DOI

10.17077/etd.baiokhx1

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Thein, Amanda Haertling

First Committee Member

Schmidt, Renita

Second Committee Member

Sunstein, Bonnie

Third Committee Member

Khandelwal, Meena

Fourth Committee Member

Gobat, Michel

Abstract

Research suggests that teaching in international settings fosters professional growth and promotes tolerance for working in multicultural and linguistically diverse classrooms for U.S. teachers upon returning to the U.S. to work in schools. These studies portray teaching abroad as an unproblematic and neutral project, and narrowly focus on the benefit to the individual teacher during their temporary stay in a foreign country and when returning home to the U.S. Absent from these studies are two groups: 1) teachers from the U.S. who work in non-governmental organizations and private school settings abroad, but have no pedagogical training, and 2) host country citizens (unless they serve a purpose for the U.S. teacher, such as providing growth, teaching cultural nuances, etc.) These studies also lack an analysis of how international teaching, especially in bilingual and English-language contexts, affect the local community outside the bounds of the study’s setting. Scholars of transnational feminist theory suggest consideration of how these relationships shape not just the people who travel across nation-state borders, but also those who are affected in the local context. Scholars of critical pedagogy remind teachers that education is not only pedagogical, but also political and ideological. Grounded in these two theoretical frameworks, as well as Critical Discourse Analysis, this study examines English-language education and teaching in the Central American country of Honduras. The findings suggest that host country citizens express reservations about these partnerships. Although U.S. and international teachers second-guess the utility of English-language education in Honduras, they justify their presence teaching there because of their ability to speak English, and they define what success means in the future of their students.

Public Abstract

Research suggests that when teachers from the United States live and work in a foreign country, the experience itself fosters the teacher’s professional growth and prepares them to teach in diverse classrooms when they return to the U.S. These studies focus narrowly on the individual teacher, and not the local (host country) or international context. Missing from these studies are two groups of teachers: 1) teachers from the U.S. who work in international non-governmental organizations and private school settings, but who are not trained as career teachers and who don’t have experience working in schools, and 2) host country teachers. It is also unknown how these teachers and their schools affect the community around the school in the host country. This study examines English-language education and teaching in the Central American country of Honduras. The findings suggest that host country Honduran teachers are sometimes wary about these partnerships and the reason behind their presence. Furthermore, U.S. teachers also second-guess the usefulness of English-language education in Honduras, but find ways to justify their presence there.

Keywords

Education, Honduras, Language, Power, Qualitative, Teaching

Pages

xii, 260 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-255).

Copyright

Copyright © 2017 Kate Elizabeth Kedley

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