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Racism in English Language Teaching is widespread

We often like to think of ELT as an open-minded, nice and tolerant profession. But there us unfortunately a much darker side to it.

Native speakerism, which positions those perceived as ‘native speakers’ as superior, is very deeply rooted. And so is racism in ELT, unfortunately; whereby those who are not white or Western-looking will be discriminated against in a variety of ways.

That’s why in this video I wanted to raise your awareness of how widespread and systemic racism is in ELT.

If you want to learn more about racism in ELT, I’d recommend this blog post.

For a more personal account of how racism can affect lives of individual teachers, read this article by Sulaiman Jenkins.

If you’re interested in learning more about tackling native speakerism, read this article about the 4 levels of change we need.

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Duncan White
10 days ago

Hi Marek, I think you’ve found the key – English as a Lingua Franca – and I humbly suggest you shift the main focus to that idea. It is the root of the dilemma. And it’s wonderfully positive, suitable for promotion across all sectors (far more than mere ‘native speakerism’, which however true, is getting old and tired). Lingua Franca makes communicative competence the core. Dialects and national variants can be noted, according to individual student purposes, but do not unreasonably dominate, infect. The biases of marketers, schools, and some public toward ‘native speakerism’ and certain races is more revealed… Read more »

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