ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Professional Organizations

A few ESL/EFL organizations have global issues related special interest groups. Many of these groups have resources available at their websites, and IATEFL has an active email group you can join without being a member of the organization. If you know of any other relevant organizations, please let me know.

For a comprehensive list of ESL/EFL organizations, check out this list from SIU Carbondale or IATEFL’s Associates Directory.


IATEFL has an interest group dedicated to global issues in English language teaching. One great feature of their website is the section of eLesson Inspirations. Each eLesson consists of a short video and a set of teaching ideas and activities. They cover a wide range of issues and a new one is added every Saturday. IATEFL’s GISIG also has a Yahoo email group (with files) that you can join and participate in even if you are not an IATEFL member.

TESOLers for Social Responsibility is a group of TESOL members who “are actively engaged in integrating language teaching with social responsibility, world citizenship, and an awareness of global issues, such as peace, human rights, and the environment.” You need to be a TESOL member to join the email list and access the resource center.

JapanJALT has a wonderful Global Issues in Language Education (GILE) special interest group. They have a great newsletter archive with articles on bringing all sorts of issues into the language classroom.

KoreaKOTESOL has a global issues special interest group as well.

There are also a variety of non-ESL/EFL related organizations that deal with social justice and global issues. Again, please email me if you know of any others.

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) is an organization for “teachers, writers, students, artists and environmentalists interested in the natural world and its meanings and representations in language and culture”. Their website offers a number of resources, including a bibliography, links to some online texts and a collection of sample syllabi.

World 727 – While not technically a professional organization, World 727 is a great email list maintained by Merry Merryfield, a professor of social studies and global education at Ohio State University. To join, simply send an email to Professor Merryfield at

Teachers Against Prejudice – A non-profit group dedicated to fighting prejudice, intolerance and bigotry through education.

Educators for Social Responsibility – ESR helps educators create safe, caring, respectful, and productive learning environments.

North American Association for Environmental Education – Not for ESL/EFL teachers in particular, but they have a great collection of resources.

The American Forum for Global Education – They have a variety of papers and teaching materials on teaching global issues.