We live in a world fundamentally rooted in social injustice in terms of race, ethnicity, age, disability, appearance, sexual orientation, and geographic location, to name a few. Educators in all disciplines play an important role in the struggle for social justice, English language teachers being no exception. English language classrooms can serve as a learning space for transformation to engage the youth in conversations related to peace, conflict, environmental issues, and human rights.
While pre-service English teachers should be offered courses that address issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and environmental issues, there are no courses offered in English language teaching (ELT) departments in Turkey at the undergraduate level. Thus, our project aims to offer educational opportunities for pre-service English language teachers to integrate social justice issues in their classes and help eliminate any kind of discrimination and raise social justice and equality at large.
Our project has two overarching purposes. First, it aims to integrate social justice issues in English language teaching curricula in Turkey by educating pre-service teachers across four different universities in Turkey. Second, by enabling these pre-service teachers to run a small-scale social responsibility project in their local environment, our project aims to reduce social injustice and increase equality in socio-economically disadvantages areas in Turkey.
More specifically, we aim to:
- to educate English language teachers who can bring about social justice and reduce inequality
- to develop English language teachers’ social responsibility, critical thinking and consciousness as well as commitment to lifelong learning
- to raise pre-service English language teachers’ reflection on the integration of social justice issues in language classes
- to encourage cooperation among Turkish teachers and between Turkish and American teachers