Thu, Jan 13 | Webinar

[Webinar] ‘English or Speaking About Everything?’: Essential Sociopolitical Awareness in English Language Education

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Time & Location

Jan 13, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM GMT+8
Webinar

About the Event

Zoom link: https://hkbu.zoom.us/j/98630943755

Meeting ID: 986 3094 3755

Advocating the idea that English language education (ELE) should be responsible and responsive in terms of social and cultural dynamics rather than merely obsessed with instrumental language skills, this presentation highlights sociopolitical awareness as a crucial aspect of ELE. Based on a brief sketch of the related literature and relying on snapshots of my own research within the past 15 years, I discuss how such awareness can be realized in practice and how it can be further understood through congruent research. Specifically, I provide an overview of one of my earliest publications, which explored ‘critical pedagogy in ELE’, as well as one of my latest studies, that focused on ‘bridging ELE and New Literacy Studies’. On this basis, I argue that sociopolitical awareness is to be viewed as part of the essence of ELE practice and research. In practice, teaching and learning English can play more significant roles in creating a better world by showing higher sensitivity to social, cultural, and political considerations. As for research, in addition to shaping a host of specific research topics about ideologies, policies, and identities, the concern for sociopolitical awareness can be integrated into research in various areas of ELE like classroom teaching and learning, teacher education, materials development, and language assessment. Therefore, as an obligation rather than option, it should help us pursue goals such as social justice, critical awareness, and transformative teaching and learning in language education.

Seyyed-Abdolhamid Mirhosseini is an Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong. His research areas include the sociopolitics of English language education, qualitative research methodology, and critical studies of discourse in society. His writing has appeared in journals including Applied Linguistics; Changing English; Critical Inquiry in Language Studies; Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education; Language, Culture and Curriculum; Language, Identity and Education;Pedagogy, Culture & Society; and TESOL Quarterly. Among other books and journal special issues, he has co-edited The Sociopolitics of English Language Testing (Bloomsbury, 2020) and English Language Education Worldwide Today: Ideologies, Policies and Practices (Routledge, 2020), and has written Doing Qualitative Research in Language Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).