Incidental displays of cultural knowledge in the nonnative-English-speaking teacher's classroom

Anne Lazaraton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article examines incidental cultural knowledge displays by two nonnative-English-speaking teachers (NNESTs) in their intensive English program classrooms. Surprisingly, until recently, NNESTs have received little empirical attention in the literature, even though questions continue to arise about their language competence, pedagogical knowledge, and cultural orientation. This study goes beyond existing work on the impressions, reflections, and beliefs of NNESTs to ask, What is the nature of the discourse produced in ESL classes taught by NNESTs? And, more to the point, does an analysis of this discourse suggest real problems with language, teaching, or culture? An analysis of videotaped classroom data of two teachers indicated that a wide and unpredictable range of cultural topics arose. Although with one exception they were able to deal with the cultural topics by displaying knowledge in a competent manner, the analysis suggested missed opportunities in that the teachers did not admit "I don't know," thus providing the chance for their students to become cultural informants in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-245
Number of pages33
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidental displays of cultural knowledge in the nonnative-English-speaking teacher's classroom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this