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GLOBAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE
EDUCATION NEWSLETTER
May 1991 - Issue No. #05

Articles on global themes from language teaching journals

LANGUAGE TEACHING ACTIVITY ON WORLD POVERTY

EFL Gazette, London, No. 136 Apr 1991

by Sirio di Giuliomaria (textbook writer, Rome, Italy)

EFL Gazette's April 1991 "Extracurricular" page features a language lesson on the issue of world poverty. Students first read statements on poverty and decide in pairs whether these are facts or opinions. Sample statement: "Countries in the North, only 25% of world's population, eat 50% of the world's food, and possess 80% of the world' wealth (Source - the UN)". They then study the organization "Save the Children" and its activities, and are encouraged to make ending poverty a class project.


CONTENT & AIMS OF CULTURAL AWARENESS EDUCATION FOR TEACHING IMMIGRANTS

Language Teaching Abstracting Journal, UK, Vol 24 No 1, Jan 1991

by Ellen Andenaes

This article describes problems concerning cultural awareness training for teachers of Norwegian to immigrants in Norway. It stresses the need to correct stereotypes of immigrants as poor, uneducated people's begging charity and of Norwegians as bountiful, civilized hosts, the need to see immigrants not just as "bearers of foreign cultures" but as individuals with special problems and skills, and the need for less confused and more accurate teaching about the host country.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS OF OTHER CULTURES

ELT Documents, London, UK, No. 132, 1990

by M. Bryan

This article describes selected findings from a 3-year study at the University of Durham (UK) on how language teaching affects pupil's perceptions of other cultures. This in-depth study focused on the teaching of French in British schools, combined class observation, course book content analysis, student interviews and psychological questionnaires to see how teaching factors (textbook images of French people, teacher talk about Franceâ) and pupil background (social class, gender, travel abroadâ) influenced student knowledge of and attitudes toward France, Germany and the US. The study found that girls had more positive attitudes than boys, and that teachers and textbooks played crucial roles, although textbook images of France were often superficial and biased.


STEREOTYPING IN TESOL MATERIALS

ELT Documents, London, UK, No. 132, 1990

by Jane Clarke and Michael Clarke

This article describes the results of a cultural content analysis of EFL/ESL textbooks. The study show how EFL texts, usually set in Britain or the USA, give idealized versions of the target culture which is implicitly suggested to be superior to the learner's own culture ("linguistic materials imperialism"). Examples are given of stereotyping by race, gender, class and region. The authors stress the responsibility of materials writers towards learners and target cultures to challenge stereotypes and enlarge understanding of other cultures


ASSURING ACCESS TO INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES

Business Economics - NABE's quarterly journal, Washington D.C., Vol 13 No 1, 1988/1990

by A. Rossett & A. Rodriguez

This article describes the widespread concern that computer technology, rather than enhancing educational opportunities for all students, will actually contribute to the widening gap between students from differing economic and ethnic backgrounds. It then describes a teacher-training course that gave socially committed language educators the political skills needed to arrange for a just sharing of resources in their communities.


DETECTING BIAS IN NEWSPAPERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING ESL

Reading in a Foreign Language, National Foreign Language Resource Center, Vol 6, No 1, 1989

by R. Fand

In this study to determine whether ESL learners can read English newspapers as critically as native speakers, native speaker graduate students and intermediate ESL students read 45 newspaper articles on the 1984 presidential election, underlining loaded language and rating the articles holistically for bias. The author found that ESL students can read for bias and concludes that critical reading can be taught using both holistic awareness and awareness of linguistic cues.


"GREEN" EFL AND ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS IN WALES

EFL Gazette, London, No. 135, Mar. 1991

The Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, Wales will begin offering EFL courses in 1991 for ecologically minded students. The Centre, known for its development of pollution free solar and wind energy, will house learners in self sufficient eco-cabins and provide food from its organic gardens.


LANGUAGE TEACHING ACTIVITY ON WAR AND PEACE

EFL Gazette, London, No. 135 Mar 1991

EFL Gazette's March 1991 "Extracurricular" page features a reading and discussion activity on the theme of war and peace. Students first study famous quotes such as "It is honorable to die for one's country" (Horace, 1st Century BC) and "I pledge to date conscientious objectors to the war" (World War I British women's vow) and match with the list of "Attitudes to War". Students then mark each attitude with "Agree", "Disagree" or "?" and finish by discussion in pairs.


ENGLISH WITH ECOLOGY AT UK SUMMER EFL COURSE

EFL Gazette, London, No. 135 Mar 1991

A popular trend for summer EFL courses is the "English Plus" activity holiday, where the content of the activities are as important as the language lessons. While other course offer courses such as "English and Golf" or "English and Landscape Painting", the English Country School in the UK is drawing many students for its "English with Ecology", where European children do project work on the environment as part of their EFL classes.


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