WAESOL, the Washington state affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), is a professional, non-profit organization whose purposes are to:
  • Promote scholarship
  • Disseminate information related to ESOL
  • Strengthen instruction, teacher training, and research in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021; Online
Visit waesol.org for membership, conference information, and to learn more about WAESOL.

Recordings will be posted by November 1st.

Clock hours will be available for both the live conference and the recorded sessions. Please note: Clock hours can only be earned once for a particular session either during the live conference or as a recording.  
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Saturday, October 23 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Welcome and Opening Keynote - Is antiracist English language teaching possible? Reaching beyond the horizon for racial justice in TESOL

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Is antiracist English language teaching possible? Reaching beyond the horizon for racial justice in TESOL

With increasing public attention to entrenched patterns of systemic racial injustice, the landscape of the English teaching profession has shifted over the past eighteen months, emphasizing for English teachers the degree to which the notion of language can never be conceptualized in a narrow sense but must always be understood in sociohistorical context and as intertwined with capital, class, gender, religion, ability, nation, and particularly race. As English language teachers practice our craft, our work continues to be embedded in histories of racial violence and domination, and in a contemporary context of inequitable global racial power. These enduring legacies are indelibly but invisibly woven throughout our language practices, pedagogies, relationships, and the educational, social, and institutional spaces we are immersed in.

This leaves English teachers asking ourselves complicated questions and navigating challenging terrain. What does it mean to be an English teacher at this particular moment? How might we as English teachers reconceptualize the goals of our practice given the racialized nature of the notion of English? How can we maintain a critical eye toward the legacy of colonization and racialization in which the profession is embedded when we know that privileged forms of English can open doors for our students? How can we negotiate the racialized nature of the English language as we are teaching it? How might we attend to the messy intertwining of English with what Flores (2016) has termed ‘hegemonic Whiteness’? How does our consciousness of our own racial identities become salient in our practice?

This presenter asks what an ELT practice that is clear-sighted about the injuries and damages of colonialism and racial inequity might look like. She asks: Is the teaching of English irretrievably rooted in race and empire? Is antiracist English language teaching possible? What might it look it? And how might it be achieved?

avatar for Suhanthie Motha

Suhanthie Motha

Associate Professor, University of Washington
Suhanthie Motha (she/her) is a teacher educator whose practice is located on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish people past and present, including the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations and the Duwamish peoples. She centers her research on the complicated workings... Read More →

Saturday October 23, 2021 9:00am - 10:00am PDT
Gathering Space