Popular culture and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL)

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A review of current research on popular culture and TESOL shows that the recurrent themes revolve around pedagogical affordances of popular cultural resources in TESOL, evaluation of popular culture's pedagogical potential, and construction of learner identities via ESL/EFL popular culture. However, there is a dearth of discussion on development of critical literacies when popular culture is used in English classrooms and existing studies focus mainly on popular cultural resources that are based on Anglo-American and European cultures. Moreover, issues relating to how to use popular culture in school teaching contexts that are constrained by the need to meet official curriculum requirements and preparation for high-stake tests remain under-investigated. It is proposed that more classroom-based and narrative-based research should be done to look into the experiences and desires of EFL/ESL students from various sexual, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds as they learn English via popular culture. In addition, critical literacies and common meaning-making conventions of popular culture can be introduced to TESOL programs so that learners can become critical, active analysts, and producers in the popular cultural world that they are immersed in. Copyright © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage, education and technology
EditorsSteven L. THORNE, Stephen MAY
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783319022376
ISBN (Print)9783319022369
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Liu, Y., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2017). Popular culture and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL). In S. L. Thorne & S. May (Eds.), Language, education and technology (pp. 87-101). Cham: Springer.


  • Popular culture
  • Digital literacies
  • Learner identity
  • Language education
  • Agency


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