ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Two Steps Back

March 1st, 2011 by Dave · No Comments

A recent article in the Guardian reveals some of the changes being made on Capitol Hill by the new Republican House. Among other things, they have reinstituted styrofoam coffee cups. These had been replaced with a biodegradable corn starch alternative four years ago.

Next on the Republican agenda of environmental retro moves? Lightbulbs. House Republicans introduced a bill last week to repeal the government’s decision to phase out the old energy-inefficient bulbs, which was due to start in 2012.

One interesting way to use this article might be to do a unit about being on the wrong side of history. You could have students read old articles defending the losing side of previously controversial issues. For example, you could have something explaining why women shouldn’t vote or why slavery should remain legal. Obviously, the language would probably need to be simplified and updated, but I think it would be interesting to look at the logic and at how our perception of what is ethically defensible has changed over time. We don’t always remember that much of what we currently find “controversial” will be seen as obvious (in one way or another) by future generations.

Thanks Khalid!

Tags: blog · climate change · global issues activities · history · politics · reading · the environment

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