Worth the Risk: Towards Decentring Whiteness in English Language Teaching
Keywords:Whiteness, Racism, White Supremacy, White Fragility, Altruistic Shield, English Language Teaching
The field of English language teaching (ELT) has long centred whiteness without acknowledging as much. Practitioners accept the field’s racial disparities under the guise of the search for profit, yet hegemonic whiteness controls our institutions, our curricula, and our pedagogy unless we, as members of this field, consciously seek to counteract its influence. White ELT professionals are incentivized to maintain the racial status quo and many exhibit fierce resistance when efforts are made to discuss white supremacy in English teaching. In this article, I demonstrate how ELT frames whiteness as both a prize and a goal, explain the deleterious impact whiteness has on racialized students and teachers, argue for the necessity of decentring whiteness, and provide suggestions for ways we can push our field towards a future where whiteness no longer reigns supreme.
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