Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class

La conciencia social a través de prácticas de alfabetización en un salón con inglés como idioma extranjero


  • Luzmel Alexánder Pérez Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas


problemáticas sociales, indagación, agresión verbal y física, consciencia social, reflexión (es).


social issues, inquiry, verbal and physical aggression, social awareness, reflection (en).


Abstract (en)

This qualitative research study addresses issues of verbal and physical aggression among tenth grade students in a public school. Through a pedagogical intervention the participants worked collaboratively to reflect on social issues in their English language classes. Inquiry was a fundamental element in this study as it allowed students to explore, read, compare, and then reflect on issues that come from their own context and experiences (Giroux, 1988). Students’ reflections were collected through questionnaires, artifacts, and audio recorded interviews in order to gather information to reveal students’ social awareness of physical and verbal aggression in their school context. The findings revealed that students see violence as a need to avoid their partners´ abuse. Students´ reflections showed that students considered that parents and teachers paid more attention to academic concerns, rather than personal growth. The study demonstrated that inquiry along with writing about social issues in English allowed students to develop rationality and sensitivity towards violent acts, furthermore, inquiry about their social problems encouraged students to work collaboratively, to reflect about their social conditions and to apply the use of the English language in contextualized situations.

Abstract (es)

Esta investigación cualitativa aborda temas de agresión verbal y física entre estudiantes de grado décimo de un colegio público. A través de una intervención pedagógica los participantes trabajan colaborativamente para reflexionar sobre problemáticas sociales en sus clases de inglés. La indagación fue un elemento fundamental en este estudio ya que permitió a los estudiantes explorar, leer, comparar y luego reflexionar sobre situaciones que surgen de sus propias experiencias y contexto (Giroux, 1988). Las reflexiones de los estudiantes fueron recopiladas a través de cuestionarios, producciones de clase y grabación de entrevistas con el fin de recoger información que revelara la consciencia social de los estudiantes sobre las agresiones verbales y físicas en su colegio. Los hallazgos revelaron que los estudiantes ven la violencia como una necesidad para evitar el abuso de sus compañeros. Las reflexiones mostraron que los estudiantes consideran que los padres y profesores prestan más atención a la parte académica que al crecimiento personal. El estudio reveló además que la indagación junto con la escritura acerca de problemáticas sociales en inglés, les permitió a los estudiantes desarrollar racionalidad y sensibilidad hacía los hechos violentos, además de motivarlos a trabajar colaborativamente para reflexionar sobre sus condiciones sociales y poner en práctica la lengua inglesa en situaciones contextualizadas.

Author Biography

Luzmel Alexánder Pérez, Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas

Holds an MA degree in Applied Linguistics to TEFL (2012) and a BA as Modern Language teacher (2005) from Universidad Distrital. He is currently working for ILUD (Instituto de Lenguas de la Universidad Distrital) and Secretaría de Educación de Bogotá.


Auerbach, C., & Silverstein, L. (2003). Qualitative data.

An introduction to coding and analysis:Coding the

mechanics. New York, NY: New York University


Banchi, H. & Bell, R. (2008). The Many Levels of Inquiry.

Science and Children. Retrieved from http://www.

ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/subjects/science/resources/msef2010- level_of_inquiry.pdf

Baynham, M. (1995). Investigating literacy in social

contexts. Defining literacy: Models, myths and

metaphor. City, England: Longman.

Bello, I. (2012). A language –in – use study of EFL students´ social discourses in project-based learning.

Colomb. Appl. Linguistic. J, 14(1), 108-126.

Bibens, R. (1980). Using inquiry effectively: Theory into

practice. Teaching Methods:

Broadway, State: Hampton Press.

Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative action research for

English teachers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge

University Press.

Csóti, M. (2009). Developing children´s social, emotional

and behavioral skills. Available from http://books.





De Angelis, T. (2010). Social Awareness plus emotional

skills.Successful Kid. Retrieved from http://www.


Dey, Ian. (1993). Qualitative data analysis: A user-friendly

guide for social scientists. New

York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Durlark, J. (1996). The effects of childhood sexual abuse

on female sexuality: A model of Intervention. Retrieved from ttp://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20


rvc/ marendaz.ashx

Facione, P. (1998). Critical thinking: What it is and why

it counts. Retrieved from http:/insightassessment.


Freeman, D. (1998). Doing teacher research: From

inquiry to understanding. Boston, MA: Heinle,

Cengage Learning.

Freire, P. & Macedo, D. (1987). Literacy: Reading the

word and the world. London, UK: Bergin and


Gay, L., Mills, G., & Airasian, P. (2009). Educational

research. Competencies for analysis and applications.New Jersey, US: Pearson.

Giroux, H. (1988). Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a

critical pedagogy of learning. Westport, C T:

Greenwood Publishing Group.

Green, J. (1998). Language and social processes. In E.

Robertson & D. Bloom (Eds.), Students as researches of culture and language in their own communities

(pp. 9-27).Broadway, State: Hampton Press.

Colomb. Appl. Linguist. J.

ISSN 0123-4641 • June - December 2013. Vol. 15 • Number 2 • Bogotá, Colombia. p.184 - 204

Hindin, A. (2010). Linking home and school: Teacher

candidates´ beliefs and experiences.The school

community journal, 20(2), 83-102.

Ho, C. (2010). Intergenerational learning (between

generation X & y) in learning families: A narrative

inquiry. Canadian center of science and education,

(4), 54-76.

Hull, G., & Shultz, K. (2001). Literacy and learning out of

school: A review of theory and research.American

Educational Research Association, 71(4), 575 – 611.

Jockson, K.M. (2006). There´s a better word: Urban

youth rewriting their social worlds through poetry.

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(8), 132-155. doi:10.1598/JAAL.49.8.6

Lerner, D. (2001).Leer y escribir en la escuela: Lo real,

lo posible y lo necesario.City, Mexico: Fondo de

Cultura Económica.

Lewis, S., & Bernstein, Y. (2009). Breaking the silence:

Critical literacy and social action. English Journal,

(4), 109-115.

Marshall, J., & Klein, A. M. (2009). Lesson in social action: Equipping and inspiring students to improve

their world. Location: Heldref Publications.

Maxwell, J. (1996). Qualitative research design: An

interpretative approach. California, US: Sage


McLaren, P. (1989). Life in Schools: An introduction to

critical pedagogy in the foundation of education.

Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

Millan, C. (2010). El problema de la educación en

Colombia. Available from http://censura20.


Olson, D. & Torrance, N. (1995).Cultura escrita y oralidad.City, Spain: Gedisa.

Parga. F. (2011). Cooperative structures of interaction

in a public school EFL classroom in

Bogota.Colomb. Appl. Linguistic. J, 13(1), 24-38.

Phillip. W. J. (1998).International policies for third world

education: UNESCO, literacy and development.

Available from http://books.google.com/books?


&ot s=5GU_FV-hOG&sig=sMJgACs5doCYZp

onGqw6plsI7XI research. American Educational

Research Association, 71(4), 575 – 611.

Robertson, A., & Bloome, D. (1998).Students as

researchers of culture and language in their own

communities. City, State: Hampton Press.

Selman, R. (2011). Teaching social awareness. Retrieved from http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/


Shepard, T. (2000). Sociology: Understanding a diverse

society. Florence, KY: Thomson


Short, K., Burke, C., & Harste, J. (1996). Learning together through inquiry.

Portland, OR: Stenhouse Publishers.

Spillane, E. (2000). From parent verbal abuse to teenage

physical aggression. Child and Adolescent Social

Work Journal, 17(6), 411-430. doi: 10. 1023/A:

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basis of qualitative research: Ground theory, procedures and techniques.

London, UK: Seige Publications.

SUIVD Observatorio de convivencia y seguridad ciudadana (2008).Convivencia y seguridad en ámbitos

escolares de Bogotá.Bogotá: Subsecretaría de

asuntos para la convivencia y seguridad ciudadana.

Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá.

Teutsch, D. (1997). (Re)constructing masculinity in

a new linguistic reality. New York, NY: Gruyter


Uno, G. (1990). Inquiry in the classroom.BioScience,

, 841-843.

White, D. & Fitzsimmons, P. (2005). Assessment in the

inquiry classroom. In R. Audet & L. Jordan, (Eds.),

Integrating inquiry across the curriculum (pp. 157

- 174). California, US: Corwin Press.

How to Cite


Pérez, L. A. (2013). Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 15(2), 184–204. https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03


Pérez, L.A. 2013. Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. 15, 2 (Jul. 2013), 184–204. DOI:https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03.


Pérez, L. A. Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class. Colomb. appl. linguist. j 2013, 15, 184-204.


PÉREZ, L. A. Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, [S. l.], v. 15, n. 2, p. 184–204, 2013. DOI: 10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03. Disponível em: https://revistas.udistrital.edu.co/index.php/calj/article/view/5128. Acesso em: 29 may. 2023.


Pérez, Luzmel Alexánder. 2013. “Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal 15 (2):184-204. https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03.


Pérez, L. A. (2013) “Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class”, Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 15(2), pp. 184–204. doi: 10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03.


L. A. Pérez, “Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class”, Colomb. appl. linguist. j, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 184–204, Jul. 2013.


Pérez, L. A. “Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, vol. 15, no. 2, July 2013, pp. 184-0, doi:10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2013.2.a03.


Pérez, Luzmel Alexánder. “Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal 15, no. 2 (July 1, 2013): 184–204. Accessed May 29, 2023. https://revistas.udistrital.edu.co/index.php/calj/article/view/5128.


Pérez LA. Unveiling social awareness through literacy practices in an EFL class. Colomb. appl. linguist. j [Internet]. 2013 Jul. 1 [cited 2023 May 29];15(2):184-20. Available from: https://revistas.udistrital.edu.co/index.php/calj/article/view/5128

Download Citation






Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...