“Racism in Canada is subtle; implicit. That is racism is usually hidden…At the same time these views exist beside public beliefs which underlie assumptions that racism does not exist in Canada” (Madibbo, 2006, p. 142). Racism involves discrimination, segregation, exclusion and power imbalances and a complex mix of race, gender, religion, culture, and language. It is rooted in history and creates the other in society reinforcing our differences and causing fear. Racism is a social construct that is easy to define but not always easy to see.
Newcomers come to Canada expecting their new country to be multicultural with acceptance of diverse cultures, religions, languages, and experience. For many newcomers, this may not be the case. Continue Reading →
This paper presents a discussion of the racial barrier to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of English Language Teaching. Although diversity is welcomed in ESL classrooms, giving all the students and teachers equal opportunities to participate and keeping all of them equally engaged is not necessarily an easy task when it comes to a formidable barrier called race. To achieve this aim, one perspective ESL employers, teachers, and students can adopt to reduce racial bias is an anthropological approach, which this paper is attempting to promote.
Survival of the fittest
When the sociologist Herbert Spencer coined the phrase survival of the fittest in 1864, he had no idea how his misconception of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would arouse such a bitter controversy in the 20th century with dire repercussions in our present day. Continue Reading →
What racial identity do you need in order to be considered a competent English language teacher? This question may seem absurd because race seemingly has nothing to do with one’s ability in English language teaching (ELT). However, in a small study examining the experiences of 10 teachers of colour looking for work in various private language schools in Toronto, Canada (see Ramjattan, 2015), I found that these teachers came to understand from employers that being white meant that one was better qualified to teach English. Therefore, the opposite message was that people of colour lacked the competence to teach the language.
These employer sentiments do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, they should be seen as ongoing manifestations of racist, Continue Reading →