TESOL beyond Plights and Flights: A Book-Review


  • Cailvin D. Reyes Faculty, Don Honorio Ventura State University, Porac Campus; Student- Doctor of Philosophy in English Language Studies, Bulacan State University, Philippines.
  • Sam Rhoy B. dela Cruz Research Director, Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc; Student- Doctor of Philosophy in English Language Studies, Bulacan State University, Philippines.
  • Luisito M. Nanquil Faculty of the College of Arts and Letters and Graduate Division of Bulacan State University, Philippines.




TESOL, Plights and Flights, Book Review


An adage tells us that there is nothing permanent in this world except the idea of change. This was proven to be true even in the education sector. The drastic changes in the education paradigm called for resilient and innovative solutions. The book titled TESOL Teacher Education in a Transnational World was crafted based on the collective insights and experiences of the highly recognized language professors, researchers, and TESOL practitioners in which Osman Z. Barnawi and Anwar Ahmed served as primary editors.  The book investigates modern TESOL teacher education theories and practices to provide new and relevant insights on the nexus of language teacher education as well as transnationalism. It stresses the study of language instructors' global movement and exhibits crucial studies from many contexts.

The discussions in the book aim to fill a significant research hole by delving deeper into the theories and teacher education field at a transitioning period when national identities and inter-country mobilities push scholarly arguments.

The book is broken into four parts. Part 1 focuses on international origins, constructs, struggles in TESOL teacher education. Part 2 examines how transnational activities in TESOL teacher education are grounded in space. Part 3 consists of four chapters that engage readers in lively debates about how transnationalism is enacted in online TESOL teacher education. Within the broader field of TESOL teacher education, Part 4 investigates how practices in the transnational level are mistakenly represented in policy and professional learning curriculum.

For part 1 taking into consideration the international origins, constructs, struggles in transnationalism concerning TESOL teacher education, the authors clarified that TESOL has mostly operated within the monolingual worldview, despite taking place in multilingual and global environments. TESOL teachers' identity and epistemology have been formed by this ideology, which relates to their ideas about English teaching, as well as their knowledge on content and pedagogy. These are found to be essential for teaching English either as a second or a foreign language. Furthermore, they indicate that while English becomes a Lingua Franca as a result of globalization if it is thought and practiced in a transnational framework, it has the ability to overcome cultural divides. In this context, English must be viewed as a field practice, pertaining to the various strategies employed by practitioners worldwide. The highlight in transnationalism denotes that, in addition to Standard English, English users will communicate with a variety of languages and even dialects. The English language is a complex construct with a colonial and nationalist past.

As a language teacher, through this chapter, I gained insights into the origin of TESOL. This knowledge helps me to reflect on the fact that TESOL is present not only in English native speaking countries but also around the globe. Hence, because of the transnational construct concerning TESOL, I reflected that English language teachers like me should also promote the varieties of world English to my students.

As regards part 2 which focused on the specific transnational practices in the field of TESOL teacher education, in this part of the book, the authors noted that as our world becomes more globalized, we are witnessing extraordinary increases in human mobility as well as an insatiable need to learn English. This chapter discusses teaching-abroad experiences and how they have evolved in response to changing TESOL ITE roles, needs, and expectations. These experiences can help future TESOL teachers as a tool to their in-campus practice teaching, offering a conducive space for learners to become more adaptable and critically reflective during the development of their abilities to interact with other people. To work effectively in an increasingly complicated global context, TESOL professionals must possess these abilities (Johnson & Golombek, 2018). To attain these things, however, the tasks should be prepared methodically with specified academic goals in mind.

In part 2 of this book, I appreciate how the authors shared the transnational practices of TESOL teachers that include their experiences in adapting to challenges, changes, and needs of the students’ considering globalization.

Part 3 of the book focused on current English Language teachers’ critical challenges in the practice of ESL. Teachers must be ready for the transnational, technology-mediated and plurilingual ELT practice and play a very important duties as facilitators of intercultural relations, improving digital literacies and strategies for lifelong learning. As discussed by the author, this offered framework is a beginning mark for TESOL programs to aid mentors proactively solve these issues, turning these stumbling blocks into possible solutions and useful strategies.

Reviewing part 3 of the book, I realized that learning through a crucial reflective lens can benefit teachers inculcate learner-centered teaching, meticulously evaluating technologies, and teaching strategies to facilitate meaningful learning in the community. Today, in fact, employing ELT approach that is based in transnationalism can be a tool for students and teachers. This could help them reiterate student and teacher identity and agency in view of transnationalim. This could benefit both teachers and students embrace their cultural and linguistic resources. With the integration of an interactive, intercultural approaches based on by technology and pedagogical competence can aid teachers realize needs of English language students globally.

Moving to Part 4, which zeroed on TESOL policy, curricula, professional learning, and development, it can be depicted that transnational students, because of the impact of transnational mobility, brought schema from their home and cultures to their classes where they can be used in teaching and learning process. The diversity of learners invites culturally sensitive teaching strategies that address to the significant effects of transnational mobility. As a reviewer and educator, I advocate translanguaging in view of culturally-responsive teaching.

However, a limitation to this transnationalism may be the fact that some teacher may raise concerns that there is no space in their respective syllabi to integrate transnationalism modules as offered in part 4 of the book. The answer for this would be to offer the modules in short courses. Others could propose different topics for modules that could appeal to wider audiences in the transnationalism.

To conclude this review, it can be emphasized that language as well as language education has always served a critical role in the progress of different nations. In my view, teaching English to non-native English speakers has been an integral component of the economic global movement. Teachers and students alike are migrating across national borders in search of work and educational possibilities. They generate and pay a lot of money. While many do it independently, others are controlled directly or indirectly by global organizations, including recruitment agencies. Today, TESOL is a truly global organization, with offerings ranging from worldwide language testing regimes to textbooks and online resources. These and other factors must be taken into account when considering transnationalism and TESOL teacher education. Instances have created an entirely new and vital space for reflection and debate. It will spur additional research that will have a significant impact on policy and practice.


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Barnawi, O. Z., & Ahmed, A. (Eds.). (2020). TESOL Teacher Education in a Transnational World: Turning Challenges into Innovative Prospects. Routledge.




How to Cite

Reyes, C. D. ., dela Cruz, S. R. B. ., & Nanquil, L. M. . (2022). TESOL beyond Plights and Flights: A Book-Review. Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 4(1), 3–4. https://doi.org/10.53057/linfo/2022.4.1.br2