Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast,

Brent Warner
Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language,

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 68 Antisocial Language Teaching with Dr. JPB Gerald.

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL, this is episode 68. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes. Hey, Brent happy return to school, I think… are you?

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. stepping in. We’re in our preparation week. But you know, summer has been long and didn’t feel long. But anyways, here we are. Back back to classes,

Ixchell Reyes
Back to classes. So we have Dr. JPB Gerald today with us. If I don’t know how many of our audience listened to one of our what’s been two years now, since our episode with at the time JPB JPB. Gerald now Dr. JPB, Gerald, but we are having we have him on the show. Because his book, anti social language teaching is coming out in just about a month. Justin, is it about the third year? Okay, so pretty soon, you can preorder your copy. So you can get it right as it you know, hot off the press. But here we are.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. So congratulations. I’ve been so JPB. Since we last talked to you, as Michelle says, you’ve gone through quite a few pretty pretty major things, right? Like your life is probably very different at this point than it was two years ago. I don’t know if you want to kind of just do a brief rundown of what’s different in your life.

Dr. JPB Gerald
Yeah. So I came on here, I think it was September of 2020. I think it might have been, I can’t quite remember. But it was about two years ago. And you know, you all had spoken to me because my article decentering whiteness language teaching had come out and people were talking about it, you’ve got to interesting and so forth. And, you know, I was just I didn’t, wasn’t close to graduating. So I was mean to have a clue what I would do what I finished. And then, you know, last year, in 2021, I was writing the book, because right around the time that I spoke to you, a publisher approached me, it took them three months to agree to publish the book, because everyone in the world is very slow. Especially in academia, YouTube for so long do everything. But anyway, the. And so I was writing it last year that I was writing a dissertation. And I was still working. But I was like, I don’t like this job. So I was looking for a new job. And obviously I slept who obviously, you know, I was not the one breastfeeding and all that. So I wasn’t 100% caregiver. But still I was feeling hurt. And to do all of that at the same time was a lot. But aside from my son, who obviously is still around, all those things change. And then also so like I went through a period of intense pressure, and now this period where I finished the book, although they keep emailing me every few weeks with like one question and just like would you just publish

the first there’s a figure in the book, you know, the taxonomy that I created, really the book, and they’re asking for action for me doesn’t have a name. Like it doesn’t even need to keep asking me for a caption for it. And I was like, okay, so I made up a name for the for the for the, for the picture, like yesterday. People who read it will see it published as the central paradigm, but it just made it. So anyway, all that happened. And now I’m in a place where I have a job that I feel comfortable with. And you know what I used to grow, and now the books about to come out. And I don’t even know what’s gonna happen after that. So

Ixchell Reyes
lots of cool stuff happening. So when we, when we first met you, Dustin, Brent and I had had a conversation on what we needed to be doing, where we needed to be going in the field of language teaching and all of the issues with with anti racism and where to start. And so that’s where, you know, Brent, sought out knowledge and found your article. And I know that one of the moments I will always remember is when Brent said oh, he seems pretty active on Twitter. She just responded. So and then from then on, it was just the I think I am happy to say that you’re a colleague, a you’re in the field and you’re moving, pushing things forward. And I for those of you who don’t No. Just then teach us a class. Are you still teaching it your decentering? whiteness?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Oh, are you the only cohorts? Honestly, I’ll put another one together whenever people are interested. I’ve been busy. Right?

Ixchell Reyes
Like, retired. So yeah, so, so yeah, well, we’ll throw that in the show notes too, just in case. You know, you happen to have another cohort. But Brent and I took that class. And it was a, I would say, for me, it was something that I wish was a part of every TESOL curriculum. It’s just a part of the foundation. And you know, how we approached language teaching, and anti racist, and anti racist approach. But anyway, all that to say, and I’m pretty excited to have read your book, The one without the caption on that paradigm. And I’ve got a few areas that resonated with me, and then hopefully, we can talk about those. And then Brian, I don’t know. Yeah, if there was anything, tell our audience

Brent Warner
Yeah. So you know, me taking so, you know, I’ve got a little bit of a, you know, my own perspective, because I’m a white male teacher, sis, hetero, straight all, you know, like, the standard County. Yeah, very, very Orange County boys, as you guys know, I mean, this is kind of the joke we keep going through. But taking taking your course, Justin has been actually like, it sticks with me for, you know, the whole like the These, however long it’s been since we took it, I think that was about a year ago. It’s been about a year, I think, interview and then about a year later, we did the course. And then now it’s been about another year from then. It really has. And so like, part of the reason we really, you know, we wanted to get hold of your book and talk to you about that is because like, it’s stuck, right? Like, I felt like a lot of times in your course I was like, I am blinded by the things that I don’t have to deal with all the time. And so it’s just, you know, what do you call like horse blinders, right? Like you don’t see what’s, what’s outside. And so that was a real struggle for me and continues to be a struggle for me to like, when we’re talking about the things that we don’t recognize, especially when I am by default, centered as this white guy, right. And so, so this has continued to be an I don’t know, I don’t know what to phrase it as an issue or just something that kind of continues to come up with me. So I agree with Michelle, that like some, of course, like that should be part of the training from the beginning. Because even if I didn’t know how to answer your questions or challenges directly at the moment, like, still a year later, I’m sitting on them reflecting on and thinking about, I’m trying to make differences. And so that’s been a really interesting thing. And then coming together with reading the book here, too. There’s so many fascinating parts that I just think are worth. Hopefully, we can touch on a number of them. Obviously, we, we have a limited amount of time, but but I think we want to jump into the book. But before we do anything, any shell I hope you don’t mind if I do this, but there was a quote, straight out of the book that I think is important to just put out there for anyone who’s listening and isn’t totally sure what’s gonna happen or which direction because JPB you, you are willing to confront people’s thought processes, I guess, on a lot of these things. And so I wanted to read this quote that I liked a lot from the book. In your words, I say to you that if you’re ever unsettled by a new idea that troubles your understanding of your work, the issue isn’t your discomfort, but whether or not you attempt to apply pressure to halt this evolution, and soothe your discomfort accordingly. And I really liked that because it’s like it’s an it’s an beautifully phrased way of saying, like, sit in your discomfort, challenge yourself, make sure you’re you’re thinking about it, and not just kind of going well, I don’t like that. And so I’m not going to respond to it, or I’m not going to listen to it. And, you know, we always want to do our best. And I think the listeners to our show, you know, are always trying to expand their thinking and their options and those types of things. But I wanted to put that quote out there as as just a, you know, a way for people to start thinking about, you know, just being open minded to different ideas or things that maybe they haven’t heard as we start talking about some of these points here. You shall I’m gonna let you start with, with where, where are you located?

Ixchell Reyes
I actually wanted to go back to that quote, because this is, again, an A lot of it goes back to the class. And of course now working with teachers, I’m in charge of teachers, how do I approach everything that we do, knowing that we all have those blinders? And also, I don’t know. There’s just so much there. I think one of you call us an issue that keeps coming up and I think that it’s it’s a practice we constantly have to practice this practices, practices, practices, and anytime we are unsettled by something, it’s, it’s that is saying something about our ourselves. It’s like a mirror. And that’s sort of what approach I take now, whenever something unsettles me, I have to sit with that feeling that, that discomfort or that jarring feeling, and try to figure out okay, what is it that is telling me about my biases? Or about my preconceived notions about the way I’m judging something? And why am I judging it that way? What is it saying about me? And where did it where did it come from? And so it helps me to be a little bit more empathetic toward people, it helps me to be a little bit more willing to listen rather than react, because oftentimes, that’s even though I people might consider me pretty open minded. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have biases or have fallen, I would say have fallen to the, what, you know, the, in the book, Justin talks about how, when he was in Korea, one of the regrets or I would, I would say regretful moments is that we the accent reduction issue, and I, as I’m reading, I’m thinking, Oh, I do that, too. I don’t I hate the word accent, but the terms accent reduction, and intelligibility. And then, how many times have I had to do a pronunciation mini lesson and then have having to navigate how do I present this to my students? And what am I really teaching? How am I really wording? What’s the proper way? And so that’s, I guess, where we’re in the book where I see myself as the some of the areas that Justin matches in teaching English in Korea.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so just we’re dropping a ton of different, different.

Ixchell Reyes
You have an interview with Justin.

Brent Warner
Well, actually, I would like Justin, for you to start with. You know, the title of the book is antisocial language teaching, right? And can you can you just kind of set set us up with a little bit of the premise and a little bit of the reasoning for the title and what you’re trying to achieve with this book?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Okay, I was wondering if you guys are gonna let me say so I’m just gonna listen to I was like, clearly this is the time for me. Nope. Okay. So and so’s language teaching subtitle English. And the pervasive pathology of whiteness pathology is the important word here. Because anti social, and a lot of people use that word in a couple of different ways. There’s a colloquial way. Say, I’m anti social, like, I don’t like to go to parties and stuff. That’s not really what it means. I’m not going to be prescriptive is about language here. But in terms of what it actually means is that like being a social is I don’t want to be introverted. I don’t want to go out whatever I’m not saying introverts aren’t social introverts Don’t yell at me. Antisocial as being like, against like society and society’s rules and all that right. But so why did this come up? Tucker Carlson episode, where he was talking about Black Lives Matter protesters being anti social. And I’m like, well, that’s weird. Not the thugs part. Of course, they’re gonna say, but you people understand what I’m saying. I’m not saying it’s good that he’s doing that. Unless he did that. People stop, stop it. But that’s the antisocial because like, now you’re talking. They’re referring now because this has happened More more recently, that people are referring to as social personality disorder very globally. Antisocial Personality Disorder being basically the actual clinical definition of what people say like sociopath, right? I guess you can’t go to the hospital this year. So if your pet, that’s another thing, they can’t get in there. But they might diagnose you with antisocial, antisocial personality disorder. And I thought it was interesting that he said that, because that’s basically the worst thing like this. They can’t diagnose, you’re worse than that. And so to be using that to describe protesters, I said, No, that’s interesting. And I went to look at the definition of it less. And then truthfully, I was just writing an essay about diagnostic criteria and social personality disorder, and whiteness, and disability in general. And, and the ableism involved in what the diagnosi criteria are diagnostic criteria, English. And then the publisher approached me but their language publisher, and I was like, Well, what now what you But I had this really nice essay I was working on and had this idea. And I thought it was viable. And my advisor was saying, you know, pursue it in the language publisher, and I was like, well, and I got the idea to really think about the way that language could fit into that. Because ultimately, what I was writing about, was about whiteness in general. And the point I was making was that as long as x is centering whiteness, you will see it show up in the way that people are classified as disordered and in need of fixing in that field. So when you think about the way that people in the language field go, like talk about race, then you can see where that gap needs to be filled. Because then, in terms of an organizing feature, like race, whiteness, and that sort of thing, you’re going to get people who don’t want to talk about aspects of it. And you’re going to get people who are not particularly comfortable talking about aspects of the field. So you know, I basically, I’m trying to use diagnostic criteria from the DSM to both make fun of the APA, despite the fact that they have APA citations, which is funny, that’s funny. And the not just API, but the API is representative of society, the beliefs that society has, and then map that on to language teaching, and its connection to whiteness, which obviously, is racism, and so forth. All of that sounds complicated. The point is just that we need to be center whiteness and linguistics. It’s a much, much longer version America,

Brent Warner
I found I found that extremely compelling way to read it, though, by looking at it in like, Okay, here’s an aspect of English language teaching right of our field. And I felt like in reading some parts of it, it felt like you kind of said, well, I could have gone in this direction, I could have gone in this direction when talking about this particular criteria, and right, but, but then you just kind of said, like, here’s a way that we can understand the failures, the shortcomings and failures of ELT, through the psychology, you know, through the, the DSM lens, right. And,

Dr. JPB Gerald
or, sorry, with the the way that our field is organized, even not even thinking about like this, we, for reasons that I don’t love, are often thinking about what’s wrong with people’s languaging. Right. You know, and then you get into, we’re not medically diagnosing people, but we are pedagogically diagnosing people as needing help in some way. You know, and even people who have plenty of degrees, and I’m not saying we should do it differently, we don’t have people who are very accomplished Prudential, whatever. We do the same thing if you’re an English class, right, my brother in law just came home for just came back immigration issues, just came back from Guatemala. He’s bringing those classes, he doesn’t want to go back. He said, we only explained things to me the way I need to explain things to me. And it’s just like, because they think that they know better than the people know about themselves. And that’s what I think is the main crux of the issue is that the industry thinks it knows better about people than people know about themselves. And therefore denigrates culture, race, identity, ability, etc, of the students, and some of the teachers too.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I liked the term and, you know, some of us have heard about someone in our field might not even like that you got some interesting points inside of there about like, the idea, especially like, teaching English as a foreign language. So the people who are overseas and it’s like, oh, well, the criterion for you to teach here is you’re a native English speaker, at whatever. And, and, you know, maybe more ideally, a white white native English speaker or whatever that is or sound like a white native English speaker. And so, I like so one, you know, you use this term languaging. So like the idea of like, to language as a verb, right? And I, I’d like for you to just touch on that because I think some people listening might not have thought of what that means and kind of how you tend to use it here? And then also how, how does recognizing that idea of like what it means to language? How does that affect all of us? I

Dr. JPB Gerald
guess. Yeah. So at least the way I understand that, because like any of these things that become a scholarship Irie, right? Is we think of language as a noun. And by that I mean, not just literally in the grammar, or even the stuff that we think of is actually something we live and breathe into. Our language is not just something that exists, it’s something that we think of something like that, and I’m getting confused. So by that definition, as opposed to the boring one. How can you the way you like would be wrong. You know, like, the only way I think they were can be wrong is if you are intending to move something or you actually say something that can happen even if you’re in a political game. And then that’s not to say that somebody who says the wrong words deficient and just mean like, you know, if the point is for you to communicate, then you have not communicated what you want. And that is something that you think that’s a common issue for you could choose to want to correct if you want to, but I don’t think it’s for other people to say, you I didn’t understand you, you’re bad. And I’m oversimplifying, but I really don’t think that the industry’s all that.

Ixchell Reyes
So another, sort of want to go back to something that there’s a term in there that you use. So when right have had episodes on this before on just the fact that we’re constantly trying to find some kind of acronym that or something to describe how our language is now inclusive, and we’re accepting. And so we’ve gone from ESL to ENL, or EA, L or all of these, and you threw in one that I’d never heard before, which is MLL. We’re on multilingual learners, for multilingual learners that have ell. But really, and the quote that I highlighted was in, it doesn’t really matter what you call people, if you treat them the same way, you’ve always treated them. And there’s little evidence that our language ideologies have shifted substantially. And this is where I think Brent and I constantly we talk about, you know, the terms we use to describe things in our field. But what I this is exactly what what your book is doing is bringing out highlighting that the issue is we haven’t changed the the approach we have not our language, ideology still is still white centric. And I don’t know what else

Brent Warner
to say, I want to present one follow up on this because our department right now is having this very conversation about like, let’s change it from ESL, two MLL, or whatever it is. I really struggle. I mean, we’ve talked, I think this was actually our topic on episode number one, it was like, like the all the different acronyms and what it is, and I do struggle with it. And actually JPB, you’re, you came up with a term that that I liked, and was interested in, I continue to struggle with the bigger picture, which is, this might sound dumb, but I really do think it’s important that we as teachers in a field are able to find each other and with 100 different acronyms and like, hey, I want to find information on decentering whiteness in ESL, and it’s like, no other articles only on es Oh, well, you know, like, whatever else it might be. And I think that itself, just in terms of algorithms is problematic. But also, you know, but of course, like having this conversation and understanding of what is our field and how do we even know how to define it. And so I know this conversation is coming up soon in my department of let’s change the name and and Justin, if you could share your your suggestion for for the term, I thought it was very, it was one that stood out to me and does seem to actually lend itself towards making a difference, or at least the way that people think about it if you could share a bit about that, that’d be great.

Dr. JPB Gerald
Yeah, so before I get to that acronym to just sort of encapsulate the acronym discussion is like, the whole point is that like, I think, kind of, like, renamed the streets better Black Lives Matter, right? You know, or during TV and a holiday. Like some people will get up in arms about those surface level things thing. You know, they don’t mean anything. And I’m not trying to say that choosing a less inclusive choosing a more inclusive acronym is not better. Right. But there is this idea, and I don’t know that this particular idea is white, just impatient that like, once you’re done watching, which, and I’m very impatient, so you know, the white thing. But is that like, once you do it thing, that’s the accomplishment? You did it. Right. So I think it’s an easy win. Right? Sure. And then you get people who, you know, the acronym changes, and then they’ll go through every document that she had Omega change alacrity to, and that’s like someone’s job. Like this an acronym person. You know, it’s not even like a joke, because I had an internship at Sports Illustrated, which I was really bad at. And one of the things I had to do was change the curly quotation to the straight up and down voted.

So anyway, but I said, but like you said, Brent, we have to say something we’re going to ourselves, right? And I do think that that many miniscule differences between types of language educators, I think the acronym is not a big part of that division, but it doesn’t help. You know, because there are if you are any kind of English professor, you could say, English professor, I teach 18th century British literature, right? I have an English professor, I teach, you know, contemporary American literature, right, but you still start with English professor. But for us, it’s like I’m a language person. Oh, I’m em, is enough. Hi, me. So I look, what is going on here. We don’t need to do this. I just think we go with our specialization before we go with the broader concept that we are telling language educators in some capacity to the point where if I say, even though my teacher, even a language educator job right now, but like, if even if I say language here, people would do. So anyway, so what I came up with was teachers of standardized English TSD. is big, the lot in the book about the concept of standardized English. And now, it’s silly to pretend that there isn’t a standard, but we also can’t pretend there wasn’t. Like, just, as I say, in the book, we can just be like, there is no standard is like, but there is it’s just that they made it up. So it’s unrealistic, to completely pretend that there isn’t some sort of expectation, then that means that the tests and all the stuff around it is okay. But like, we can’t pretend that the art forms, commonalities, so forth. And I think sometimes when people hear what I say, they think that I’m saying that I’m very clear in the book that I’m not saying that, but you know, how people react to that anyway. So by saying teachers have standardized English or TSP, first of all, say we’re teachers, but most of people are like, no, no, no teacher. But by including standardized English, years saying, first of all the truth, which is to say that, like the forms you’re putting forth are a design chosen standard, right. And therefore, you know, you have me you could theoretically put Senator as Americans, like, still, you’re saying teaching standardized English, and people understand what you’re doing. Like, it’s the same as what they’re already doing in EFL jobs. So, you know, I don’t necessarily think that for like, I feel like sometimes it’s easier for them to change acronyms that have nothing to do with them. Right. So change, changing the acronym from MLL, to, you know, whatever, whatever, because they’re just talking about the others. But, like, when it comes to that, the acronyms take a lot longer to change. So like the certification, right? It takes a lot longer to change that acronym. So you still get people with the ESL certification in New York, right? Let the teacher solve that’s just what it’s called. Right? 100 The school I went to still halls in the ESL, like, our ESL teachers do X, Y, and Z. Because that’s the last that’s that sort of certification says so I do think it’s important to change the acronym I just to meet I was thinking about this today. It’s like a cake with icing. A lot of people just want to change that. I think that the cake is still poison. On the other hand, nobody likes a cake without icing. So I just need to do both.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I was thinking about that terminology. Because when when you change it to standardized right it to me, it stands out in the same way, you know, about, you know, the the minority versus a minoritized person that conversation, I think, even bring this up in the book too, as as the parallel here. Which really does, or at least for me, and I’m assuming people who listen to our language nerds, and kind of that affects the way that they and we all think about what it means, right? And so when we say, Okay, well, it’s standardized, right? Not standard, but standardized, then it’s like, okay, it’s been put into that position has been created into that form, as we understand it. And that to me, even on a small level is like, okay, that’s something that I can think about a little bit every day, right? It’s when I talk to my students, I can think about what that means and and then hopefully, help me understand that the way that they are talking or producing language. You know, a lot of the students are want to get to standardized English, right? That’s another conversation by itself. But, but at least for me, it helps me put a different framing around the conversation around how I might be talking about language acquisition, and in the day to day, with the students, I don’t know the shell if you felt that when you’re when you’ve changed some of your language as well. Or Justin? Well,

Ixchell Reyes
at least for more, I’m still stuck on the whole acronym thing. And you know, when you when you present what you teach to others, like I’ll say, I’m a language teacher, I just I don’t I don’t say I’m an English language teacher anymore. I teach English, that just say I’m a language teacher. And right away, they say what language and I’ll say English. And so you do teach English, we Oh, and then it’s like, their perception suddenly changes, because they initially thought, oh, French, or German, or, Oh, but you teach English. So you must be teaching a particular population. And then the way that the conversation goes, is different until I start telling them, okay, well, until I started giving details, but still just the fact that that alone, I can just see how they react to me or you teach you teach language? What language Oh, English. And so, so I’m stuck on that. And I guess, one of the one of the one of the things that you mentioned in the book, Justin, is that even though we have all of this, it’s a great mountain to climb. And you talk about how you have hope you have hope for all of us who are latching on to that, that that desire to change and to stand up against what what we have been taught to teach or the way that we’ve been taught to accept language and working together that we can build a better paradigm that we can have that shift. And so I think, I guess what one of the questions I have is, and looking at authorities out there or quote unquote authorities in our field, for example, CATESOL or mother CATESOL or sorry, like a TESOL – TESOL . We have mother CATESOL, and big TESOL. Have you seen changes that are that are that you like in our field because I know that in the book, you talk about the response, a big TESOL had or Right, and so that Brent and I had a conversation on this too. And, and so I’m kind of glad that it’s in there

Dr. JPB Gerald
a special issue

Ixchell Reyes
because we were so excited. I remember I remember Brent saying, Oh, teasels got a statement that we go. And we looked at the articles, and we’re like, what? So C there since then I know that you’ve been pushing forward, and you’re part of a, of a committee now. And but are there changes that you can that are promising? In your opinion?

Dr. JPB Gerald
It’s funny, because I just think he’s all making too big. To change the direction of the cruise ship. There’s just gonna scrape scrape against the iceberg. Like, they know they have to turn, they don’t have enough time. But like, you know, I think I’ve seen a lot of energy gets online. But if I go to any conference, you know what I went to that conference in New Jersey, like, that was the first time that like, I was just the keynote, which is to say, people weren’t coming to see me. There might have been a few people who came to see me, but like, they went to the conference, and I was just there. Very rare. I mean, that’s happened a couple of times in the webinars, you’ll just sit and watch what’s on your computer’s tree. So that and this was the morning. So I was like, breakfast, man. You know, I was like breakfast, the breakfast keynote. So they had to get up. Right? In the previous couple of days, like they’ve been, this is like the end of the conference. So anyway.

Brent Warner
And racism together last?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Yeah, I was really expecting people to not respond to what I was saying.

And, you know, it was well received. And that was like, a general a bit. Yes, New Jersey, I wasn’t going to like, certain parts of the country, but like, everyone knew, right. So it matter. So like, I gave that talk, and like, there was one woman who just wasn’t yet. But she wasn’t hostile. She started by saying, you know, I’m a music teacher, or I was a music teacher or something. And, you know, in music, school, they, you know, they teach the classical music, and that’s like, a lot of old dead white guy. And I’m like, Oh, he’s about to make the point that she agrees with me that we don’t have to base everything on that anymore. And then she goes, but there’s a reason they teach that like, Oh, no.

But still, she, she kept talking for a while. And just think about the questions beforehand. So they just talked until they get to their question, and I’m just like, Would you would you just get to the new way? As he gets to the question, and then she Bally’s thing, like, do you? It was, it was just so asinine, that it was pretty easy to respond to. And then I saw her later. And she, she came to my breakout session, like she was really like, try. Just, it just wasn’t happening. But that was the most resistance I got. And again, she was clearly uncomfortable. But she was tribal. And for that to be the worst that got you know, I’ve said something I see that, you know, in online conferences and stuff like that. What he saw itself was they put a committee together and there’s good people on the committee but my my job technically has a DEA like thing, but I’ve barely heard about it, because I feel like the places that do a good job, don’t need to rely on the committee’s that much to do that work. Like the places that are really excited about the DEA activities that the places that don’t really work DEA may be doing but they’re very, very excited to talk about their existence.

Brent Warner
So the idea of, hey, we have this thing, we can present it. Don’t look behind the curtain. Yeah,

Dr. JPB Gerald
leave us alone.

Brent Warner
Yeah, we pushed I mean, we pushed a couple buttons when some of those conversations were happening early on, and, and you fell in particular you got, you got yelled at on Twitter a few times for,

Ixchell Reyes
you know, I get yelled at on Twitter

Brent Warner
it’s a strange thing to see, I think because of because of, you know, theoretically the nature of our field. And again, you break this down quite well and inside of the book, but theoretically, yeah, theoretically, like, it’s supposed to be open minded people trying to do good things for people or for other people, right. And long sections of the book, like the whole first section really does an excellent job of breaking down that down and like. I mean, we can’t explain all of it, but but you do get into that quite a bit where it’s like, Hey, your intentions versus what you’re actually doing and participating in knowingly or unknowingly are? harmful? Yeah, it really can be harmful. I think. And I’m glad to hear you say that people are trying to listen to you and understand but like, where do you think people get caught up the most with this, right? Like with the idea that, hey, I think I’m doing a good thing, or I believe in what my field, you know, like trying to help these people succeed in America or whatever country with English. In your thinking, what is the place where people the road bump that people can’t get past? I guess? Or at least to start with?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Well, I think, yeah, there’s there’s a lot of research on like, racial identity development, right.

I don’t like most of that research, but it exists. And so there’s, like frameworks for how different people develop their racial identity and their opposition to or their embrace of racism. And one of the things that a lot of frameworks have in common is that people get stuck when they have to re examine their own past behavior. Right. One of the hardest things, I think, with the whole I believe they’re doing a good thing is that when you get enough knowledge to understand what you’ve been complicit in, everything you did before, that looks different. Absolutely. And you know, you can end up with a lot of regrets. And there’s not a whole lot you do about it. Like, you can’t really go back. It’s this, I say this in the book, but it’s part of the reason I wrote the book. Because, you know, once I learned what I learned about language ideologies and expectations and the things I would correct them arm, you know, where I would say that they weren’t doing a good job on this or that. I look back and now it’s like, that was the end of that. And those students are gonna read the book below. One of my students. I did see, but it’s the only one of the like, 1000s Korea ever see. But, you know, I feel like people who are teaching, especially if anyone sees reads the book, we’re doing the EFL thing. I think that they really willing to do it.

Ixchell Reyes
To say, as I was reading, I saw myself in a lot of what you said too, because I was the model, Mexican immigrant student who did better than the others who did everything she was supposed to. And then I just perpetuated that upon my students like oh, that they’re not working hard enough. They’re not studying hard enough. They’re not Oh, they’re not making hard enough. They’re not they’re pronouncing this wrong because they’re not paying attention and later, when reality hit me and I accepted it, I realized I wouldn’t I would never say that. Oh my gosh, I hope my students never thank goodness I never cared very much about pronunciation. I hated teaching pronunciation. I hated it because my my own my mom’s been judged for her accent and treated poorly because of her accent. So that was always an area of high sensitivity for me. And I but I always knew that when my students were misunderstood by my white counterparts, and the English teachers, I would get really angry because I could understand the students so well. And I would just say, Well, you just don’t you’re not used to their pronunciation. And it’s something that I think somewhere I forgot which chapter you talk about accent and that we are putting the burden upon the person with less power to be able to recreate that, or the ability to be understood, whereas the one who really lacks or has that lack is the one who’s got the power. And we’re not. I don’t know if I’m explaining this way that you explained it in the book. But those people aren’t doing anything to try to understand those with what we perceive as accents and knowing that everybody has an accent.

Dr. JPB Gerald
Yeah. I like the accent chapter a lot. I think it’s one of the funniest ones (laughter)

Brent Warner
I should point out there’s, we’ve mentioned this before, but there’s so much humor, and it makes it makes the book very enjoyable and consumable when sometimes it’s like, like, sometimes my heart hurts a little bit, because I feel like I’m guilty of something you’re talking about. But then at the same time, you kind of make it fun and accessible too, so

Ixchell Reyes
yeah, you’ve got to read the footnotes, read the footnotes.

Dr. JPB Gerald
Footnotes at the end of every chapter, like they were supposed to be under the page. Oh, yeah. And then you gotta flip like seven pages to read them. (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes
I was I was annoyed by having to go look, which one was this? For? Which page? Was it? Oh, okay. But but they’re worth it. It’s.

Brent Warner
It is. Sorry. Sorry, back to the accent reduction segment – It is it is a great topic.

Dr. JPB Gerald
Yeah, I mean, that was a thing that I wrote about, that I started that I did myself as a teacher, and, you know, I, I use my phone. I use that phone to record them talking to like, do like Siri instructions or whatever. Right? I didn’t have apple. But whatever. The other thing, Google I don’t know. And, you know, it would do talk to text, and it would give out the wrong thing. Right. And I knew what they were saying. And I would show them like that would have thought we would all laugh and like, I don’t think they were like we were all at the time, you know, just going up and so forth. But like, in a way. I didn’t even Antares back that, like, I understand them. So why doesn’t? Like why built in a worthwhile way? Did I have to go be a teacher for several years, to have the level of understanding that I do. Almost anybody’s accent. And now, you know, a little bit better, because they have. But the story is

Brent Warner
they’re still struggling because my wife has an accent. And she every morning tries to get Alexa to turn on the living room lights. And it never has to do it two or three times every time. It’s like, Why isn’t there? Is there machine learning going on in here who’s defaulting this this programming to understand whatever language it is 10 years ago, and today, it’s not fixed for sure.

Ixchell Reyes
Which is interesting, because Alexa, in my sister’s home, can understand my little nephews, Alexa play, you know, whatever, volume, whatever. And he started doing that at a very young age when or I couldn’t really understand, but Alexa understood him. So there’s got to be somewhere in there something that’s learning. And I have to say that this this last trip that I took to Japan, the issue came up with my teachers, that I was training trying to use Siri s as part of their pronunciation aid. And I had to tell them, Look, when you when you switch the voice over to the Japanese voice, and you say what you’re saying it understands you. It actually types it out, but it doesn’t understand my English. And when you switch it to British, it’s going to understand one version of it. So you’ve got to remember that simply because it doesn’t understand me doesn’t mean you’re not seeing it in a way that I understand. And it’s the first time that I’ve been able to do that with because it’d be Because now technology is maybe more advanced in that sense. But still, I like that you mentioned in the book that, you know, all of that is one type of standardized English. Whoever is putting in putting that that language in there is it’s just one type

Dr. JPB Gerald
goalie only, you know, do Color Computer English, your phone English or something like that, you know, and I think it’s gonna take us a while to get rid of this stuff. So for the time being, as we’re leaving with accurate

Brent Warner
Yeah, absolutely. So I know, we’ve got a limited amount of time left. But I did want to point out that the end of the book is, you know, like, everybody’s like, Well, what do I do? What do I do like in order to make this and you have a lot of good sections inside of there, including the TSE, like the teaching, standardizing. And a number of other things. But I wanted to just for you, when you looked at these numbers of solutions, and things that you can do, I think, I think the one that I stood with stood out to me as it’s going to be a long term thinking, you know, a, you know, a mind puzzles for all of us. But I did like the you had a little quick section on. What did you call it shifting classroom power? That was the last section, as you’re saying, Hey, here’s a number of things that you can start doing. And you readily admit, you don’t have all the solutions to it, which I appreciate. But can you talk just for just a minute on what does it mean to shift that classroom power? And what how do we kind of balance that out a little better?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Or funny thing about that, is that, you know, I quoted, I didn’t agree, article series and language magazine that was about all of that. And I quoted the first one, because when I finished the draft of the book, and only published the first one, and then when I was editing it, I’m like, I could go back and get more free, others don’t feel like it. So. But yeah, I think that it’s hard to describe giving power because like, if you’re the kind of person who needs a roadmap, to think that you should have less power, then you not really care and do it directly. But people like that still try. So you know, thinking who’s really someone who’s like, an authoritarian person when it’s trying to change the way they’re doing things? Or is it someone who’s, you know, already on their path, and just extra guidance, and toeing that line between people who, like I don’t tend to write for people I’m trying to hard revert to what I’m saying? Because they know better able to listen? If they do great, but I’m just telling you, who are you? And so, yeah, that’s dropped the microphone. That’s just, I think, all this is about power. But even the fact that I get to write this book is about power. You know, sure. There are certain ways that can be excluded from the center of things, but still being a person who has a command of standardized English. And certain passport, means and degree now means that there are certain people who wouldn’t listen to me if I didn’t have that. And I’m trying to use that power, but I use that influence, or that potential influence responsibly. And I think that that’s the same thing that I’m hoping that teachers can do in the classroom itself, is to say, to acknowledge that you do have a certain amount of power. Whether you would like that or not, is true. So how can you use that equitably? While still understanding that you ultimately.

Brent Warner
Yeah, and I think that that really stood out to me too, is like, use your power wisely. Right. Do your best. And then and then keep trying to do your best beyond that at your next steps. Right. So JPB there’s so much more for us to jump into, but we know you’re out of time. Limited here and and have to go take care of us all, but we are really glad to have you here on the show again, second. I think you’re the first person to be a second time guess. Is that right? Oh, yeah. Nice. Congratulations. That’s a big one. But yeah, we’re gonna we’re gonna jump out real Quick and make sure that everybody has a way to find you.

Ixchell Reyes
Alright, it is time for our fun times. And this time around I have a Fermi’s adult affirmation cards deck. These are 50, positive affirmations for people who like to say the F word. So I carried on at work. And when someone is having a bad day, I pull out a card and I put it on their desk, and a lot of it is to sort of get them out of that framework of you’re at work doing this and you’re a slave. No, you still gotta take a moment. Pause, breathe. This job is not everything. It does not define you. And so I like to leave those. Yeah, they’re fun. So far, people have enjoyed them. I haven’t gotten in trouble. But what do you have?

Brent Warner
I’m just gonna go quickly with the new Predator movie called prey on on Hulu. It’s pretty cool. It’s been getting quite good reviews. And so I did go and check it out. I liked you know, I liked the original predator. But, but then it got real weird. But this one was an interesting one, because it went way back to, you know, Native American history. And I’m bummed I watched the English version. There’s actually a Comanche language version of the film, apparently. But really cool, interesting story about you know, how this young woman was interacting with the world as well as the

Ixchell Reyes
predator of course, just made it just a native actress. Yeah,

Brent Warner
it’s cool. It’s worth checking out. Justin, what do you got?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Um Reservation Dogs came back, also on Hulu. And I think that there’s something interesting about the new, very new life now mostly the verbal dysentery and so forth. And we’ve seen so many stories of urban poverty, and we’re even seeing like, white rural poverty. And, you know, this in the faculty graduate is better than the fact that they’re really young. Like that is something that people are not has not been traditionally allowed to be shown on.

And so I think that the whole conversation is trying to show a different part of life. Not just a part of it, is the central part of the culture. And people don’t know that they’re a part apartment. Very cool, awesome.

Ixchell Reyes
You could win a one of a kind DIESOL pin by leaving a review on Apple podcasts. If you’re giving us a shout out any other way. Tag us on social media, we’re on all platforms.

Brent Warner
Were on Patreon we’re at you can find the show notes here diesol.org/68. And of course, we’re at voice Ed Canada as well. The show is where I think we’re most active on Twitter at @diesolpod. I’m at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m at Ixy underscore pixy that i x y underscore p x y and you can find Dr. JP B Gerald at..

Dr. JPB Gerald
@JPBGerald

Brent Warner
just before we leave what, you know, obviously the book is coming out where can people grab it?

Dr. JPB Gerald
Well, Google up to this point again. Multilingual matters publisher. So if you’re the multilingual Management site, you can order it there and people want to read it. And people will read by December 30 days from now so if you want to you can pre order

Ixchell Reyes
Get yours!

Brent Warner
Dr. JPB. Gerald, thank you so much for joining us and everybody else. Check out the show notes to find out where all this information is.

Ixchell Reyes
And more Maltese thank you as grassy grassy for tuning in to the diesol podcast. Thanks, everybody.

In this episode we welcome back Dr. JPB Gerald as we discuss his upcoming book release, “Antisocial Language Teaching: English and the Pervasive Pathology of Whiteness.” Where is he now? What has progressed since our initial interview on decentralizing whiteness in language teaching? Have any professional language organizations changed their approach to move to less racism in the ELT field? Join us for a chat and preview this fresh resource that we feel should be a required textbook in all language teacher programs.

“Dr. JPB Gerald is an adult educator and theorist, and a 2022 graduate of the EdD program in Instructional Leadership from CUNY – Hunter College, USA. Through his writing, teaching, podcast and his public scholarship overall, he seeks justice for the racially, linguistically and neurologically minoritized.” (Channelview Publications, 2022).

Book Summary: “The centering of whiteness in English Language Teaching (ELT) renders the industry callous, corrupt and cruel; or, antisocial. Using the diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder as a rhetorical device, this book examines major issues with the ideologies and institutions behind the discipline of ELT and diagnoses the industry as in dire need of treatment, with the solution being a full decentering of whiteness. A vision for a more just version of ELT is offered as an alternative to the harm caused by its present-day incarnation. With a unique linkage of discourse on whiteness, language and ability, this book will be necessary reading for students, academics and administrators involved in ELT around the world.” (Channelview Publications, 2022).

Dr. Gerald’s Twitter: @JPBGerald

Dr. Gerald’s Website: jpbgerald.com

FUN FINDS

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