Title: Using Multicultural Literary Texts and Documentaries for Developing Student Teachers’ Cross-cultural Competence and Raising Their Awareness of Social Injustices
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation
Ruwaida Abu Rass, Beit Berl Academic College, Israel
In this workshop, I will acquaint the participants with how to include multicultural literary texts, mainly literature of Native peoples and immigrants in English-speaking countries, mainly the U.S and Canada, and documentary films for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in teacher-training programs. The objective is to raise student teachers’ awareness of the multicultural reality and lives of different ethnic groups in these counties and to expose them to cultural diversity, conflicts, and processes of adjustment of Native peoples, immigrants, and refugees as underrepresented groups. Including such kind of literature in EFL teacher education programs would help in qualifying proficient, competent English teachers not only linguistically, but also cross-culturally and humanly. The aim is to help future teachers be agents for social change. In the beginning, I will discuss EFL teacher qualification in the 21st century, which is based on four principles: Learning to know, learning to be, learning to live together, and learning to use advanced technology. I will relate each principle to the contents and materials of the course. Then, I will analyze and discuss with the session participants the following two short stories: Two Old Women by Velma Wallis a Native Canadian writer, and The Sword Woman by Maxine Kingston, a Chinese American writer, highlighting the themes of strength, survival, stereotypes, sexism, and racism. I will end the workshop by providing a list of recommended stories and their themes.
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