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Department of Education

Darshini Nadarajan

Doctoral Student

College Affiliation: Kellogg College

Darshini Nadarajan is a doctoral student whose research is centrally concerned with unpacking the notion of what it means to be a ‘proficient’ English language teacher in Malaysia and consequently, the discourses, practices, and identities that manifest from aspiring to be ‘proficient’.

Drawing upon epistemologies of the South and situating her study within the dynamism of education as a performative practice, her research is informed by sociological, linguistics, and anthropological lenses that aim to decolonise and indigenise knowledge along with developing theorisations that are aligned with such worldviews. Animating her research is a persistent curiosity in exploring the power and politics of education. In particular, her research dwells on scholarship that interrogates and problematises the production of knowledge and power within the intersection of gender, race and class

Darshini’s research interests are influenced by her rich and diverse educational experiences from the East and the West. Prior to coming to Oxford, she was a teacher educator for the Ministry of Education Malaysia where she trained in-service English language teachers, designed and developed face-to-face and blended language courses, edited policy blueprints, as well as wrote speeches for Ministers. Darshini graduated from Macquarie University, Australia with a B.Ed TESOL and was subsequently awarded a Fulbright scholarship where she majored in Creative Writing and American Literature at Michigan State University. She then read her Masters in both TESOL from the University of Nottingham; and Educational Leadership and Management from the National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan.

Selected Conference Presentations

Darshini, N. (2019). Translingual Tensions in In-Service Teacher Education in Malaysia. Paper presented at the English Teaching & Learning International Conference, Taiwan, 27-28 July.

Darshini, N. (2018). Portraits of Cinderellas: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Exploration of Identity and English Language Learning of Foreign Domestic Workers in Malaysia. Paper presented at the International Conference on TEFL and Applied Linguistics, Taiwan, 16-17 March.

Darshini, N. (2017). Hide! There’s a Zombie in School: Students’ Perceptions of Institutional Rules in an Urban Malaysian School. Paper presented at the Sociology of Education Conference, Taiwan, 5-6 May.

Darshini, N. (2016). What Do Parents Seek? Factors Influencing Malaysian Parents’ Decision to Enroll their Children in International Schools in Malaysia. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Comparative Education Conference, Hong Kong, 15-16 April.

Darshini, N. (2015). Fiction or Friction? Bringing the ‘Creative’ Back into Creative Writing. Paper presented at the RELC International Conference, Singapore, 13-15 March.

Darshini, N. (2015). From Michigan to Mekong: Lessons Learnt from a Technologically-Impaired Teacher. Paper presented at the CamTESOL International Conference, Cambodia, 28 February-1 March.

Darshini, N. (2014). Flipping Technology! How to Flip your Language Classroom with Minimal Hair Loss. Paper presented at the Fulbright Scholars’ Mid-Year Conference, United States of America, 11-15 December


Altering the Discourse of Legitimacy in Teaching English in Malaysia

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