Document Type : Original Article


University of British Columbia, Canada


This paper examines how normative assumptions about language teacher identity and cultural belonging can work to construct an intercultural identity that problematizes language ideologies of standardization, monolingualism, and linguistic and cultural purism. The data are drawn from a larger study investigating the professional identity construction of a cohort of Canadian French-second-language teachers who participated in a professional development sojourn in France. The analysis presented here centers on one teacher's (re)conceptualization of French culture, which both highlights and subverts prevailing Eurocentric discourses in French-second-language education and of particular prominence in study abroad contexts. The teacher’s semi-structured interview accounts are approached from a participant-relevant perspective as discursive action that serves to display a particular identity as French language teacher. The use of membership categorization analysis is especially productive in attending to how identity categories associated with discourses of authentic Frenchness are drawn on to construct a French teacher identity that challenges taken-for-granted conceptions of culture in intercultural encounters abroad.