Queer EFL instructors' experiences combatting cisheteronormativity in hazirlik classrooms

Thorson, Jennifer Elizabeth (2024) Queer EFL instructors' experiences combatting cisheteronormativity in hazirlik classrooms. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Exclusion and erasure of LGBTQI+ identities from English Language Teaching materials are documented problems, and the field thereby perpetuates the oppressive attitude that cisgender and heterosexual identities are preferred norms. Existing proposals for combatting this cisheteronormativity primarily focus on teaching higher-level learners in queer-friendly liberal Western countries; little information exists on doing so in unwelcoming contexts or with low-level learners. This critical qualitative study therefore explores ways that queer EFL teachers in university preparatory programs in Istanbul, Türkiye, challenge cisheteronormativity, and how this less-welcoming environment impacts their approaches. Using a queer theory lens, I apply both thematic and structural narrative analysis to counternarratives collected from three queer EFL instructors through semi-structured interviews and autoethnographic reflection. Findings from 10 classroom incidents—five planned and five unplanned—of challenging cisheteronormativity show that despite fears relating to the sociopolitical environment, the participant instructors challenge cisheteronormativity both overtly and discreetly, through visual representation, gender-neutral language, and critical questioning of normative assumptions. Key factors impacting their approaches include student level, class rapport, perceived need, and institutional support. This study proposes that it is possible to apply a queer pedagogy approach to the EFL classroom in context and level appropriate ways, even in unwelcoming environments.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16341
Item ID: 16341
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 131-142)
Keywords: ELT, EFL, queer, queer pedagogy, gender, inclusive education, narrative analysis, counternarratives
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: January 2024
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/ZH7K-4677
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Queer theory--Turkey; Narrative inquiry (Research method)--Turkey; LGBT activism--Turkey; Turkey--English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; Teachers--Turkey

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