Nonnative English Speaking Teachers (NNESTs)
Scholars such as Donald L. Rubin, Barbara S. Plakans, Consolata N. Mutua, and Monika Shehi reminded the English Language Teaching (ELT) field that a stigmatic pattern exists against International Teaching Assistants (ITAs), especially by their undergraduate native English-speaking students (NESSs). My dissertation examines this notion of stigma against ITAs at Bowling Green State University (BGSU): Does it exist? Does it occur pre-contact or post- contact? How does the existing ITA preparation course (ESOL 5050) at BGSU meet ITAs’ academic and professional needs, undergraduate NESSs’ expectations, and ITA program administrators’ expectations? How do program administrators utilize end-of-semester course evaluations for ITAs’ professionalization? To answer these questions, I conducted a qualitative, mixed-methods study in which I: ▪ Surveyed two sections of ESOL 5050 I taught during fall 2016 and spring 2017 ▪ Interviewed ITAs enrolled in the fall 2016 section ▪ Surveyed and interviewed a select random sample of undergraduate NESSs on the BGSU campus ▪ Surveyed and interviewed nation-wide (writing) program administrators involved in ITA preparation ▪ Interviewed BGSU’s English for Speakers of Other Languages Director, and ▪ Had a peer scholar facilitate two focus group sessions with ITAs enrolled in the spring 2017 section of ESOL 5050. Feminist methodologies and Burke’s Pentad informed my data collection and understanding of meaning-negotiation practices between ITAs and undergraduate NESSs. After employing grounded theory analysis of the data, I found out that stigma primarily takes place post-contact with ITAs. Moreover, the study provides implications that take the shape of hands-on activities, assignments, unit plans, and potential cross-programmatic collaborations with the goal of addressing ITAs’ needs, undergraduate NESSs’ expectations, and program administrators’ expectations.