The Role of Context in Language Teachers' Self Development and Motivation: Perspectives from Multilingual Settings

Author: Amy S. Thompson

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Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm

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This book unpacks data from conversations with bi-/multilingual EFL teachers whose L1s are languages other than English and who are from understudied contexts – Argentina, Egypt, Estonia, Senegal, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam – to provide insights into the formation of ideal teacher selves. The author discusses the complexities surrounding the development of the teachers' selves and motivation, as well as their intertwinement with the sociopolitical realities of their individual contexts. The work reveals how these realities, and the specific social interactions that occur therein, influence the language learning and teaching processes; it also challenges the notions of and the need for a native/non-native speaker dichotomy in the field. Expanding on Ushioda's (2009) person-in-context approach and reflecting on the multilingual settings of the teachers, the integration of the context-specific politics of language learning and teaching is a fresh approach to work in motivation.

Amy S. Thompson takes us on a dialectical journey between self and context as it informs being and becoming a multilingual user/teacher and leaves us with a myriad of questions, future directions, and implications to ponder in a world plagued by institutional racism, systemic inequalities, and professional discrimination.

Ali Fuad Selvi, Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus, Turkey

Focusing on EFL teachers who are not first language speakers of English and who work in diverse cultural settings, this book brings together richly illuminating insights into their motivations, experiences and professional development. As Thompson's analysis shows, teachers' lives, contexts and perspectives truly matter, and her account makes for compelling reading.

Ema Ushioda, University of Warwick, UK

Amy S. Thompson is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Department Chair of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at West Virginia University, USA. Her primary research interests involve individual differences in SLA and their interaction with multilingualism. She is co-editor, with Ursula Lanvers and Martin East, of Language Learning in Anglophone Countries: Challenges, Practices, Ways Forward (2020, Palgrave MacMillan) and has published in a range of Applied Linguistics journals.


1. Introduction

2. Senegal: 'We English teachers, we speak English'

3. Vietnam: 'English is a privilege for me'

4. Egypt: 'Why is he comparing her to a summer's day?'

5. Argentina: 'Learning the language will never end'

6. Turkey: 'I'm better than these guys'

7. Ukraine: 'I know how my people think'

8. Estonia: 'Teachers speak better'

9. Final Thoughts


Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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