Mubina Rauf

Department: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Education
Research Centre/Unit: TESOL

Project Summary

1. Pre-thesis Study - Perspectives on Professionalism (EdD TESOL, University of Exeter

Non-Native English Speaking Teachers’ Professional Identity in the ‘Other’ World

The professional identity of non-native English speaking teachers (NNEST) has been a recurrent issue of debate and research in the TESOL world. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perspectives of NNESTs about their professional identities in the IEPs at Saudi universities where NESTs are in majority. Drawing on the Bakhtinian methods premised on a dialogic approach to exploring teacher identity, semi-structured interviews were used to construct a narrative study around four NNESTs’ experiences at their workplace. Throughout this paper, their stories have been compared and contrasted among themselves and interpretations made according to the context. Teachers’ perception of their professional identities were found to be based on many factors including their personal and educational background, financial discrimination at work, the uncertainty of their jobs, their constant interaction with the NESTs and its influence on their personalities. The study concludes by discussing the emergent themes and identifying steps that could reduce the NEST-NNEST dichotomy.


2. Pre-thesis Study – Critical Issues in Teaching English, EdD TESOL, University of Exeter

A CDA-based Analysis of Neo-Liberal Discourses in EAP Textbooks

This study aimed to problematize, challenge and critically analyze how neoliberal ideologies have penetrated the discourse of the mainstream EAP textbooks to serve the vested interests of the powerful and shape the minds of students when they are at a crucial stage of developing their opinions about their environment and the world in general. Fairclough’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis was adapted and applied to analyse two commonly used EAP textbooks in pre-university English programs.

The findings showed that neoliberalism is either hidden or openly represented in all kinds of symbols and concepts including globalization, individualization, philanthropy, heroism, success, celebrity culture, environmental issues, economics, free market, production growth and much more. All the four texts contained NLD recognizable words, often used as nouns (agents or non-agents), and hence lexical manifestation of neoliberalism. The pedagogical limitations were also implicit and manipulated through the activities before and after the texts. There were repeated examples of misinterpretations. This established the argument that ideology cannot be ruled out in the EAP classrooms as seen in the supposedly neutral content of the selected EAP textbooks.

Alternative context-specific EAP courses could be developed along with indigenous teacher development programs where teachers are trained to hone their linguistic analysis skills that determine the ideological content in the textbooks. This will make them aware of what knowledge their students actually get in the class and how it leaves a lasting effect on their thought process.