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Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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BART Summer Symposium 2013 – Feeding International Students with the Language they Need

June 7th, 2013 by Dave · No Comments

I’m giving the presentation I did at TESOL this year on providing international students the food-related language they need at the BART Summer Symposium. My premise is that we focus on the language for expressing preference, describing cultural foods, and understanding recipes, despite the fact that these are not the most pressing food-related needs that our students have. Instead, I propose that food lessons should include the language necessary to express dietary practices related to allergies, religion and environmental / ethical beliefs. In addition to better meeting student needs, incorporating these types of supplementary materials also makes our content much more engaging, and brings a critical thinking element that might otherwise be absent.

Here is the presentation I gave, included within are links to most of the materials I referenced.

Supplementary Materials

“Do you eat…” Handout – This is a “master handout” that I’d pull pieces from to suit the level and needs of a given class.

Handouts from

Online food allergy training
Handouts from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America

Information on Jewish Dietary Practices
Information on Hindu Dietary Practices
Information on Buddhist Dietary Practices
Faith and Food – Information on various religions and food
Food Labeling for Dummies – Legal definitions of the various terms and logos that appear on US labels.
Non-GMO Shopper’s Guide – Guide to finding products (especially processed foods) made without GMO ingredients.
List of Animal Ingredients – Definitions of the various ingredients that are derived from animals.
Banned chemicals article – Short article listing 13 chemicals that are banned in other countries but legal in US.

If you have any questions or would like to share any materials of your own, please email me or post in the comments.

Tags: BART Symposium 2013 · cultural issues · ESL activity · food and hunger · global issues activities · health · presentations · reading · the environment · vegetarian / vegan

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