White TESOL Instructors’ Engagement with Social Justice Content in an EAP Program: Teacher Neutrality as a Tool of White Supremacy
Keywords:TESOL, English for Academic Purposes, Whiteness, Critical Whiteness Studies, Social Justice, Decolonization, English Language Teaching
This study highlights the teaching practices of three white instructors—who addressed social justice issues in the context of their English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes—to contextualize their pedagogy in relation to intersections of Whiteness and English language teaching. The study was conducted at a four-year private university on the East Coast in the United States, and data were collected over the course of a semester through observations, interviews with teachers, and document analysis. Using Social Justice Pedagogy (SJP) and Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) as my frameworks for analysis, I suggest that white instructors’ remaining neutral on social injustices maintains Whiteness in the context of English language teaching. Implications are discussed for white EAP instructors who seek to engage emergent bilingual (EB) students in conversations about social justice issues and disrupt existing power dynamics of Whiteness and colonial legacies within English language teaching.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Leah Mortenson
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