Social Justice and the Language Classroom

Reflection, Action, and Transformation

Deniz Ortaçtepe Hart

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Pedagogical principles and practices to integrate social justice issues into your language classroom
  • Covers social class and neoliberalism, intersectionality, race, ethnicity and antiracism, environmental justice, gender and sexual identity
  • Includes problem-posing and reflective tasks, sample lesson plans and activities to allow you to critically reflect on your practice and apply social justice pedagogies in your own teaching
  • Includes case studies from across the world adopting a more international perspective and challenging the dominant US-centric and Eurocentric approaches to social justice language education

Challenging the liberal notion of the classroom as a neutral space, Social Justice and the Language Classroom invites you to become advocates, allies, and activists, and gives you the conceptual and practical tools to fight against systemic injustice in education and beyond.

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Part I Language teaching for social justice

1. Social justice and social justice education

2. Social justice-oriented critical pedagogy

3. Language, education, and social justice

4. Social justice language curriculum

Part II Critical themes and frameworks

5. Neoliberalism, social class, and anti-classism

6. Race, ethnicity, and antiracist language pedagogy

7. Social justice pedagogies for all gender and sexual identities

Part III Conclusion

8. The rough and yet traversable road ahead


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Social Justice and the Language Classroom makes a compelling and grounded argument for connecting social justice, language education and decolonial perspectives. As language educators we cannot sit silently by in the face of local and wider injustices. It shows both why critical language education projects are essential and how they can be developed.

Alastair Pennycook, University of Technology Sydney

Theoretically robust and eminently practical in terms of classroom applicability, this timely and much-needed book aims to put social justice at the heart of second language education. It succeeds admirably in that endeavour, comprehensively and eloquently addressing issues of race, class, gender and sexuality while effectively raising teachers’ critical consciousness.

John Gray, University College London

Ortaçtepe Hart deliberately avoids trying to replace one educational ideology with an alternative “off-the-shelf” commodity. Instead, she focuses on developing her readers' capacities for critical consciousness and reflection—skills that should help them to identify the social justice issues that matter most in their own contexts, and how to incorporate them into their teaching. This is what makes the book's contribution to language education—and to TESOL in particular—so valuable.

Steve Brown, University of Glasgow, TESOL Journal
Deniz Ortaçtepe Hart is Lecturer in the TESOL program at the University of Glasgow

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