This study addresses the notion of self-marginalization and politics of belonging in an English academy. Based on a concept of imagined community (Anderson, 2006), the study aims to investigate how graduate students, who are English teachers, conceptualize the notion of expertise in writing. Studying in English Language Studies Program in a university, Northeast Thailand, the participants from South East Asian countries are invited to share their views and experiences as second language writers in a context of English writing for academic purposes. Data collection includes In-depth interviews and classroom observation. Grounded theory and content analysis are employed to describe the expertise phenomenon.
Findings reveal that all but one informants hesitated to claim themselves as an expert in writing especially in writing for publication. In their views, four factors are considered as a mental-barrier of achieving the sense of being an expertise. These obstacles involve grammatical rules, hegemonic native speaker model, academic writing ideology and demanding publication requirement. Self-marginalization is also a mental hindrance that blocks them not to be able to go across a standard trap. For these participants, being an expert in second language writing seems to exist in one and only shared place—the imagined community.
Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso.