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International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching

Abstract

This article aims to contribute to an understanding of the presence and outworking of Christian faith in the teaching and learning of English in the context of interconnected local and global dynamics. The pursuit is informed by conceptualizations of space as social text along with links to agency and identity. This frames the examination of classroom interaction data gathered in a community-based, volunteer-run, church-sponsored English as a Second Language program for adult newcomers to Canada. Classroom discourse and interaction are also considered with reference to interview comments made by program providers to gain insight into the significance they attach to their actions. This gives rise to the proposal that faith-informed dimensions of identity and ideological space at broad levels have implications for constructions of space in the localized dynamics of teaching and learning. The results and discussion make a case for the simultaneity of local and global ways of being in the world and an understanding of the construction of space not only as social text but, in this case, also spiritual text informed and animated by sacred text. The article concludes by considering how matters raised in the study might be relevant to Christian English language educators and researchers in other contexts.

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