Languages of Power and Resistance Future Teachers Writing for Social Justice

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Beth Buyserie


This research assignment asks preservice undergraduate secondary education teachers in an applied grammar class to engage in a two-prong research project: a multimodal, interactive “poster” and a research paper that together explore the pedagogical possibilities for engaging with World Englishes in middle and high school classrooms. The prompt invites students to consider social justice and equity at the level of language. The assignment draws on both antiracist and queer pedagogies and examines the relationships among language, power, and resistance to linguistic oppression in the classroom. As students work through the assignment, they enact real-life stories of historical and contemporary figures from around the world who were forced to speak a colonizer’s language and resisted linguistic oppression. They then read articles focusing on Black Language, Indigenous languages, and World Englishes, which serve as touchstones for their own research. Although designed for a grammar pedagogy class, the assignment can be modified for multiple disciplines; at the end of the article, I provide several examples of how teachers outside English might modify the assignment for their own disciplinary contexts.

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Buyserie, B. (2022). Languages of Power and Resistance: Future Teachers Writing for Social Justice. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 6(1).