In other words, the
proposed volume seeks to better drawn attention to the fact that “victim and
perpetrator are often fluid categories” (Jacoby, 2015: 515) and that no single
group should be able to claim legitimacy as either the exclusive victim or
perpetrator. Through such documentations, it is believed that all
language-teaching professionals can be brought closer together without the
burden of being defined as either a native speaker or non-native speaker. To
this end, the proposed volume is motivated by a desire to unify rather than
divide by challenging and thus changing the fundamental way in which the
entire TESOL profession categorizes language-teaching professionals.

All methodological approaches will be considered although potential authors
are requested to be particularly sensitive to the intricate dynamics
surrounding instances where conflations of race, nationality and language
status are manipulated within the workplace to normalize otherwise prejudicial
practices. Potential authors are also cautioned against offering detailed
workplace narratives that lack actual evidence to support the claims being
made. Interested authors are invited to submit a 300-word abstract and a
50-word author-bio to the editor, Dr. Damian J. Rivers (rivers at fun.ac.jp) (see
http://www.djrivers.com for previous works published) no later than November 1
2016. Selected authors will be notified of their inclusion by November 15
2016. First draft chapters of 7,000 words will be required by March 1 2017 and
publication will be sought with a major international publisher (e.g.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)



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