Peter Sayer

Headshot of Peter Sayer

Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Area: Foreign, Second, and Multilingual Language Education

(614) 292-4539

Personal Website


Peter Sayer is an associate professor of Foreign, Second and Multilingual Language Education and Language, Education and Society in the Department of Teaching and Learning. He is originally from Canada, and started as an ESL instructor in Oregon in the 1990s while working as a community organizer and activist. He then moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where he taught English for eight years at the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca and earned an MA in applied linguistics and went on to do his dissertation research in Oaxaca, an ethnography of language teachers. After finishing his PhD in 2007, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, working with Bilingual Education and ESL teachers.

His scholarly work is in applied linguistics and educational sociolinguistics, with a focus on language learners in bilingual and ESOL programs. Since 2009, he has collaborated with the Mexican Secretaria de Educación Pública on various projects related to the implementation of the Programa Nacional de Inglés, the national English program for public elementary schools, and in this capacity has worked extensively with schools and teachers throughout Mexico. He has also led workshops and study abroad programs for teachers in Peru, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico during 2011-12. Currently, he is Principal Investigator and leader of the Senderos project, a collaborative professional development/research project with teachers in a public two-way dual language magnet school in Columbus, Ohio


PhD, Language and Literacy, Arizona State University, 2007

MA, Applied Linguistics, Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, 2002

BA, Philosophy, University of Oregon

Research Interests

Selected Publications


Sayer, P. (2012). Ambiguities and tensions in English language teaching: Portraits of EFL teachers as legitimate speakers. New York: Routledge.


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Sayer, P. (2018). Does English really open doors? Social class and English teaching in public primary schools in Mexico. System, 73.

Sayer, P. (2015). Expanding global language education in public primary schools: The national English program in Mexico. Language, Culture & Curriculum, 28(3), 257–275.

Sayer, P. (2015). ‘More & earlier’: Neoliberalism and primary English education in Mexican public schools. L2 Journal, 7(3), 40-56.

Ramírez, J.L., Sayer, P. and Pamplón Irigoyen, E.N. (2014).  Teaching English in public primary schools in Mexico: Perspectives of the stakeholders. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(4), 1020-1043.

Sayer, P. (2013). Translanguaging, TexMex, and bilingual pedagogy: Emergent bilinguals learning through the vernacular. TESOL Quarterly, 47(1), 63-88.

Sayer, P. and Meadows, B. (2012). Teaching culture beyond nationalist boundaries: National identities, stereotyping, and culture in language education. Intercultural Education Journal, 23(3), 265-279.

Sayer, P. (2010). Using the linguistic landscape as a pedagogical resource.  ELT Journal, 64(2), 143-155.


Book Chapters

Sayer, P., Ban, R. and López de Anda, M. (2017). Evaluating the educational outcomes of an early foreign language programme: The design of an impact study for the primary English programme in Mexico. In J. Enever and E. Lindgren (Eds.), Researching the complexity of early language learning in instructed contexts, (pp. 269-288). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Sayer, P. and López Gopar, M. (2015).  Language education in Mexico: Access, equity, and ideology.  In W. Wright, O. Garcia, & S. Boun (Eds.), The handbook of bilingual and multilingual education, (pp. 576-589). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.