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English UK announces anti-racism group

UK ELT membership organisation English UK will establish an action group to focus on how values of anti-racism, diversity and inclusion are embedded in the sector.

English UK will enshrine a collective commitment to anti-racism in its rules. Photo: pexels

"I think it's important that we acknowledge where we can improve"

One of the first tasks the group will undertake is drafting an amendment to enshrine its collective commitment to anti-racism in the English UK rules.

“We are listening and learning how we can do better”

“Racism is unacceptable,” the organisation said. “As international educators working in the UK ELT sector, we strive to bring communities together. We are listening and learning how we can do better.”

“We’re not particularly diverse, that is evident when you attend any conferences or events,” interim chief executive at English UK, Jodie Gray said.

“I think there are occasional but too often overt instances of racism that make people feel uncomfortable, but they don’t know how to react.”

Examples may include requests school receive for certain host families or teachers, she continued.

“Sometimes those requests or our response to them are brushed under the carpet as part of working with different cultures… [that] they are just part of working in an international environment.”

Additionally, the way the sector tends to promote and market itself – relying on images relating to tradition and history, such as castles, Big Ben, world-renowned universities rather than on diversity and multiculturalism – is another area the group will explore.

“I think it’s important that we acknowledge where we can improve,” Gray added.

For professionals in the sector interested in being involved, contact English UK.

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One Response to English UK announces anti-racism group

  1. Good luck with that. Most students come to the UK to study English precisely because they want to immerse themselves in its traditions, history and culture. Big ben, castles and the like help sell your product. Those students who mainly ask for ‘English’ families and ‘English’ teachers (and they’re wrong to do so imo) come from your cash cow markets across the Middle East. Why have schools ducked this issue before now? Because they’d go bust as a business if they dared approach the matter, that’s why. Upset them with your multiculturalism mantra and anti-racist tokenism and they’ll easily choose another, perhaps, less woke study destination. Oil money talks, ultimately and language schools have been more than happy to take their share of it.

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