Educator Insights

Teaching for a Better World: Global Issues and Language Education

A few weeks ago, we posted a very helpful and detailed text/manual for implementing Global Education that as I read through it, kept exciting me with its possibilities of integration with a language learning course. What exactly that integration might look like, I wasn’t sure, but it seemed very possible, and in fact lent itself particularly well towards incorporation with learning a language. I wanted to learn more about what that might look like, and found something that encouraged me deeply

Take some time to read through this article from Volume 5 of the Human Rights Education in Asian Schools journal by Kip Cates entitled Teaching for a Better World: Global Issues and Language Education. As a former teacher of English in South Korea, a little piece of my heart is in Northeast Asia, so it was so exciting to read about some concrete examples of global education being used in Japan in conjunction with language instruction (in this particular case, English language instruction).

In the article, Cates mentions the “Global Issues in Language Education” Special Interest Group (GILE SIG) of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT), and lists its official aims as these:

  • “promote the integration of global issues, global awareness, and social responsibility into foreign-language teaching;
  • promote networking and mutual support among educators dealing with global issues in language teaching; and
  • promote awareness among language teachers of important developments in global education, and the related fields of environmental education, human rights education, peace education, and development education.”

What might be the your aims for global education as a language teacher or perhaps as a member of a language/peace education organization?

What are some of the concrete examples reported by Cate that inspire you?

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Contributing Author

Abigail Long is a 2012 graduate of Messiah College in Grantham, PA, and a member of Fairview Ave Brethren in Christ Church in Waynesboro, PA. She spent 14 months teaching English in South Korea at the Connexus Language Institute and is deeply interested in the connections between language learning, teaching and peacebuilding.

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