Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Elizabeth Tannenbaum


This paper explores EFL writing as a critical contact zone in which identity and subjectivity are found, denied, contested, de/constructed and occupied. The author opens with an account of a dream, utilized as a metaphor to examine EFL learning through the analytical lens of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The paper’s first section is a self-reflexive discussion of Freire’s pedagogy and why his unambiguous analyses of power, subjectivity, and the “banking system of education” are vital to the field of ELT. In the second section, the author discusses subjectivity, identity, and intersectionality as rooted in the work of feminist theorists Gloria Anzaldúa, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Kimberlé Crenshaw. The author offers her own definition of identity and then explores the work of Fan Shen, Bonny Norton and Ryuko Kubota from the direction of Critical Pedagogy. The third section of the paper features the voices of EFL learners the author surveyed about writing and several published fiction writers talking about writing. The author proposes the teaching of writing as a critical piece in empowering EFL language learners through a deep and loving recognition of teachers and learners as whole people with complex and shifting identities. In the last section of the paper, the author presents an open letter to EFL writing teachers, and calls for a praxis that embodies the three Ls – love, learning, and liberation. The author concludes with a self-reflexive look at her own process of writing the paper.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Creative Writing | Critical and Cultural Studies | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | First and Second Language Acquisition | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies