Including difference: ESL female teachers in postsecondary education




Fu, Hong

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The purpose of this narrative study is to understand the experience of ESL female teachers in postsecondary education. The ESL female teachers will be defined as female teachers who speak English as a second language. The study asks the following research questions: What are the lived experiences of ESL female teachers in postsecondary education? How do ESL female teachers in postsecondary education narrate their experiences and negotiate their teacher identities? How can the above understanding contribute to the inclusion of ESL female teachers in an increasingly diversified educational landscape? The researcher adopts an intersectional stance and a poststructuralist understanding of subjectivity and positioning to study identity. Life story interviews and narrative inquiry are utilized as methodology to collect stories from ESL female teachers teaching in postsecondary education and to retell the same so as to achieve an informed understanding of the phenomenon under study. The study reveals that the participants have experienced an intersection of multiple identities which collectively function to marginalize them under the discourse of difference as deficit. Apart from efforts to adapt to the dominant discourse, the participants have also acted to utilize their multiple identities so as to resist negative positioning. The participants’ experiences have posed questions concerning what institutional and systemic changes are needed in order to help their inclusion in postsecondary education.



Teacher identity, Diverse teachers, Intersectionality, Experience