Bringing Trans, Non-Binary, and Queer Understandings to Bear in Language Education
Keywords:Trans, Non-binary, Gender, Language Learner, LGBTQ
Language education represents a site for identity (re)construction, mediated through language acquisition and use (Atkinson, 2011). As students develop linguistic abilities, they also develop a multilingual sense of self. Pedagogies that engage with students as whole persons inherently encourage identity-focused reflection and may facilitate more ethical teaching (Moore, 2016; Norton, 2013). Increasingly, literature considers sexual diversity’s role in language curricula, textbooks, research, and pedagogy (Nelson, 2009; Paiz, 2018; Saunston, 2017). However, herein, there is a marked focus on lesbian and gay considerations—perpetuating trans, non-binary, gender-non conforming (TGNC), bisexual, and queer invisibility (Knisely, 2020a, 2021a; Paiz, 2020). This paper addresses how TGNC lives and concerns can interface with the process of language education, highlighting its importance for applied linguistics, language teachers, and learners. Ultimately, the authors present a toolkit for integrating TGNC understandings of the world into language-learning contexts, outlining potential advantages and challenges as they relate to creating more critical and equitable pedagogies.
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