An inclusionary open access textbook for Portuguese

Abstract:  This case study describes the development of an e-textbook for first-year Portuguese classes. This pedagogical initiative strives to provide an inclusionary and open textbook for Portuguese, including the collaboration and feedback from Portuguese speakers of several economic and cultural backgrounds. In this context, ‘openness’ means listening to the language of a given community and the commitment to reproduce it in a textbook format. Inclusion of minority groups in the textbook is perceived not as ‘curiosities’, but as an integral part of the cultures being represented so that a wider range of communities and language registers (from formal to informal) is portrayed. In addition, openness applies to the articulation of gender narratives in an inclusionary format. For instance, the masculine gender is supplemented with female and other non-binary genders. Above all, this textbook is adaptive and open to all, regardless of economic background. By promoting language teaching and quality free education to all, it is our intention to contribute to a better understanding of each other and to the reduction of the divisions among communities. In this project, the authors decided to create materials in an open platform (Creative Commons CC BY), available to any student with access to the Internet. In order to be inclusive, the authors worked in partnership with language professionals and students from several institutions in the US and in Brazil. Through a collaborative effort, the authors produced an inclusive e-textbook created from the bottom up.