Religion in the ELT classroom: Teachers’ perspectives

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Kenneth Foye, Muroran Board of Education, Hokkaido

The appropriateness of certain discussion topics in language learning settings is an important consideration for teachers, and one of these topics is religion. This paper reports on a survey of nearly 300 ELT professionals to ascertain their views on the discussion or mentioning of religion in the language classroom. Respondents were questioned on their feelings regarding the discussion or mentioning of religion in class; this datum was cross-analyzed with the respondents’ indicated religious beliefs and countries/regions where they teach. In addition to gathering quantitative data in the form of multiple-choice opinion questions, the survey asked respondents to expand on their answers by providing written commentary which was examined for emerging themes and patterns of thought.