Discrepancies in perception of English teachers' pedagogical practice at the secondary school level in Korea and their teaching methodology as bilingual educators
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This study is located in the context of contemporary narratives on English education in Korea. During the last decade, the role of non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) as bilingual educators and their teaching methodology have taken the center stage among many researchers (e.g., Braine, 1999, 2010; Kamhi-Stein, 2004; Llurda, 2006). This study extends this line of research by focusing on two domains: The first domain is on the perception of non-native English speaking teachers’ (Korean English teachers) pedagogical practice vis-à-vis that of native English speaking teachers generated by Korean students, Korean pre-service English teachers and Korean in-service English teachers at the secondary school level in Korea. The second domain pertains to non-native English speaking teachers’ actual classroom pedagogical practice and their teacher competency; therefore, this study investigates teaching methodology of non-native English speaking teachers, including their strategies to overcome their status as non-native English speakers and their use of students’ L1 and L2 to achieve their teaching objectives. Based on the data, this study further explores the emerging discrepancies among participants’ responses and the discrepancies between their perception of NNESTs’ pedagogical practice and NNESTs’ actual teaching in the classroom. Finally, this study reveals critical and contextual factors leading to those discrepancies. For this study, the macro-acquisition framework, with the concept of World English, is used comprehensively as an umbrella theoretical framework (Brutt-Griffler, 2002). In addition, the concept of translanguaging is adopted as a second and subsidiary theoretical concept for more elaborate analysis of findings and discussions (Baker, 2003, 2011; Garcia, 2009; Wei, 2011; Williams, 1996, 2002). To fill the gap found in current studies and to reflect and compare various voices from students, pre-service English teachers and in-service English teachers in Korea, this study adopts a qualitative research method and a comparative research design. In addition, to ensure triangulation, data collected from multiple sources are analyzed thoroughly based on grounded theory. Regarding the first domain, this study confirms the following points: First, in spite of several negative contextual circumstances in Korea, NNESTs have been regarded as qualified or better teachers for Korean English learners and NNESTs have sufficient teaching legitimacy and authenticity in their pedagogical practice. Second, those findings do not deny the role and necessity of NESTs in Korean English education. In addition, with regard to the second domain, this study clarifies that using students’ L1, Korean, in English classes means that NNESTs have to take the risk of breaking the speech community’s implicit expectation and losing their authority or privilege as teachers in Korean society. However, in spite of those situations, NNESTs’ use of students’ L1 in their English teaching has the legitimacy and necessity at the Korean secondary school level. These findings are discussed through two themes, NNESTs’ indirect use of students’ L1 and NNESTs’ direct use of students’ L1. Based on the findings and discussions, this study has drawn the pedagogical implications for English teaching and learning in Korea and in the EFL context.