from the 1st International Conference on Language Education and Research (LERC2019)

Volume 3 - Issue 3 - December 2019

Latest issue of Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics

Research Article

TITLE: Idealizing the ‘walking, talking America’: Native speakerism and Fulbright Taiwan’s

English Teaching Assistantship Program

Author: Lisa May Moulton  Goddard, University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh
MSc Applied Linguistics

Published online: 31 December 2019, pp. 48-67


Moulton Goddard, L.M. (2019) Idealizing the ‘walking, talking America’: Native speakerism andFulbright Taiwan’s English Teaching Assistantship Program, Journal of Applied Languages and Linguistics, 3(3), pp. 48-67


This study examines the experiences of Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) in Taiwan to assess how they negotiate identity in the context of native speakerist attitudes. Previous studies have focused on language learner identity and attitude studies regarding native and non-native speaker teachers; little work has been done on language teacher identity. The present study seeks to join existing literature in English language teaching (ELT), identity, and education through the application of critical race theory and identity-as-pedagogy frameworks. Data were collected from multiple sources, including the Fulbright Taiwan ETA website, ETA blog posts and interviews, and questionnaires given to local Taiwanese teachers. Using grounded theory, content was analyzed in the context of recent literature for discussion of emergent themes, including language, race, culture, and identity. The findings suggest that ETAs are given authority on English due to their native speaker status, particularly if they possess characteristics of the idealized native speaker. Many ETAs believe they are meant to serve as embodiments of ‘accurate’ English and of ‘real’ American culture, rather than actually teach English. These findings suggest a need for more critical engagement in discussions about race, culture, and the delicate position native speaker teachers have in foreign English classrooms.

© Applied Language Studies House Publications 2019. All rights reserved.

Keywords: native speakerism; language learner identity; language teacher identity; ETAs

© 2019 by ALS House Publications. Proudly created with

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