Representations of Foreign English Teachers in Colombian Newspapers: A Critical Discourse Analysis


Palabras clave:

Native-speakerism, non-native English teachers, native English teachers, representations, 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.

Biografía del autor/a

Doris Correa, Universidad de Antioquia

Doris Correa holds a Doctorate in Language, Literacy and Culture from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She works at the School of Languages, Universidad de Antioquia, in Medellín, Colombia. Her research interests include the use of SFL genre-based, multimodal and multimedia theories to promote EFL teachers and students’ critical literacy development.

Iván Flórez, Universidad de Antioquia

Iván Flórez has an M. A. in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning from Universidad de Antioquia. His research interests include EFL students’ academic literacy development, and English policy analysis and implementation. He currently works as a Teaching Practicum coordinator at the School of Languages in the same university



Cómo citar

Correa, D., & Flórez, I. (2022). Representations of Foreign English Teachers in Colombian Newspapers: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Revista Signos. Estudios De Lingüística, 55(108). Recuperado a partir de