Help wanted: the employment trajectory of multilingual transnational teachers

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Oliveira Gomes De Lima, Eliane
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Even though Canada is known as a multicultural place that embraces immigrants from all over the world, it can be challenging for immigrants to make their way not only in, but into, the work force. For immigrant teachers, who have non-Canadian education and, many times, an accent that may be unfamiliar to locals, it can be even more difficult. This study explored the employment trajectory of multilingual transnational teachers. On the basis of my findings, I provide insights and recommendations that might be useful for other professionals who may be experiencing similar challenges joining the labor market in Canada. The autoethnographic approach used in this study allowed me to share authentic experiences and invite the readers to enter my world as a multicultural transnational educator and see it from my perspective. I reviewed the literature in the areas of Immigrants in the Canadian workplace, native and non-native English-speaking teachers (NESTs/NNESTs), and relevant challenges associated with the language teaching profession. Data analyzed consists of reflections of memories of my own employment trajectory. Ellis and Bochner (2000) state that examining someone’s own experiences can lead to a better understanding of a culture. This study showed that NNESTs are still affected by the belief that NESTs are the best language teachers (Llurda, 2005; Selvi, 2010: Ulate, 2011). During my path to integrate into the Canadian labour market, like many of my contemporaries, I faced challenges such as non-recognition of my foreign education credentials and home country experience, linguistic discrimination, and undervaluing of NNESTs on the part of students and employers. Such challenges create obstacles for NNESTs to find teaching positions and impede their professional success.
English Language Teaching