Anti-bias education

Anti-bias education is an approach to teaching and learning designed to increase understanding of differences and their value to a respectful and civil society and to actively challenge bias, stereotyping and all forms of discrimination in schools and communities. It incorporates inclusive curriculum that reflects diverse experiences and perspectives, instructional methods that advance all students’ learning, and strategies to create and sustain safe, inclusive and respectful learning communities.

Color evasiveness

The denial of racial differences by emphasizing sameness. An aspirational strategy to reduce racial prejudice that is not effective in a world of racial inequalities.


Between-group and within-group prejudice and discrimination toward people with darker skin.


The phrase “disabled people” is an example of identity-first language (in contrast to people-first language). It is the preferred terminology in Great Britain and by a growing number of U.S. disability activists. Syracuse University’s Disability Cultural Center says, “The basic reason behind members of (some disability) groups’ dislike for the application of people-first language to themselves is that they consider their disabilities to be inseparable parts of who they are.” For example, they prefer to be referred to as “autistic,” “blind” or “disabled.”

Several U.S. disability groups have always used identity-first terms, specifically the culturally Deaf community and the Autism rights community.

LLLAB note: We understand there is currently no single agreement on terms. If you are a disabled author and prefer to be called “person with disabilities”, please contact us and we will update the way we refer to you and your characters.


A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base.


A variation of the language originated by the different geographical nuances.


When other people and cultures serve to fulfill the self-actualization needs of a protagonist who does not belong to said cultures.

Staying In Our Lanes Project

Heritage Speaker

Anyone who has an ethnic, cultural, or other connection with a language, regardless of whether that person learned the heritage language as a child. Defined narrowly, a person is a heritage speaker if and only if they grew up learning the heritage language and has some proficiency in it.


Abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual.  An umbrella term that is often used to refer to the community as a whole.

Linguistic imperialism

“Linguistic imperialism is the imposition of one language on speakers of other languages. It is also known as linguistic nationalism, linguistic dominance, and language imperialism. In our time, the global expansion of English has often been cited as the primary example of linguistic imperialism.” -Richard Nordquist

“Linguistic imperialism has always been a tool of colonization, meant to obliterate history and the visibility of the people who were displaced along with their languages.” -Robin Wall Kimmerer (Potowatomi nation)

When authors of language-learner literature simplify the target language for English-speaking classroom learners, the authors may intentionally or unintentionally create a version of the target language that doesn’t resemble the geolects used in target cultures where their books fictionally take place. Unlike typos or grammar mistakes, which aren’t identified in reviews unless they render the text incomprehensible, language imperialism occurs when the author publishes a version of the language that’s more linguistically similar to English than the target language. Albeit unintended, this has the impact of cultural erasure by replacing native-language thought patterns and phrasing with those of a language associated with imperial domination.

Nordquist R., “The Meaning of Linguistic Imperialism and How It Can Affect Society”,, July 2019

Wall Kimmerer R., “Speaking of Nature: Finding language that affirms our kinship with the natural world,” Orion, March/April 2017


Different groups of people within a given culture, context and history at risk of being subjected to multiple discrimination due to the interplay of different personal characteristics or grounds, such as sex, gender, age, ethnicity, religion or belief, health status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, education or income, or living in various geographic localities.


The diversity of human minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.


Having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”


Having a style of neurocognitive functioning that falls within the dominant societal standards of “normal.”

Nonbinary gender

Most people – including most transgender people – are either male or female. But some people don’t neatly fit into the categories of “man” or “woman,” or “male” or “female.” For example, some people have a gender that blends elements of being a man or a woman, or a gender that is different than either male or female. Some people don’t identify with any gender. Some people’s gender changes over time. People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with nonbinary being one of the most common.


“Abled-bodied” refers to someone who does not identify as having a disability. However, some members of the disability community oppose its use because it implies that all people with disabilities lack “able bodies” or the ability to use their bodies well. They may prefer “non-disabled” or “enabled” as being more accurate.

NCDJ Recommendation: The term “non-disabled” (…) is a more neutral choice.


A hashtag created by Corinne Duyvis to describe a book that is written by someone who shares a marginalized identity with their protagonist. LLLAB also extends the definition to texts where the author writes a story about their country of origin.


A pre-judgment or unjustifiable, and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or groups toward another group and its members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics.


A social construct created to arbitrarily classify people based on the color of their skin or other physical features and to justify systems of power, privilege, or oppression.

Social Justice

The equal distribution of resources and opportunities, in which outside factors that categorize people are irrelevant.


A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.


Tokenism involves the symbolic involvement of a person in an organization due only to a specified or salient characteristic (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, disability, age). It refers to a policy or practice of limited inclusion of members of an underrepresented, or disadvantaged group. The presence of people placed in the role of token often leads to a misleading outward appearance of inclusive practices. The term token is derived from the Old English word taken, which means “to show.” Thus tokenism exists because inclusion of the person or group is required or expected, not because of inherent value.


Translanguaging is the act performed by bilinguals of accessing different linguistic features or various modes of what are described as autonomous languages, in order to maximize communicative potential.

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