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Queering the English Language Classroom

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Queering the English Language Classroom provides English language teachers with practical advice for creating queer inclusive educational spaces. It keeps theoretical discussion to a minimum, focusing instead on how to apply advances in LGBTQ+ research in TESOL and applied linguistics to the classroom.
This book highlights how heteronormative classrooms can silence sexually diverse student populations and halt language learning and acquisition processes, and provides research-grounded recommendations for how to challenge normative views of language and culture. In doing so, it advances a queer inquiry pedagogical approach that will help students to see how identity, including sexual identity, is implicated in systems of power and values. It discusses strategies for selecting inclusive curricular content and for troubling mainstream, commercial materials. It also contains advice to teachers on how to handle student and institutional resistance to creating queer inclusive spaces, with a particular note on how to respond to questions in contexts where engaging with LGBTQ+ content can become a fraught exercise.
Queering the English Language Classroom offers an invaluable guide to English language teachers, from pre-/early-service to late-career.

Published: Oct 21, 2020

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Preface Joshua Paiz
List of Abbreviations Joshua Paiz
Chapter 1
What is Queering and Why Should We All Do It? Joshua Paiz
Chapter 2
Queer Inquiry as Pedagogy Joshua Paiz
Chapter 3
Troubling Normative Classroom Spaces Joshua Paiz
Chapter 4
Troubling Normative Curricular Materials Joshua Paiz
Chapter 5
Gauging Reactions & Addressing Challenges Joshua Paiz
Chapter 6
Goals and Outcomes of the Queered Classroom Space Joshua Paiz
Chapter 7
Conclusion Joshua Paiz
A Special Note on Frigid Contexts Joshua Paiz
End Matter
Notes Joshua Paiz
References Joshua Paiz
Index Joshua Paiz


Joshua Paiz’s monograph Queering the English Language Classroom makes him a pioneer in this important, timely, developing field. The book extends concern with gay/lesbian issues in ELT to queer (actually LGBTQ+) matters more widely, and in particular, to transgender matters. Further, the book locates this even more broadly in a concern for what might be called critical pedagogic enquiry. It is as near-comprehensive as a short monograph can be, covering the philosophy and sexual/social politics behind queering the English language classroom, professional (including curricular) implications, inclusive materials, and contextually-shaped associated classroom strategies. Crucially it is, as the subtitle claims, ‘a practical guide for teachers’, and Paiz writes—very accessibly—from a long professional experience of being a gay, cis male educator in the world of second and foreign language education. Accordingly, the book is grounded and pragmatic. This is not an evangelical book, but one that sets out to promote respectful debate. Importantly, the book is not only for teachers of students who identify as LGBTQ+ or for LGBTQ+ language learners themselves, but also for ‘non-LGBTQ+ language learners to be better able to interact respectfully with LGBTQ+ individuals’ (p. xi).
ELT Journal

Overall, this book provides a practical guide of ways to implement a queered classroom, from conception to action to feedback. It addresses concerns that both new and experienced educators might have within a TESOL context and provides a springboard to begin the process of creating a queered teaching pedagogy. The book is not a one-size-fits-all-contexts approach, but it does not claim to be so. Rather, it presents ideas and questions for individual educators to use in order to begin the process of creating a queered classroom that is tailored to their particular context. Paíz has created a practical guide that would work well within teacher education programmes as preparation and introduction on how to approach the topic, enabling the field of queer TESOL to continue to expand and grow from a practical approach.
Journal of Language and Sexuality