22 SES 09 A, Internationalisation in Higher Education: Academic Staff
For the English language teaching profession, native English speaker (NES) has been valued as the ideal model for language production and repositories of cultural information (Braine, 2010; Kirkpatrick, 2010). This group of teachers, therefore, is considered a more privileged professional group than the non-native one (Mahboob, Uhrig, Newman, & Hartford, 2004). Regarding the privilege from their language and culture, without much relevant academic qualification, these expatriates NES have been offered teaching positions in every level of Education, including in the territory level, particularly in Asian contexts where English teachers are often idealized on the basis of their race (Goto-Butler, 2007; Murchadha & Flynn, 2018). Due to the demand that exists globally for NES as a standard of grammar and pronunciation, the studies on their professional development and work condition have increased in relevance. Teacher work condition has been proven meaningfully impacts teacher professional development and teacher teaching practices (e.g., Atwal, 2013; Gore & Bowe, 2015; Timperley, 2008). Educational researchers also contended that teacher work condition affects professional development and subsequently benefits student learning (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 2005; Inger, 1993; Timperley & Alton-Lee, 2008).
This mixed-method case study accordingly contributes to the field of language teaching and higher education by exploring work condition and professional development situation of a group of annual-contract expatriate native English speaker (NES) lecturers working at a specific English language center of a leading university in Thailand in two specific aspects, (1) their professional development opportunities; and (2) the extent of workplace support and work condition. Multiple data sources are collected from expatriate NES lecturers (n=8) and the workplace administrative team (n=4). The findings point to the underprivileged work conditions of expatriate NES lecturers in several aspects namely (1) professional development opportunities (e.g., funding models and resource allocation); (2) responsibilities and entitlements; (3) recognitions and rewards; and (4) involvement in decision-making processes. It is not only the workplace policy that has limited these expatriate lecturers’ professional development opportunities—the lecturers have at the same time disengaged themselves from such opportunities. This study, accordingly, encourages further investigation on the complex phenomena regarding factors that propel their disengagement.
In order to provide in-depth analysis and to reveal a thorough description of expatriate lecturers’ experience of their workplace support and professional development opportunities, the researcher employed a case study research paradigm to conduct the study. This specific research also required the combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection tools (i.e., questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and written documents), and analysis techniques (Open and Axial Coding [Strauss & Corbin, 1998]) for the purposes of breadth and depth of understanding. In particular, to systematically identify expatriate NES lecturer participants’ perception towards their workplace support, this study employed Australian sessional staff standards framework (BLASST, 2013; Harvey, 2013; Luzia et al., 2013) to frame the study. Based on the preliminary data collection period, the researcher learned that the expatriate NES lecturer was treated differently from the local teaching faculty. The major difference was that these expatriate lecturers were hardly promoted or offered a tenure contract. They have been treated more like the sessional staff in many aspects (e.g., promotion, resources, and funding). That is why the sessional staff standards framework has brought in. This framework suggests three guiding principles as the focus. The three principles include (1) quality learning and teaching, (2) support for staff, and (3) sustainability. These three principles were employed as a guide for developing a questionnaire, interview questions, and for the analysis of the data for this current study. The first set of questionnaires targeted on opinions of expatriate lecturers, and the second one focused on those of the workplace administrators. These participants (N=12) were further provided opportunities to share their opinions towards the issues through semi-structured interview sessions. Documents indicating professional development opportunities and the nature of teaching contracts were also collected. All of the participants were invited to join this study in the recognition of ethical concerns under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018).
Statistical data indicated that in the expatriate lecturer job description there was no detailed statement about the specific skills required for their teaching (M =3.75, SD=0.43). When asked if structured, systematic, and accessible development options were in place for them, they also indicated disagreement (M=3.13, SD=0.59); the administrators revealed similar thoughts through both the questionnaire and the interviews. There was also neither recognition nor rewards for their hard work. Expatriate lecturers and administrators disagreed (M =4.50, SD=0.50; M =4.25, SD=1.3, respectively) with the statement that there were special categories of teaching awards that existed for expatriate lecturers. The data also showed neither a glimpse of opportunities to the expat to be involved in the decision-making processes, nor the lecturers’ own desire to be part of them. The interviews and written documents similarly revealed a situation of inequality in this specific workplace. However, when asked to describe how the participants felt when experiencing less structure in terms of the job description and vague information about their rights and responsibilities, they indicated no sign of disappointment or grievance. These lecturers revealed that they were comfortable at a certain level rather than frustrated as can be seen, for example, in the following interview extracts: Actually, I am fine with it. I found it pretty relaxed and we can be a bit layback. No one is going to look over your shoulder and judge you. (exM10, interview, 2018) It can be deduced that the actual situation of the expatriate lecturers in this specific educational context was complicated. The situation was potentially beyond the issue of workplace inequality. The aforementioned findings signified that in addition to workplace policies, the lecturers’ unique characteristics and their context-specific needs and wants also significantly impacted the quality of the teacher professional development in each context.
Atwal, K. (2013). Theories of workplace learning in relation to teacher professional learning in UK primary schools. Research in Teacher Education, 3(2), 22-27. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) (2014), Designing professional learning, AITSL, Melbourne. Retrieved from http://www.aitsl.edu.au/professional-growth/research/designing-professional-learning. BLASST (2013). BLASST: Benchmarking Leadership and Advancement of Standards for Sessional Teaching. Accessed 6 July 2016 from http://blasst.edu.au/docs/BLASST_Guide_Intro.pdf Butler, Y. G. (2007). How are nonnative‐English‐speaking teachers perceived by young learners?. Tesol Quarterly, 41(4), 731-755. Braine, G. (2010). Nonnative speaker English teachers: Research, pedagogy, and professional growth. Routledge. Darling-Hammond, L. (2005). Q & A: Preparing tomorrow’s teachers. Northwest Education, 1(1), 18-19. GDPR (2018), EU General Data Protection Regulation. Retrieved from https://gdpr-info.eu/ Gore, J. M., & Bowe, J. M. (2015). Interrupting attrition? Re-shaping the transition from preservice to inservice teaching through Quality Teaching Rounds. International Journal of Educational Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2015.05.006 Harvey PhD, M. (2013). Setting the standards for sessional staff: quality learning and teaching. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 10(3), 4. Inger, M. (1993). Teacher Collaboration in Secondary School. CenterFocus, 2, Retrieved from http://ncrve.berkeley.edu/centerfocus/cf2.html Kirkpatrick, A. (2010). Researching English as a lingua franca in Asia: The Asian Corpus of English (ACE) project. Asian Englishes, 13(1), 4-18. Luzia, K, Harvey, M, Parker, N, McCormack, C, & Brown, N R 2013. Benchmarking with BLASST sessional standards framework, b, 10(3), pp. 1-15. Mahboob, A., Uhrig, K., Newman, K. L., & Hartford, B. S. (2004). Children of a lesser English: Status of nonnative English speakers as college-level English as a second language teachers in the United States. Learning and teaching from experience: Perspectives on nonnative English-speaking professionals, 100-120. Ó Murchadha, N., & Flynn, C. J. (2018). Educators’ Target Language Varieties for Language Learners: Orientation Toward ‘Native’and ‘Nonnative’Norms in a Minority Language Context. The Modern Language Journal, 102(4), 797-813. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Timperley, H. (2008). Teacher professional learning and development. In The Educational Practices Series – 18. Ed. Jere Brophy. International Academy of Education & International Bureau of Education: Brussels. Retrieved from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Educational_Practices/EdPractices_18.pdf Timperley, H., & Alton-Lee, A. (2008). Reframing teacher professional learning: An alternative policy approach to strengthening valued outcomes for diverse learners. Review of Research in Education, Vol. 32, No. 1, 328-369.
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.