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Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Happiness and English language teaching

April 13th, 2011 by Dave · 3 Comments

My wife went to the recent TESOL conference in New Orleans, and one of the sessions she went to was a talk by Marc Helgesen on language teaching and positive psychology. Positive psychology is a relatively new movement in psychology that basically looks at the science of happiness. On his website, Helgesen shares a variety of exercises that he has created to work with these concepts in his classes. He’s also got a bibilography with links to books, articles and audio recordings.

Personally, I feel like this would be a great addition to a global issues-themed class, as our attitude is fundamental to how we respond to the world. I’m very interested in creating some happiness materials myself, and I’d like to offer it as a content elective in the future. I suspect that administrative responsibilities may keep me out of the classroom until next spring, though, so we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m starting to collect happiness resources. For starters, there was a recent issue of Yes Magazine devoted to sustainable happiness. There are lots of articles, along with some visual aids.

There’s also a great list from Larry Ferlazzo that includes a bunch of infographics, along with articles like this one in The Atlantic on happiness and money.

If you know of any happiness materials, please feel free to share them in the comments. I’ll do likewise, as I find them.

Tags: blog · global issues activities · happiness · health · lesson plans · listening · reading · speaking · visual aids · writing

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Khalid // Apr 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    You may want to check out the new documentary “I Am” – it’s related to the idea of happiness and working for the good of others.

    A Cornel West quote “. . .a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it.”

  • 2 Peter // Feb 1, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Dave, I took the edx “science of happiness” course and it was wonderful. I am working on a workshop for SE TESOL in Birmingham AL in Oct entitled how to be a happier teacher. thanks for you blog

  • 3 Dave // Feb 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    That sounds great, Peter. If you’re interested in sharing your materials afterwards, I’d love to see them.

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