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Archived Content from Conference Held in May 2011 

Expanding Our Horizons

Featured Plenary

Identity and Agency in Language Teacher Education:
Issues and Practices


Increasingly, language learning and teaching are conceptualized through metaphors of participation and locality, both of which enhance the status of practitioners in areas such as theory formation, curricular decision-making and language policy implementation. Along with new opportunities, such conceptual priorities also intensify the demands placed on teachers in the performance of their professional duties. New roles and responsibilities now extend beyond conventional knowledge of language and pedagogy to include ideological awareness of the geopolitics of English and of language beliefs and practices that undermine local values and language practices.  Towards this end, language teachers are encouraged to reflect upon their own identities in the processes of language learning, and to employ their agency on behalf of their students. In my presentation, I will discuss the forms of critical understanding (of language, knowledge, identity) that contribute to this development and encourage language teachers to recognize/imagine themselves as "agents of change" or "transformative practitioners."  I will then describe a specific context of application—a pre-service TESOL course whose ambition is to promote a transformative potential in LTE through various elements of syllabus design.

Brian MorganBrian Morgan
Associate Professor, Glendon College/York University, Canada

Brian Morgan is an associate professor in the Department of English at Glendon College/York University in Toronto , Canada . His academic interests include research and pedagogy on language and identity in English Language Teaching. Another research interest involves critical multiliteracies and their local and international applications. Other academic concerns include language teacher education, English for academic purposes, and language policy and planning. Brian has published in journals such as TESOL Quarterly; Journal of Language, Identity, and Education; Journal of English for Academic Purposes; Bilingual Education and Bilingualism; Language Policy; and the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. He is the co-editor with Vaidehi Ramanathan of the 2007 special issue on Language Policies and TESOL: Perspectives from Practice in TESOL Quarterly. His first book, The ESL Classroom (1998), is published by University of Toronto Press.


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