TDAJ Vol 2 No 1 (Oct 2021)

This issue's cover, which shows a black hand with blue fingernails interlocked by pinky with a light blue hand with blue fingernails. Words say "Race & Queerness in ELT" and "Oct 2021, Volume 2 Number 1"

The IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group is proud to launch our second issue of the Teacher Development Academic Journal (TDAJ)! This issue stems from last year’s TDSIG Web Carnival with GISIG on Race and Queerness in ELT. We wish to sincerely thank all the contributing authors for their hard work and commitment to teacher development and choosing this volume of the TDAJ as the platform to share this work. Without you, this project would not have become the next phase of meaningful platform use.

Publication date: October 25, 2021

All PDFs include original pagination to use for citation.

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For more information about this journal, please visit the main TDAJ page.

In this issue

Why Race & Queerness in ELT? An introduction to this volume
Tyson Seburn

ELT itself can be regarded as a microcosm of the global village at large, whereby whiteness and heteronormativity–amongst other power structures–are positioned in the centre of decision-making in everything from materials to organisational practices to conference themes. One-off or occasional statements, talks, or strands at events are something, but our/their ‘inclusion’ defines us/them as peripheral to the main
conversation. Through this month-long event, TDSIG and GISIG used our platforms to put RACE and QUEERNESS at the centre of the discussion. We brought together and amplified the voices of ELT folx who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and/or LGBTQIA and allies who support us/them. This volume is an extension of how we have committed to using our platform.

Jim Crow and the white masks: native speakerism and preferential hegemony in TE to SOL in Saudi Arabia
Muhammad Fazle Ramzan Khan

From recruitment to prioritization, the global field of TESOL is designed to benefit Whiteness and to reify the notion of discrimination against the professionals of colour and the Others. Teaching English in Saudi Arabia refers to such a paradigm where issues like recruitment to teacher identity, curriculum to teaching materials – all are affected by multiple facets of racial favouritism stemming from prioritized native speakerism and preferential hegemony. Moreover, this deeply rooted legitimacy of White supremacy and the practice of preferential hegemony expose the non-white/Arab ELT professional to harsh challenges in establishing a teaching identity. However, based on the fact that such practice of preferential racism intersects in multifaceted ways with various sociocultural and identity markers in TESOL, this paper refers to the Critical Race Theory (CRT) to explore this issue in the Saudi Arabian academia. It shows how race, teaching identities, and social ideologies intersect in a contextual paradigm and in what ways this intersection determines how the TESOL
professionals – Natives, Arabs, and the racialized Others – engage with their own identities and the social context.

Diversity in ELT materials: teacher perspectives
Chris Richards

A version of this paper was presented at the TDSIG Race and Queerness Web Carnival in December 2020. It draws largely on the qualitative data gathered for my MEd dissertation project as well as making reference to anecdotal data. The former was gathered systematically from a series of interviews with five volunteer participants. Each was asked open-ended questions about their experiences working in English Language Teaching (ELT) with specific regard to the representation of gender and sexuality in course materials their institutions assigned to them to use. They were also asked to comment on some exemplar materials from the sample I was analysing for the other research questions in my project. The data from anecdotal sources was not gathered in a systematic way, but does provide further illuminating context. This paper will first summarise what the participants shared about the materials they were using at the time of the interview and the comments elicited by the sample materials I showed them. Then it will discuss some of the themes that emerged from the interviews, before drawing some conclusions and making recommendations.

Representation of Black people in teaching materials
Amanda Hawthorne

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of images in an attempt to reflect diversity in publications. However, research shows that the use of what are considered diverse images, can still perpetuate oppressive narratives. Whilst race as a social concept has existed for centuries, little is said of race in the arena of teaching English as a foreign language. Therefore, this article centres race and the representation of Black people in particular. The article highlights the subtleties of power hidden within images and shares ideas on how to make and embed antiracist teaching materials.

Why, and how, should one make classrooms less heteronormative
Elizabeth Coleman

Language education does not exist in a vacuum, nor is it neutral. Academies socialize learners and educators into structured systems of being and accepted behaviours. While this may provide order, it excludes many members of academic and language communities. For those who do not fit the prescribed narrative, the heteronormative atmosphere of institutions leads to isolation and self-expression that may be perceived as what Liddicoat (2009) terms linguistic failure. That is, unexpected utterances are seen as a failure in learning rather than a
true expression of self. Beginning with ideas on heteronormativity, this article considers how harm is caused via instances of erasure, and why this issue demands attention. Finally, the author sets out means by which educators can mitigate the problem.

Queering the curricula at teacher training education
Silvana Paola Accardo

In Argentina, since the passing of Law 26,150 that created a National Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Program in 2006, CSE contents that advocate for diversity, equal representation and human rights should be included, in all levels of the education system, tertiary level included. This article seeks to show how teacher educators of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) promote social and curricular justice through the inclusion of literature and literary projects designed and implemented for the development and the inclusion of a queer curricula and pedagogies in a state-run teacher training college in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Beating the binary: experiences, challenges, next steps
Helen Slee

Queerness is a complex topic that can be explored through key terms related to gender, sexuality, and attraction. This article will explore the profile of the author, a nonbinary and demisexual queer English Language Teacher during their five years working in Spain. Existing as a queer individual comes with unique professional experiences and challenges. In order to make workplaces more inclusive, there are steps that teacher organisations and educational institutions can take. These will improve the inclusivity of LGBTQ+ identities and sexualities, and aid teachers in discussing gender, sexuality, and attraction both in the classroom and among peers.