In this study, I examine the lived experiences of English as an additional language (EAL) instructors who are teaching adults in private language schools, immigrant English programs and post-secondary EAL programs in British Columbia (BC), Canada. I conceptualize EAL teaching as a contact zone (Pratt, 1992), where multiple forces (such as neoliberalism and professional and educational discourses) collide and force instructors to (re)negotiate their teacher identities (Singh & Doherty, 2004). I use autoethnographic data and teacher narratives, combined with demographic survey results and existing literature, to create a rich and complex picture of this under-examined teaching context. Patterns of struggle for instructors emerged in relation to: wages and working conditions, marginalization within programs and institutions, teaching observations, professionalism, and the use of teacher work for “infinitely scalable” profit. I offer implications for individual instructors, professional organizations, and EAL teacher education programs, as well as for further study. Lastly, I suggest possibilities for instructors to create change for themselves and for our profession in the contact zone of BC EAL education.
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Thesis advisor: Ilieva, Roumiana
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