Empowering Teachers to Become Peacebuilders


This qualitative study analyses the perceptions that a group of TEFL trainees at a private university in Santiago, Chile have on violence, conflict, and peace during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study is framed within the theories of Johannes Galtung (1996, 2004) whose main contribution to the field of peace research deals with the concepts of transcending conflicts, positive peace and peacebuilding. On the other hand, the scholar Rebecca Oxford (2013, 2018, 2020) links Galtung’s concept of peacebuilding with the role of language teachers, specially EFL teachers, due to the fact that their use of language can either contribute to conflict transcending and peacebuilding or not. For Oxford (2013) language is not innocent and can be used for peaceful, positive purposes or for harmful ones. She also claims that language of peace is multidimensional in the sense that it encompasses personal, interpersonal, intercultural and ecological peace. Through the implementation of five multidimensional peace activities with 54 students of the TEFL program, the preconceptions and beliefs of the students were examined through a thematic analysis that searched for keywords and relevant themes. The main findings revealed that after the intervention students became more aware of conflicts in their personal, interpersonal, intercultural and ecological field, and wanted to become active peacebuilders looking for ways to transcend the conflict. This has implications for in-service teachers and pre-service teacher’s training programmes since it becomes imperative that they receive more training on language for peace to foster tolerant, inclusive school communities.

Author Information
Erika De la Barra, University of Santiago Chile, Chile
Soffia Carbone, University of Santiago, Chile

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2023
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon