Language teachers and researchers as worldmakers

Álvarez, Inma; Cobo Palacios, Isabel; Fuertes Gutierrez, Mara and Puntil, Donata (2022). Language teachers and researchers as worldmakers. In: Boyle, Catherine and Kelly, Debra eds. Language Acts and Worldmaking. London: John Murray Learning, pp. 1–40.



Language teachers' professional identities are shaped and enriched by their diasporic journeys. Their teaching trajectories mix their multiple worlds on hand, enabling them to remake their personal and professional selves and making them highly skilled worldmakers. This chapter examines experienced higher education language teachers and researchers' professional journeys from their initial experiences in their home countries to the full development of their careers in the UK. Our work is based on language teachers' profiles captured via a questionnaire and their textual accounts of those journeys using a narrative framework that invited them to engage in backward, inward and outward reflection (Bukor, 2012). The language teachers' stories were analysed using a thematic networks approach (Attride-Stirling, 2001) that revealed both individual and common patterns expressed into two global themes that highlight the significance of diaspora and the teaching environments in the development of their professional identities. To complement this view, drawing on the concept of the rhizome as an epistemological model where data is not linear or hierarchical (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987), the dichotomy between researcher and researched is deconstructed, adopting an autoethnographic perspective represented in four autobiographical vignettes. These accounts constitute the basis to elaborate collaboratively on the common and different ways we are both language teachers/lecturers and researchers.

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