Critical Awareness in a Materials Analysis and Development Course

Recognizing the political nature of teaching English, critical applied linguists have called for including issues of inequality, injustice, social stratification, gender, poverty, exploitation or environmental destruction in language education (Doğançay-Aktuna, 2006; Grabe, Stoller & Tardy, 2001; Gray, 2013; Pennycook, 1994, 2000; Vergera, 2014). This paper tells the story of an attempt to address issues of inequality and injustice through a critical materials analysis and development course in a pre-service foreign language teacher education program in Turkey. In addition to introducing the basics of foreign language teaching materials evaluation, development and adaptation, this course aimed to raise critical consciousness in teacher candidates about the social-political issues and directed attention to the sanitization of mainstream English language teaching materials (McGrath, 2013). Student-teachers registered in the course first read and discussed research articles analyzing language teaching materials from a critical perspective and they conducted mini-scale critical materials evaluation studies themselves. Thereafter, they worked in groups to develop their own critical language teaching materials, which intended both to teach English in a meaningful, communicative manner and to raise critical awareness. Offered in two consecutive years, this critical materials analysis and development course yielded creative and innovative sample teaching units by senior teacher candidates, titles of which included: Book of the Oppressed (2017), Old & Gold (2017), Save the Planet (2017), Gender Inequality (2017), Human Rights (2017), Stop the Violence (2018), Culture: Explore the World (2018), Free (2018), Awareness (2018), Embrace Diversity (2018), We are Here to be Together (2018). Reporting enrolled student-teachers’ perceptions about the process of analyzing and developing materials collected via online open-ended written questionnaires, this paper argues that critical materials analysis and development courses could show student-teachers their own creative potential as researchers and materials writers and their teacher roles as transformative intellectuals.


Kalaycıoğlu, Beste; Bayırbağ, Mustafa Kemal; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2022-2)
This study examines the educational reforms implemented in the JDP period in terms of social justice demand with a specific focus on the transition to higher education policies. It has been claimed that since the beginning of the 2000s, when policy-making practices were reshaped by neoliberalism, the application of populist discourse and an incremental policy-making model together marked the reforms implemented in the field of education in Turkey. The main motivation of the study is to question whether it i...
Epistemic Injustice and Cultural Processes in Education
Göktürk Ağın, Duygun (2021-01-01)
This article provides a framework for understanding social and cultural inequalities in education in the context of cultural processes and epistemic injustice. Insight into the cultural processes and the concept of epistemic injustice direct us to the conceptualization of agency of the actors within the educational domain and the institutionalized relations of domination and recognition. The article employs two cultural processes: identification (stigmatization and racialization) and rationalization (st...
Challenges of Chinese and European Universities in the Modernization and Global Context
Zayim Kurtay, Merve (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-06-01)
Higher education systems need to increasingly transform in order to face new challenges of society in a modern and global context. Both Europe and China are facing challenges in restructuring their higher education systems and embracing the potential for higher education to deliver innovative teaching and learning as well as social and economic services for a changing society. This paper analyses the challenges to European and Chinese universities today and elaborates on the implications of these challenges...
Redefining the Role of Language in a Globalized World
Yu, Xiaoli (IGI Global, 2021-01-01)
This chapter tackles the critical changes that have occurred in English language education in different countries under the progress of globalization. Adhering to comprehensiveness, the changes in representative countries across different categories are discussed. The division of the categories is based upon Kachru’s (1992) Three Circle Model, namely the Inner Circle, the Outer Circle, and the Expanding Circle. Within each circle, two representative countries are addressed. Major changes related to the fiel...
Rethinking the Impacts of Neoliberal Urban Policies and Practices on Diverse Neighbourhoods The Case of Tarlabaşı Istanbul
Yersen, Özge; Demirdağ, İsmail; Nazda, Güngördü (2015-05-15)
In face of contemporary world, with new challenges and complexities driven by globalization, urban policies and practices in many cases lead to social and economic inequalities, social polarization and spatial segregation. This may severely affect social relations, increase social tensions and lead to worse opportunities for individuals and social groups. Policy-makers and urban planners, in theory, develop policies and practices by taking these changes into consideration. However, theory may not coincide w...
Citation Formats
S. Y. Tezgiden Cakcak, “Critical Awareness in a Materials Analysis and Development Course,” presented at the AAAL 2019 Conference (9 - 12 Mart 2019), Atlanta, GA, USA, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: