Report (Co)constructing critical pedagogies: Expanding on our department’s approach to language teaching

Piotti, Anna; Matangos, Hannah A.; Wilt, Alexis C.; Goetze, Julia; Keppenne, Valérie; Kerschen, Katherine
Volume 03 - Issue 1
antiracist pedagogy; social justice pedagogy; curricular change; German language
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center; (co-sponsored by American Association of University of Supervisors and Coordinators; Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition; Center for Educational Reources in Culture, Language, and Literacy; Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning; Open Language Resource Center; Second Language Teaching and Resource Center)
Piotti, A., Matangos, H. A., Wilt, A. C., Goetze, J., Keppenne, V., & Kerschen, K. (2022). (Co)constructing critical pedagogies: Expanding our department’s approach to language teaching. Second Language Research & Practice, 3(1), 151–163.
Full Record
In this report, we—the members of a curriculum working group (CWG) in Penn State’s German department—describe our efforts to decenter our German language sequence by integrating critical pedagogies into our department’s existing communicative language teaching (CLT) approach. We trace our process towards this goal, beginning with an exploration into and analysis of two critical pedagogies, namely Antiracist Pedagogy (ARP) and Social Justice Pedagogy (SJP). We ultimately adopt SJP because we find it to be a better fit for our purposes in German language instruction. We offer a framework to evaluate and didacticize existing as well as newly created course materials, guided by social justice (SJ) learning objectives. To illustrate our work, we describe the creation and implementation of an instructional unit in an intermediate German language course. Reflections from this course’s instructor and student reactions concerning this unit’s instruction—as well as SJP in the language classroom in general—make evident the importance of critical perspectives regarding curricular development in fostering equitable classrooms.