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Learning English is often imagined as a path to productive participation in the global circuits of knowledge and consumption. But how does teaching & learning English really operate in multilingual contexts characterised by racism, minoritisation and violent conflict?

Organised to facilitate comparative discussion, the seminar addresses this question with two case studies drawing on the perceptions of language teachers, one based in Israel and the Brazil.

EFL and minoritisation in language education: The case of English and Arabic in Israel

By Muzna Awayed-Bishara, Tel Aviv University

This talk focuses on the tension between EFL education and minoritised language education in conflict-ridden contexts where minoritised teachers and students are subjected to hegemonic language/multilingual policies. It casts the spotlight on Israel where Hebrew is the only official language; Arabic, the language of the Palestinian minority, is marginalised both legally and practically; and English is a dominant language in academia.

It investigates the extent to which Arabic-speaking secondary schools attempt to address the sociolinguistic conflict between the marginalisation of Arabic and the hegemony of English, and presents interview data on how this situation is perceived by Palestinian teachers of Arabic.

Engaging issues of anti-racism in English language education in Brazil: From vulnerabilities to linguistic citizenship

By Gabriel Nascimento do Santos, Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia

Race and racism are present in the everyday life of millions of black Brazilians, who constitute most of the population (over 53% according to the last census), and black people have long been excluded from those who speak English. Textbooks and syllabi stereotype black people as lazy, dangerous, and irrational, ignoring the artistic movements and new language styles with which they have opposed the precariousness imposed by white colonizers in the past. But racism is not considered central in language studies and language education, and debates about bilingual education focus on e.g. the privatisation of language teaching.

This paper examines Brazilian language education and how anti-racist frameworks have challenged processes of marginalisation in language studies. It moves forward with issues that are not wholly conceptualised as “racial” in Brazilian language education, and looks to the notion of ‘linguistic citizenship’, drawing on data collected with teachers of English.


The workshop is free. Registration closes on 25 September 2023. We will send details of the location shortly after.

To register, send an email to Milene Mendes de Oliveira, who will be handling the registration list:

Write 'Workshop registration' in the subject heading and make sure to share the following information:

  • Name (and as an option: pronouns).
  • Email.
  • Position.
  • Institution.
  • Research interests.


Muzna Awayed-Bishara is a senior faculty member in the Program for Multilingual Education, Tel Aviv University. Her research interests are applied/sociolinguistics, EFL/multilingual education in conflict-ridden contexts, EFL critical pedagogies, and language policy. Focusing on Palestinians in Israel, she also examines how power imbalances are (re)produced and/or contested through semiotic means.

Gabriel Nascimento do Santos is assistant professor at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences of the Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia, and was Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania. He is now a permanent professor of the postgraduate programme of Linguistics and Literature at the Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz. His research interests revolve around the interplay of language and racism, racism in English language teaching in Brazil, and English language coursebooks.

At this event


Senior Lecturer in ESOL and Applied Linguistics


Professor of Applied and Socio Linguistics

Event details

Franklin-Wilkins Building
Franklin-Wilkins Building, Stamford Street London, SE1 9NH