Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Education

First Advisor

Nelson Flores

Abstract

Despite its imprecision, the native-nonnative dichotomy has become the dominant paradigm for categorizing language users, learners, and educators. The “NNEST Movement” has been instrumental in documenting the privilege of native speakers, the marginalization of their nonnative counterparts, and why an individual may be perceived as one or the other. Although these efforts have contributed significantly towards increasing awareness of NNEST-hood, they also risk reifying nativeness and nonnativeness as objectively distinct categories. In this dissertation, I adopt a poststructuralist lens to reconceptualize native and nonnative speakers as complex, negotiated social subjectivities that emerge through a discursive process that I term (non)native speakering. I first use this framework to analyze the historico-political milieu that made possible the emergence of (non)native speakered subjectivities. Then, I turn to the production of (non)native speakered subjectivities in K-12 and higher education language policies, as well as their impact on the professional identity development of pre-service teachers. Next, I consider the relationship between (non)native speakering and other processes of linguistic marginalization in which language is implicit, as well as how teacher educators can resist (non)native speakering and move towards a more equitable paradigm of language and language education. This inquiry draws on qualitative data from teacher education courses at a large US university, including course texts, policy documents, observational field notes, interviews, and focus group data. In the conclusion, I consider the implications of (non)native speakering as a theoretical and analytical frame, as well as applications of the data for teacher education settings, and possible directions for future research. By reconceptualizing (non)native status as socially and discursively produced, this project provides a new lens for the critical examination of teacher education curricula, professional identity formation, and language education policy. Finally, it contributes to a theory of change and encourages a move towards more inclusive language teaching fields.

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