I’m not sure if you’ve seen activity that’s risen up from a few calls-to-action at the Innovate ELT 2019 conference in Barcelona or not, categorised as “ELT Footprint”. It’s largely a group of ELT professionals together, concerned about the climate crisis, who share ways in which the ELT profession/industry can have an impact (positively or negatively). So far, the organisers have put together a Facebook group and blog. The FB group is currently extremely active, so beware with notifications. In any case, someone asked what type of lessons others might use within the environment and sustainable realm of topics, so I whipped one together, which I’ve shared there, but will also post here for those not in the group.

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Not only since I’ve been doing talks about LGBTQIA2S community within ELT, but a lot since then, I’ve been asked about the possibility of there being a related teacher association endorsed/organised Special Interest Group (SIG), specifically in IATEFL. For simplicity sake (at least for this post, though there is an argument to be made for or against), I’ll refer to this as Queer SIG (QSIG).

The SIG purpose–not unlike all other SIGs in terms of the special interest itself–would be to have a self-selected grouping together of members interested in and practising queer pedagogies as well as providing a forum, collection of talks, etc., to discuss queer issues within the ELT environment, for example, the practical classroom space, institutional support, teacher training and ongoing development, and policy. As an endorsed official SIG from a teaching association, this usually involves membership money, volunteer hours towards organisation/protocol, and a variety of expectations on providing the above more concretely than say, an informal Facebook group would.

I’ll address a few considerations that come to mind for me here before drawing any conclusions and largely relate this to the IATEFL context as it is the teaching association I belong to.

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Hi. Over the last few years, a certain change has been occurring in my belief system, not so much a complete overhaul, but more of an awakening of my ownership of attitudes and actions regarding social issues, and resulting urge to further explore how they impact my pedagogical choices. I’m cross-posting this first post from a new blog, Purple, that I’ve started to work through these changes. Since it won’t always be related to ELT, I won’t share everything here, but particular posts like this one. Much will likely be related to LGBTQ+, but also other social -isms, as that’s where my head is at the moment, thanks to the social climate we live in and my awareness of responsibilities within it. If anything strikes a chord, your perspective is wholly welcomed. You can find the original here.

As an ELTer, I’ve never subscribed to the idea that the ELT classroom should be devoid of engagement in social issues nor that we as teachers are meant to act solely as language-checking gurus following a sanitised beige syllabus.

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