In this session, we talked about ideas for greening an English language program. I shared my own experiences, dividing my time between the areas of curriculum and resources. Here is the presentation I gave. Below, you can find links to the various materials I discussed.
A good place to start is a project I undertook while a graduate student at the University of Hawaii. For two semesters, myself and a colleague made a number of changes with the intent of greening our language program. The materials we created, along with a discussion of our successes and failures, are available here:
- Student Orientation – We created a two hour orientation program introducing students to some of the environmentally friendly options for food, shopping and recycling in the local community. This orientation included vocabulary review, an FAQ, a set of roleplays and discussion questions, and a green directory. I also talk about it on this podcast.
- Activities – We created a variety of environmentally-themed extracurricular activities.
- Food, Plates and Utensils – We found a more eco-friendly caterer and stopped using disposable plates and utensils.
- Other Changes – We attempted to be more responsible with our resource use and waste disposal.
- Difficulties – Despite the efforts and support of the administration and staff, we encountered some obstacles along the way.
I also talked about ideas for various content electives. I’ve used this project as the basis for a global issues elective, and you can visit this page for more information, including all of the handouts. There is also an article I wrote on the project for JALT’s Global Issues in Language Education newsletter. You can find a variety of other activities that I’ve used in global issues electives here and here.
Finally, I talked about ideas for integrating environmental content into other topic areas, like business, food, shopping and travel. This website is full of materials that could be used in that way. For a collection of food-related content, please check out the other presentation I did at TESOL 2013.
If you have any questions about any of these materials, please let me know. Feel free to email me or post in the comments. I’d also love to hear about ways in which you’ve made your English language program more environmentally responsible.