Proficiency and professionalism: Arab teachers' perceptions of professional identity in Saudi Arabia
Keywords:non-native English teachers, Saudi Arabia, teacher agency, othering, positive self-image, proficiency, professionalism
The study investigates Arab female teachers' perceptions of their professional identity as nonnative speaker teachers of English in the context of higher education in Saudi Arabia, an EFL context. The study was undertaken in response to recent calls for shifting the focus of Non-Native English Speaking Teachers (NNEST) research to the lives and contexts of nonnative English teachers in outer and expanding circles to give these teachers, often relegated to a marginal position in the profession, a 'voice' in professional discourses. The specific objectives were, first, to give these teachers, often relegated to a marginal position in the profession, a 'voice' in professional discourses, and second, to add to the research knowledge about NNESTs. In-depth interviews were conducted with 6 Arab teachers; they originated from different countries but were all working in an English Language Centre at a Saudi public-sector university at the time of the study. Study findings reveal with the participants’ confidence in their proficiency and professionalism as well as in their NNEST identity compared to native speaker teachers in the same context. The concepts of 'capitalization' and 'refusal' identified by Jensen, S. Q. (2011). ‘Othering, identity formation and agency’. Qualitative Studies, 2(2), 63-78, in his study of ethnic minority men in Denmark as reaction to 'othering' discourses, as well as teacher agency are used to understand non-native speaker Arab teachers’ refusal to be relegated to a lower status and their sense of pride in their NNEST identity.
Copyright (c) 2021 Kashmir Journal of Language Research
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.