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GLOBAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE
EDUCATION NEWSLETTER
March 1998 - Issue No. #30 (p.4)

Abstracts of global education articles from language teaching journals

The following abstracts summarize articles on global issue topics found in professional language teaching journals.

Turning the Tide on the Dehumanization of Language Teaching

by Rebecca Constantino (UCLA)

TESOL Journal. Vol 7. No 2. Winter 1997.

In this article, the author describes her work teaching 'English-for-empowerment' to inner city adult women ESL students in the USA. She describes the roots of her teaching in the philosophy of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and explains how she tries to instill in her students that as language learners, mothers, wives, women, and citizens of the world, they have a voice not only in the educational process but in society as a whole. Together with her students, she works to analyze and overcome racial, ethnic and national stereotypes, study the experiences of minorities such as Indians, blacks and Asian immigrants, learn about AIDS, and discuss sex roles, culture and male-female inequality. The final stage of their studies is the question 'What will we do about this?' In response, her students have taken steps to build cross-cultural friendships, stood up against prejudice, volunteered to help AIDS babies and worked to change the power balance in their families. While her students would do poorly on grammar tests, the author says, they have become confident students, wives, mothers, and world citizens.


The Pedagogy of Exchanges

by Sylvia Mitteregger (Echange de Jeunes, Switzerland)

Language Teaching. Vol 30. No 4. October 1997.

In this article, the author gives an overview of the principles of international educational exchange and examples of successful school exchanges. She links international exchange with the world's growing interdependence and the UNESCO ideals of education for peace and international understanding. She outlines the 3 phases of school exchanges: (1) pre-implementation (where students consider their expectations and prejudices towards the target country before going overseas); (2) implementation (where students visit the foreign country and come into contact with the foreign culture); and (3) post-implementation (the often neglected follow-up phase where students reflect on their overseas experience after returning home). The article concludes with a description of the Council of Europe's work in promoting international exchange and its teacher training workshops with teachers from 31 countries.


Developing the European Dimension - A School Initiative

by Christine Harvey (Durham, UK)

Language Learning Journal. No 15. 1997.

In this article, the author describes a project to develop European awareness across the curriculum at a British school in north-east England, where attitudes to Europe are traditionally sceptical and pupil horizons limited. A working party planned a whole school approach, and links were set up with schools in France, Germany and Slovakia. Staff from four subject areas developed programs with the French school based on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, including a visit to the landing sites. In Germany, a work experience program allowed pupils to use their language skills abroad in a work environment. High-profile events were held at school to involve the maximum number of pupils, staff and visitors. 200 pupils, many of whom had never been abroad, made a school visit overseas. Appreciation for the program came from the local business community. The school aims to build on its success by nurturing partner school links, adding resources and incorporating a European dimension into school work.


Developing Intercultural Competence: Expanding the Goals of EFL and ESL

by Alvino Fantini (School for International Training, USA)

The English Connection. Vol 1. No 3. September 1997.

In this article, the author defines intercultural competence and argues for its inclusion in English language teaching. He points to the increasing numbers of people travelling, living and working abroad, and cites the new standards of the ACTFL (American Association of Foreign Language Teachers) which emphasize the 5 C's: Communication, Culture, Comparisons (of native and target cultures), Communities (connecting with target language speakers both locally and abroad) and Connections (using the target language to teach other subject matter). He defines intercultural competence as (1) the ability to develop positive relationships, (2) the ability to communicate effectively, (3) the ability to cooperate with others. Education for intercultural competence, he says, should develop "A+ASK" (Awareness + Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge) about other cultures - knowledge alone is inadequate.

Journals referred to:

English Connection, Kim Jeong-Ryeol, Korea Education Univ. Chungwon Gun, Chungbuk 363-791 KOREA

Language Learning Journal, 16 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PN, UK

Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press, Edinburgh Bldg Shaftesbury Rd, Cambridge CB2 2RU

TESOL Journal, TESOL, 1600 Cameron Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2751 USA

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