“What is the role of critical, social justice-oriented pedagogies in the language classroom?”
Dr. L.J. Randolph prepared this Essential Question as an anchor for our conversation in podcast Episode 15. Timely to the extreme, it connects what we have learned over and over from my podcast guests–language is identity–with several important societal implications, including how certain language, culture, and experiences may end up being considered “normative,” resulting in misunderstanding, exclusion, and injustice.
Language has the power to create these wounds–and the power to heal them. L.J. Randolph powerfully leads us to consider both scenarios, and how we can proactively address social justice issues through tapping into the centrality of language and cultural identity and experience. (Listen to episode.)
LJ Randolph’s bio and resources:
L. J. Randolph Jr., Ed.D., is an associate professor of Spanish and Education and coordinator of the World Language Teacher Education Program at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. L.J.’s teaching career has spanned nearly 20 years, including a decade as a Spanish and ESOL teacher at the secondary level. At the university level, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Spanish language, contemporary Latinx cultures, and second language teaching methods. He has also directed study abroad programs in China, Mexico, Spain, and the Dominican Republic for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students.
L.J.’s research, publications, and professional engagement have focused on a variety of critical issues in language education, including the teaching of Spanish to heritage and native speakers and the incorporation of social justice-oriented pedagogies in the language classroom. He has authored/co-authored several publications and given dozens of scholarly presentations on those topics. In addition, throughout his career he has served in leadership roles in various language organizations, including president of the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC), president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), coordinator of the Cape Fear Foreign Language Collaborative (CFFLC), board member for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and founding vice-chair of ACTFL’s special interest group for Critical and Social Justice approaches.
Teaching Tolerance: https://www.tolerance.org/
Spanish for Social Justice: http://www.spanishforsocialjustice.com/
ACTFL-NCSSFL Intercultural Reflection Tool: https://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/can-dos/Intercultural%20Can-Dos_Reflections%20Scenarios.pdf
Disrupt Texts: https://disrupttexts.org/
To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.