Ecology, Cultural Awareness, Anti-Racism and Critical Thinking
Integrating Multiple Perspectives in Foreign Language Teaching
Keywords:indigenous studies, postcolonial criticism, interculturalidad, ecopedagogy, EFL teaching/learning
This paper aims at presenting a critical approach to teaching ecological, postcolonial and ethnic minority topics in the (foreign language) classroom, describing the need to interrelate these three issues in both research and teaching. It illustrates how Western utilitarian perspectives on both humans and nature must be counterbalanced with alternative stances, such as those provided by indigenous views of reciprocity. With regard to teaching scenarios, it suggests the use of multi-text selections in line with the principle of presenting multiple perspectives on global issues. It suggests that two seemingly contradictory teaching/learning objectives can be combined: bolstering up students’ empathetic skills in understanding ecological and interculturally relevant issues on the one hand and becoming critically aware of textual strategies employed to manipulate readers. We use the hitherto less frequently observed example of the demands of the Chilean indigenous minority of the Mapuche to illustrate how different positions published in the English language on the Internet can be used in the foreign language classroom to discuss the issues at stake here: the inextricable interrelatedness of ecological exploitation of natural resources with processes of sociocultural and economic marginalisation and oppression of ethnic minority groups and their worldviews across the globe.
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