Co-constructing Social Justice: Language Educators Challenging Colonial Practices in Mexico

Mario E. López-Gopar*, Jamie L. Schissel, Constant Leung, Julio Morales

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article involves the work of four language educators/researchers collaborating on an ongoing longitudinal multilingual participatory action research (PAR) project in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) language teaching program in Oaxaca, Mexico. Overall, this PAR project aims at the co-construction of social justice in ELT in Mexico. In particular, it explores an approach that would encourage learners to make full(er) use of their language resources to challenge the colonial othering discourses of inferiority, disability, and backwardness inherent in ELT in Mexico. The analyses reported in this article zooms in on the English learning experiences of three Indigenous background, low-socioeconomic status, female undergraduate students, and their alleged struggle with speaking English in teaching-learning and assessment activities. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how a local English teacher co-constructed social justice with these three students. To fulfill this purpose, we succinctly present the focal students life stories and address three emergent themes: (i) unveiling alienating practices in the classroom; (ii) carving out spaces for multilingualism in the English classroom; and (iii) authoring assessment as a way to enact social justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-1109
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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