Language Arts

Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials - download pdf or read online

By John Gray (eds.)

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Discourse and pragmatics What aspects of discourse are salient in terms of functions, register, speech acts, topic management (including openings and closing, forms of address, directness/indirectness, turn-taking, issues of face and self-disclosure)? 3 LGBT Invisibility and Heteronormativity in ELT Materials John Gray Introduction In a newspaper article published in 2012, the writer and journalist Owen Jones concluded his assessment of the evolving legal landscape surrounding homosexuality and changing social attitudes in the UK as follows: Thanks to the struggle of gay people, the law no longer writes us off as lesser human beings.

In this chapter I will argue that this kind of erasure can best be understood through the lenses of heteronormativity (explained below) and commercialism. The remainder of the chapter unfolds as follows: in the next section I continue with an extended discussion of heteronormativity – justified, I would suggest, by the pervasiveness of this phenomenon in ELT materials and the implications this may have for students and teachers in a variety of settings. From there I move on to explore LGBT representation in a sample of contemporary ELT materials for use in a variety of different settings.

The potentialities for true ‘dialogue’ can be found in reactions within psychology to what has been seen as the univocality inherent to psychotherapy. These reactions are located within a movement termed ‘critical psychology’, of which Parker is a key figure (1999, 2002), and which Sampson describes as being ‘dedicated to helping provide voice for those whose versions have rarely been accorded the kind of legitimacy they deserve’ (2000: 3). In ‘critical psychology’ the notion that the therapist is an ‘expert’ whose role is to direct the therapeutic encounter according to a pre-determined format is challenged, and therapists encouraged to ‘help their clients to understand the situated and relational nature of selfhood, to allow them to understand their different voices’ (Hepburn, 2003: 83).

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