“Legitimate” Concerns: A Duoethnography of Becoming ELT Professionals

  • Amber N. WarrenEmail author
  • Jaehan Park
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


This chapter reports findings from a duoethnography of two developing ELT professionals from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, exploring themes of marginality and acceptance in the experience of developing professional identities. Through this process, the authors seek to construct what it means to be “legitimate” ELT professionals. The authors (one a Korean citizen working at a university in the US, the other a US citizen completing a doctoral degree in the US after significant international experience) juxtapose their narratives to explore themes of marginality and acceptance in the experience of developing professional identities. Duoethnography is founded on a dialogic approach (Bakhtin, The dialogic imagination: four essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Trans.). University of Texas Press, Austin, 1981) where collaborators explore a concept or shared experience with the goal of creating new understandings or promoting change. Thus, it is a particularly appropriate choice for exploring the divergences and similarities between two individuals’ experiences in the shadow of historical and frequently narrow conceptualizations of a native/non-native dichotomy. Sharing stories of critically constructing and reconstructing our legitimacy as ELT professionals revealed different but similar processes and developed new understandings of the contexts each of us were familiar with. We share these findings and consider how they can serve to further cultivate new understandings of professional identity in local and global contexts.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Literacy, Language & Culture, College of EducationUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  2. 2.Division of Arts and HumanitiesPennsylvania State University, Abington CollegeAbingtonUSA

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