English Teachers’ Subjectivities: Contesting and Resisting Must-be Discourses

  •  Pilar Méndez    
  •  Eliana Garzón    
  •  Rodolfo Noriega-Borja    


This paper problematizes the meaning of subjectivity constructed by Colombian English Teachers in response to a National Bilingual Program and its system of reason to produce English teachers’ identity and promote bilingual education. The double-side character of subjection/subjectification (Foucault, 1982) is used to analyze English teachers’ work of the self and contestarian/resistance practices to affirm themselves as researchers and critical thinkers but also to claim recognition as educators who produce relevant and situated knowledge. Historical Discourse Analysis, through archeological procedures (Foucault, 1972) to trace back English teachers’ discursive and non-discursive practices, were key to unveiling how teachers think of themselves as English teachers, oppose policies and respond to dominant discourses in relation to English teaching. More than 100 English teachers’ academic publications were revised and confronted with normalized discourses circulating in political programs, print media and experts’ documents. Findings contribute to EFL teachers’ understanding of their own struggles and the role of their resistance practices to affirm their subjectivities.

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