Antiracism has become a global phenomenon following the surge of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in 2020. The BLM movement has revealed the important role that antiracism plays in creating more just societies. Within the field of English language teaching (ELT), issues of race have been addressed in the last 15 years. However, the BLM movement has made us realize the persistence of the White native speaker norm reflected in instructional and hiring practices and other racial biases within our field. In order to further advance our effort to achieve social justice in ELT, it is necessary to overcome the discourses of evasion, tolerance, and tokenism, and instead develop a critical understanding of racism and antiracism. This presentation will first discuss multiple ways in which racism manifests in society and ELT at the individual, institutional, and epistemological levels. This understanding of the complexity of racism invites teachers to engage in critical antiracist pedagogy, which recognizes intersectionality, multiple forms of racism, and the importance of decolonizing antiracism. It also problematizes complicity, privilege, and power hierarchy, underscoring the importance of building solidarity across difference. Critical antiracist pedagogy in ELT invites teachers to exercise critical reflexivity, open-mindedness, and vigilance.
This workshop aims to explore ideas for putting critical antiracist pedagogy into practice through a dialogue among the audience. Critical antiracist pedagogy recognizes multiple forms of racism, incorporates the principle of intersectionality, critically reflect on one’s racial and other privileges, and calls into question marginalized people’s complicity with racism. Critical antiracist pedagogy for English language teaching invites both White teachers and teachers of color to raise critical awareness about racism, engage in a dialogic approach of critical pedagogy, and exercise critical reflexivity with situated ethics. Drawing on some examples from teaching materials and classroom activities, the participants will be invited to explore and share how critical antiracist pedagogy can be put into practice in discussing current topics or events in the media news; familiar topics, such as sports, TV, and movies; teaching materials, including reading texts and visual images; and more. The participants will also explore how to approach teachable moments that occur in unplanned ways in the classroom.