Professional Development through Inquiry: Addressing Sexual Identity in TESOLReport as inadecuate

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CATESOL Journal, v23 n1 p99-109 2011-2012

Sexual identity is a topic that is relevant to adult ESL instruction, not only because some learners identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), but also because LGBT identities are a visible part of American culture and ESL learners must learn how to discuss them in culturally and pragmatically appropriate ways. This article shares the results of a survey of ESL teachers' experiences with LGBT themes and discusses questions and challenges that teachers reported. Because many teachers feel underprepared to handle these challenges, the authors propose that sexual identity be included in TESOL professional development, and they offer suggestions for incorporating the theme into both existing TESOL curricula and in-service training for practicing teachers.

Descriptors: Sexual Identity, Sexual Orientation, Homosexuality, English (Second Language), Second Language Instruction, Adult Learning, Teacher Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Competencies, Faculty Development, Inservice Teacher Education

CATESOL. P.O. Box 9200-338, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. Tel: 714-907-4033; Fax: 888-832-0501; e-mail: catesoljournal[at]; Web site:

Author: Wadell, Elizabeth; Frei, Kathryn; Martin, Sherri


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