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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 82374 views
Education paper by Hoffmann, Rita (all papers)
Teaching Diversity in Hungary
Teaching a foreign language involves more factors than teaching words and grammar. One factor is most certainly culture. Disability is a phenomenon which strongly determines lives all over the world; consequently, how people react to the phenomenon reflects in cultures. Therefore, teaching a foreign language proves an excellent resource to go beyond borders.
As a teacher of English and researcher of cultural disability studies (CDS), I feel privileged to assist students to discover segments of the target language culture. These segments include knowledge of and attitudes to disability recently present in various English language coursebooks and seem inspiring sources for learning/teaching paradigms beyond political correctness.
Being a vision impaired teacher of English as a foreign language (TEFL), I not only welcome the diverse nature of disability amongst the topics of language teaching, but also do my utmost to provide literary texts to help my students identify their own relations to disability, whether they are disabled or non-disabled. Since I believe that understanding disability is based on understanding various perceptions of the world, I offer disability memoir as a medium of learning/teaching diversity in the hope of motivating, inspiring my disabled and non-disabled students while they learn the language of diverse cultures. In Hungary we need to improve understanding and attitudes to disability; the aim of the paper is to highlight what perspectives CDS and TEFL share to go beyond borders.
Brief Professional Bio:
Rita Hoffmann is a freelance teacher of English as a Foreign Language and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Her current interests are perspectives of cultural disability studies in higher education, disability life writing and literary representations of disability with special regard to the representations of disability in the works of contemporary Catalan writer, Jaume Cabré. In the spring semester of the academic year 2011/2012, Rita Hoffmann was a Fulbright researcher at the English Department of the University of California at Berkeley.