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Teachers of all students, particularly English Learners (ELs), need to integrate social justice pedagogy into their lessons so that all learners are included in the learning process, thinking critically about curriculum and taking action in the face of injustice. There has been some research into teacher preparation programs focusing on how they integrate culturally responsive and social justice pedagogy into their curricula and whether there has been a positive impact on teachers’ self-awareness, social justice knowledge and classroom practices as a result (Ruffin, 2016; Thieman, 2016). However, these studies do not address lesson content. This document analysis study, framed theoretically with critical intercultural communication (Halualani & Nakayama, 2010), explored the integration of social justice principles into lesson plans developed by pre-service and in-service English as a second language (ESL) teachers who were pursuing a TESOL graduate degree (Initial License) at a university in the Northeast of the United States. The lesson plans were analyzed using a rubric aligned with the Social Justice Standards: The Teaching Tolerance Anti-Biases Framework. The exploration unveiled the need for more connections to students’ backgrounds, structured in-class dialogues, support for linguistic needs and modeling of intercultural practices.
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