29 March 2024
An Open Letter from the ELT Community in Solidarity with Palestine

As members of the global English Language Teaching (ELT) community, we are compelled to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and express our profound disappointment at the silence exhibited by ELT organisations and by our peers in the industry.

In recent years, the ELT profession has increasingly embraced the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to inclusion, equality, and social justice. We have proudly championed these ideals, integrating them into our teaching methodologies and curricula, and striving to create inclusive learning environments where all voices are heard and valued.

However, as the world witnesses the atrocities unfolding in Gaza, we cannot ignore the contrast between the principles we profess to hold and the silence of our community. The genocide being perpetrated against the people of Gaza demands our attention, our outrage, and our unequivocal condemnation.

Since 7 October 2023, over 14,000* children and 264** teachers and school administrators have been killed by the actions of the Israeli state. In addition, 141** schools have been either severely damaged or destroyed. But these statistics, which reduce humans to mere numbers, do not even start to represent the realities of the past six months—or indeed the past 75 years.

We acknowledge those individuals and groups who have shown solidarity through actions small or large, public or private. But we must acknowledge, too, that the widespread silence about Gaza in ELT is a failure—a failure to uphold the principles of social justice and equity that we claim to promote. By remaining silent, we are complicit in the suffering of innocent civilians—including children, who are bearing the brunt of this violence.

We call upon all ELT professionals and organisations to break their silence and publicly condemn the genocide in Gaza as well as the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Whether you are a classroom teacher or a board member of an important ELT institution, we can all do something to help. We urge you to use your platforms to raise awareness, mobilize support, and advocate for an immediate end to the violence. Let us demonstrate that our commitment to inclusion, equity, and social justice extends beyond the confines of our classrooms and into the wider world.

*Government Media Office in Gaza, 19 March. **Gaza Ministry of Education, as reported in Middle East Eye and Al Jazeera, 26 March.

What you can do (in addition to signing this letter):

1 Keep informed about current events in Palestine and keep learning about the history of the area.

2 Support civil society groups who are taking a stand.

3 Donate to fundraising initiatives.

4 Open up discussions about Palestine in your classrooms and teachers’ rooms, where you can do this safely.

It may seem trivial to sign a letter—it might seem like a drop of water in the sea—but history says otherwise. Every little bit helps and this is the little thing you can do today.

Together we heal and grow stronger.

................................................................................................................................

This letter was put together by the ELT Professionals for Palestine community, but we hope that these words will resonate with many ELT professionals beyond this small community. Do join us if you would like to connect with others who are committed to the same mission, and would like to know more about how you can help.

Instagram: @elt_for_palestine

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/elt-professionals-for-palesti...

Please remember to validate your signature by clicking on the link in the email. If you have difficulties, please send an email to elt4Palestine@gmail.com.

Update 23 April 2024

Have you signed the letter? 500+ voices and counting

Thank you to all the freedom-driven ELT professionals who have read, signed and shared this letter. Thank you too for all the other solidarity work that you are doing for Palestine.

To those who are still struggling to find their voice, we urge you to join the growing number of teachers, trainers, writers, editors and other ELT professionals who are breaking their silence and speaking up for Palestine.

Now is the time.

Please remember to verify your signature. The email may be in your junk or spam folder, or you may need to use a different device or a different email address.

ELT Professionals for Palestine is a grassroots movement engaging in solidarity actions for Palestine. It is an inclusive space where all ELT professionals belong. We do not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia racism, homophobia, sexism or any other type of discrimination; nor do we tolerate hate-speech or hate-incitement. We welcome diverse voices, while striving to centre the voices of Palestinians.

Email us at elt4palestine@gmail.com to join our private group or for any other questions or suggestions you have.

You can follow us here:

Instagram: @elt_for_palestine

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/elt-professionals-for-palesti...

Facebook page: facebook.com/profile.php?id=61557889146552...

And please keep sharing the open letter!

633
signatures
567 verified
  1. Fatima Aldajani, Assistant Professor, University of Toledo, Toledo
  2. Dr. Omar Abuhammad, Supervisor of Teaching English, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza
  3. Lina Bitar, Teacher, School, Nablus
  4. Rajaa Abu Jasser, EFL teacher, The Hands Up Project, Gaza, Palestine
  5. Dr Amina Douidi, DEI Consultant, UK
  6. Huma Riaz, ELT Professional, Dubai
  7. Sarah Gaylard, ELT Professional, Cape Town, South Africa
  8. Lottie Galpin (she / her), DEI in ELT consultant, Self-employed, Kent, UK
  9. Michelle, ELT professional, British Council, **this signature does not represent the views of my employer
  10. Gordon Weetman, Editor, Bilbao
  11. Milena Jakicevic, ELT Editor, London, UK, This signature does not represent the views of my employer
  12. Peter J Fullagar (he/him), DEI in ELT consultant, self-employed, Reading, UK
  13. Lea, Training Consultant/ESL instructor, Jewish Voice for Peace, Palo Alto, CA
  14. Frances Amràni, Educational Consultant, Cambridge, UK
  15. Alan Pulverness, Co-Director of independent ELT consultancy, TransformELT, Norwich, UK
  16. Samir Salama, EFL teacher and teacher teainer, HUP, Gaza
  17. Nahla ElGeyoushi, Publishing Consultant
  18. H. L, ELT Professional, Algiers
  19. Andy Hockley, ELT management trainer and writer, Miercurea Ciuc, Romania
  20. Chay Tower-Hughes, Teacher, ARMS, Athol
...
527 more
verified signatures
  1. Tamara Qutteineh, EFL teacher, Multiple, Donostia
  2. Jo Eastlake, Teacher Trainer and Teacher, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth
  3. Afsana Hamidy, Student, London
  4. Ahlem Marrakchi, Teacher, British Council, Tunis
  5. Jada Downing, EFL Instructor
  6. Ann Veitch, ELT professional, Dunfermline
  7. Efi Tzouri, Teacher, Greek Ministry of Education, Athens
  8. Ginny Rowlands, ELT consultant, Toulouse
  9. rania achouche, ESL teacher, lingua franka, algiers
  10. Tonia Paflis, Teacher, Padua college, Melbourne
  11. Halimah McG, Teacher, Melbourne
  12. nurain farhana sairin, Teacher, MRSM Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens, SANDAKAN
  13. Frances Acton, EAP tutor, University of Leicester, Leicester
  14. Nabila Souaber, ELT Professional, Paris
  15. Tahir Shaikh, Assistant Professor, Guangzhou Huashang University, Greater London
  16. Stephanie B, Teacher, Freelance, Ireland
  17. Jenny Hardacre, foremer lecturer, ELT teacher, teacher trainer, writer, Cambridge
  18. Olivia Rule, English Teacher, Everest Language School, Dublin, Ireland
  19. Yuniar Siregar, PhD Candidate (in TESOL), Perth
  20. Kara McBride, Sr. Education Specialist, World Learning, Northampton
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