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Crossing borders: identity issues for Speakers of Other Languages Teaching English.

posted on 2023-06-07, 22:18 authored by Andrew Blair
This paper examines the linguistic and professional identities of SOLTEs (Speakers of Other Languages Teaching English), in particular those who have crossed the border to teach in the UK. With the growing majority of English speakers being L2 users with lingua franca communicative purposes, this raises complex issues for the majority of teachers similarly defined as non-native. Recent literature from an ELF/WEs perspective highlights some of these: Bernat (2008) on impostor syndrome; Pavlenko (2003) on a reimagined, multicompetent community; Jenkins (2007) on conflicted attitudes of NNS teachers towards ELF; Moussu and Llurda (2008) on the many layers that constitute language teachers and their dynamic, context-dependent identities. Central research questions are: In what ways do Speakers of Other Languages Teaching English (SOLTEs) construct, develop and manage their identities as learners, users and teachers of English within a globalised context (Seargeant, 2008)? What are the main personal and professional influences on these multilingual, multicultural teachers, in terms of initial training, development, discourse and beliefs about English language teaching and learning? These themes are discussed alongside data from interviews and online discussion with teachers, aimed at clarifying what it means to these individuals to say: I am an English teacher.


Publication status

  • Published

Presentation Type

  • lecture

Event name

Quality in TESOL Education annual seminar; British Council

Event location


Event type


Event date

December 2010

Department affiliated with

  • Sussex Centre for Language Studies Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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