The role of EFL educators in Turkey in the era of globalisation: an analytical auto-ethnography of an EFL educator turned administrator at IPRIS

Melville, Edmund Christopher (2015) The role of EFL educators in Turkey in the era of globalisation: an analytical auto-ethnography of an EFL educator turned administrator at IPRIS. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Globalisation, a major aspect of English foreign language (EFL) education in the twenty-first century, can be described as the worldwide circulation of goods, services, and capital as well as information, ideas, and people. EFL educators encounter relentless demands to shift their positions, perspectives, and identities, and to assume many roles because they must accommodate new cultures and people in order to teach in their chosen field. We also have to accommodate differences in ideologically constructed representations of our roles as educators in terms of culture, class, gender, race, and religion within their various contexts. Thus, it can be difficult to determine exactly what one’s role is in the context of globalisation.

Using an analytic, auto-ethnographic, and naturalistic research design, I purposefully selected five EFL educators (six, including me) and investigated how we fit/belong at IPRIS, what our perceived roles as EFL educators are, and how our roles as EFL educators in full relate to globalisation. Bourdieu’s experiences in Algeria, his theories arising from them, and Bhabha’s notion of the third space, which is synchronistic with postcolonial theory, formed my theoretical framework. I collected data through interviews, reflexive journal, and critical incidents that were member checked to ensure trustworthiness. The inductively oriented data analysis yielded the themes and categories that are the foundation of this research.

The emergent findings in this research were key in showing how the backgrounds of the participants positioned each of us so differently one from another as EFL educators. The varied ways in which the participants have discerned their roles as individuals and as EFL educators unfolded. The explicit commentary of all the participants in this study (including me) reflected a deep commitment to the needs of the students at IPRIS as we expressed our views on our roles.

This research revealed the knowledge that I have built concerning myself, both in my context and in relation to others, by investigating the spaces in between coming and going, participant and researcher, educator and administrator; it has helped to reveal the fault-line spaces that shift in perspective and has thus helped me find my fit/belonging. The flipped researcher-participant roles allowed me to explain and further interrogate my own views of my role at IPRIS, as the primary participant, in relation to the secondary participants’ perceptions of their roles. This research has also revealed both the positioning of the EFL educator and the space that English occupies globally, in which it has an opposing logic that sometimes results in hybridisation.

The secondary participants’ comments in this study reflected their perception that they needed to bring information from their prior experiences, both as educators and as people living in the world, to bear on their primary role of teaching English to Turkish students. Thus, none of the participants felt that they were enabled in their role, as all reported that they needed to add old experiences with the new in order to teach their assigned students and to navigate the terrain at IPRIS. Drawing from the definition of globalisation in the literature, I was also able to use the participants’ current perceptions of the role of English as a global language to reveal their relationship to globalisation.

As a result of my thesis research, I can recommend the use of analytic auto-ethnography as a form of professional development and evaluation. The degree of reflexivity involved can enable EFL educators at IPRIS and elsewhere to raise their own awareness of other people and of their institutional and cultural contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1390 Education of special classes of persons > LC3701 Immigrants or ethnic and linguistic minorities. Bilingual schools
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe) > LF5051 Turkey and the Baltic states
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2015 10:42
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2015 13:20

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