“We can’t go to them, but now they are here”: Ideologies of religion and culture in evangelical ESL classrooms


  • Ruthanne Hughes University of South Carolina




religious ideologies, evangelical, ESL, colonialism


The history of colonialism, missionary work, and White supremacy is omnipresent in ESL. This study observed ESL instructors at two evangelical Christian ESL programs in South Carolina and investigated locally circulating ideologies of language, race, religion, and gender. The programs, Omega and Pinewood, aimed to share Christianity but used opposing strategies. Omega obfuscated evangelism by conflating Christianity with American culture and focused on assimilating students into English-centric, White evangelical culture. Pinewood accommodated students’ cultural norms, sharing both Christianity and students’ religion. Results of this study are important for understanding how institutional practices correlate with negative outcomes students may experience.




How to Cite

Hughes, Ruthanne. 2023. “‘We can’t Go to Them, But Now They Are here’: Ideologies of Religion and Culture in Evangelical ESL Classrooms”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5538. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v8i1.5538.