Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2019

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 09/04/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Schrier, Leslie

First Committee Member

Thein, Amanda

Second Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela

Third Committee Member

Plakans, Lia

Fourth Committee Member

Lagos Lavenz, Susan


In the decades following the Stonewall riots in New York, there has been an increasingly public acceptance and normalization of LGBTQ identities. In some spaces, however, like public schools, LGBTQ identities continue to be contested and positioned as problematic, creating challenges for teachers who seek to create safe and affirming spaces within the classroom and the curriculum. This study using a narrative inquiry methodology, examines the stories of seven teachers of foreign languages at the high school level as they seek to make sense of their work as it relates to LGBTQ identities.

This research study using narrative inquiry methods describes the experiences of seven teachers of foreign language as they make sense of and negotiate LGBTQ identities in the context of their work as foreign language teachers. The teachers describe how and when LGBTQ identities manifest in their instruction, their knowledge base of LGBTQ identities, ways in which they address sex and gender normative practices and behaviors in their classrooms, and supports and barriers available to them as they work to create curriculum and classroom spaces that are inclusive of LGBTQ identities.

The findings of this study address the unique ways in which foreign language teaching presents a unique site of study of the target language and culture, including LGBTQ identities that are present within those target languages and cultures and within the classroom environment. Teachers described barriers, like language proficiency, administration, perceived surveillance, and lack of materials as challenges to enacting LGBTQ inclusive teaching practices. They cited supports like colleagues, professional learning communities and opportunities to engage with one another on challenging topics, as well as the nature of foreign language teaching as beneficial in their work.


Foreign Language Education, Inclusive Classrooms, K12, LGBTQ, Queer Theory, Transgender


ix, 192 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 165-182).


Copyright © 2019 William Coghill-Behrends

Available for download on Saturday, September 04, 2021

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