Representations of Foreign English Teachers in Colombian Newspapers: A Critical Discourse Analysis
In an effort to increase the English proficiency level of their citizens and thus become more competitive in the global economy, many Latin American countries have resorted to the importation of foreign English teachers to support local English teachers in schools. The phenomenon has been widely documented by the Colombian press, which still exerts a strong influence on people’s opinions. This article reports the results of a study which explored the representations of these foreign fellows in three major Colombian newspapers published between 2010 and 2015 and the linguistic mechanisms employed to represent them this way. The study drew on critical applied linguistics theories and used Fairclough’s (1992) model for critical discourse analysis. The analysis reveals a systematic attempt on the part of the Colombian press to represent these foreign teachers as superior which is achieved through the use of several mechanisms such as stressing the foreign teachers’ foreignness and voluntariness; raising their status from inexperienced teachers to tutors, advisors and benefactors; making them the actors; and attributing them super powers. It is concluded that by doing this, newspapers are contributing to the discrimination of local English teachers, perpetuating native-speakerism, and disregarding the enormous benefits of having local English teachers in the educational system, among other aspects.