Problematizing “For Example”

Teachers often use examples to illustrate the point they want to make. As a language teacher, I am not an exception. While giving examples in my classes, I used to make many culturally embedded references, and when I did, many students’ showed a heightened interest. However, while I was reading Van Herk’s What is Sociolinguistics?, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the examples he used in the textbook. I have been thinking about this sense of unease for a long time, but I wasn’t sure how to articulate it until I read an article written by Patricia Duff (2004), and I found what it was that bothered me.

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