Anti-Colonial Curriculum

The English Language Learning with Refugee Youth: Anti-Colonial Pedagogy is a guide based on English Language Learning (ELL) course piloted in 2018 as part of the Youth in Transition: War, Migration, & Regenerative Possibilities research project. We are making this guide available to all those interested in thinking through concepts of decolonization, settler colonialism, racism, imperialism, and Turtle Island’s Indigenous history and resistance in teaching English to newcomer. 

This downloadable syllabus outlines pedagogical tools to explore questions of forced migration in relation to displacement, dispossession, capitalist imperialism through a critical engagement with Canadian histories of genocide and colonialization. It is organized by key themes related to this history and provides language learning activities utilizing vocabulary, grammar, and assigned readings. Each session is based on themes designed to build an awareness of colonial processes across space and time by bringing together geographically disparate colonial practices.

This pedagogical guide is downloadable and free to use for all. The idea for this anti-colonial ELL program was sparked by a key finding of our research that highlighted the lack of post-secondary level English Language Learning courses available to refugee young adults. While wanting to develop ways to address this challenge, we were also cognizant of calls 93 and 94 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that focus on the resettlement of immigrants and the role that migration has played in the constitution of the Canadian nation-state and the subjugation of indigenous sovereignty (TRC, 2012).