ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Links to Global Issues Resources

* You can also check the posts tagged global issues resources in the blog.

Global Issues | The Environment | Peace Education

Global Issues
George Monbiot is a fantastic investigative journalist with a website full of well-researched and well-referenced articles on a variety of global issues.

Facing the Future – A great website offering a bunch of free lesson plans and curricula. I especially like the lesson plans from Engaging Students Through Global Issues, and the Climate Change curricula. Finally, don’t miss their collection of graphs and other graphics. They cover a range of issues and could readily be used for discussion activities.

Miniature Earth – This short film breaks down the demographics of the Earth if it were populated by just 100 people. It would fit great into a unit on the distribution of wealth, clean water or other resources. – A wonderful website with tons and tons of global education resources, organized both by region and by issue. Each listing features a review and favorite sites are clearly marked.

Truthout – A full-service news agency dedicated to independent journalism. They have a good section on the environment and the articles are clear and reasonably short.

Dropping Knowledge – It appears to have started with the table of free voices wherein 112 participants were invited to answer (on video) 100 questions submitted by people from around the world. There is also an ever growing list of questions being answered by visitors to the site. It would be interesting to model an activity based on this idea – students come up with questions they want answered and everyone takes time to answer them. Students could also post questions and get answers from around the world. – A nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting both sides of controversial issues in a nonpartisan way. Currently, their aren’t a lot of issues (only 10 or so) but they are covered in great depth, with quick summaries, detailed information, good references and lots of links.

Global Education Network – They offer four curriculum units (the banana trade, chocolate and fair trade, the Kyoto Protocol and Food / Hunger) designed for use in Canada, for students of all ages. They also have a collection of links to information and materials in categories like development, the environment and peace. – Has information on a variety of issues in short 60-second units and in more depth.

Global Response – Organizes letter writing campaigns on a variety of issues, features a page of letter writing tips.

Global Education – Maintained by the Australian Agency for International Development, this site has information about global issues, teaching and learning support materials, teaching ideas and activities.
New American Dream – The Center for a New American Dream is an organization is dedicated to helping Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice. They’ve got a list of ten positive steps that individuals can take and a list of ecofriendly items in their Conscious Consumer Marketplace.

The Freechild Project – Has a lot of links, resources and action ideas for social change. It’s aimed at young learners, but a lot of the ideas could be adapted for any age.

U.S. in the World – Interesting materials dealing with how the U.S. is and should be perceived in the world.

The Environment
Wilderdom – Features a variety of links, resources and activities to inspire people to return to a more natural way of life. Of particular interest to teachers may be the games (including ones dedicated to environmental education) and an introduction to environmental education theory.

EarthWatch Institute – Tons of information on a variety of environmental issues, including a great collection of lesson plans.

Grist – An environmental news magazine with great online archives. The Counter Culture section has a bunch of great statistics-based readings that could be easily used in ESL/EFL classes as discussion or writing prompts.

No Impact Man – The blog of a man who is trying to live with a minimal environmental impact for one year. Reading about the individual steps his family is taking could be an interesting way to introduce the impact our daily actions have on environmental issues to language learners. A good place to start would be this recent post explaining a day in the life of the no impact family.

The Meatrix – A series of short animations illustrating the dark side of the meat processing industry. It touches on a variety of environmental, health and animal cruelty issues. They offer subtitles in a variety of languages, along with an interactive picture where you can click on different elements to learn more about the issues.

United Nations Environment Programme – Environmental resources (with teaching materials) from the United Nations. Features some useful animations and other on-line activities.

World Wildlife Fund (Education Page) – A variety of animal-oriented resources for both teachers and students.

Earth Day Footprint Quiz – An interactive quiz that let’s students determine their environmental footprint. Here is an activity I made using it.

Environmental Studies at York – This collection of long environmental education units was made for elementary and secondary school teachers in Ontario, Canada. Pieces could certainly be adapted for use in an EFL or ESL class.

Lighter Footstep – A blog with lots of tips on living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Hugg – An environmental news site, similar to Digg, where users submit stories and vote on those that they find interesting.

Engineers Without Borders – The Canadian chapters offers a lot of interesting workshops that could be adapted for use with a high-level English class. The international website has a neat section called solution of the month profiling an innovative and sustainable solution to an important problem.

Baltic 21 – A guide on educating for sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region.

Peace Education
A Peace Education Bibliography (from 1995) – A list of books, articles, coursebooks and teachers who are interested in peace education, compiled by Kip Cates.

In addition to the environmental resources mentioned above, Wilderdom also has a section on peace education, including a collection of games.

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