TESOL France Social Justice and Equality Webinar Series


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“Worth the Risk: Decent(e)ring Whiteness in English Language Teaching” is a discussion focused on Gerald’s 2020 article in the BC TEAL journal and its implications for the field of language education. It begins with a short presentation on important terminology regarding racism and whiteness, moves into the arguments about how to decenter whiteness in the field of language teaching, and will be followed by a question and answer session.
JPB Gerald is an adult educator and doctoral student at CUNY (City University of New York) – Hunter College pursuing an EdD in Instructional Leadership.
His scholarship focuses on language education, racism, and whiteness. A native New Yorker, he began his ELT career in 2008 when he was hired as a Guest English Teacher in Daegu, South Korea. He spent two years in South Korea, returning home to pursue a Master’s degree in TESOL at the New School. He worked various ELT jobs around New York City during his studies, eventually teaching students from every continent aside from Antarctica, before taking a role as the manager of an adult education department at a community organization. His department led ESOL classes for adults and technology classes for senior citizens and he remained in this role for four years. In his current position, he does employee training and curriculum development for civil servants, but his heart is in his doctoral work at Hunter, which he began in 2018 after realizing he felt the need to challenge the field he had come to love. His writing has been published in the New York State TESOL Journal, the British Columbia Teaching English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL) Journal, Language Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other places, and centers on the TESOL industry, the field of education, and the harm whiteness can cause to its racialized learners and teachers. He has been featured on the Integrated Schools podcast, the Vocal Fries podcast, and WSB-TV in Atlanta, and he hosts his own podcast called Unstandardized English, which focuses on language education, racism, and whiteness. Last summer, after his article, “Worth the Risk: Decentering Whiteness in English Language Teaching,” was published, he began an ongoing project teaching small groups of educators how they can decenter whiteness in their institutions which he named after his 11-month-old son, Ezel (rhymes with “level”), as he hopes that by the time Ezel is a public school student, these spaces will be safer for him. He has just contracted to write a book on, among other things, decentering whiteness and language teaching.
He loves to run and has finished nine marathons, spends too much time on social media, and hopes you’re all wearing a mask and voting. He lives in Queens, New York, with his dog, Neptune, his wife, Alissa, and Ezel.


Replays of conference talks will be accessible to attendees until the end of January 2021.

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What is TESOL France?

TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) France, an affiliate of TESOL Inc. and IATEFL, is a non-profit organization of teachers of English in France. Its purposes are to stimulate professional development, to disseminate information about research, books and other materials related to English, and to strengthen instruction and research.

We regularly organize high quality events which are opportunities to keep up-to-date with current trends in teaching, to share knowledge and experiences and to meet and network with other teachers.

TESOL France operates through an Executive Committee responsible for, amongst other things, organizing events, publications and membership. But we also have correspondents in the different sectors (primary, university, etc.) who keep us informed of the preoccupations and needs of their sector.


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