PARSNIPs: Tasty Taboos

Session: Plenary/Workshop
Duration: 30-90 minutes
Audience: Teachers (all levels of experience); academic management
The marginalisation of controversial issues such as politics, alcohol and religion (known by the acronym PARSNIPs) from the pages of EFL course books is a very topical issue. While the debate over the exclusion of these ‘taboo’ subjects from classroom dialogue rages on, the question of how PARSNIPs might be taught has been neglected.
This session will offer a trainer’s perspective on how to best prepare teachers to tackle these potentially tricky issues in the EFL classroom. I will provide practical suggestions to support teachers in developing the necessary language (politically correct speech) and interpersonal skills (empathy, critical thinking) to enable their students to address these topics with confidence. Discover how PARSNIPs can be made palatable, even tasty, for teachers and students in classrooms the world over.
During the session, you will analyse and respond to a range of authentic materials and real-life teacher-student dialogues.
With reference to this content, we will discuss:
– Whether or not PARSNIPs should be taught
– How to integrate PARSNIPs into course content
– Responding to students autonomously raising PARSNIPs in class
– Developing further institutional support within your context


As a reflective practitioner, I am very open to constructive feedback. I’d love to hear from you if have attended this workshop. What did you take away? How could I do better? Would you recommend me?
Let me know…