1887
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2543-3164
  • E-ISSN: 2543-3156
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

Although the figure of the English language assistant (ELA) dates back a long while, its current popularity is unprecedented in some areas of the world. Such is the case of Spain, where the goal of raising English standards among the younger generations has become a national obsession. Using critical ethnographic methods, this paper examines the experience of three British LAs placed in secondary schools in Barcelona. It draws on a focused case study of one of them – combined with ethnographic snapshots of the other two, interviews with school teachers and regional programme administrators, relevant programme publications, and social media data. The analysis reveals three major tensions shaping the ELA experience in the 21st century revolving around: (a) the underspecified and unskilled nature of the job; (b) its culturalist imagination and state diplomacy mission; and (c) the native speaker ideology constituting its . This paper provides new insights into the intertwining of the ELT infrastructure with global travel and tourism capitalised as skill boosters for employability purposes, and showcases the importance of foreign language education as a soft power tool.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/lcs.00017.cod
2019-10-22
2020-04-08
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Billig, M.
    (1995) Banal nationalism. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. British Council
    British Council (2015) Notes for English language assistants appointed to Spain in 2014–2015. Available from: https://www.britishcouncil.org/study-work-abroad/english-language-assistants/spain
    [Google Scholar]
  3. British Council
    British Council (2018a) British language assistants programme Spain 2018/19. Spain country notes. Available from: https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/20171121_2018-19_english_language_assistants_programme_-_spain_country_notes.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  4. British Council
    British Council (2018b) English language assistants application – Guidance 2018/19. Available from: https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/english_language_assistants_guidance_notes_18-19.pdf. Retrieved14/09/2018
  5. Brown, P., Hesketh, A. & Williams, S.
    (2004) The mismanagement of talent: Employability and jobs in the knowledge economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269532.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269532.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bruzos, A.
    (2017) “De camareros a profesores” de ELE: La mercantilización del español y de su enseñanza como lengua extranjera. Spanish in Context, 14(2), 230–249. 10.1075/sic.14.2.04mor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sic.14.2.04mor [Google Scholar]
  7. Byram, M. & Alred, G.
    (1993) ‘Paid to be English’ A Book for English Assistants and Their Advisers in France. Durham: School of Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Bunnell, T.
    (2016) Teachers in international schools: a global educational “precariat”?Globalisation, Societies and Education, 14(4), 543–559. 10.1080/14767724.2015.1068163
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2015.1068163 [Google Scholar]
  9. Chaloner, J., Evans, A. & Pragnell, M.
    (2015) Supporting the British economy through teaching English as a foreign language. London: English UK. Available from: https://www.englishuk.com/uploads/assets/members/newsflash/2015/11_nov/Economic_impact_report_44pp__WEB.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Codó, E.
    (2017) English language models in two plurilingual school programmes: Democratising access or creating new hierarchies. Paper presented at the41st International AEDEAN Conference. Universidad de La Laguna, 8-10 November 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. (2018) The intersection of global mobility, lifestyle and ELT work: A critical examination of language instructors’ trajectories. Journal of Language and Intercultural Communication18(4), Special issue “Language, Mobility and Work”, M. Moyer (Ed.).
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Codó, E., & Patiño-Santos, A.
    (2018) CLIL, unequal working conditions and neoliberal subjectivities in a state secondary school. Language Policy, 17(4), 479–499. 10.1007/s10993‑017‑9451‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10993-017-9451-5 [Google Scholar]
  13. Coleman, J.
    (1997) Residence abroad within language study. Language Teaching30, 1–20. 10.1017/S0261444800012659
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800012659 [Google Scholar]
  14. (2013) Researching whole people and whole lives. InC. Kinginger (Ed.), Social and cultural aspects of language learning in study abroad (pp.17–44). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lllt.37.02col
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.37.02col [Google Scholar]
  15. Corbella, J.
    (2017) Pongan profesores de inglés nativos en parvulario y primaria. La Vanguardia, 5June 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Coulmas, F.
    (2018) An introduction to multilingualism: Language in a changing world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Cummins, A.
    (1998) Skill, service or industry? The organisation of settlement programs for adults learning English in Canada and Australia. Prospect, 13(3), 36–41.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Dafouz, E., & Hibler, A.
    (2013) “Zip your lips” or “keep quiet”: Main teachers and language assistants’ classroom discourse in CLIL settings. The Modern Language Journal, 97(3), 655–669. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2013.12026.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2013.12026.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Del Percio, A.
    (2016) Nation branding and the politics of difference. Signs and Society, 4(1), 1–28. 10.1086/684813
    https://doi.org/10.1086/684813 [Google Scholar]
  20. Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya
    Departament d’Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya (2017) Guía del auxiliar de conversación en Catalunya. Curso 2017–2018. Available from: xtec.gencat.cat/web/.content/projectes/plurilinguisme/pluri/auxiliars_conversa/documents/guia_auxiliares_2017_2018_cast.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Duncan, T.
    (2007) Working tourists: Identity formation in a leisure space. London: University College London.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Duchêne, A.
    (2011) Néolibéralisme, inégalités sociales et plurilinguisme: L’exploitation des ressources langagières et des locuteurs. Langage et Société, 136, 81–108. 10.3917/ls.136.0081
    https://doi.org/10.3917/ls.136.0081 [Google Scholar]
  23. Ehrenreich, S.
    (2006) The assistant experience in retrospect and its educational and professional significance in teachers’ biographies. InM. Byram & A. Feng (Eds.), Living and studying abroad: Research and practice (pp.186–209). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853599125‑011
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599125-011 [Google Scholar]
  24. (2007) Living and teaching in intercultural spaces: A close(r) look at the impact of assistant experience on prospective foreign language teachers. InA. Pearson-Evans & A. Leahy (Eds.), Intercultural spaces: Language, culture, identity (pp.9–20). Bern: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Goulding, D.
    (2016) “English Teacher: Any Tom, Dick or Harriet will do”: Power, discourse and identity in English language teaching. InB. Kürsteiner, L. Bleichenbacher, R. Frehner, & A.-M. Kolde (Eds.), Teacher education in the 21st century: A focus on convergence (pp.110–136). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Harvey, D.
    (2005) A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Heller, M., Pietikäinen, S., & Pujolar, J.
    (2018) Critical sociolinguistic research methods: Studying language issues that matter. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Holliday, A.
    (1999) Small cultures. Applied Linguistics, 20(2), 237–264. 10.1093/applin/20.2.237
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/20.2.237 [Google Scholar]
  29. Jakubiak, C.
    (2016) Mobility for all through English- language voluntourism. InJ. Rickly, K. Hannam, & M. Mostafanezhad (Eds.), Tourism and leisure mobilities: Politics, work, and play (pp.193–207). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Lee, G.
    (2009) A theory of soft power and Korea’s soft power strategy. Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 21(2), 205–218. 10.1080/10163270902913962
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10163270902913962 [Google Scholar]
  31. McLelland, N.
    (2018) The history of language learning and teaching in Britain. The Language Learning Journal, 46, 6–16. 10.1080/09571736.2017.1382052
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2017.1382052 [Google Scholar]
  32. Méndez García, M. del C., & Pavón Vázquez, V.
    (2012) Investigating the coexistence of the mother tongue and the foreign language through teacher collaboration in CLIL contexts: Perceptions and practice of the teachers involved in the plurilingual programme in Andalusia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15(5), 573–592. 10.1080/13670050.2012.670195
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2012.670195 [Google Scholar]
  33. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
    Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (2017) Guía del auxiliar. Programa de auxiliares de conversación en España 2017/18. Madrid: Secretaría General Técnica, Subdirección General de Documentación y Publicaciones. Available from: https://www.mecd.gob.es/mecd/dms/mecd/servicios-al-ciudadano-mecd/catalogo/general/educacion/998188/ficha/998188-2017/Guia-AACC-17-18-Web.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Nye, J.
    (2004) Soft power and American foreign policy. Political Science Quarterly, 119(2), 255–270. 10.2307/20202345
    https://doi.org/10.2307/20202345 [Google Scholar]
  35. Pennycook, A.
    (2001) Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781410600790
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781410600790 [Google Scholar]
  36. Pine II, B. J., & Gilmore, J. H.
    (1998 [2011]) The experience economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Relaño-Pastor, A. M., & Fernández-Barrera, A.
    (2019) Resignifying English in La Mancha bilingual schools: Eliteness and the native self. Special issue “Elite Multilingualism”, Barakos, E. & Selleck, C. (Eds.) Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. doi:  10.1080/01434632.2018.1543696
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2018.1543696 [Google Scholar]
  38. Rowles, D. & Rowles, V.
    (Eds.) (2005) Breaking the barriers: 100 years of the language assistants programme 1905–2005. London: British Council, Department for Education and Skills.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Stainton, H.
    (2018) TEFL tourism: The tourist who teaches. Tourism Geographies, 20(1), 127–143. 10.1080/14616688.2017.1298151
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2017.1298151 [Google Scholar]
  40. Stanley, P.
    (2016) Economy class? Lived experiences and career trajectories of private-sector English-language-school teacher in Australia. InP. Haworth & C. Craig (Eds.), The career trajectories of English language teachers (pp.185–199). Oxford: Symposium Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Subdirección General de Cooperación Internacional y Promoción Exterior Educativa
    Subdirección General de Cooperación Internacional y Promoción Exterior Educativa (2017) Las funciones del auxiliar de conversación [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.mecd.gob.es/
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Thornbury, S.
    (2001) The unbearable lightness of EFL. ELT Journal, 55(4), 391–396.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Tupas, R., & Rubdy, R.
    (2015) Unequal Englishes: The politics of English today. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9781137461223
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137461223 [Google Scholar]
  44. Urry, J.
    (2010) Excess, fascination and climates. InH. Schmid, W.-D. Sahr, & J. Urry (Eds.), Cities and fascination: Beyond the surplus of meaning (pp.209–224). Farnham: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Wörsching, M.
    (2012) Foreign language assistants in schools: making sure of the future. InJ. Sayer & L. Erler (Eds.), Schools for the future Europe – Values and change beyond Lisbon (pp.117–134). London: Continuum. 10.5040/9781350091177.ch‑007
    https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350091177.ch-007 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/lcs.00017.cod
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ELT , language assistantship , language industries , native speakerism , soft power and working tourists
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error