The Nest NNEST divide and teacher identity construction in Hong Kong schools

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Despite acknowledgement of the contribution of nonnative English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) to teaching English as an international language, the privileging of native English-speaking teachers (NESTs), native speaker competency and the subsequent marginalization of NNESTs is thought to continue in many countries. This study suggests that a critical view of any NEST-NNEST division should be based on situated, contextualized investigations, carried out in particular educational contexts, to reveal and problematize the role this dichotomy can play in teacher identity construction. Using in-depth interviews with teachers and school authorities in Hong Kong, this study explores the ways in which multiple discourses can interact to enable and constrain opportunities for all teachers to construct their professional identities in different schools. The study raises questions about some previous investigations that fail to adequately problematize discourses that establish and support divisions between Hong Kong__s teachers, while also questioning the assumption that such divisions are necessarily associated with perceptions of marginalization amongst those positioned as NNESTs, for example. Suggestions for contesting discourses that do establish and support hierarchical relations between teachers are considered and implications for future research discussed.


ConferenceThe Asian Conference on Education 2015 (ACE2015), The Asian Conference on Society, Education & Technology (ACSET2015), and The ACE Undergraduate Research Symposium 2015 (ACEurs2015)
Abbreviated titleACE/ACSET/ACEurs2015
Internet address


Trent, J. (2015, October). The Nest NNEST divide and teacher identity construction in Hong Kong schools. Paper presented at The Asian Conference on Education (ACE 2015), Art Center of Kobe, Kobe, Japan.


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