Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Steve Iams


This article represents the identity transformation process of a non-native English- speaking teacher (hereafter NNEST) in the format of an autoethnography. Through the vignettes of the author, the evidence that English language plays a vital role as cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1991) in expanding circle countries (hereafter ECCs) (Kachru, 1985, 1986) such as South Korea (hereafter Korea) becomes apparent. Also, her narrative adds more credence to how the newly imagined identity options such as multicompetent self and English language teaching (hereafter ELT) professional have a tremendous constructive impact on the personal and professional development of NNESTs. Lastly, this study proposes the reconceptualization of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (hereafter TESOL) programs to address NNESTs’ needs for further language improvement. The NNESTs’ efforts for language development should no longer be seen to be rooted from a sense of inferiority, but as a desire to broaden their linguistic reservoirs in order to become more effective teachers. By moving forward from simply discussing multilingualism to making further efforts to accommodate NNESTs’ desired level of English proficiency, TESOL programs will see an exponential growth in professional practice among participants.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Sociology | English Language and Literature | First and Second Language Acquisition | Personality and Social Contexts | Teacher Education and Professional Development