January 9, 2014 by Willy Cardoso
1. Is it the role of language teachers to address social issues in the classroom? Why (not)?
2. If languages constitute identities (personal and social) aren’t language teachers in a privileged position to teach for social change?
3. If so, this also means they are in a position of power. How is this power used?
4. What if you don’t want this power? Who will grab it? And what use will they make of it?
5. If we choose to take a de-politicised position, aren’t we just helping to maintain the status quo?
6. If so, so what? Is the status quo so bad? Says who? And why?
7. Can an investment in serious conversations about the -isms affecting our lives everyday make a difference in our students’ lives? How can we know?
8. Do we need evidence to support where we stand, how we act, and react in the role of language teachers? Or is will, and intuition, enough?
9. Shouldn’t we just be neutral?
10. What is the problem of being neutral?
11. Does neutral even exist? That is, is what I think is neutral something natural or was it created?
12. If it was created, whose interests does it represent and are these interests emancipatory or oppressive in relation to my interests and that of my community? Why am I even measuring interests using this dualism?
13. Once I’ve unpacked all this, what will I do? Just sit here and write another blog, or get myself out of the relatively comfortable position I’ve put myself into and transform my words into action? Isn’t writing a form of action? Is it enough?
14. In the end, what difference does it make? Is possible to find enough objectivity to ‘see’ the difference, and believe in it? Or is it all rhetoric and relativism?