Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Curtis Porter, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Veronica T. Watson, Ph.D.


This study used narrative inquiry as a methodological tool and Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a lens to examine how the term native English speaker (NES) is socially constructed when subscribed by Black teachers of English (BTE) in South Korea. In addition to examining how Black teachers of English interpret the term native English speaker, this study also analyzed how being a native English speaker influences pedagogical approaches in the classroom and teachers’ identity as an English Language Teaching (ELT) professional. As a critical qualitative inquiry, this study aimed to examine the teaching experiences of five BTE in South Korea and how such experiences have shaped their pedagogy. Data collection consisted of the use of audio-recording, questionnaire surveys, and Skype interviews.

Teaching strategies implemented by Black teachers of English may be witnessed by other teachers of English as an inspirational guidance for teaching the English language in the South Korean context and around the world; it also taps into aspects of race influencing how the English language is taught and learned. The implications and research outcome for this study were to: 1) provide academe visibility and awareness of Black teachers of English working around the globe, particularly in South Korea, as NES; 2) understand ways in which the term NES gets socially constructed when subscribed by BTE; and 3) contribute scholarship to the field of TESOL by elucidating the perceived teaching experiences of BTE.

Research showed that participants often verbalized promoting cultural awareness and bringing real-life experiences into the classroom, rather than the need to focus on prescriptive grammar. Moreover, these five participants recognized that as NES they were cultural ambassadors of their race as Black teachers and of their culture as Americans. Additional implications pertaining to English language teaching hiring practices and future research centered on BTE in South Korea were addressed as well. Lastly, I concluded this research study by providing concluding reflections of my current thoughts as an educator and scholar, in hopes that this dissertation truly inspires those who feel that they have been underrepresented and/or misrepresented within the paradigm of TESOL.