Essentialization, Idealization, and Apprehensions of Local Language Practice in the Classroom

  • Nathanael Rudolph
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


This chapter details a poststructural ethnographic account (Britzman DP, Int J Qual Stud Educ 8(3):229–238, 1995) of 16 Japanese university students and their teacher conceptualizing boundaries of local language practice in one English department. Together, they apprehend local (Japanese) language practice as negotiated at the interstices of discourses of “Japaneseness-Otherness” and “native English speakerness-Otherness.” Authority to employ Japanese in the classroom was afforded to “Japanese” teachers who might then assert authority to engage in local language practice or teach content in and through the Japanese language. Additionally, “Japanese” teachers were provided space to assert identity as linguistic and cultural border crossers, whereas “native speaker teachers” were to downplay or disassociate from their lived experiences negotiating membership in Japanese society, including from their use of Japanese, in the classroom. Space for teachers, positioned as neither an “idealized NS of English” nor “idealized NS of Japanese,” was non-existent. The study troubles dominant, critically-oriented approaches to local language practice in the field of English language teaching (ELT) and its corresponding disciplines, that do not account for individuals’ negotiation of positioning and being positioned, identity-wise, and the creation, limitation, and/or elimination of space for being and becoming that may result.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathanael Rudolph
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishMukogawa Women’s UniversityNishinomiya-shiJapan

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