Recentering Practice in Professional Identity Constructions: Practice-based Perspectives from a Transnational-Translingual Pracademic
As members of a global TESOL community, we all participate in and across a wide range of professional roles -- including students, teachers, teacher educators, researchers, mentors, administrators -- as well as settings that span formal K-20+ contexts around the world. These roles and settings encompass diverse, dynamic, complex, and overlapping practices. And yet, the word ‘practice’ itself continues to be narrowly perceived as 'teaching', while the term ‘practitioner’ is generally interpreted as ‘teacher’ (as opposed to ‘academic’). The presenter problematizes this narrow conceptualization and explores a more inclusive definition of ‘practice’ by (re)imagining herself as a (transnational and translingual) ‘pracademic’ (Jain, 2021) -- through the construction of her own practice-based intersectional professional identities, along with the deliberate intent to democratize and recenter ‘practice’ and, more controversially, decenter ‘academe’. As Wenger (1998) writes, “Some communities may specialize in the production of theories, but that too is practice” (p. 48). This webinar invites its audience to engage in this radical decentering and recentering by transferring these perspectives to their own practices, roles, and contexts.
Dr. Rashi Jain is an associate professor in the English Language for Academic Purposes Program at Montgomery College's Rockville campus, where she currently teaches academic English to multilingual immigrant and international students preparing for college studies. As a global citizen who now lives across nations, languages, and cultures, Rashi believes that it is crucial for students and educators to acquire intercultural and translingual competence to successfully navigate complex 21st-century realities, and this is foundational to her pedagogy and research. For many years, Rashi has been exploring the rich field of practitioner research and inquiry, and she has also published and presented extensively on transnationalism and translingualism, cross-cultural communication, teacher identity and pedagogy, Global Englishes, and NNEST issues.