Politics and Identity in an EFL Class: Did You Say a Suicide Bomb Attack?

Nizar Kamal Ibrahim


This article explores the possibility of critical analysis of terrorist suicide bomb attacks in an EFL critical literacy course. It reports on a part of a broader study that explored how 24 EFL high school Lebanese students were engaged in critical literacy activities during the whole 2013-2014 academic year. Most participants belonged to Lebanese communities that support Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party that plays an important role in the regional politics of the Middle East. The school was also located in an area dwelled mainly by supporters of this party. The participants wrote critical analysis essays about a double suicide bomb attack that took place close to their school, were involved in a focus group and were interviewed, all of which constituted the data. The study revealed that critical literacy events around hot political topics of significance to the students stimulate the students’ desires to learn the target language and give rise to complex discourses that reflect their multiple identities. In addition, critical analysis involved students in reconsidering their ideas and their ways of reacting to critical militarized political events.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v3n4p439


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