31 SES 09, Language in Transnational Educational Fields between Brazil and Europe
This paper approximates postcolonial theories and the perspective of English as an International Language, exposing colonial relations in English teacher education in Brazil and framing their impact on teachers´ identities. The research presented here is based on representations voiced by state-school teachers during an in-service extension course designed by a local university and coordinated by the author of this paper. The analysis of such representations shows how, subjected to coloniality, Brazilian teachers of English tend to be constructed as incompetent, counterfeit professionals whose presence has to be tolerated in the lack of a better alternative, that is, an idealized native-speaker of English. This imaginary is usually present even in educational contexts based on transnational perspectives on teacher education and dedicated to foreign language teachers. These particular spaces tend to emphasize ethical issues involving respect to differences and diversity, but usually leave unchallenged commonsensical concepts of language as code (rather than as spaces of meaning-making) which, in language teacher education, reinforce ideas of neutrality in language and norm-dependence to inner circle countries (Kachru, 1985; Graddol, 2006) and native speakers. Questioning the linguistic construct of “native speaker” (Pennycook and Makoni, 2007), our research stresses perspectives around English as an International Language, together with Pennycook’s notion of “language as a local practice” (2010) and the postcolonial view of performative identity (Butler, 2010; Bhabha, 1994) as possible allies to decolonize the process of English teachers’ professional learning, practice and identity formation. These theoretical frames reconceptualize language as meaning-making (Pennycook, 2010) and define language proficiency in terms of communicability rather than native-speaker emulation, allowing for a situated view of critical literacy and critical pedagogy as developed in a specific context of English teacher education in Brazil.
BHABHA, H. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. BUTLER, J. Performative Agency. Journal of Cultural Economy, v.3, n.2, p. 147-161, 2010. GRADDOL, D. English Next. British Council, 2006. KACHRU, B. Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: the English language in the outer circle. In R. Quirk & HH. G. Widdowson (eds.). English in the world: teaching and learning the language and literatures, Cambridge University, Cambridge, 1985, p. 11-30. PENNYCOOK & MAKONI, S. (eds.) Desinventing and Reconstituting Languages. Clevendon: Multilingual Matters, 2007, p.90-115. PENNYCOOK, A. Critical and Alternative Directions in Applied Linguistics. In: Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v. 33, n. 2, 2010. p.16.01-16.16.
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