Anna: Politics of English

Anna RozzoMAT student Anna Rozzo has experience teaching in the U.S. and Morocco.  Anna took the new Politics of TESOL elective course this spring, and shares her thoughts, reactions, and key learnings regarding the class below.

This course covered many topics that are essential to my professional development as an ESOL teacher.  I am now better informed about terminology and have a deepened understanding of Kachru’s circles. Besides examining professional terminology and reviewing the various types of ESOL models popular in the world today, taking a serious look at such issues as globalization, linguistic imperialism, language “development”, and sustainable teaching was an important part of this class for me.  Taking a closer look at how to make English teaching socially responsible and discussing potential problems and solutions within the practice of TESOL, should be, in my opinion, a major component to the MAT program.

Something very practical that I take away from this course is the case-study activity. Doing a case study allows the inquirer to holistically consider the environment where English is being taught. One should gain an understanding of the context and culture by asking such questions as “why/where/who/when/how is English being taught”? This will help teachers understand socio-cultural dynamics and pedagogic phenomenon in that context.  I think conducting similar case-studies in which I examine the context would be helpful in both making responsible professional decisions and being able to better assess my students’ needs or what will be demanded of me as a teacher in a particular setting.

Ideas that I am still thinking about and/or interested in learning more about include, “development”, “sustainable language programs”, and NGO involvement. How can I use TESOL as a tool for social justice, not just a job that pays the bills? Although this is why I choose SIT, I’m still unsure what that will look like for me.

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