University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Competence, confidence and identity: Multilingual English Teachers as role models for ELF users.

posted on 2023-06-08, 06:38 authored by Andrew Blair
This paper presents part of a broader study investigating identity issues with Multilingual English Teachers (METs). Using interviews and online discussion with teachers who have 'crossed borders' in literal and metaphorical senses, the study addresses some key questions facing the teaching and learning of English in the 21st century. Drawing on the work of Cook (1992, 2008 etc.) on multicompetence as the goal of SLA, Pavlenko (2003) refers to a 'reimagined, multicompetent community' of METs. Moussu & Llurda (2008) and Braine (2010) have charted the development of the 'NNST movement' over recent years. Pennycook (2008) claims that English as a global language has no 'native speakers', only multicompetent users, and is a language 'always in translation'. However, questions and paradoxes remain, with teachers arguably holding on to NS norms and goals (e.g. in pronunciation), having invested heavily in these as part of their own sociolinguistic identity (Norton, 2000) and professional training. If 'the teacher is the target' (Kirkpatrick, 2010), how can these METs best present themselves as role models for learners, who may have ELF purposes as users of the language? How do METs respond to the professional and personal challenges involved, and how do they perceive themselves in terms of their linguistic and pedagogic competence? How is their confidence and sense of 'plausibility' (Prabhu, 1990) affected by these issues, and do they agree that they have 'nothing to lose but [their] nagging inferiority complex' (Rajagopalan, 2005)? References Braine, G. (2010) Nonnative Speaker English Teachers: Research, Pedagogy, and Professional Growth. Abingdon: Routledge. Cook, V. (1992) 'Evidence for multi-competence.' Language Learning, 42 (4); pp 557-591. Cook, V. (2008) Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. (4th ed.) London: Hodder Education. Kirkpatrick, A. (2010) 'English as an Asian Lingua Franca: Implications for policy and pedagogy.' Paper presented at 3rd International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca; Vienna, May 2010. Moussu, L. & Llurda, E. (2008) 'Non-native English-speaking language teachers: History and research'. Language Teaching 41/3; pp 315-348. Norton, B. (2000) Identity and Language Learning: Gender, Ethnicity and Educational Change. Harlow: Pearson Education. Pavlenko, A. (2003) '"I never knew I was a bilingual": Reimagining teacher identities in TESOL.' Journal of Language, Identity, and Education. 2/4; pp 251-168. Pennycook, A. (2008) 'English as a language always in translation.' European Journal of English Studies, 12/1' 33-47. Prabhu, N. (1990) 'There is no best method why?' TESOL Quarterly, 24/2; pp 161-176. Rajagopalan, K. (2005) 'Non-native speakers of English and their anxieties: Ingredients for an experiment in action research.' In E. Llurda (ed.) Non-native language teachers: Perceptions, challenges, and contributions to the profession. (pp 283-303). New York: Springer.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

4th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca

Event location

Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China

Event type


Event date


Department affiliated with

  • Sussex Centre for Language Studies Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected