Institutional exclusion and exploitation of language teachers




language teacher, TESL, precarity, employment conditions, professionalization


Language teacher education programs and language teaching research often overlook the impact of precarity on the teachers, their practice, and their sense of professional identity. The lack of stable employment in the field creates barriers to the professionalization and development of teachers. Precarious employment is used to further marginalize teachers within their institutions by systematically excluding them from activities that would enhance their practice and professionalization. At the same time, precariously employed teachers perpetuate these power imbalances by unwittingly participating in activities that may further contribute to their precarity. Teachers enter the profession because they care, but they are also taken advantage of because they care. Language teacher education programs need to address these power imbalances to prevent teachers from being excluded or exploited where they teach.


Arnold, L., Brady, L., Christensen, M., Giordano, J. B., Hassel, H., Nagelhout, E., Singh-Corcoran, N., Staggers, J., Doe, S., & Palmquist, M. (2011). Forum on the profession. College English, 73(4), 409–427.

Baecher, L. (2012). Feedback from the field: What novice Prek-12 ESL teachers want to tell TESOL teacher educators. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 78–588. DOI:

Breshears, S. (2019). The precarious work of English language teaching in Canada. TESL Canada Journal, 36(2), 26–48. DOI:

Clifton, & Rambaran, R. (1987). Substitute teaching: Survival in a marginal situation. Urban Education, 22(3), 310–327. DOI:

Cook, W. R. A., Luke, J., Valeo, A., & Barkaoui, K. (2021). Institutional language policy and ESL teachers’ L2 writing assessment practices. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 77(2), 93–109. DOI:

Davis, M. (2019). Publishing research as an EAP practitioner: Opportunities and threats. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 39, 72–86. DOI:

Dobbie, D., & Robinson, I. (2008). Reorganizing Higher Education in the United States and Canada: The erosion of tenure and the unionization of contingent faculty. Labor Studies Journal, 33(2), 117–140. DOI:

eCampusOntario. (n.d.). About. eCampusOntario H5P Studio.

Elshafei, M. (2022). Part-time language teachers and teaching quality. Working Papers in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics at York, 2. DOI:

Faez, F., & Valeo, A. (2012). TESOL teacher education: Novice teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness and efficacy in the classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 450–471. DOI:

Goldstene, C. (2015). Designed to fail: Adjunct faculty and the fight for education. Working USA, 18(3), 367–375. DOI:

Hanson, G., & de los Reyes, C. (2019). Identity crisis: Daring to identify as more than "just" adjunct composition instructors. Teaching English in the Two-Year College, 46(3), A4-A15.

Haque, E., & Cray, E. (2007). Constraining teachers: Adult ESL settlement language training policy and implementation. TESOL Quarterly, 41(3), 634–642. DOI:

Joubel. (2022). What is H5P?

Kahn, S. (2020). We value teaching too much to keep devaluing it. College English, 82(6), 591–611.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2012). Language teacher education for a global society. Routledge. DOI:

Lawrence, G. (2018). The role of language teacher beliefs in an increasingly digitalized world. In B. Zou & M. Thomas (Eds.), Integrating technology into contemporary language learning and teaching (pp. 140-160). IGI Global. DOI:

Mirrlees, T.& Alvi, S. (2020). EdTech Inc: Selling, automating and globalizing higher education in the digital age (pp. 120-138). Routledge. DOI:

Morgan, B. (2016). Language teacher identity and the domestication of dissent: An exploratory account. TESOL Quarterly, 50(3), 708-734. DOI:

Öntaş, T. (2019). Teacher socialization and teacher isolation. In M. Öztürk, & P. Hoard (Eds.), Examining the teacher induction process in contemporary education systems (pp. 188-211). IGI Global. DOI:

Pennington, M. C., & Richards, J. C. (2016). Teacher identity in language teaching: Integrating personal, contextual, and professional factors. RELC Journal, 47(1), 5–23. DOI:

Penrose, A. M. (2012). Professional identity in a contingent-labor profession: Expertise, autonomy, community in composition teaching. Writing Program Administration, 35(2), 108–127.

Richards, J. C. (2010). Competence and performance in language teaching. RELC Journal, 41(2), 101-122. DOI:

Salton, Y., Riddle, S., & Baguley, M. (2022). The 'good' teacher in an era of professional standards: Policy frameworks and lived realities. Teachers and Teaching, 28(1), 51-63. DOI:

Sano-Franchini, J. (2016). "It's like writing yourself into a codependent relationship with someone who doesn't even want you!" Emotional labor, intimacy, and the academic job market in rhetoric and composition. College Composition and Communication, 68(1), 98–124.

Sleppin, D. S. (2009). New teacher isolation and its relationship to teacher attrition (Doctoral dissertation). Walden University.

Swidler, E. (2016). Can the adjunct speak? Academe, 102(5), 34–37.

Valeo, A., & Faez, F. (2013). Career development and professional attrition of novice ESL teachers of adults. TESL Canada Journal, 31(1), 1. DOI:

Vander Kloet, M., Frake-Mistak, M., McGinn, M. K., Caldecott, M., Aspenlieder, E. D., Beres, J. L., Fukuzawa, S., Cassidy, A., & Gill, A. (2017). Conditions for contingent instructors engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(2), 1–17. DOI:

Walkland, T. A. (2017). "Something to just hold on to": Occasional teaching and collaborative inquiry in precarious times (Masters thesis). University of Toronto.

Wilkin, A. (2021, Fall). Precarity and identity: In search of a more just labour space. The Magazine for Secondary School Professionals: Education Forum, 48, 32-35.

Wu, Z. V. (2019). Factors contributing to TESOL employment: A graduate perspective. BC TEAL Journal, 4(1), 13–32.

Zonoubi, R., Eslami Rasekh, A., & Tavakoli, M. (2017). EFL teacher self-efficacy development in professional learning communities. System, 66, 1–12. DOI:



How to Cite

Elshafei, M. (2022). Institutional exclusion and exploitation of language teachers. Working Papers in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics at York, 2, 112–121.




Similar Articles

1 2 3 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.