1st Edition

Christian and Critical English Language Educators in Dialogue Pedagogical and Ethical Dilemmas

Edited By Mary Shepard Wong, Suresh Canagarajah Copyright 2009
    326 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    The legacy of English teaching and Christian missionaries is a flashpoint within the field of English language teaching. This critical examination of the place of Christianity in the field is unique in presenting the voices of TESOL professionals from a wide range of religious and spiritual perspectives. About half identify themselves as "Christian" while the others identify themselves as Buddhist, atheist, spiritualist, and variations of these and other faiths.

    What is common for all the authors is their belief that values have an important place in the classroom. What they disagree on is whether and how spiritual values should find expression in learning and teaching. This volume dramatizes how scholars in the profession wrestle with ideological, pedagogical, and spiritual dilemmas as they seek to understand the place of faith in education. To sustain this conversation, the book is structured dialogically.

    Each section includes a set of position chapters in which authors explain their views of faith/pedagogy integration, a set of chapters by authors responding to these positions while articulating their own views on the subject, and discussion questions to engage readers in comparing the positions of all the authors, reflecting on their own experiences and values, and advancing the dialogue in fresh and personal directions.

    Table of Contents:

    Foreword Earl Stevick with Carolyn Kristjansson


    Contributors’ Spiritual Identification Statements

    1. Introduction Can We Talk? Finding a Platform for Dialogue among Values-based Professionals in Post-Positivist Education --Suresh Canagarajah

    Part I. Setting the Tone: Dialogue and Discourse

    2. Nonjudgmental Steps on a Road to Understanding --Julian Edge

    3. Is Dialogue Possible? Challenges to Evangelicals and NonEvangelicals in English Language Teaching --Bill Johnston

    4. The Neutrality Myth vs. Religious Reductionism: The Mediation between Missionary Language Agencies and their Secular Critics --Michael Chamberlain

    5. A Survey of Christian English Language Teachers in Countries that Monitor Religious Activity --Karen Asenavage


    6. Is Dialogue Possible? Anti-intellectualism, Relativism, Politics and Linguistic Ideologies --Alastair Pennycook

    7. Dialogue and Discourse --Robert Phillipson

    8. Questioning religious "ideals" and intentionalities: Staving off religious arrogance and bigotry in ELT --Vaidehi Ramanathan

    9. TBA: -- William Eggington

    Discussion Questions

    Part II. Ideological and Hegemonic Dilemmas


    10. Deconstructing/Reconstructing the Missionary English Teacher Identity --Mary Shepard Wong

    11. English and Education in Anglophone Africa: Historical and Current Realities --Sinfree Makoni & Sibusisiwe Dube

    12. Confronting the Empire: Language Teachers as Charitable Guests --Myrrl Byler

    13. Christian English Teacher’s Presence:  Reflecting Constantine or Christ --James Stabler-Havener


    14. A Former "Missionary Kid" Responds --Stephanie Vandrick

    15. Caught between poststructuralist relativism and materialism or liberal and critical multiculturalism? --Manka Varghese

    16.The English language and the Word of God --Zoltan Dornyei

    Discussion Questions

    Part III. Pedagogical Dilemmas


    17. The Courage to Teach as a Non-native teacher: The Confession of a Christian Teacher --John Liang

    18. English Teachers, Language Learning, and the Issue of Power --Don Snow

    19. Christian Witness and Respect for Persons --Brad Baurain

    20. Classroom Guidelines for Teachers with Convictions --Kitty Purgason


    21. The Pedagogical Dilemmas of Faith in ELT: A "Spirited" Response --Brian Morgan

    22. Power and Change in ELT:Thoughts from a Fellow Traveler --Dana Ferris

    23. Reconsidering Roadside Assistance: The problem with Christian approaches to teaching the English language --Terry Osborn

    Discussion Questions

    Part IV. Spiritual Dilemmas


    24. Spiritual Dimensions in Language Teaching: A Personal Reflection --Ryuko Kubota

    25. Spiritual Lessons from a Language Teacher --Chris Bradley

    26. The Spiritual Ecology of Second Language Pedagogy --David I. Smith

    27. Truth in Teaching English --Richard Robison


    28. Imperatives, Dilemmas, and Conundrums in Spiritual Dimensions of ELT: H. Douglas Brown

    29. Additive Perspective on Religion or Growing Hearts with Wisdom--Ahmar Mahboob

    30. A Question of Priorities --Andy Curtis

    31. TBA –Mary Ann Christison

    Discussion Questions



    Mary Shepard Wong is Associate Professor and Director of the graduate Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) Field-based Programs at Azusa Pacific University. She is past chair of the Christian Educators in TESOL Caucus (2004-2005).

    Suresh Canagarajah is Kirby Professor of Language Learning at Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor of the journal TESOL Quarterly.

    "Christian and Critical English Language Educators in Dialogue addresses some of the ethical issues considered by TESOL professionals, especially critics of Christian English teachers who engage in teaching English as a means of gaining entry to countries, where Christian missionaries per se are not welcomed, for the purpose of evangelism....This book is helpful in pointing out the struggles of one group of Christian professionals, as they wrestle with this dilemma and with their critics. It can inform us all." --SIL International

    "Christian and Critical English Language Educators in Dialogue is an ambitious and effective book, bringing together well-known figures and some who are newer to the field to address topics about which they are passionate. This is a laudable, major accomplishment."--Christian Scholar's Review

    "This book is an excellent resource for theorists and practitioners who wish to develop useful, appropriate ways of bringing mindfulness of religious/spiritual perspectives into an ever more inclusive professional discourse, as well as for those who think the whole thing is a terrible idea. All can benefit."--TESOL Quarterly