Below are several ESL / EFL activities that deal with global issues. These are all created by other people and located on other sites, so I am not responsible for the content. For the global issues specific ESL activities that I have made, please click here.
The Intercultural Resource Pack is a free electronic textbook with a variety of cultural and global issues based activities. Even though it is subtitled “Latin American Perspectives,” most of the activities could be used with students anywhere. Each activity is labeled according to the target students’ ages and levels. The five sections of the book are:
- The Learner as Ethnographer
- Cultural Values and Attitudes
- Challenging Stereotypes
- Critical Readings of Culture
- The Media
I like the fact that the authors’ treat the students as researchers. I have had luck with that approach in my own teaching.
Some Peace in the Classroom by Fiona Eastley – This lesson plan asks students to reflect on a time they felt happy and peaceful while practicing their storytelling and listening skills. The lesson plan also asks students to think about how to make their life more peaceful and gives them a chance to put their thoughts into action.
Global Awareness Games in the Language Classroom by Armene Modi – Two games (Gender Issues Snakes and Ladders / EcoQuiz) for raising student awareness of contemporary issues. There are also some follow-up activities.
Adult Learning Activities from the California Distance Learning Project. This site contains a collection of news stories, complete with a variety of exercises. A typical story consists of a short reading (which is also provided as an audio file) followed by a review of the pronunciation of some of the key vocabulary words. Next, students are asked to spell those words, and finally match them with their definitions. There are many, many readings here, including a whole section on nature. Some are also accompanied by video.
Environmental education resources for multi-cultural education – Two free textbooks made for both teaching English and raising environmental awareness. Both are available as .PDFs.
LaRue Environmental Exercises – A collection of environmental exercises aimed at ESL learners. This site includes both reading and listening activities dealing with waste and recycling.