TESOL’s Convention motto, “Where the World Comes Together,” has tremendously affected the presentation I’m giving in Denver. It is a 30-minute practice/pedagogy-oriented session, “Building Transnational Classrooms: From a Testimony to Classroom Practices,” where I invited my former students to present with me.
This presentation explores a testimony of a transnational adult English language learner and how he overcame his class struggles as he migrated to the United States. In addition, I invited a Vietnamese teacher who teaches ESL students in Vietnam to join the symposium.
We will come together to discuss the concept of living between two worlds and raise questions of how to open dialogues with students about multicultural identities in an ESOL classroom. Through this presentation, I want to
- highlight the beauty of the storytelling, the powerful message of community, and the strong, critical, meaningful collaboration between the teacher and students in classrooms; and
- emphasize the importance of an ESOL teacher in the classroom who understands, values, and incorporates students’ funds of knowledge when designing a curriculum.
The conference theme is perfect for my students, in particular, and for ESOL students, in general, to tell their stories to the world. I want to use this session to remind all of us, ESOL teachers and practitioners, about this beautiful aspect and then exchange ideas with the participants, including teachers, educators, researchers, policy makers, stakeholders, and those who are interested in critical storytelling. I want to tell the world that my ESL community is beautiful, critical, thriving, and welcoming to all identities and ethnicities in the world. Most importantly, I want to honor individual voices inside of my community to create a global community after the conference.
Participation in this international conference allows me to build a professional bridge with different strands in order to enhance my research and teaching interests working with ESOL students and teachers of color upon returning home. I’m interested in looking at how ESOL teachers of color who identify themselves as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) use critical writing instruction in the classroom to create a critical inclusive curriculum. I want to understand the barriers of these teachers so that I can design a research study that can give back to the community of color.
As an online mediator of TESOL’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Friends (ILGBTQF) Professional Learning Network (PLN) and as a 2019–2020 Social Responsibility Interest Section newsletter coeditor, I want to expand glocal conversations with other educators, researchers, and policy makers at this conference to further explore my research interests. I want to build a bridge between theory, research, and praxis in ESOL classrooms. The complexity of issues surrounding identities, including but not limited to gender spectrum, learning and cultural experiences, and lived experiences of marginality needs to be examined, studied, and promoted to enhance the inclusiveness in the ESOL classrooms, regardless of borders, linguistics, cultures, religions, or gender orientations.
Ethan Trinh (pronouns: he/they) is a doctoral student at Georgia State University, USA. He is inspired to do research about queers of color, ESOL, critical writing instruction through the lens of Chicana feminism. Ethan is a coeditor of the Social Responsibility Interest Section newsletter for TESOL International Association and membership co-chair of American Education Research Association Queer Studies SIG. Cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee with milk) is their favorite.