White Privilege

four women sitting on black steel bench during daytime
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on October 6, 2020 and last updated on July 16, 2023

The topic of white privilege is essential for English learners as it provides an opportunity to deepen their understanding of social issues and develop their language skills. Exploring this topic exposes learners to vocabulary related to race, inequality and social justice. Additionally, it encourages critical thinking and cultural awareness as learners examine the concept of privilege and its impact on individuals and communities.

Engaging with this topic allows learners to engage in meaningful discussions, gain a broader perspective on societal dynamics and become more effective communicators on topics related to diversity and equality.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

White Privilege Review

White privilege is a concept that highlights the advantages and societal benefits that white individuals experience due to their skin colour. It acknowledges that, in many societies, being white often grants unearned privileges and advantages in various aspects of life, including education, employment, law enforcement and access to opportunities.

Exploring this topic encourages critical thinking and fosters empathy, promoting discussions on racial equality and social justice. It is a crucial subject in today’s efforts towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • privileged (adjective)
  • racism (noun)
  • systemic (adjective)
  • opportunity (noun)
  • fair (adjective)
  • divide (noun)

Conversation Questions

My Image
  • Does white privilege exist?
  • How would you describe white privilege?
  • In what ways do you think white privilege manifests in society? Can you provide examples?
  • Do you think white privilege exists in your country?
  • Have you ever witnessed instances of white privilege in your own community or country?
  • How important is it to recognise white privilege or any other privilege?
  • Do you think the term white privilege gets abused?
  • What is the solution to white privilege?
  • Do you think it is important for people from different racial backgrounds to have conversations about white privilege?
  • Is white privilege solely based on race, or are there other factors that can contribute to privilege?
  • Is it the responsibility of individuals with white privilege to actively address and dismantle systemic inequalities?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.