This blog is based on my PhD dissertation research project, which looked at the adjustment process of sojourning English language teachers (ELTs).
The posts that appear on the main page of the blog are categorized on themes that emerged from the dissertation.
- Early Transition Period – These posts are about the first few months of sojourning ELTs arriving to their host country. According to studies on sojourners in general, this is the most emotionally volatile period of the sojourn, unless of course a sojourner leaves the country in a bad way.
- Language Learning Narratives – Many sojourning ELTs blog about learning the language(s) of their host country. Although it was not the main focus of my dissertation, I posit that learning the language(s) of the host country eases the adjustment process. As a language educator, this seems too obvious of a position–common sense.
- Cultural Learning Narratives – These posts feature most of what is classically known as “culture shock.” I believe the way one interprets and reacts to their own culture shock says more about the “shocked” than it does about the culture.
- Classroom & Student Culture Issues – These posts are about sojourners describing their adjustment to a specific classroom and to particular students that have caught their attention, either positively or negatively. I hope that we can find human universals rather than (or perhaps through) stereotypes from these posts.
- Host Institution Issues & Narratives – These posts are about sojourners describing their adjustment to teaching in their host institutions, which could be public schools, universities, private language academies, etc.
- Critical Reflections – These posts are the most reflective on what it means to be a sojourner or an English language teacher or both. These posts may be the most soul-searching and hopefully the most humanizing posts that show ELTs as a diverse and complex group of individuals. Eventually, this category may split in two if I find many sojourners reflecting on the global spread of English. If so, this category will show how some ELTs are conscious of the benefits and disadvantages of this spread.
My goal is to help the English language teaching community and researchers better understand the contexts and how similar and different they are when compared to English language teachers who teach in their own countries.
I am purposely avoiding the terms native speaker and non-native speaker because I don’t believe English belongs to certain type of speaker. However, I believe this blog may reveal the complexity of how these constructs are imagined by teachers, students, and society.