It fills me with happiness to celebrate de launch of the volume Negotiating Identity in Modern Foreign Language Teaching because of its strong connections with the Language Acts and Worldmaking project, and in particular, for its contribution to the specific aims of our strand – “Diasporic identities and the Politics of Language Teaching” – which was initially shaped by Matilde Gallardo, and focuses on language teachers’ professional and personal identities.
During the first year of the project, Matilde initiated many discussions on the topic of this book in which narratives of identity could offer a way of exposing language teaching as embodied, relational and temporal. Matilde’s preoccupations with migrant language teachers and their identities emerged from her extensive experience as a language teaching historian, a teacher trainer and as a migrant language teacher herself. Therefore, she is the ideal editor and author for this volume.
Initial project events gathered language teachers from partner institutions and aspired to inspire them to become active agents of research in modern languages. Supporting teachers to see themselves as such has been one of our main challenges. For Matilde, mentoring and role modelling was a key aspect of our strand activities. What a better way than offering teachers the space to contribute to a book!
It has been tremendously exciting to see the book from a few scribbles on a notebook to full chapters and then to the physical object. As critical reader of some of the chapters, it was particularly satisfying for me to hear in this book the voices of various colleagues from the Open University alongside those of other language academics from King’s College and Regent’s University. Their willingness to collaborate in the production of the book is testimony of the stimulating environment that universities, with the support of projects like Language Acts and Worldmaking, can offer to language teachers.