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March 1997 - Issue No. #26 (p.4)

Abstracts of Global Education Articles from Language Teaching Journals

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

Nonvexing Vexillology (or Flag Facts and Fun)

by Kathleen Siddons (Connecticut, USA)

TESOL Journal. Vol. 6. No. 1. Autumn 1996

The author argues that, in multicultural classrooms, the first weeks of a new semester or school year are a great time to have English students express pride in their native countries by displaying and discussing their flags. She describes a number of language activities built around the theme of flags: class presentations (in which students, individually or in groups, give 2-5 minute OHP presentations on their flag's shape, colors and symbols), bulletin board displays on the flags of students' countries, and oral questions by the teacher ("Which flags have animals on them?" "Does the Nigerian flag have a rectangle?"). For advanced students, she recommends written compositions on flag designs, meanings and customs, and oral presentations of poems, folktales and songs about students' flags.

Second Culture Acquisition: Ethnography in the Foreign Language Classroom

by Gail Robinson-Stuart (San Diego State Univ.) & Honorine Nocon (Univ. of San Diego)

Modern Language Journal. Vol. 80. No 4. Winter 1996

This article describes a survey about how student interviews with native speakers can break down cultural barriers, promote intercultural learning, and develop positive attitudes towards the foreign language and its speakers. The authors criticize the "magic-carpet-ride-to-another-culture syndrome" which assumes that language study automatically leads to intercultural understanding. They describe an experiment with university students of Spanish who received lessons on cross-cultural awareness, then had to interview local native Spanish speakers as an out-of -class project. The interviews positively changed student attitudes. Student quotes: "Ben didn't show me what it was like to be a Mexican, he showed me what it was like to be a human being", "I've learned more about the Mexican way of life through Olga in one semester than I have in eight semesters of Spanish classes".

The World Around Us: Global Education

Special issue of Social Education, ISSN 0037-7724)

Social Education. Vol. 60 No. 7. Nov/Dec 1996

This special issue of the American journal Social Education, issued by the National Council for the Social Studies, focusses on global education and the teaching of world cultures and issues. The issue features the following articles as well as a rich variety of teaching ideas and resources:

  • A Journey on Three Rivers: a comparative look at the peoples and cultures of the Nile, the Rhine and the Mississippi including a variety of teaching activities and resources

  • Real People, Common Themes: using illustrated readers to counter stereotypes

  • Past Meets Present: a report on a student field trip to Mexico for an oral history project

  • US and THEM: an activity to break down ethnocentrism using the reading "The Nacirema"

  • Population Education: teaching ideas on the population explosion and its resulting problems

  • Classroom Focus: teaching ideas on basic human needs, tolerance and world political systems

  • Bringing Beijing Into the Classroom: teaching ideas on the 1995 UN Women's Summit

  • The Need for Human Rights Education: a sample human rights lesson plan and resource list

  • Teaching about International Conflict and Peace: teaching approaches to war and peace

  • Global Education on the World Wide Web: useful sites for teachers of global issues

Global Issues in Language Teaching

by Esther Lucas (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Skepsis. No. 4. Nov 1996

This article by Dr. Esther Lucas, an Israel-based English teacher and expert in education for international understanding, was published in the International Schools Association (ISA) magazine Skepsis. The article defines global issues, explains the rationale for dealing with these in foreign language classes, lists peace education organizations and publications, gives an overview of groups (such as JALT's Global Issues SIG) which are actively promoting global education in the language teaching profession, and finishes with a call for a global issues interest group within the ISA. The magazine also includes articles on student exchange programs, values education, the global village, and environmental education.

Journals Referred To:
Modern Language Journal, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 114 N Murray St, Madison, WI 53715-1199 USA
Skepsis, c/o Esther Lucas, 13 David Marcus St., Herzliya Pituah, 46682, ISRAEL Fax: 972 9 9500867
Social Education, NCSS, 3501 Newark St. NW, Washington DC 20016 USA
TESOL Journal, 1600 Cameron Street Suite 300, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2751 USA


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