Another Invitation into the Global Pracademic Landscape of Transnational ELT Research

This month we are publishing Transnational Research in English Language Teaching edited by Rashi Jain, Bedrettin Yazan and Suresh Canagarajah. In this post the editors introduce their new book, a follow-up to its sister volume Transnational Identities and Practices in English Language Teaching.

Some explorations require a follow-up act – and this is where our next collaborative editorial venture with Multilingual Matters comes in. Transnational Research in English Language Teaching: Critical Practices and Identities continues the conversation we started in its sister volume, Transnational Identities and Practices in English Language Teaching: Critical Inquiries from Diverse Practitioners, by complementing the practitioner-led self-inquiries in the first volume with inquiries by researchers looking at others’ ELT-related practices in this volume.

In West-based and West-oriented academia, a significant amount of past and recent work on transnationalism in ELT has focused primarily on specific communities of practice located within a country, such as the US or has been (de)limited to teacher education programs, with some notable exceptions. More needed to be done, as we discovered, to create a more comprehensive and inclusive understanding of the complex global ELT landscape across countries and across English language teaching and learning settings. Our second edited volume with Multilingual Matters contributes to this evolving knowledge base as an attempt to deepen our readers’ understanding of the transnational ELT landscape.

We are proud to highlight that along with us, the researchers and the participants in this volume collectively represent fifteen countries of origin: Afghanistan, China, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UAE, the US and Vietnam – a truly diverse set of voices from global pracademia. Further, while many of us are currently embedded in the US, the studies in this volume showcase transnational identities and practices formed and informed by both countries – ‘home’ and ‘host’ – and include narratives that are not unidirectional (i.e. ‘home’ to ‘host’ only).

And yet, even with this diversity and our deliberate efforts to decenter our work as a site for transnational professional practice, our volume could not entirely escape inadvertently reifying some of the same inequities that it proposes to disrupt – as we explore in detail in our introduction chapter and endeavor to mitigate through the manner in which we have organized the rest of the volume, all twelve chapters, across three distinct parts: Part 1: Transnational Practices and Identities of ELLs in the US; Part 2: Transnational Practitioners and Participants in Global Contexts beyond the US; and, Part 3: Transnational Practices and Identities of TESOL Practitioners in the US.

Together, the chapters within the edited volume cover a range of qualitative research approaches and methodologies as well as span three common key themes – researchers’ reflexivity (including our own as editors, as we explore in detail in the introduction chapter), transnational participants’ sense of (un)belonging, and the overlaps between translingualism and transnationalism. We now invite you, our readers, to enter once again the transnational landscape of ELT research that we and our contributors have collectively populated with the empirical inquiries in this volume. We hope you enjoy traveling through the book and making your acquaintance with the diverse global voices and perspectives housed within the book covers!

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like the editors’ previous book, Transnational Identities and Practices in English Language Teaching.

An Invitation into the Global ELT Landscape of Transnational Pracademics

This month we published Transnational Identities and Practices in English Language Teaching edited by Rashi Jain, Bedrettin Yazan and Suresh Canagarajah. In this post the editors introduce the book.

Globalization is truly changing the world as we know it as cross-border migrations of people become increasingly common. International migrations are also no longer unidirectional, nor entail the giving up of ‘old’ affiliations in order to acquire ‘new’ ones. Many transnational migrants maintain deep connections with their ‘home countries’ while simultaneously constructing new ones with their ‘host countries’ (Levitt, 2004), while others transcend these static nation-state boundaries entirely to navigate the “liminal spaces between communities, languages, and nations” (Canagarajah, 2018, p. 41).

The field of second and foreign language pedagogy, especially, includes transnational practitioners with complex personal-professional histories that, in turn, impact how these practitioners construct their identities and engage in practices across diverse contexts. TESOL practitioners also work frequently with students who are migrants themselves. These participants – language learners, teachers, teacher educators, administrators – may already be engaged in reimagining ‘home’ as an idea that is beyond a geographical location (Jain, 2021), as well as problematizing traditional notions around ‘center’ and ‘periphery’, ‘native’ and ‘nonnative’, ‘researcher’ and ‘practitioner’, and ‘practitioner’ and ‘academic’.

As proud co-editors of Transnational Identities and Practices in English Language Teaching, we envision the term ‘practitioner’ as encompassing all those who engage in the practices of TESOL, including but not limited to those who teach English language learners of all ages and across diverse contexts, those who educate teachers and administrators planning to pursue careers in TESOL, those who research TESOL contexts, and those who theorize about these contexts. Further, these practices are not mutually exclusive and by engaging in different practices within (and beyond) TESOL, many dynamic practitioners and academics create areas of overlap, span boundaries, and become brokers between different communities of practice (Wenger, 1998), thus also essentially becoming transnational pracademics – an equitable amalgamation of the practitioner and academic identities inhabiting transnational spaces.

As we move more deeply into the 21st century, transnational TESOL practitioners are thus creatively negotiating ‘liminal’ spaces, charting new trajectories, crafting new practices and pedagogies, constructing new identities, and reconceptualizing ELT contexts. In the process, the transnational landscape of TESOL (Jain, Yazan, & Canagarajah, 2021) is being agentively changed from within – as the contributions that comprise the volume illustrate. This edited volume is thus both a critical and an accessible compilation of transnational narratives. Too often, scholarly publications tend to be inaccessible, in terms of both content and scholarship, to a large part of the very populations theorized about. We have, instead, endeavored to create a space for voices that truly move the field forward in ways that are approachable for all participants.

Our volume serves as a community space where narratives of transnational TESOL practitioners and participants may find a permanent home, with narratives ranging from autoethnographies to self-study reports and from theoretical pieces to empirical accounts. We are thrilled to invite you to read the volume with its rich, diverse narratives and perspectives spanning the global ELT landscape.

Rashi Jain, Bedrettin Yazan and Suresh Canagarajah

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like The Complexity of Identity and Interaction in Language Education edited by Nathanael Rudolph, Ali Fuad Selvi and Bedrettin Yazan.