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March 08 , 2009

on Becoming A Language Educator

Personal Essays on Professional Development


These personal essays by first and second language researchers and practitioners reflect on issues, events, and people in their lives that helped them carve out their career paths or clarify an important dimension of their missions as educators. Their narratives depict the ways in which professionals from diverse backgrounds and work settings have grappled with issues in language education that concern all of us: the sources and development of beliefs about language and education, the constructing of a professional identity in the face of ethical and ideological dilemmas, and the constraints and inspirations of teaching and learning environments. They have come together as a collective to engage in a courageous new form of academic discourse, one with the potential to change the field. Many of the authors write their stories of having begun their work with voices positioned at the margins. Now, as established professionals, they feel strong enough collectively to risk the telling and, through their telling, to encourage other voices.

This volume is intended to provide graduate students, teachers, and researchers in language education with insights into the struggles that characterize the professional development of language educators. Both readers and contributors should use the stories to view their own professional lives from fresh perspectives – and be inspired to reflect in new ways on the ideological, ethical, and philosophical underpinnings of their professional personae.
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