Hi, what would you do if your student is a racist? How will you approach the lesson?

8 answers from our tutors

Best answer

Talk to them about racism.

  • This is tricky. If they are openly racist towards you, then you gather 'evidence' and say goodbye. But, sometimes, racist language may be something they have learned. Growing up I said many racist things because that's how my working class family spoke. Some of my family were racist, others just used the language without thinking. Maybe they learnt English from someone who 'didn't understand what they were saying'. So, it may be a case that the student does not realise they are being racist and think that it is acceptable language. I'd challenge their use of language. But if you feel the language is not accidental and it's actually their views, move on - as others here suggest.

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  • Talking about it, not ignoring or downplaying it, asking questions trying to reveal where it stems from .... Quite often it's just a lack of education and discussing it using some art, books, films can help. But I agree it's not a mean feat!

  • Ohhh good question, obviously if someone is offending you that much, I don't think you are under any obligation to continue to listen or teach that person. However, if you want to take the higher road. Discussion and understanding is the way to go. Just like in the real world. Generally, racism and stereotypes breakdown the more we see each other as individuals. But, and all of this is a personal opinion. It is defiantly not anyone's job to be abused or listen to someone badmouth other people you care about. We are language teachers, not therapist.

  • Racism is vile, absolutely vile. It should not be tolerated in any way. Although I have not had abuse based on the colour of my skin, I have had abuse because of my religion (not on this platform, I might add), and it sucks! Nobody should suffer abuse based on their beliefs, or the colour of their skin. While many people would take the line of engagement and try and to have a discussion about their views and attempt to change their mindset. For me, the lesson would end immediately, and the student reported. I think they should be left to learn their lesson in the school of hard knocks and nasty surprises, they deserve to learn that way. Shylock's speech from the play,"The Merchant of Venice" can answer for everyone, just replace the word "jew" with any other word (black, gay, etc) to see how it is still applicable today "I am a jew, if you prick us, do we not bleed?" Like what you have read? Then why not book a lesson!

  • use "racism" as a topic of discussion, make get their reason for being a racist and bring up stories of people with different race helping each other survive. Also, there are short films on racism on facebook and youtube watch them with your student and get their opinion. Good luck!

  • If my student is racist, I would approach the lesson with empathy and respect, but also with a firm commitment to challenging their beliefs. Here are a few steps I would take: -First I would create a safe and comfortable environment where the student feels they can express their views without fear of judgement. -Next, I would engage in a dialogue with the student to try to understand their perspective and beliefs. -Then I would present counterarguments and alternative views to challenge their beliefs and help them see different perspectives.

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