Talking about race and racism can be a sensitive subject.
Over the last two years, Intercambio has made an effort to bring opportunities for English learners to have facilitated conversations about race and racism in the U.S. One thing that has emerged from our partnership with the Common Good Collective is a 10-week curriculum for our advanced students called Conversations on Race and Equity (CORE).
After co-designing a series of events and videos on topics such as abolition and protest, Intercambio began to adapt and pilot the CORE curriculum for advanced English language learners. Students agreed that they learned more about important leaders and events related to civil rights and equity and could more easily share thoughts and ideas about race and racism.
“The students have shown a willingness to share that borders on heroism.
Even our most reticent student, when prompted to talk about being ‘made to feel less than’ opened up that he is never comfortable in the U.S. I think we may have given him some hope that it will get better and that improving his English is one of the best things he can do.”– Mark Devlin, CORE Course Teacher
This pilot helped us understand how we might support students to better understand and address difficult topics in English, and we are eager to grow this program.