Skip to main content

11th International Conference on Language Teacher Education

May 30–June 1, 2019

The Graduate Hotel, Minneapolis, MN

Friday Afternoon Plenary: Race and Empire in Language Teacher Education

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM Central Time (US & Canada) add to calendar
Meridian Ballroom
Session Type


Program Summary

As teacher educators practice our craft, the contexts of our work frequently obscure the complex ways in which race, empire, and colonization are woven through the fabric of contemporary language teaching, sometimes leading us to unwittingly reproduce in our teacher education classrooms the very ideologies we seek to reject. At the same time, because they are inherently sites of hope and possibility for the future, teacher education settings may be the spheres that hold the most promise for undoing the harm that centuries of colonialism and racism have inflicted on our schools. This presenter asks how we might unlock the potential held by teacher education by exploring possible alternatives to teaching identities that are embedded in a history of inequitable global racial power and to forms of knowledge production and transmission that are steeped in colonial reasoning. She examines how these connect to institutional practices that naturalize the perpetuation of racial inequities in language teaching. 

Suhanthie Motha is Associate Professor and teacher educator in the English Department at the University of Washington. Her research explores the centrality of race and empire within the workings of the discipline of applied linguistics and the English language teaching industry. She is the author of Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching, which won the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics' Choice Book Award and the Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) Globalization and Education SIG's Book Award. Her work has been published in journals including TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Race Ethnicity and Education, Peace and Change, and Language Teaching, and in edited collections representing a range of areas.

Lead Presenter/organizer

Suhanthie Motha