Intersectional English(es) and the Gig Economy: Teaching English Online

Nathaniel Ming Curran


This article introduces LanguaSpeak, a heretofore underexplored digital platform that functions as a market for language learners and teachers. It argues that LanguaSpeak, through both its interface and users’ communicative practice, unwittingly reinforces existing language ideologies, particularly around race. In making this argument, the article suggests the notion of “intersectional English(es)” as a means through which scholars can productively consider the ways in which race, nationality, and language intersect and are (re)enforced through online interfaces/interaction. Drawing on data collected from the profiles of English teachers from the United States and the Philippines, this article examines how language, nationality, and race intersect on LanguaSpeak. Key differences identified between the two countries’ teachers include price and marketing strategies. Specifically, White male American teachers are found to enjoy significant advantages over other teachers, reflecting dominant language ideologies. This has implications for English language teaching and language discrimination more broadly.


intersectionality, digital labor, gig economy, English, neoliberalism

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