SOCIAL JUSTICE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING: COURSEBOOK ANALYSIS

Posted On 12/6/2019 4:03:00 PM, 0Comments

 

 
 
 

First of all, I want to start my sayings about the analysis of the coursebook, after focusing on the efficiency of the coursebook that is a tool for touching upon social and environmental issues in the classroom environment. In today’s world, we have lots of different coursebook choice but if you work at a state school, there is a certain coursebook that is published by the Ministry of Education for English course and so you are responsible for completing the units that are served in the book. In other words, you are deeply attached to the units. On the other hand, I could use different materials including coursebooks while I was working at private language institutions. We as an English teacher candidates can turn this situation as I mentioned before into an opportunity to increase awareness about social and environmental issues to lay the foundations of social justice education.

Now I will try to evaluate the coursebook that I have used in my practicum side and it is used by 4th graders in Turkey. Initially, I want to mention “Unit 2/ Nationality” is a unit presents different countries and nationalities. So this unit is open to promote cultural awareness between the students, especially towards the Black people. In other words, we can cover this unit against racism.

On this page, as we can see, only white people are touched throughout my examination of this unit I could see there is no place for black ones. So we can have the students draw a person then color him/her black as group work and also they can write some personality features ( age, country, hobbies, etc.) under the picture then they come to the board and introduce their characters one by one. Also, the other alternative activity can be conducting drama activity, to put it differently, we can want the students to change their identity and choose another country and nationality also. One of them can be American, Brazilian, etc. and make a dialogue for establishing a friendship.

 The page showed above is about 7th unit/ Jobs of the book deals with jobs, their actions and where the jobs work but there are some gaps. To exemplify, nearly all the jobs are ideal ones ( lawyer, doctor, teacher,etc.) for example garbage man, cleaner, butcher and so on. Also, butcher, the grocery store is given in the 5th-grade coursebook and in the 2nd unit/ My Town as a building name. However; these jobs could be presented to the students in the Jobs unit. For example, the teacher can throw some garbages ( like sheets, plastic and glass objects) to the classroom and the teacher can want the students to be garbage man and collect the garbage. Then she/he wants the students to separate them to recycle. In this way they can recognize the importance of garbage man, maybe cleaner and so on for our lives and they can grasp the jobs are not limited to the only ideal jobs.

In the 9th unit/ My Friends is about physical descriptions of the people but there are some sensitive adjectives, in other words, they may offend the students for example fat, short as a bodybuilder so the teacher can prefer using puppet to teach these kinds of words not to use the students directly. And also there is not any disabled person example in this unit. In order to increase awareness towards the disabled people, the teacher can integrate some examples of them to the course. For example, the activity showed above touches upon not disabled people’ description but the teacher can bring a photo of the disabled persons and the students to describe him/her and in this way the students can grasp they are together with them and we do not isolate them. In addition, the teacher can say the students this course we will be disabled people some of them symbolize visually challenged ones, and the other group symbolizes the deaf ones. So the teacher covers the unit like this to empathize with disabled people and have the students look from their perspectives.

Lastly, the 10th unit/ Foods and Drinks is a sensitive and problematic unit to some extent because each and every student may not have the same economic conditions. While I was talking to my friend that works with 6th graders and as she was telling her practicum experiences about the “Yummy Breakfast” unit, any student said “We have not any food in our fridge and I do not know what croissant means” to her. So the teacher while covering this unit, she/he should be more sensitive and shape his/her course by taking precaution.

 

 

About Me

Posted On 11/26/2019 5:19:00 PM, 0Comments
 

My name is Merve KILIÇ. I am 22 years old and I am from Artvin and I graduated from Anatolian Teacher’s Training High School in Artvin. Now I am studying at Trabzon University Department of English Language Teaching  as a senior student.

   I participated to this project because I want to increase cultural awareness between people especially towards black people. I have some black friends and I worked with them last year. Also I had a project for community service and talked them. Then I recognized that people who live in Trabzon behave rudely to them therefore people have some bias towards the people who are not like them. Actually not only black people but also other cultural or religional differences may not be valued. So I try to touch this issue and try to a find some solutions reaching more people. And also the other reason for being interested in this project I as a teacher candidate want to engrain students’ opinion in differences (skin color, different opinions, different cultural elements and so on)  should be valued because in the classroom environment despite we are the same nationality, we have the same skin color but there may be lots of different cultural dimensions. To put it differently, having the some physical similarities is not enough for being at the same ground and my overall aim is to give a message like each and every opinion, cultural difference, etc. are unique and should be respected. So I did decide to participate this project.

 
 

The topics that I want to be interested in racism, gender inequality, environmental issues,  and quality education.