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Volume 14 Number 2, Summer 2017, Pages 211-379 PDF Download

Examining Narratives of Conflict and Agency: Insights into Non-Local English Teacher Identity

    Daron Benjamin Loo, Wannapa Trakulkasemsuk & Pattamawan Jimarkon Zilli

This study examines teacher identity through conflicts and agency emergent from the narratives of five non-local English teachers working in Bangkok, Thailand. The examination of conflict and agency to gauge one's identity is suitable as these constructs are interdependent. Using a sociocultural approach, the study examined meaning and word choices found in the participants' narratives. The findings indicated that participants encountered conflicts with different social entities such as their employers' expectations, circumstances of their students, and interference from other stakeholders. The ways in which these conflicts were addressed depended on the workplaces of the participants, wherein those whose workplace had stronger social suggestion resorted to a resolved acceptance of difference, while participants whose workplace had weaker social suggestion enacted agency by modifying pedagogy or teaching content, or opposing the school administration. It was found that these agentic actions were carried out based on the notion of inclusivity and social justice. From these findings, the multifaceted identity of non-local English teachers was not only determined by their culture or country of origin but also by their work context. This study calls for further examination of international school settings, as well as the professional growth of non-local English teachers in such contexts.

Keywords: teacher identity, conflict, agency, discourse analysis, non-local English teachers