English Instructors Navigating Decoloniality with Afro Colombian and Indigenous University Students





Decoloniality, Critical interculturality, Translanguaging, indigenous students, afro-Colombian students, ELT


As English spreads globally, it continues to displace local languages and cultures at all levels of education. Concerned with this issue, in this article we report our experiences as English instructors attempting to decolonize English lessons to embrace the diverse cultures, languages, and realities of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian students enrolled in English courses at a public university in Medellín, Colombia. To attain this, we framed lessons from a decolonial, critical intercultural (ci) perspective and strived to interrogate language ideologies and cultural power relations by inviting students’ languages and cultures to the classroom. The experience suggests that sustaining local languages and cultures through English entails the production of teaching materials that contest the erasure, homogenization, and misrepresentations of Black and Indigenous peoples. It also implies positioning students as experts on their cultures and as text producers, all of which provides a broader understanding of intersectionality in Indigenous and Black communities.

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Author Biographies

Claudia Patricia Gutierrez, Universidad de Antioquia

Instructor, School of Languages, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.

Maure Aguirre Ortega, Universidad de Antioquia

Instructor, School of Languages, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.


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How to Cite

Gutierrez, C. P., & Aguirre Ortega, M. (2022). English Instructors Navigating Decoloniality with Afro Colombian and Indigenous University Students. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 27(3), 783–802. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v27n3a11

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