In this post, Stacey answers a question about guests who may seem to say contradictory things.
As part of this podcast, I have invited several dozen different teachers and researchers to talk publicly about their ideas, practices, and beliefs about language teaching. My guests often have very specific approaches, and perhaps a few cases would vehemently disagree with each other. In my mind, this is good. I see the show’s diversity as one of its key strengths. I would not invite someone onto the podcast if I couldn’t find any common ground with them at all. However, I am genuinely interested in hearing diverse viewpoints and discovering points of commonality.
As someone who teaches and researches in the field of second language acquisition and teaching methodology, I don’t believe there is just one right way to teach language. There are many amazing teachers out there, and their firsthand accounts are often inspiring for me, if not always replicable in my own classroom for whatever reason. There is a lot of interesting research out there, and all of it, every bit of the data researchers have ever collected, is only understood through a process of interpretation. I interpret data through my own frame of reference. Other may disagree with my interpretation. We hash out our disagreements in the research literature, and sometimes on social media!
I don’t happen to want this podcast to be a place where we argue for our own position. I hope it can be a place where we learn from each other, and where we don’t have to agree with each other on every point in order to learn from each other.
You may occasionally hear a guest say things that you don’t agree with. I hope you keep listening and consider things from another perspective.
You may occasionally hear guests who contradict guests from other episodes. I hope we can reflect on those differences between perspectives, try to make sense of how both came to their perspectives, and trust that both individuals have good intentions.
You may occasionally hear me say things that seem to disagree with what you know or what you have heard from a podcast guest. I hope you will reach out to voice your ideas. I would genuinely love to hear from you!
Check out episode 53 with Diego Ojeda and Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell and Midweek News & Updates Issue 13 for a couple of really great discussion about professional disagreement, perspectives, and how we treat each other online. I would also recommend this past week’s episode 58 with Steve Smith and episode 56 with Martina Bex for great perspectives on how we can make room for multiple perspectives.