WP 324 Linguistic Citizenship as decolonial pedagogy: How minoritized language speakers contest epistemic injustices in EFL education

Awayed-Bishara
2024

Abstract

In this plenary, I revisit the notion of EFL as a cultural discourse that I developed in previous work by engaging with it from a Southern locus of enunciation. Mindful of how EFL pedagogies can still reproduce hegemonic and exclusionary ideologies, particularly in multilingual contexts dominated by colonial power relations between languages and their speakers; I offer nuanced insights for understanding how EFL can serve as a framework of voice, action, and empowerment. In Israel, for example, EFL has been shown to either grant minoritized language speakers a voice or offer a neo-colonial register compatible with colonial forces. Based on ethnographic studies that I have conducted inside and outside the formal educational system in Israel, I demonstrate how Palestinian Arabic-speakers are employing English in their everyday lives to open new meaning-making spaces for contesting the politics of silencing and crafting new subjectivities of political speakerhood. Engaging with Stroud’s notion of Linguistic Citizenship, I show how EFL practices of minoritized speakers in troubled educational contexts are examples of Linguistic Citizenship as a decolonial pedagogy.