Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: Transnational Practices in the Saudi TESOL Teacher Education Landscape

Eman AlJuhani, Royal Commission in Yanbu, Colleges and Institutes (Saudi Arabia)


In the age of mobility—a mobility of knowledge, languages, cultures and practices—hundreds of female TESOL teachers from Asian, African, American, and Arab neighboring  countries and Europe are now teaching English language in Saudi higher education institutions. These teachers often join Saudi public and private schools with different language pedagogies and ideologies as well as various forms of capital (e.g., symbolic, economic, linguistics). Conceptually, these transnational teachers have created a learning environment in which transnational discourses have been deeply penetrated into the TESOL policy, curricula, and classroom pedagogical practices.
Through a 15-week ethnographic study, this paper critically examines the ways in which a number of 15 female pre-service teachers or student-teachers  from the Department of Applied Linguistics at Union University (a pseudonym) negotiate, enact and justify their classroom pedagogical practices during their practicum course at public schools, where curricula, students, and teachers are all local (i.e., Saudis). Throughout the course of this study, pre and post-performance surveys are utilized to document the empirical record of student-teachers’ attitudes, teaching strategies, material design and management, and course expectations. Classroom observations, semi-structured interviews coupled with analysis of weekly experiential journals, bi-weekly reports, e-portfolios and reflective essays are utilized to further explore the underlying assumptions behind their classroom pedagogical practices. This chapter argues that due to the conflicting discourses between the transnational TESOL curricula these students had received at their university and the national English language teaching (ELT) curricula they are required to teach at public school, they have been put at multiple crossroads, including tensions, contradictions, paradoxes, ambivalent positions and other state of mind. It also highlights several inconsistencies between the student teachers’ performance and the real- life teaching practice and models. The chapter closes with pedagogical implications for TESOL teacher education in the transnational world and some critical questions for the TESOL teacher education community.

Keywords: Transnational, TESOL, ELT. 

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