By Bonnie Nicholas
The #CdnELTchat team hosted a fast-paced chat on November 19; the topic was Out & About: LGBTQIA2+ Learners & Teachers. We were thrilled to welcome Tyson Seburn (@seburnt) as our guest moderator for this chat, and we thank him for sharing his expertise and insights. Participants discussed questions under the headings of barriers, key points, teaching, materials, support, and change.
There were many ideas and resources shared both throughout the hour-long chat and afterwards during the #slowburn format. We’ve added everything that has been shared to this document, Resources for Including #LGBTQ themes and people. This is an editable Google Doc, so we hope that ELT professionals will continue adding links and resources to facilitate our own growth and learning.
Throughout the chat, certain themes emerged, highlighting some reminders of what we might do as teachers:
- There is a need for ongoing teacher development on inclusivity, diversity, and LGBTQ+ communities.
- There is also a need for vetted, effective, inclusive learning materials for all language levels.
- We need to work to make our classrooms safe spaces for LGBTQ+ learners: think every day about our language choices, non-judgmental approaches, representation without spotlighting, and allyship.
- Perhaps most strikingly, we have a responsibility as ELT professionals to educate ourselves about LGBTQ+ communities. We can’t wait for someone else to do this for us.
The six questions below were discussed during the chat. If you’re on Twitter, you can find the conversation by following the hashtag #CdnELTchat, but we’ve also collected the relevant tweets using Wakelet, #CdnELTchat summary for November 19, 2019.
- BARRIERS: What obstacles or barriers exist regarding LGBTQ+ inclusivity?
- KEY POINTS: What is important to understand to be an ally to both in and out LGBTQ+ colleagues and learners?
- TEACHING: What does LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching look? What does it not look like?
- MATERIALS: How can we avoid tokenism in our materials? Are there suitable materials for all levels and/or small centres?
- SUPPORT: How can we support colleagues uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ topics in class?
- CHANGE: How can we be agents of change towards inclusive, welcome, and safe environments at our institutions?
The #CdnELTchat team is always looking for people who would be interested in facilitating one of our bi-monthly chats. Please let a member of the team know if you are interested in co-moderating a live chat, or in collecting and writing the summaries which are posted on the BC TEAL and TESL Ontario blogs, and shared with TESL NS. Other provincial #ELT associations are also welcome to share. If you would like to volunteer, or have ideas for chats, contact any of us: Jennifer @jennifermchow, Augusta @ELTAugusta, Svetlana @StanzaSL, or Bonnie @EALStories. Post ideas anytime on our Padlet, https://padlet.com/BonnieJean/CdnELTchat.
Our next chat will be on December 3 on Talking about Holidays in ELT.