Tutors’ Perceptions on the Pedagogical Validity of Teaching ‘Taboo’ Topics in the Second Language Learning Sector

Macfarlane, Freya Katherine (2015) Tutors’ Perceptions on the Pedagogical Validity of Teaching ‘Taboo’ Topics in the Second Language Learning Sector. Practice and Research in Education (2).

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The purpose of this study is to establish teachers’ perceptions of the pedagogical value of introducing taboo or controversial topics into an L2 classroom. In order to achieve the aims of this study a semi-structured interview was designed and conducted with five experienced ESOL tutors. A focus group of trainee tutors were also interviewed for purposes of comparison and triangulation. Overall, participants agreed that the introduction of taboo/controversial topics did have some pedagogical relevance. Specifically from a language learning point of view taboo/controversial topics were seen to be technique that could prompt previously unknown vocabulary and linguistic structures. Others recognised the potential for such issues as a method to widen the learners understanding of the attitudes and values the target culture has. In conclusion, the personal perceptions of the tutors indicate that many understood that there was an efficacy to using taboo/controversial issues as a learning tool, ranging from basic language skills to promoting cultural enrichment, and potentially promoting a higher level of societal engagement. Yet, the primary concern of maintaining the welfare of the learners was the dominating factor as to whether tutors would introduce taboo/controversial issues into the class. Lastly, there are indications that the influence of L2 tutors on possible changes to the current method of avoidance of taboo/controversial topics is much greater than realised.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Second Language Learning, Teachers/Tutors, Taboo, Controversy, Pedagogy, Teaching/Learning Methods.
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
University Publications > Research > Practice & Research in Education
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 15:11
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 08:52
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/996

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