16th May 2022 – GISIG & IP&SEN SIG Pre-Conference Event (IATEFL Belfast)


  • How can we make English language education accessible to all identities?
  • How are different identities represented in or excluded from ELT materials?
  • How can we better deal with conflicts of identity in our classroom?
  • How can we develop progressive institutional policies to protect individual identities?
  • How can we cater for our diverse and rapidly-changing contexts? 

The joint face-to-face Pre-Conference Event (PCE) between the IATEFL Inclusive Practices and Special Educational Needs SIG (IP&SEN SIG) & GISIG focused on student and teacher identities within a range of different English language teaching contexts. Our speakers explored critical perspectives and creative approaches to the issues surrounding multiple identities and intersectionality in language education.

The theme of the PCE posed questions that have recently come to the fore in the field of English Language teaching. We aimed to bring together a range of educators, materials writers and policy makers to share expertise and good practice. Participants had the opportunity to interact, share and learn from one another’s contexts and identities.

Our PCE Speakers

Sezen Arslan

Addressing non-ableist pedagogy in foreign language materials

Non-ableism pedagogy can be actively supported through English language materials. In this workshop, participants will be invited to experience and reflect on how to implement disability-related activities in English classrooms. These activities are concerned with emphasizing disability literature, and using well-known disabled people as role models

Mandana Arfa-Kaboodvand

Empowering female homemakers by encouraging lifelong learning

Despite all the progress made towards gender equality, many female homemakers are still struggling to make themselves heard. Providing these women with an opportunity for life-long learning can help them gain more confidence in decision making. Learning a language such as English, as well improving their digital literacies, can particularly help this process. This interactive talk explores how.

Presentation (video)

Jennifer Holden

Teaching practice students – an opportunity for open access to language instruction?

This presentation will explore the learner identities of teaching practice students on training courses whose financial means would not normally stretch to private language schools. How can we encourage both trainers and trainee teachers to identify these learners’ needs and motivation patterns, to facilitate more open access to language instruction?

Presentation (pdf)

Gergő Fekete

Unboxing reconsidered: exploring teacher identities for better teaching and learning

As teachers we tend to focus mostly on our students and their learning, which is quite understandable. Let us, however, quickly pause for a second and look at ourselves. Who are we as teachers? What (or who) has turned us into who we are now? What are we passionate about? This practical workshop will help you explore all this and more.

Presentation (pdf)

Bonus Content: PCE Audio Gallery

Emma Halliday

What I tell them is very carefully curated – An audio anthology of queer experience in ELT

Emma Halliday shares a collection of stories from her MA research, in the form of an interactive audio library. Join in this IATEFL ‘first’ to hear about the lives and experiences of six queer-identifying English language teachers – voiced by actors – but told in their own words. This human library is a collection of ‘counter narratives’ told from outside the dominant discourse of heterosexual experience. It offers listeners an alternative lens into the profession, by challenging what are assumed to be the normative experiences of language teachers. In showcasing and sharing these stories, Emma aims to amplify the voices of queer ELT professionals, and to provide space for the reflection, discussion and critique of the dominant cultural narrative of heteronormativity which continues to permeate English language teaching.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.