November 2018

Curriculum Development Roundtable: Focus on Social Justice 

According to Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice (Glynn, Wesely, and Wassell, ACTFL, 2014), a social justice curriculum has a positive effect on language learners. The social justice focus in language teaching supports the development of the 21st century skills, namely students’ ability to think critically, be creative, collaborate and communicate as well increases their information and technology literacies. Students who increasingly belong to diverse backgrounds engage with and explore the world around them through the lens of social justice and global citizenship.

The round-table discussion allows for Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Turkish and Urdu educators to share their experience in the context of social justice as “a philosophy, an approach, and actions that embody treating all people with fairness, respect, dignity, and generosity” (Nieto, 2010). Presentations emphasize social justice education in the language classrooms and will include examples of leading questions for projects, activities and lessons promoting students’ ability to research and examine social and human similarities and differences within and across diverse cultures, to challenge and confront with critique and solutions cases of inequality and discrimination.