What is a sojourning ELT?

A sojourning English language teacher (ELT) is one who is a temporary resident of a country with the specific purpose of teaching English.  The term sojourner is taken from acculturation studies in the field of psychology.  The term English language teacher (ELT) is purposely kept ambiguous to refer to what is commonly and often incorrectly known as native speakers and non-native speakers of English.  I have purposely removed the “native” label from English speakers to remove the false dichotomy that originated from the colonialist era and mindset.

Other common labels that I would like to avoid for English language teachers are :

  • ESL teachers as English is often the third, fourth, or first-and-a-half language of many English language learners
  • EFL teachers as English is becoming less and less foreign as it spreads throughout the world
  • English teachers as that often evokes images of English literature teachers above English language teachers


Intercultural competence

Sociocultural knowledge base

Professional identity



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