ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Cates, K. (2004) Becoming a global teacher: Ten steps to an international classroom. The Language Teacher, 28(7), 31-35.

August 20th, 2007 by Dave · No Comments

Can you engage in sensitive critical pedagogy in your classrooms? Can you take a bold step forward and at the same time respect the beliefs and attitudes of your students? What are some activities you can do that would respect students’ points of view yet stir them to a higher consciousness of their own role as agents of change? How would you respond to statements from students that reflect hate or intolerance?

I prefer to define myself as a global educator who teaches English as a foreign language. This means that I’m dedicated to good English teaching but that I’m also committed to helping my students become responsible global citizens who will work for a better world.

A global classroom is also an environmentally-friendly classroom where teachers and students use recycled paper, save energy, and use both sides of the paper for handouts and homework.

Rather, a good global language teacher must sit down and write up a “dual syllabus” comprising: (1) a set of language learning goals and (2) a set of global education goals.

Part of becoming a global teacher involves experimenting in class with global education activities such as games, role plays, and videos.

Global education role plays include conflict resolution skits, discrimination experience games, and Model United Nations simulations, and can have students take on roles ranging from endangered species, to African slaves, to world leaders.

Others arrange volunteer activities where students pick up litter on local beaches, or participate in charity walk-a-thons to end world hunger—all while using English out-of-class.

* Cates also suggests bringing one’s own international experience into the classroom using slideshows and other means.

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