Comments from a teacher attending a TESOL conference.
“When I go to TESOL, I try to take some time to go to a session that may not be directly related to my work as a teacher educator and professional developer. It is a way for me to explore and expand what I know and what I think. This year I went to a very interesting session by Cynthia Nelson and the ILGBT Forum. Cynthia created a reader’s theater piece entitled “Queer as a Second Language” and used the voices of actual ESL students and teachers collected through research about sexual identities in the ESL classroom. The piece was performed and then a discussion was held where folks could talk together about how the characters experienced and grappled with socio-sexual diversity in the classroom.
It was fantastic to sit with a group of colleagues and listen to how we all have (or have not) dealt with issues of sexual identity in the classroom and what this means for teachers and students. I was also very intrigued by the performance idea – doing ethnographic research and integrating ideas and informant’s words into theater. It was very moving and a cool way to explore research findings!” How does this relate to language learning?