Significant Encounters and Consequential Eventualities: A Joint Narrative of Collegiality Marked by Struggles Against Reductionism, Essentialism and Exclusion in ELT

  • Masaki Oda
  • Glenn Toh
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 35)


The combined narrative of our struggle against the anomalies of inclusion and exclusion, diversity and essentialism, hybridity and monolithism, agency and cooptation, collusion and marginalization begins with a ‘chance’ encounter at a conference in Hong Kong. Pooling together five decades of teaching experience, our critical historical narrative probes at the inner workings of cultural-political ideologies bearing on our professional practice and ontology as English teachers as well as their deleterious effects on institutional behaviors, human intransigence, and (counter)educational outcomes. Specifically, we capture the nature of ongoing contestations and contradictions faced by English teachers in the quest for more humanizing pedagogies and discursive spaces. We argue that the accompanying struggles stem from powerful cultural-political discourses in ELT that legitimate a status quo of inertia, while perpetuating inequalities of access and asymmetries in power relations among learners, teachers and vested stakeholders. We conclude that the work of uncovering dissimulated ideologies in the struggle between monolithism and diversity, structure and agency, oppression and transformation will benefit not only the silenced and disenfranchised, but even the vocal, oppressive and self-unseeing, to boot.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for English as a Lingua FrancaTamagawa UniversityTokyoJapan

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