Free seminar, the only cost was sleep

WebonairEDIT_zps3f174fc6.jpgFree webinairs are just great to attend. They allow me to learn in a live format, the newest or the latest issues in ELT and ESL. This particular webinair was essentially bringing taboo issues into the classroom. Named, “Out of the Closet Into the Classroom webinar”, the two hosts/ lecturers , Aaron Wright and Scott Thornbury discussed the issues and pedagogy of introducing subjects like Gay and lesbian, HIV as a topic for conversation in the classroom. They then went onto issues dealing with declaring or at least broaching the subject of informing your students or your employer of your sexuality. Like, WOW. That’s, gutsy. Most ESL teaching environments that I know of are very, very conservative. I can cite the examples being of Asia and the Middle East, though I’m less sure of the Middle East of their potential rejection of the outee.

Sadly given the time difference between New York and South Korea was massive. So much so that I mis-calculated the start time and logged on thinking I was fashionably early. Not so, through bleary eyes I watched the Q&A part of the webinair only slowly getting the gist of the discussion. This subject was definitely not covered by Johnson in his book, Values in English language teaching. To relate part of  what’s in Johnson about marginalisation, this is the social phenomenon concerning Native Speaking English Teachers (NSET) in foreign locations where English is an L2. If NSETs are on the margin or ‘edge’, then gays and lesbian teachers are even more so.