Non-native English speaking postgraduate TESOL students in Australia: Why did they come here?

Naoko Inoue, Elke STRACKE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper explores how non-native English speaking postgraduate TESOL students at a regional Australian university perceive the meaning and value of obtaining a TESOL qualification from a Western native English speaking country. By doing so, this research investigates the way in which the universal predominance of Western native English and the inequality between NESTs and NNESTs, or English linguistic imperialism, are maintained and/or challenged. We conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews with eight students from five different non-native English speaking countries who were enrolled in a postgraduate TESOL course. The study revealed that these students were generally aware of the privileged position of Inner Circle English(es) and of NESTs. They highly valued the TESOL qualification obtained in Australia in order to differentiate themselves from other NNESTs in their own country. In this sense, they contribute to the maintenance of English linguistic imperialism. However, some interviewees' critical reflections on the existing inequalities between different varieties of English and the inequality between NESTs and NNESTs also indicated their potential to challenge English linguistic imperialism. Drawing on these findings, future directions for teacher training and research are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-56
    Number of pages28
    JournalUniversity of Sydney Papers in T E S O L
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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