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May 1992 - Issue No. #08

Articles on Global Education Themes
from Language Teaching Journals

Please send in relevant news items on global topics from language teaching journals.

It's a Man's World

EFL Gazette. No. 147. March 1992

Extracurricular page introduces students to women's issues in Britain today. Students are asked to define terms such as masculine and feminine, discuss the nursery rhyme "Sugar and Spice" and read passages about sexist speech and women in history. Readers views on women's issues are invited and free program notes available from SUGAR AND SPICE, and advanced BBC English radio series. Sugar and Spice, BBC English, PO Box 76, Bush House, London WC2B 4PH, UK.

Discover America

EFL Gazette. No. 147. March 1992

Part 2 of EFL Gazette's March Extracurricular page focusses on Christopher Columbus and his "discovery" of America. Activities involve students in putting chronological facts about Columbus in the right order and spotting irrelevant information. Students then play a board game based on Columbus' voyage which requires them to judge sentences true or false and make grammatical sentences.

Peace Education: What and Why?

TESOL Matters Vol. 2 No 1 Feb./Mar 1992

by Anita Wenden

This article describes the content and objectives of peace education and explains why language teachers should deal with peace issues in their classes. It explains the difference between peace action and peace education, discusses how dealing with political and social issues in class should aim at teaching critical thinking, not "doing politics" and encourages teachers to reconsider social responsibility and the humanistic goals of education.

Doing Peace Education: Getting Started

TESOL Matters. Vol. 2. No 1. Feb./Mar 199

by Len Fox

This article outlines classroom initiatives in peace education by ESL teachers belonging to the New York Peace Education Seminar. Ideas described include a thematic writing course on nuclear disarmament and world citizenship, a grammar lesson using the topic of racism and conflict, and student community projects such as volunteer work in soup kitchens. The author concludes "one of the greatest things we can accomplish as language educators is to inspire our students to work toward achieving a more peaceful world."

Developing Thematic Units on Countries

TESOL Matters. Vol. 2. No 1. Feb./Mar 1992

by Esther Retish

The author feels language teaches should be multicultural advocates in their schools and sets out ideas of how to teach about other cultures. She claims that when students see films of a country, taste the food, read books and magazines, try on clothing, look at posters, listen to music and write letters to pen pals from a country, that country comes alive for them.

Peace, Justice, & Sustainable Development

TESOL Matters. Vol. 2. No 1. Feb./Mar 1992

by Darlene Larson

This article, by TESOL's liaison to the United Nations, reports on a UN conference on peace and development, which focussed on the critical problems facing our world. It asks: What can language teachers do for the environment? How can teacher training programs increase awareness of global issues? Are materials writers addressing these issues in textbooks? Do we educate our students to be the kind of world citizens the earth needs to survive? How can language teaching organizations incorporate these concerns into their work?

Effects of Multicultural Lessons on
Attitudes of Students of Spanish

Modern Language Journal. Vol. 75. No 4. Winter 1991

by Corinne Mantlej-Bromley & Raymond Miller

This article describes a survey of attitude change among 369 American high school students of Spanish, half of whom received special multicultural awareness lessons. Although these did improve student attitudes somewhat, it was found that over 50% of all students' attitudes towards Spanish, Spanish speakers and Spanish culture became less favorable after one semester of language study. Possible reasons suggested include unrealistic student expectations about language learning and boredom/frustration with the learning process.

English: A Global Language

Practical English Teaching. Vol. 12. No 3. March 1992

by Richard Cooper

In this short article, the author argues that EFL teachers should teach English as a means of effective international communication and strive to replace Anglo-centric images of double decker buses, Trafalgar Square and New York City with local themes relevant to the learners' own cultures.

General Course Books for Adults in the Early 1990'

Practical English Teaching. Vol. 12. No 3. March 1992

The author discusses the typical lack of student response to language teachers who begin, "OK, class. Today let's talk about... (politics, AIDS, glasnost, etc.)" and then gives suggestions for more effective student discussions.

Students-Centred Discussions

Modern English Teacher. Vol. 1. No 1. Jan 1992

by Andy Hopkins

This textbook review reflects the lack of interest in textbook content still common in EFL. The author, for example, notes that "teachers are often heard to sigh when scanning topic listings in course books, but we shouldn't be surprised to see the same topics reappearing since they:carry: vocabulary students need to know" and "it is not so much topic choice as topic treatment that makes a book interesting".

Gender in the EFL Classroom

ELT Journal. Vol. 46. No 1. Jan 1992

by Jane Sunderland

This article gives a broad overview of the issue of gender, sexism and English teaching. The major areas discusses are (1) sexism in the English language, (2) gender in language teaching materials (grammars, dictionaries, textbooks & teacher's guides), (3) gender in teaching processes (male/female learning styles, teacher-learner interaction & learner-learner interaction), and (4) gender and language proficiency.

Comments on "Method: The Politics of Language Teaching

TESOL Quarterly. Vol. 25. No 4. Winter 1991

Martha McCall feels that all education is political and that progressive teachers should help students gain both a competent understanding of and critical analysis of the subject matter, but worries that a purely political view of language teaching methodology espouses relativism and ignores learning effectiveness. In his response, Alastair Pennycook reemphasizes the importance of looking at ethical and political concerns in language teaching but urges teachers to aim for pragmatic effectiveness with methods which respect student rights.

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