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Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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TDD Summer 2010 Presentation – Creating “Safe Zones” for LGBTQ ESL Students

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At our last teacher development day, my wife gave a presentation on helping LGBTQ students and instructors feel comfortable and respected in our classes, and in our program as a whole. Below, you can find PDFs of the different materials she used. Her presentation was based in part on USF’s Safe Zone program.

We started with a vocab exercise, giving us a sense of what we already did or did not know. Then we did this activity from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, asking us to put events in LGBT history in chronological order.

We next went through this handout summarizing GLBT laws and introducing how these issues were manifest in ESL classes and materials. One of the most striking things for me was realizing how heteronormative some activities are. For example, I have done “write a personal ad” type activities without including non-hetero examples, or considering how students might feel about expressing their sexual preferences in class.

For further reference, we were all given a glossary of terms, a map illustrating international homosexuality laws, and a map showing laws for same sex couples in the US.

Overall, it was a great addition to our teacher development program, and brought up issues that I really hadn’t thought much about. A lot of these materials could also be adapted for use in class, too.

Thanks Krista!

Tags: blog · ESL activity · global issues activities · human rights · LGBT Issues · presentations · reading · vocabulary

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