Thinking Theologically about Language Teaching
Christian Perspectives on an Educational Calling
Christians can often overlook the need to bring their daily vocations in accord with the reality created, sustained, and purposed through Christ. This is no less true for language teachers, who find themselves at a difficult interdisciplinary crossroads where the paths of linguistics, culture and education merge. This challenge should not discourage these educators, but instead aid them in their journey to form a pedagogy rooted in theological truths from Scripture, one that provides a nuanced approach that glorifies God in a manner specific to the language classroom.
The contributors of this book outline why and how theology must inform teaching methods so that Christian language educators might better serve their students with both faith and excellence, thereby pointing them to the communicative God whose image they bear.
The essays in this volume bring out critical issues for Christian English language teachers to consider – from biblical foundations for language teaching, to creative interactions with language theory, to reflections on biblical methodology and pedagogy, to a theological ground for dialogue. If you are a Christian involved in language teaching, let me put it tersely: please read this book.
Pierce Taylor Hibbs
Associate Director for Theological Curriculum and Instruction,
Westminster Theological Seminary
This volume will challenge Christian readers to grapple with how our faith commitment both reflects and is reflected in our language teaching, and should be required reading for anyone who is a committed Christian and is called to language teaching.
Jan Edwards Dormer
Author and Associate Professor of TESOL,
The contributors to this volume provide Christian teachers with ideas that are both theological and practical, informed by their rich experience around the world. This book will help readers in the field of language teaching discern their calling, choose methods, design materials, write lesson plans, manage their classrooms, and more.
Author and Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL,
Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University
Table of Contents
- Section I – Our Content: Theology and Language
- 1 Biblical Themes for Christians in Language Teaching
- Michael Lessard-Clouston
- 2 Equipping Students to Read Theology with Discernment
- Karin Spiecker Stetina
- 3 Using Words to Change the World: Wittgenstein and the Communication of Life
- Will Bankston
- Section II – Our Calling: Theology and the Teacher
- 4 Seeing Clearly: My Role as a Humble, Worshiping Educator
- Kaylene Powell
- 5 Imitating the Humility of Christ in Language Teaching
- Bradley Baurain
- 6 Transformational Teaching: Engaging in a Pneumatic Teaching Praxis
- Robert L. Gallagher
- Section III – Our Classroom: Theology and Practice
- 7 Exploring Method as Metaphor: A Historical Perspective for Second Language Educators
- Cheri Pierson
- 8 Managing Twenty-First-Century Classes Biblically
- Marilyn Lewis
- 9 Dialogue, Divinity, and Deciphering the Self: Calling Out God’s Image in the Language Classroom
- Will Bankston
- 10 Yahweh’s Taxonomy of the Deeper Dimensions
- Melissa Smith