Meeting the Other in Literature and ELT through the Critical Analysis of a Short Story

Barbara Cortat Simoneli, Kyria Rebeca Finardi


This paper reflects about the role of English, Literature and teachers’ beliefs in English language teaching (ELT), addressing notions of native speakerism and Otherness in the critical analysis of James Kirkup’s (1994) short story “The Teacher of American Business English”. The methodology is qualitative and based on Content/Discourse Analysis linking the themes addressed in the story to the literature review that includes the role of English, the contact of languages and cultures, the development of beliefs and identities, and the socio-historical context of such occurrences. The critical analysis shows evidence of prejudiced practices and discourses about the varieties and differences of cultures and languages by the main character in the short story. The study concludes that the views found in the story may be representative of many hegemonic, prejudice views of cultures and languages found in pedagogical practices around the world and as such contributes to the critical reflection on the role of English, Literature and teacher’s beliefs as well as the power of critical analysis based on Literature to aid intercultural encounters/meeting the Other.

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