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Tis the season

I suppose from some perspectives, I have been a bit bah-humbug this year. It partly stems from wanting to remove myself as much as possible from the commercial traditions placed upon us. That just doesn’t seem to mean anything to me, particularly given 2016. Professionally, I tried to come up with a list of ten groups promoting social justice in our profession in some way that benefit those in our profession. That actually wasn’t so easy, so I added a few links that go down different tangents. I think we have work to do…

So happy Hanukkah and happy Christmas to everyone. I hope something below inspires you.

There is racial and linguistic discrimination in the hiring practices within ELT. It needs to end. TEFL Equity Advocates has raised awareness of this and gotten traction at places like IATEFL. More info here on how you can contribute.

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-49-52-pmSEASON’S GREETINGS #9: THE FAIR LIST (
While this one may be restricted to the UK context, its goal of gender balance among speakers at ELT events can inspire everywhere to consider the same. Nicola Prentis and Russ Mayne have also done some work towards identifying issues with gender balance in ELT, including the creation of a Women in ELT FB page and a database of women plenary speakers.

CultureLink provides a number of programs to assist new screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-51-34-pmCanadians with integrating into their new home, including language support, community activities, employment support, etc., and different programs for youth, adults, and seniors. You can donate.

This is just one example of an organisation that provides resources, training, and support sscreen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-52-08-pmervices about and for LGBTQ newcomers. Your context might have its own or this could inspire its creation. If you’re looking for more resources for LGBTQ inclusivity, you might check out NATECLA (…/lgbt-issues-esol-resour…/).

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-53-11-pmSEASON’S GREETINGS #6: CONVO WITH THE ILL OR GRIEVING
If you haven’t had any ill or grieving people around you so far, consider yourself very lucky. Even we have trouble figuring out what to say or how to have conversation with either group of people sometimes. Our learners have it twice as hard in another language here. This video might give teachers things to consider when helping learners know how to navigate these types of situations.

SEASON’S GREETINGS #5: IATEFL Inclusive Practices & Special Education Needs SIG (
IATEFL’s youngest special interest group aims to raise awareness about and share best practices regarding learners with differing cognitive, sensory, mental, and physical challenges.

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-54-51-pmSEASON’S GREETINGS #4: KOTESOL’S Social Justice SIG (
“Since its unofficial launch in September of 2015 (and recent affiliation with KOTESOL), the Social Justice (Critical Educators in Korea) Special Interest Group has endeavored to connect active educators interested in social justice and critical approaches to education in South Korea.”

SEASON’S GREETINGS #3: IATEFL Global Issues Special Interest Group (
“Because we are all world citizens – students and teachers alike. Everything we do affects the rest of the world, and what happens in the rest of the world affects us. Every one of us can make a difference – and we as teachers can reinforce this message by what and how we teach.”

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-8-56-42-pmSEASON’S GREETINGS #2: WISHLIST (
5 years ago, I wrote a post about making a few wishes for all language teachers in our profession. How many have you gotten since then?

The 3rd instalment of this alternative-to-coursebook-themes series is freely available through Smashwords. It includes sample, adaptable lesson plans for you to use in classes in a variety of ways, including topics like race, nudity, periods, and integration. You can find the other PARSNIP topics inside.

Do you know of others? Please add them in the comments.

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