Sexual Identities in English Language Education: Classroom Conversations

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Likewise, TESOL seminars can be planned in such a way that professionalizing students can co-cognize and negotiate a variety of options for queering their own practice in the future.

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Although teacher preparation is important, the potentially profound impacts of classroom materials cannot be ignored. As I have argued elsewhere, the texts and textbooks that we deploy in our classrooms must be troubled regarding the identity positions that they present to students Paiz, Mainstream publishers are an important part of the solution because of the degree of penetration of texts and textbooks in many classrooms and because of the role of commercially produced texts as cultural artifacts. Publishers and the materials that they produce are also important because some institutional contexts require teachers to engage with approved curricular materials in the classroom.

Also, for novice teachers, the textbook represents a safe contingency for course planning and lesson diversity; that is, the textbook offers structure and guidance on how to present curricular content. Regarding research, additional studies are needed that examine the possible educational and language acquisition outcomes of queering the ESL classroom. Also, research examining student and teacher engagement with the queered classroom is needed.


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This research should examine the specifics of how the classroom has been queered and the responses and attitudes of both teachers and students to these efforts. This research can help to better inform teaching best practices.

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Regarding practice, detailed descriptions of how individual teacher trainers have queered the preparation of new and early-service practitioners would be a welcome addition to disciplinary knowledge. These descriptions can serve as a model for others wishing to better equip their student teachers to create a more equitable and open classroom.

Finally, an examination of best practices for queering existing curricular materials is also needed. Although this is certainly a context-dependent task, making these local best practices part of the disciplinary dialogue on queering ESL classrooms can lead to better-equipped educators and materials developers in the future. Finally, I would like to extend a special thanks to New York University Shanghai students Anthony Comeau and Agnes Santino for their comments on an earlier version of this article.

Queer pedagogy and the limits of thought: Teaching sexualities at university. Higher Education Research and Development, 34, — Reading Research and Instruction, 26 2 , — Curriculum Inquiry, 18, — The social turn in second language acquisition. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.

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Block, D. Second language identities.

London, England: Continuum. Britzman, D. Is there a queer pedagogy? Or, stop reading straight. Educational Theory, 45, — Potowski Ed. New York, NY: Routledge. Curran, G. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5 1 , 85— Identity, agency, and the acquisition of professional language and culture. London, England: Bloomsbury. De Vincenti, G. The queer stopover: How queer travels in the language classroom.

Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 4 1 , 58— The history of sexuality Vol. Gortmaker, V. Out of the college closet: Differences in perceptions and experiences among out and closeted lesbian and gay students. College Student Journal, 40, — Greytak, E. From teasing to torment: School climate revisited.

Grossman, P. Learning from curriculum materials: Scaffolds for new teachers? Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, — After sex? On writing since queer theory. Harrison, M. Discovering voices, discovering selves: Auto- ethnographic examinations of the relationships between Japanese queer sexualities and English language and culture Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Jagose, A. Queer theory: An introduction. Liddicoat, A. Sexual identity as linguistic failure: Trajectories of interaction in the heteronormative language classroom.


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  • Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 8, — Queering literacy teaching: Analyzing gay-themed discourse in a fifth-grade class in Brazil. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5, 31— Heterosexism in ESL: Examining our attitudes. Sexual identities in ESL: Queer theory and classroom inquiry. Queer inquiry in language education.

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    Queer thinking about language teaching: An overview of published work. Volkmann Eds. Nelson, C. Sexual identities in English language education: Classroom conversations. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 1 1 , 79— Language and identity [Special issue]. Norton Peirce, B. Social identity, investment, and language learning. Discussing gender and sexuality in a context-appropriate way: Queer narratives in a college classroom in Japan. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5, 51— Over the monochrome rainbow: Heteronormativity in ESL reading texts and textbooks.

    Journal of Language and Sexuality, 4 1 , 77— The cultural politics of English as an international language. Search all titles. Search all titles Search all collections. Your Account Logout. The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity. Edition 1st Edition. First Published They analyse the discourses of education, autobiography, politics, and youth culture, demonstrating the ways in which languages may be sites of resistance, empowerment, or discrimination.

    Toohey, K. Learning English at school: Identity, social relations and classroom practice. Cleveland, UK: Multilingual Matters. Drawing on an exemplary ethnography of young English language learners, Toohey investigates the ways in which classroom practices are implicated in the range of identity options available to language learners.

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