Ila Cristina born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ilá is an EFL teacher and teacher trainer based in Munich, Germany. Since 2016, Ilá has been interested in equality, representation, and critical pedagogy in ELT, which led her to start developing inclusive materials for the ELT classroom. She is a founding member and co-author of the Raise Up! project, a project that aims to make the classroom more inclusive and diverse. She is also one of the founding members of BRAZ-TESOL Voices SIG, a special interest group that focuses on equality in ELT.
The duty of not being neutral: critical pedagogy in ELT
In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire said that there is no such thing as neutrality in the role of an educator: education is a tool to bring about either freedom or conformity.
As teachers and educators, we have to ask ourselves which side we are taking: Do our teaching practices reinforce mechanisms that maintain the status quo, where many identities, groups and conditions are marginalized? Or do we teach to foster critical thinking, exercise freedom, and help our students to become agents of social change? Do we allow our students to become themselves in the classroom or do we reinforce stereotypes and labels that repress who they are?
The aim of this plenary is to discuss how the principles of Critical Pedagogy can be applied to the ELT classroom to make our learners agents of social change and not just dexterous users of English