Language Teacher Recognition: Narratives of Filipino English Teachers in Japan

Author: Alison Stewart

Related Formats:
Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
234mm x 156mm
Price: £99.95
Price: $139.95
Price: €119.95

This book presents the career narratives of an under-researched group of teachers: immigrant Filipino teachers of English working mainly with young and very young learners in Japan. It provides a nuanced and revealing critique of poststructuralist views of identity and proposes recognition theories as an alternative perspective. It explores the role of the community found in language teacher associations in the formation and strengthening of language teacher identity and reveals new insights into morality and social justice in language teacher identity. The narratives of the teachers and the communities of which they are part demonstrate how prejudice affects these teachers' lives, and how speaking about and celebrating success can affirm individual and group identity.

Stewart's book goes where previous language teacher identity books have not gone, focusing on an under-researched group, Filipino English teachers in Japan, while adopting an identity politics perspective which draws on the work of scholars such as Alex Honneth and Charles Taylor. Extremely well written, it is a must-read for anyone interested in language teacher identity.

David Block, ICREA and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

In this important book Alison Stewart makes a wonderful job of using Filipino teachers' narratives to provide an insightful and nuanced critique of key ideas about language teacher identity. The reader is given a thought-provoking and highly readable account of the ways in which recognition theories can illuminate the phenomenon of identity in applied linguistics.

Siân Preece, UCL Institute of Education, UK

Stewart's use of recognition theories and the Filipino English Teachers in Japan association as the contextual backdrop reinvigorates the field of language teacher identity, thus depicting the career narratives of seven Filipino English teachers in Japan. Ultimately, Stewart's work is an empowering and moral portrayal of those from a poor country teaching in a prosperous one, hence capturing the ideologies embedded in where privilege meets marginalization.

Gloria Park, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA

It's not often that the word "unputdownable" is heard in relation to an academic book, but this book had me engrossed from the moment I picked it up [...] I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in giving some thought to what it means to be, and to feel oneself to be, a teacher. Identity politics is of course a highly contested area just now, arousing strong feelings among many. Stewart offers a refreshingly new way of thinking about identity, through her critique of poststructural explanations, and through the concept of recognition, "the precondition for ontological security and social justice".

Learning Learning, 28 (1)

Stewart is bold in adopting an "identity politics perspective" to explain the central theme of the book, language teacher recognition. Stewart suggests that recognition involves a very strong attachment to the background the Filipino teachers were born into, as well as other attributes such as language identity, gender and social class that are both inscribed and ascribed to them. She effectively presents the stories of the interviewees to argue that feelings of prejudice and pride are fundamental to identity.

Learning Learning, 28 (1)

Alison Stewart is Professor of English Education at Gakushuin University, Japan. Her research interests include language teaching and identity and language teacher associations.


Chapter 1. Researching Language Teacher Identity                           

Chapter 2. The Changing Japanese Context                         

Chapter 3. Investment and Recognition

Chapter 4. Language Teacher Group Identity      

Chapter 5. Careers, Work, Morality

Chapter 6. Different Perspectives

Chapter 7. Conclusions

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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