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James Mitchell - Sexual diversity in materials, classroom management and discussions

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This talk looks at integrating a focus on LGBTQ issues in the ESL classroom.

About the webinar

Many ESOL/EFL students come from countries that may not embrace queer culture or accept LGBTQ members living openly. Thus, educators and researchers in TESOL have been attempting to implement queer theory in the ESL classroom (Nelson, 1999; Nelson, 2009), but the conversation has rarely evolved into a guide for ESL/EFL instructors to use in their classes, leaving many language teachers confused about how to address sexual diversity in the class (Mitchell & Krause, 2016). To address this gap, this session will present practices which intend to build a classroom that is inclusive of LGBTQ members.

This session aims to give teachers a "toolkit" of practices to implement into their classrooms. The majority of the practices that will be highlighted in this session come from an article I co-published about first steps towards creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ members (Mitchell & Krause, 2016). After communicating to instructors that learning about queer culture and its relation to TESOL can be part of their self-development, I will present how teachers can integrate sexual diversity into materials, also drawing from Grey (2013) and Nelson (1993, 1999, 2009). I will then discuss how an environment that supports LGBTQ members is fostered through classroom management (Mitchell & Krause, 2016; Nelson, 2009). Lastly, the session will focus on classroom discussions that have emerged from micro-aggressions (Sue, 2010) and critical incidents and how they become teachable moments.

About the speaker

James D. Mitchell is an MA TESOL student at Portland State University (PSU) in Portland, Oregon. He has experience teaching EAP in the USA and Germany. His presentation and publication experience spans curriculum design, social justice, and LGBTQ+ topics in TESOL. Currently, he is a teaching assistant for the TESOL methods courses at PSU and is working on his thesis related to the relationship between gender and sexual identity and emotion and affect in language learning.