Non-normative corporalities and transgender identity in English as a Foreign Language student teachers

Main Article Content

Diego Ubaque-Casallas
Harold Castañeda-Peña


Little international research exists on EFL (English as a Foreign Language) student teachers regarding transgender identity and non-normative corporalities. Similarly, few studies in Colombia have investigated the concept of teacher identity of transgender EFL student teachers to understand this dimension of identity. This study explores the transgender/blind identity of an EFL student teacher. The study took on identity as multiple and fluid to understand how transgender identity serves a lens to shape the process of becoming a teacher. Findings suggest that transgender identity is made from either experiences that modify or re-construct the self.  The study revealed that the notion of gender is contested when the idea of transgender works as a personal mechanism to question the existing normativity of one’s own body and the self. Identity is then presented as a series of choices and performances situated in time that are validated in the transgender and blind condition.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ubaque-Casallas, D., & Castañeda-Peña, H. (2020). Non-normative corporalities and transgender identity in English as a Foreign Language student teachers. HOW Journal, 27(2), 13-30.
Research Reports
Author Biographies

Diego Ubaque-Casallas, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas

Language teacher and teacher educator who currently works at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Bogotá, Colombia). He holds an MA degree in Applied Linguistics to TEFL from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Bogotá, Colombia).

Harold Castañeda-Peña, Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas

He is currently the Director of the Doctorado Interinstitucional en Educación (ELT Education Major) at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Bogotá, Colombia). ASOCOPI President 2017-2018. His research interests revolve around information literacy, videogaming, and gender in ELT. COLCIENCIAS Senior researcher. PhD in Education from Goldsmiths University of London. 


Brezina, V., & Gablasova, B. (2015). Is there a core general vocabulary? Introducing the new general service list. Applied Linguistics, 36, 1-22.
Cabré, M. (1999). Terminology: Theory, methods, and applications. John Benjamins.
Charles, M. (2013). English for academic purposes. In B. Paltridge & S. Starfield (Eds.), The handbook of English for specific purposes (1st Ed.) (pp. 137-153). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chen, Q., & Ge, G. C. (2007). A corpus-based lexical study on frequency and distribution of Coxhead’s AWL word families in medical research articles (RAs). English for Specific Purposes, 26, 502-514.
Chung, T. M., & Nation, P. (2003). Technical vocabulary in specialized texts. Reading in a Foreign Language, 15(2), 103-116.
Chung, T., & Nation, I. S. P. (2004). Identifying technical vocabulary. System, 32, 251-263.
Corson, D. (1997). The learning and use of academic English words. Language Learning, 47, 671-718.
Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213-238.
Coxhead, A., & Nation, I. S. P. (2001). The specialized vocabulary of English for Academic Purposes. In J. Flowerdew & M. Peacock (Eds.), Research perspectives on English for Academic Purposes (pp. 252–267). Cambridge University Press.
Dang, T. N. Y., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2017). The academic spoken word list. Language Learning, 67(4), 959-997.
Gardner, D., & Davies, M. (2014). A new academic vocabulary list. Applied Linguistics, 35(3), 305-327.
Gholaminejad, R. & Anani Sarab, M. R. (2020). The academic vocabulary and collocations used in language teaching and applied linguistics textbooks: a corpus-based approach. Terminology, 26(1), 82-107.
Gholaminejad, R. (2020a). Academic vocabulary in learner writing: From extraction to analysis. WORD, 66 (1), 62-64.
Gholaminejad, R. (2020b). What do Iranian undergraduate students of social vs. natural sciences say about their language needs? International Journal of Research in English Education, 5(1), 104-115.
Green, C., & Lambert, J. (2018). Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 35, 105-115.
Hirsh, D., & Nation, P. (1992). ‘What vocabulary size is needed to read unsimplified texts for pleasure?’ Reading in a Foreign Language, 8, 689-96.
Hsu, W. (2011). EFL business postgraduates’ source. The Asian ESP journal, 7(4), 63-99.
Hsu, W. (2014). Measuring the vocabulary load of engineering textbooks for EFL undergraduates. English for Specific Purposes, 33, 53-64.
Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2007). Is there an “academic vocabulary”? TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 235-253.
Kuehn, P. (1996). Assessment of academic literacy skills: Preparing minority and limited English proficient (LEP) students for post-secondary education. California State University (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED415498).
Lam, J. (2001). A study of semi-technical vocabulary in computer science texts, with special reference to ESP teaching and lexicography (Research reports, Vol. 3). Language Centre, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Lei, L., & Liu, D. (2016). A new medical academic word list: A corpus-based study with enhanced methodology. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22, 42-53.
Li, Y., & Qian, D. (2010). Profiling the academic word list (AWL) in a financial corpus. System, 38, 402-411.
Liu, J., & Han, L. (2015). A corpus-based environmental academic word list building and its validity test. English for Specific Purposes, 39, 1-11.
Martínez, I. A., Beck, S. C., & Panza, C. B. (2009). Academic vocabulary in agriculture research articles: a corpus-based study. English for Specific Purposes, 28, 183-198.
Mudraya, O. (2006). Engineering English: A lexical frequency instructional model. English for Specific Purposes, 25(2), 235–256.
Nation, I. S. P. (1990). Teaching and Learning Vocabulary. Newbury House.
Nation, I. S. P. (2015). Chapter 33: Which words do you need? In J. R. Taylor (Ed.). Handbook of the Word (pp. 568-581). Oxford University Press.
Nation, P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge University Press.
Nation, P. (2013). Learning vocabulary in another language (2nd Ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Paquot, M. (2010). Academic vocabulary in learner writing: From extraction to analysis. Continuum.
Provalis (2016). Prosuite: Wordstat [computer software]. Montreal.
Quero, B., & Coxhead, A. (2018). Using a corpus-based approach to select medical vocabulary for an ESP course: The case for high-frequency vocabulary. In Y. Kırkgöz & K. Dikilitaş (Eds.). Key issues in English for specific purposes in higher education (pp. 51-75). Springer, Cham.
Schmitt, N., & Schmitt, D. (2012). A reassessment of frequency and vocabulary size in L2 vocabulary teaching. Language Teaching, 47(4), 1-20.
Schmitt, N. (2000). Vocabulary in language teaching. Cambridge University Press.
Sutarsyah, C., Nation, P., & Kennedy, G. (1994). How useful is EAP vocabulary for ESP? A corpus-based case study. RELC journal, 25(2), 34-50.
Valipouri, L., & Nassaji, H. (2013). A corpus-based study of academic vocabulary in chemistry research articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(4), 248-263.
Vongpumivitch, V., Huang, J. Y., & Chang, Y. C. (2009). Frequency analysis of the words in the Academic Word List (AWL) and non-AWL content words in applied linguistics research papers. English for Specific Purposes, 28, 33-41.
Wang, J., Liang, S., & Ge, G. (2008). Establishment of a medical word list. English for Specific Purposes, 27, 442-458.
Ward, J. (2009). A basic engineering English word list for less proficient foundation engineering undergraduates. English for Specific Purposes, 28(3), 170-182.
West, M. (1953). A general service list of English words. Longman.
Yang, M. (2015). A nursing academic word list. English for Specific Purposes, 37, 27-38.