Our April Twitter chat is happening on Sunday 2nd April at 8.30pm Sydney time – click here to see the time where you are – and don’t forget the clocks have gone back! Hope to see you there!
We have a controversial topic this month! Or is it? It’s true that publishers of global ELT coursebooks try to avoid certain issues that may cause offence, often summarised under the handy ‘parsnip’ acronym:
P for Politics
A for Alcohol
R for Religion
S for Sex
N for Narcotics
I for “isms” (eg communism, atheism…)
P for Pork
But this is controversial in itself, with different teachers (and authors, and publishers) responding in quite polarised ways. You can read Scott Thornbury’s insightful overview of the issue here: https://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/t-is-for-taboo/ and do have a look at the comments as well.
So what does #AusELT think about this? Here are some questions to get you thinking
- Have any ‘taboo’ topics have come up in your classroom? By accident or design?
- How did you/the students respond?
- Are there issues we **should** be raising with our international cohorts in Au/NZ?
- Are there any specifically Australian taboo topics?
- Do you have any tips for how we can handle sensitive material in the classroom?
See below for some useful further reading and help with Twitter. Hope to e-see you on Sunday!
#ELTchat have discussed this a couple of times if you need some ideas:
- Controversial topics in teaching – PARSNIPS in ELT – an #ELTChat summary
- Addressing taboo subjects in the classroom #ELTchat Summary 06/10/2010
There have also been some useful published resources for teachers wishing to engage with controversial issues in the classroom:
- Taboos & Issues by Richard MacAndrew & Ron Martinez
- Parsnips in ELT: Stepping out of the Comfort Zone (various).Vol.1 &Vol.2. These 2 free ebooks were crowd-sourced from the online ELT community including #AusELT regular Mike Smith as one of the authors!
- 52 by Lindsay Clandfield & Luke Meddings, reviewed by Mike Griffin in the English Australia Journal here.
Not sure about Twitter?
Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg, @sophiakhan4, @heimuoshutaiwan or @Clare_M_ELT) or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:
- Need help with Twitter?`
- #AusELT 1-page guide to Twitter
- So you have a Twitter account – now what? (from Cult of Pedagogy)
This post by @sophiakhan4