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“I Am Never Afraid of Being Recognized as an NNES”: One Teacher's Journey in Claiming and Embracing Her Nonnative-Speaker Identity



With an increase in the number of learners and speakers of English as an additional language entering the English language teaching field, especially in Outer and Expanding Circle countries and some migrating into the Inner Circle countries (e.g., Jenkins, 2009), there is an urgent need to prepare, and understand the experiences of, English language teachers from diverse backgrounds in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) programs. In view of this burgeoning need, TESOL programs could tailor their curricula to meet the academic and professional needs of all students planning to teach English in worldwide contexts. To this end, this article presents one thread of a larger study examining the experiences of five East Asian women before and during their TESOL programs. Snapshots are provided of one TESOL student whose academic and professional experiences highlight the disconnectedness between her experiences in China, her TESOL program, and her mentored student teaching experience. An exploration of this student's identity transformation is followed by a discussion of implications for TESOL programs.

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