Intersectionality in Second Language Education and the Birth of a New Term

Document Type : Research Article


1 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of English Language and Literature, Hakim Sabzevari ‎University, Sabzevar, Razavi Khorasan, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature, ‎Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Razavi Khorasan, Iran


Intersectionality refers to the experience of multi-faceted emotions from diverse angles (Crenshaw, 1989). This concept, originally developed in Western studies, has been applied to critical pedagogy, which concerns minority individuals in educational or vocational settings. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the concept of intersectionality in Second Language (L2) education and propose a new term for the main concept. Recent research has encouraged the use of quantitative and mixed-methods designs for measuring intersectionality. As such, the new term "discrima," derived from the Latin word "discrimen" meaning discrimination, is proposed to refer to the emotion experienced after discrimination. Intersectionality is used to pave the way for further steps in quantifying the intersectionality line of research.
This study also explores what intersectionality is, where it originates, where it occurs in L2 education, and whether the concept can effectively express what should be expressed. The implications of this research are relevant to educational policymakers and course designers who can use the concept in real-world settings. Emphasizing the emotional aspects of intersectionality may help prevent unpleasant L2 learning and teaching experiences for minority groups. Therefore, this new term may facilitate promoting L2 education internationally. It would be beneficial for future research to provide more details about the significance of the new term "discrima" in measuring intersectionality and to offer examples of how the concept of intersectionality can be applied in L2 education.


Main Subjects


The increase in immigration and international students has contributed to the enhancements in the number of bilingual and multilingual people who study an additional language while their major might not necessarily be English (Chalmers & Murphy, 2021; Gundarina, 2022). In such rapidly changing condition, one of the main concerns of Second Language (L2) researchers and instructors have been finding and operationalizing the most effective methods of language learning and teaching (L2 refers to additional languages and L2 learners in this research have been assumed to be international students, academics, and immigrant who use a language other than their mother tongues). Thus, L2 for multilingual immigrants does not mean the language learned in the second place. Instead, L2 refers to any additional languages understood after their known languages. In this way, L2 researchers have been trying to improve the language learning process at least. One of the crucial issues that can impact the language learning process has been noted to be the emotional and psychological condition of language learners. The term "intersectionality" coined by Crenshaw (1994) used as one of the emotional barriers in L2 education and has been studied concerning other structures such as gender (Levon, 2015). Intersectionality is a kind of anti-discrimination approach which encourages and advocates demarginalizing (Carbado, Crenshaw, Vickie, & Tomlinson, 2013). This term first was used to pinpoint the condition of Black women in educational and vocational aspects in the U.S. but this line of research expanded in diverse fields such as psychology (Rosenthal, 2016) and education (Tefera, Powers, & Fischman, 2018).

Different reasons can cause intersectionality, fall apart, or be neglected by language learners, e.g. gender (Qin & Li, 2020), race (Huo, 2020; Lawrence & Nagashima, 2020), disabilities (Schissel & Kangas, 2018), and level of proficiency in L2 (Kwon, 2015; Qin & Li, 2020). To exemplify each of these factors, in a condition of patriarchy in Nepal, being a woman pursuing social roles might be challenging (Lotter, 2017). Intersectionality has also been experienced by men of special races when it came to Black athlete men (Anderson & McCormack, 2010). Disability has been reported as one of the sources for feeling apart in the social activities of individuals. Based on the findings of Moodley and Graham (2015), when it comes to intersectionality felt by disabled women, it became apparent that disabled women suffered more than disabled men due to other severe factors such as poverty, gender, and race (being Black). Discriminations of intersectionality can also be caused by a lack of sufficient proficiency in L2 which the international academics have reported for publishing their studies at the international level (Khuder & Petrić, 2023). Hence, intersectionality can be experienced by diverse groups of people in various social situations.

In the scope of L2 education, for instance, L2 researchers investigated the challenges of learning a new language by Syrian refugee women in Turkey (Rottmann & Nimer, 2021). They reported that while being a woman and being an immigrant were the challenges for the Syrian refugee women from the intersectionality perspectives, learning a new language would provide a good context for the refugees to settle a new foundation and definition for themselves as women. The women learned how to cope with their previous versions and their new condition. Based on Rottmann and Nimer (2021), the refugee women who were traditional and shy mothers and wives changed into more active women in a social setting, i.e. learning a new language to express their ideas and interact with other people, and to satisfy their needs in the new country. Therefore, it can be assumed that while learning a new language was a challenge, it could provide an opportunity to use the dynamics of social structures for the empowerment of refugee women. Thus, the intersectionality that was first experienced by refugee women due to their gender and being a minority was modified by learning a new language. The experiences of intersectionality and falling apart from the majority have not been assumed to be static; instead, it was an opportunity for growth while learning a language was the venue. In this way, one of the most advantageous functions of language learning can be perceived.

Since intersectionality might be increased due to being a minority, the minority group can experience discrimination and feel inequality (Boogaard & Roggeband, 2010). Such an intersectionality might be experienced in diverse social settings but this study concentrated on intersectionality in L2 educational settings to explain the missing term in intersectionality studies. This study tried to broaden current studies’ scope in intersectionality and to provide a realistic condition to encourage quantitative and mixed-methods studies of intersectionality. Previous studies of intersectionality might be theoretical that seek the description of the concept and elaborating on research designs for investigations on intersectionality (Samuels, & Ross-Sheriff, 2008). The second group which is mainly qualitative in nature attempt to employ empirical studies on intersectionality (Rosenthal et al., 2020). Although some researchers have called for quantitative and mixed-methods designs on intersectionality, still very few studies followed the advice (Dy & Agwunobi, 2018; Harari, & Lee, 2021; Harper, 2011). The present research tried to establish an understanding of the main concept of intersectionality in the field of ELT and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and to provide a condition to pave the way for the realization of the noted calls for quantitative and mixed-methods designs on intersectionality. In other words, the new term can define the emotional aspects of intersectionality and can encourage developing a measuring way for quantifying the emotional aspects. Following this line of research may enable intersectionality studies to move toward quantitative and mixed-methods advances. After discussions on the necessity of naming and thinking about the hidden and less-attended concept, the contribution of attending to this concept in the research line has been explained.


Intersectionality Concept

The term intersectionality refers to the status of being at the crossroad and being targeted by diverse social aspects at the same time (Duran & Jones, 2019). For example, a woman of black might be considered a female, a woman of color, an immigrant, and a specific social class. This concept aims to focus on marginalized communities (Duran & Jones, 2019). According to Wyatt, Johnson, and Zaidi (2022), although attempts for intersectionality have been done since 1851, the employment of this term has been attributed to Kimberle Crenshaw who accounted for the discrimination experienced by colored women (Crenshaw, 2013).

Intersectionality is linked to the effects and interactions of other concepts such as power and oppression on individuals' identities (Wyatt et al., 2022). Intersectionality is also linked to the individuals' backgrounds and experiences through which individuals may feel separated (Johnson & Saito, 2022). This means that an individual from a minority group might feel separated from the majority. Intersectionality origins from the studies on black women's experience in science (Wyatt et al., 2022). Intersectionality uncovers the interaction of social variables on people's identities (Wyatt et al., 2022). Crenshaw (2013) elaborated that intersectionality is a multifaceted entity that can have structural, representational, and political forms. According to her classification, the structural form of intersectionality can occur at the level of policy-making and practices. And representational form can be in the contexts of cultures and their views on the minority group. Finally, a political form can be present in the political agenda. Since the purpose of this study does not pertain to these structures, these statements would not progress more in this study.


Definition of Intersectionality

Intersectionality means standing at a crossroads and being surrounded by other variables from several aspects (Wyatt et. al., 2022). Collins (2023) assumed that intersectionality is linked to other social variables such as identities and thus intersectionality is the concept that occurs in social settings either in educational or vocational forms. Intersectionality explores minorities' lived experiences that can be interpreted as their experience of inequality (Duran & Jones, 2019).


Intersectionality Theory

Today, intersectionality theories have been expanded in different ways of theoretical framework and analysis (Wyatt et al., 2022). In this way, intersectionality theory has been classified into critical theory categories. Critical theories usually discuss diverse factors that may influence individuals' identities and show how power groups may try to display inequality in a different way (Wyatt et al., 2022). 

Nowadays, intersectionality has been extended to various fields such as feminism, education, science, etc. Although some of these fields such as feminism might be interpreted in the wrong way (Wyatt et al., 2022). 

Intersectionality theory talks about both the intersectionality nature itself and how it may work in a given context. Furthermore, intersectionality elaborates on the way through which the collected data should be analyzed and interpreted (Wyatt et al., 2022). The point which should be borne in mind is that intersectionality should not be seen as a simplistic entity because intersectionality theory encompasses several perspectives that allow researchers to check the setting from micro and macro levels (Wyatt et al., 2022). Another issue that might shed light on the complexity of intersectionality theory might be the issues of different approaches and traditions assumed by this theory. In more precise terms, intersectionality theory encompasses different approaches and traditions. Following each of these approaches and traditions can contribute to the clarification of different aspects of intersectionality in a given context. Thus, one of the crucial points in intersectionality studies might be the necessity of clarifying the research questions and aims of the study since a single tradition of intersectionality may uncover a different aspect of intersectionality. 


Why Intersectionality?

The importance of intersectionality in research can be explained by the attempts for operationalizing social justice for everyone that encompasses challenging norms in different contexts (Wyatt et al., 2022). This means that although intersectionality discussion started with black women's challenges in social and scientific settings, this line of research has not been limited to this point. Today, intersectionality has been sought in diverse fields, e.g. in physical education (Flintoff, Fitzgerald, & Scraton, 2008), psychology (Cole, 2009), education (Hahn Tapper, 2013), job studies (Netto et al., 2020), and health education (Wyatt et al., 2022). The growing number of international and first-generation students can display the necessity of intersectionality studies in an academic setting (Wyatt et al., 2022), and such findings can pave the way for better-tailored educational programs at the tertiary level (Duran & Jones, 2019).

Intersectionality studies can illuminate the interaction of a given group's identity with the power group in this way. The effect of the power group on the marginalized group's identity will be uncovered (Duran & Jones, 2019). One of the advantages of intersectionality studies might be revising the existing theory in (higher) education (Duran & Jones, 2019). This means that new findings can shed light on prior existing theories (Duran & Jones, 2019). This is what Duran and Jones (2019) posed as "how institutional structures, sociocultural issues, and larger systems of power influence college student identity" (p. 469). Research on intersectionality makes the power group responsive to their acts and decision regarding the minority group's emotions (Johnson & Saito, 2022).

The main focus for educational researchers has been assumed to both clarify how someone might enter science and how demanding is to become a science person (Wyatt et al., 2022). Based on the discussions presented by Avraamidou (2020), the whole process is tightly linked to overlapping political, structural, and societal factors. Bešić (2020) utilized the intersectionality concept in her study on inclusive education. According to her, inclusive education means providing equal opportunities for education for all children either children with disabilities or special education needs. Then, she accounted for the necessity of intersectional studies to explore if inclusive education has been working as it should be. She also mentioned that UNESCO's concept of inclusive attempts to remove problems in achieving such a goal. To do so, reforming and restructuring education seems very critical (UNESCO, 2005). Based on Trombino and Moore (2022), studies on educational justice can also be a good tool for handling cross-cultural differences in multilingual and multicultural settings. That can also be seen in the case of immigrants and international contexts.



In this section, the concepts of intersectionality in TESOL have been reviewed, then the study proposes the new term and discusses how it is necessary to the domain of intersectionality.

Intersectionality and Second Language Studies

The beginning of the focus on intersectionality has been related to the lived experience of black women regarding discrimination of race and gender in vocational and educational settings (Wyatt et al., 2022). While it was noted that the main goal of intersectionality research needs to be mentioned (Wyatt et al., 2022), the line of research of intersectionality studies needs to be extended. These advances contributed to additional concentration on intersectionality concerning L2 users (Block & Corona, 2016; Fuller, 2018; Martínez, 2015; Ramirez & Ross, 2019). This section provides a concise view of some relevant studies.


Theoretical Studies

One of the key links between intersectionality and L2 might be the position of L2 learners and their L2 levels of proficiency which make them experience inequality (Bešić, 2020). Based on McNeill (2022), student-centered classes can provoke opportunities for expressing their ideas and discussing and thus can facilitate L2 learners' identity and self-esteem development. Linguistically, L2 learners' ideas posed in discussion sessions might be affected by L2 learners’ L1 and cultures (McNeill, 2022). In sum, L2 teachers’ awareness of learners’ L1 and culture can help possible adaption in the process of L2 learning and modifying ideas. These changes seem to be part of enculturation in L2 education and thus can also be used for mitigating possible bias, and stereotypes in learners’ perspectives which may lead to misunderstanding and intersectionality about different individuals and cultures (McNeill, 2022).


Empirical Studies

One type of empirical study seeks out individuals’ experiences of intersectionality. Ecklund (2012), for instance, studied the case of a 7-year-old boy who experienced intersectionality of identity in his new situation abroad. She explained how migration could arouse a Korean boy’s anxiety that contributed to his self-injurious behaviors. This case study reports psychotherapeutic service attempts for mitigating the boy’s symptoms. Such studies provide an overview of the problematic case, the treatments, and the implications for treating and mitigating harassment. Although this group of studies is so valuable in treating and preventing intersectionality experiences, there is another group of empirical studies in intersectionality that encourage implicit or explicit pieces of training for preventing intersectionality experiences. To exemplify the second group of studies, Jungheim and López (2022) noted that they have developed a scale called the TESOL educator reflective self-checklist (TERS) which can assist instructors to mitigate unfairness. As it was mentioned earlier, unfairness and inequality can cause intersectionality experiences. These scholars also accounted for the necessity of using such a scale for "activating critical reflection and further culturally sustaining classroom practices" (p. 262). This development can encourage another preserving movement in education. In fact, one of the crucial functions of critical reflection can be seen in educational praxis (Jungheim & López, 2022). They elaborated that the reason for developing such a scale was due to the need for educational reflection during the virtual course during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, this promising movement on the part of instructors can be very useful for L2 stakeholders to ensure the quality of educational achievements while a change in the mode of classes had occurred (from in-person to online platforms). The second group of intersectionality studies in the literature taps the problem implicitly while they can go beyond problems and prevent bad experiences of intersectionality.

Svarstad (2021) in her empirical study on L2 learners in Denmark tried to investigate secondary school students' perceptions of an international singer to check participants' attitudes on intercultural and intersectional (i.e. celebrity, identity, gender, and sexuality) structures. Findings suggested that participants’ knowledge of discourse analysis was at a good level. According to Svarstad (2021), classroom dialogues were effective in promoting concepts of cultural studies, i.e. intersectionality, sub-textuality, and metalanguage of intercultural. In the next study, Kayi-Aydar, Varghese, and Vitanova, (2022) investigated the ways through which L2 instructors could promote awareness and critical reflection in L2 education. They exemplified that some tasks such as storytelling, reading autobiographies, etc. can play the role of a prompt to increase awareness about (in)justice in various social settings. Kayi-Aydar et al. (2022) also considered reducing White race talks in L2 textbooks to provide a condition for hearing other voices that might be marginalized. Based on Kayi-Aydar et al.’s guidelines (2022), L2 education can provide a very good condition for informing and decreasing intersectionality in social and educational contexts. Finally, Kayi-Aydar et al. (2022) closed their discussion with the necessity of informing on intersectionality theory and provoking sensitivity about intersectionality in educational settings.

In an integration of low-tech in L2 and intersectionality research, Guevara (2022) used sending SMS for promoting fairness in education for Venezuelan immigrants and refugees who were moved to other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. She explained that her study was also in line with the UNICEF and UN Sustainable Development Goals. Text-message lessons could also be regarded as a tool for redesigning L2 curriculums at the micro-learning level. In this way, Guevara (2022) approved that TESOL instructors could collaborate with great movements internationally. 


Intersectionality Line of Research in Brief

Intersectionality studies mainly focus on identity and identity development (Duran & Jones, 2019). Moreover, there might be overlapping parts in this line of research (Duran & Jones, 2019). Duran and Jones (2019) notified that the importance of having a clear framework for intersectionality studies has been linked to all of the research stages including selecting the research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis, and writing the final research report. Although the cornerstone of intersectionality studies focused on the problems of black women, everyone may experience some degree of intersectionality in a given social setting. According to May (2015; as cited in Duran & Jones, 2019), intersectionality is related to everyone and no one can assume that (s)he is neutral in this regard. Identifying such social challenges can help to improve social settings for educational and professional purposes.

Considering the engagement of inevitable qualitative data, the researcher(s) working on intersectionality must be very cautious in being objective for the research. This means that the researcher(s)' ideas, experiences, perspectives, and thoughts should not meddle with the research process and findings (Duran & Jones, 2019). The following issue is relevant to the nature of intersectionality studies. Since intersectionality studies are interdisciplinary, researchers have to concentrate on different disciplines (e.g. women's studies, racial and/or ethnic studies, higher education, and psychology) to follow their research goal (Duran & Jones, 2019). Considering the ubiquitous studies of intersectionality, Harris and Patton (2019) used the term "traveling theory" for describing intersectionality. 

Regardless of the quantitative approach to intersectionality research (Bowleg & Bauer, 2016), one of the key points of intersectionality studies is the qualitative design of such studies which prevents omitting hidden data that may play a vital role in the final findings (Duran & Jones, 2019). Intersectionality researchers attempt to revitalize social and educational justice in both research and the real world for the forgotten voices (Dill & Zambrana, 2009; as cited in Duran & Jones, 2019). That's why the mixed-methods approach has also been advocated (Harper, 2011). One of the cautions that should be considered in the analysis stage of intersectionality studies can be identified as the considerations on the structure of inequality. That is, researchers should analyze and interpret data regarding the relationship between the targeted group’s experiences and the structure of inequality in that setting, not the reports posed by the minority group (Duran & Jones, 2019). To this end, researchers have to check the indirect clues which might not be reported by the minority. Using implicit data besides explicit data has been noted as a crucial point in intersectional studies (Duran & Jones, 2019). Researcher(s)' proficiency in research, asking a question and eliciting required data, and reflection have been mentioned as the next key factors in achieving goals in intersectionality studies (Duran & Jones, 2019).

Bearing in mind that participant(s) can only report their views and experiences, the researcher(s) have to be capable of finding implicit data and hidden structures of inequality to be interpreted (Duran & Jones, 2019). The main challenge of intersectionality research might be attempting for bringing social change for minorities (Duran & Jones, 2019; Johnson & Saito, 2022). Because researchers need to provide a condition in which the majority would change their minds and behaviors toward the minority. To get this point, the researcher(s) need to collaborate and cooperate with other colleagues to present a practical and functional plan that can pave the way for the required change (Duran & Jones, 2019). Researchers need to be capable of doing intersectionality-related studies. To elaborate on the required proficiency for doing intersectionality studies, Duran and Jones (2019) explained that researcher(s) need to use their "critical reflexivity" and journal writing to avoid missing valuable data. Another issue that should be followed by the researcher(s) is to clarify the strategies used by them to avoid including bias in their research (Duran & Jones, 2019). Pugach, Gomez-Najarro, and Matewos (2019), in their systematic review of intersectionality concentrated on 25 years of empirical studies on intersectionality in teacher education and explained that instructors’ and students’ identity was considered in a unidimensional way. According to Pugach et al. (2019), the complexity, multiplicity, and intersectionality were not addressed as they deserve. Therefore, they suggested that researchers need to concentrate explicitly on the complexity of identity in social settings to search and discuss the intersectionality of less-considered groups in teacher education.

Finally, as a suggestion, although some of the research instruments seem to be more popular in the studies focused on intersectionality and relevant variables tools used for observation, interviews, and surveys e.g. fieldwork journals and an observation template (Trombino & Moore, 2022), moving toward new research designs, i.e. quantitative and mixed-methods designs, necessitates testing and using new scales for this line of research.

The Proposed New Term

The missing part of the intersectionality puzzle seems to be the lack of terminology for describing the emotion aroused from the experience of being in an intersection! As noted before, this research would suggest a new term to pave the way for expressing and measuring intersectionality experienced by individuals. The main motivation for this suggestion is to facilitate measuring the intersectionality level that is also considered in the recent decade (Bowleg & Bauer, 2016; Fehrenbacher & Patel, 2020; Griffin & Museus, 2011). Thus, future studies can discuss and estimate the level and depth of lived and experienced intersectionality for individuals.

This study tried to use a term that can be used and accepted internationally. The Latin word "discrimen" meaning discrimination has been defined as "treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way than how you treat other people, because of their skin color, sex, sexuality, etc." (Cambridge Dictionary, 2022). This study proposes the term 'discrima' with minor modifications to both preserve the main meaning for international use and to refer to the emotions contributing to experiencing inequality and intersectionality. The original term discrimen has been used to imply the feelings and emotions caused by prejudice. Therefore, discrimen and the suggested term of discrima can remind the emotions caused by intersectionality during the Medieval Era and the mid-1930s until the end of World War II (Wikipedia, 2023).

One of the advantages of coining this new term might be paving the research way in terms of uncovering hidden aspects of intersectionality and quantifying them. Further, coining the new term can inform educational authorities to set working policies and rules for improving learning and working conditions for minority groups. By this suggestion, theories of social change that are considered in the goals of intersectionality studies can be achievable. The next advantage might be improving the educational and social conditions scientifically. The seemingly simple step of coining the new term can bring unlimited studies which concentrate on realizing an intangible concept into a more tangible one. Although experiencing intersectionality might not be limited to black women and everyone might experience it, naming a hidden emotion illuminates unseen angles of intersectionality. Therefore, the consequences of intersectionality can be predicted and even prevented. As has been noted before, the main task of researchers in intersectionality studies is to persuade others to modify their thoughts and behaviors and bring changes into social life for a better world (Johnson & Saito, 2022). Modifying long-established stereotypes is not easy at the macro level in the society and discussing this critical point might not be enough. The proposed term can be assumed as a fundamental step that may assist such social changes in the long term. 


Discussion and Conclusion

This research reviewed a summary of the main issues that were done in the intersectionality line of research to uncover a hidden part that was not clarified enough. Intersectionality is connected to social and psychological factors and thus investigations on intersectionality need to be followed by considerations of these complex networks (Buchanan & Wiklund, 2020; Overstreet, Rosenthal, & Case, 2020). This study considered the lack of enough attention to the concept of psychological aspects of individuals who are involved in the experience of intersectionality. By attending to emotions, it can be said that the nature of intersectionality can be clarified and expressed in qualitative and quantitative ways. In addition, this critical step can encourage interest in mixed-methods designs by utilizing qualitative data (e.g. data collected in interview sessions) in quantitative and statistical methods (e.g. Sequential Exploratory Design) in the studies of intersectionality. It seems that there are many unattended parts in the domain of intersectionality which deserve more scientific attention. The emotions felt by individuals after experiencing intersectionality are named 'discrima'. Because this emotion can be a combination of sadness, anger, etc., and being alone, separated, and neglected can be mentioned by a new term to be uncovered and be seen. This term can also display what exactly individuals feel and think, hence it can be clarified what should be done to avoid detrimental and unwanted consequences of being intersected, e.g. suicide, abandonment, lack of motivation, etc.

Since intersectionality does not happen in an isolated setting, it is vital to illustrate the concept in a social setting and try to exemplify it for better understanding. In this promising way, the readers would comprehend and remember better, and find possible similar instances in their settings. By using L2 education as the venue for clarifying intersectionality, researchers can invite participants from other majors of Medicine, Chemistry, etc. because as it was mentioned before, international students and immigrants regardless of their major and occupation can be assumed as language learners. By considering the link between L2 learners and other fields of science, an unlimited number of studies can examine intersectionality in an L2 setting. Then, L2 educational setting either a face-to-face class or an online class can be the main venue to address intersectionality. In this way, L2 education would be utilized as a tool to tap the challenges, problems, solutions, and consequences aroused from intersectionality lived experience. L2 education provides a setting for negotiating and getting free from real-world barriers to talking and being heard. L2 instructors need to use such conditions for negotiating opportunities and minimizing discrimination. The majority group members can also regard the minority group's attitudes and help to remove or at least reduce the conditions in which their unattended behaviors may cause intersectionality emotions (discrima) for the minority. Even international institutions and companies can set friendly meetings among colleagues to both get familiar with cross-cultural experiences and discrima. Moreover, technological platforms, media, and social networks can be used to include intersectionality-minimizing policies to avoid misunderstandings and bullying for newcomers. Content managers, materials developers, and coaches can also play a facilitative role in bringing change to the majority's views and actions towards a minority group. Probably, one logical way to decrease the bad experience of intersectionality in L2 education can be related to instructors' jobs. One of the effective L2 teaching approaches in L2 classes might be using more negotiations to solve possible problems and avoid bias (Parba & Crookes, 2019).

When it comes to L2 education, L2 instructors can use creative teaching settings in L2 classes. For instance, they can ask L2 learners to take a hypothetical identity and narrate a story about intersectionality experience and discuss it as a class activity. This communicative, humanistic, and purposeful use of target language can use L2 as a remedy for the challenge of discrima and intersectionality. Identifying discrima as an independent entity provides a suitable situation to break down the mysterious emotion into its blocks. This critical movement which has given the chance of being heard for the minority group can provide a very occasional chance for researchers to identify possible sub-categories of discrima. Finding constitutes of discrima develops the next steps of defining and estimating those hidden parts. After this step, L2 instructors need to get informed of the findings of the scientific studies through a teacher training course for pre-service and in-service instructors, or through workshops to model what should be done in their real classes. One of the critical cautions for operationalizing intersectionality-reducing interventions is to provide a safe atmosphere in L2 class. Not all cultures, genders, races, and other special groups might be open to speaking about their inner world easily. Thus, again instructors' and teacher trainers' roles should be considered in this regard. Using supportive teaching strategies by L2 instructors such as noting a story about their personal experiences might be used as the ice-breakers and warm-ups. Once L2 learners perceive that they would not be judged and abused, they can present their inners to the trusted group. But before every second move, it should be emphasized that instructors’ professional experience seems vital since not every novice instructor can perform and do the task at a high standard level. The interdisciplinary domain of discrima and intersectionality deserves to be addressed by international scholars from related fields such as experts in education, L2, psychology, sociology, and the fields in which the minority groups belong.  

From the research perspective, the term intersectionality term and qualitative research design do not address specify and measure what should be checked in the intersectionality domain, and to broaden the views, the description needs to be revised and add missing parts. The crucial achievement of adding new terminology which might be accessible in educational settings in general and in L2 education in specific can be the preventive role of the bad experience in L2 and L2-related contexts. Numerous international instructors and students are using a language other than their mother tongue for their professional and academic purposes. These international groups can be regarded as consistent L2 users and learners (if not multilingual users). They may experience inequality and tolerate it while suffering from the 'discrima'. They might be silent but they have the right to get away from 'discrima' that can hinder their success. The diversity of background might bring feeling alone and being treated differently. While attempting to bring democracy and minimize intersectionality experiences, we need to advance functionally. This study suggested the new term to emphasize the humanistic approach to different fields of science and to reduce intersectionality experiences. The new term of 'discrima' facilitates what should be considered and thus how the negative occurrences can be avoided. The new term can provide a more comprehensive view of the concept of intersectionality and assume consequential events and preventive and supportive actions. These important steps cannot be advanced without authority support, e.g. educational and vocational policy-makers, course developers, and designers who can provide regulations and materials to improve the intersectionality atmosphere for minority groups. This multifaceted movement can also provoke steps through which the majority of people also be protected from the possible context in which they might be a minority group; therefore, new terms and regulations can bring social pleasant advances for generations.

Up to now, researchers attempted to introduce how to study intersectionality and which settings were places for the intersectionality experiences but it is not enough just to guide theories, describe the condition, and suggest some shifts in policies. Because policies can be successful when they can be connected to calculations. Thus, this study tried to suggest the application of 'discrima' in future studies. In other words, researchers need to apply methods for estimating 'discrima' in different social settings. This step needs to be carried out with consideration of the nature of variables for measurements. Then, researchers can make comparisons and contrast the 'discrima' measured in different situations and further, the correlation of 'discrima' with other psychological variables and environmental variables can be discussed. The relationship among variables can illuminate how they interact with each other. Thus, experts can find effective ways for controlling intersectionality. Predicting possible intersectionality degrees can be another merit of estimating 'discrima' in research.

Pinpointing some of the limitations in this study, this research could not reveal computation of 'discrima' and subsequent research by the authors will be focused on. This line of research can be explored by elaborating on the nature of 'discrima' from both qualitative and quantitative aspects to examine different lived experiences of 'discrima'. If 'discrima' could be revealed as a tangible entity, this could assist illumination of intersectionality, 'discrima', and other conjunctions with different variables. Future studies can pursue 'discrima' estimation to find new ways for social change for decreasing intersectionality. Another benefit of suggesting 'discrima' and measuring this entity might be facilitating the access points of research and policies. Calculating 'discrima' in TESOL seems to be an exciting part of future studies because this broad domain can be related to different groups of stakeholders with diverse psychological and social variables. As an instance, 'discrima' can be reported in a qualitative scale of A (highest level), B, C, D, E, and F. Then, researchers need to discuss the features of each category and show how 'discrima' can be worsened, controlled, and mitigated. Measuring 'discrima' can predict dangerous consequences and thus preventive policies can be prepared beforehand. If researchers would develop a quantitative scale for measuring 'discrima', then they need to define a scale for interpreting the quantitative results for interpreting the findings. For example, the 'discrima' less than 1 can show that the 'discrima' and intersectionality experience would not be dangerous, 1 to 2 can be controlling and more than 2 needs serious actions. 

The implication of this research can be clarified when this study identifies how the calls announced by scholars for mixed-methods and quantitative approaches in the studies of intersectionality can be followed. This theoretical study could propose a new term to be added to the literature of intersectionality studies for enriching the research domain, checking findings, and setting tailored policies based on tangible data and scientific ways. At the next level, this study would pave the way for selecting educational approaches, tools, and policies for controlling thoughts and behaviors that might contribute to expanding intersectionality and 'discrima'. To be more precise, there is a good potential to use L2 education as a solution for minimizing discrimination and intersectionality. Extending this line of research that can uncover unattended parts in intersectionality studies needs to be encouraged and elaborated in various contexts and fields to get practical solutions and preventive policies that cannot be obtained without collaborative work. At last, intersectionality emerged from the black women's experience but it can occur everywhere; therefore, nurturing young learners with collaborative and caring cultural behaviors can be pursued as a complimentary part of this global project.



The authors expressed their appreciation to anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The authors report there are no competing interests to declare.


Funding Details

This research was supported by the Hakim Sabsevari University Postdoctoral grants. [grant number 1401/8/57523].

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