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December 1998 - Issue No. #33 (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.

Changing Lives in Changing Times

by Michael Samuel (University of Durban-Westville, South Africa)

TESOL Quarterly. Vol. 32. No 3. Autumn 1998)

In this article, the author describes the challenges of preparing English teachers for the post-apartheid era and the consequences the apartheid system had for language teaching and learning in South Africa. These included the legislation of the languages of the White minority (13% of the population) as the national languages of the country, the official status of English and Afrikaans in the school system, and the marginalization of black languages in education and society. The author describes the new language education policies of South Africa and the need for teacher educators to overcome apartheid era thinking.

Gender Representation in Foreign Language Textbooks:
A Case Study of Textbooks of Russian

by Benjamin Rifkin (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)

Modern Language Journal. Vol. 82. No 2. Summer 1998)

This article gives an overview of previous studies on gender in language teaching materials and presents findings from a study that (a) established criteria for assessing the equity of gender representation in language texts, (b) applied the criteria to Russian-language textbooks, and (c) considered the criteria as a basis for examining gender representation in foreign language textbooks in general. The author's gender equity checklist consists of 18 criteria which cover both pictures (e.g. number of females portrayed compared to males) and text (e.g. number of female textbook characters, number of females used as subjects of model sentences). The article recommends that language teachers examine the textbooks they currently use and consider gender equity as a factor in choosing future texts.

Designing and Teaching A Culturally Relevant EFL Social Studies
Content-Based Curriculum

by Robert Gettings (Hokusei Gakuen Women's Jr. College, Sapporo, Japan)

Thai TESOL Bulletin Vol. 10. No 2. August 1997)

In this article, the author discusses how teachers can design culturally relevant materials that promote English ability and social studies knowledge. He argues that teachers should begin by critically reflecting on students' understanding of the world, and on the influence of school textbooks. He gives the example of Japan where popular culture and school texts send the message Japan is a peaceful country that was the victim of a terrible atomic bomb and discusses how he dealt with this image in an EFL course for Japanese college students. This had students read, compare and discuss passages on WW II in high school history books from Japan, from six Asian countries and from the USA. /p>

Global Education: Challenges, Cultures & Connections

Special Issue

Social Education Vol. 62. No. 5. Sept. 1998). ISSN 0037-7724)

This special issue of the American journal Social Education, issued by the National Council for the Social Studies, focuses 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:

  • Global Cultures: First Steps Towards Understanding: how to teach about the cultures of the world using a special "world culture framework"
  • Global Connections: Where am I? How did I get here? Where am I going?: an essay showing how our students are inextricably involved with global networks and issues
  • Global Connections in a Chicago Classroom: a report on how service learning can help to make apparent to students the links between local and global challenges
  • Using Textile Arts to Teach Children about Cultures: multicultural quilts and embroidery
  • Schools Demining Schools: a report on landmines and on what US schools are doing to help
  • Population and Development Issues: teaching ideas on the population explosion
  • The Birth of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: the story behind the UDHR
  • Guidelines for Global Education: a set of guidelines on how to teach for a global perspective
  • Global Education and the Internet: useful Internet websites for teachers of global issues
  • Resources on Global Education: a list of teacher-oriented organizations which can provide teaching resources on the world's regions and international problems


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Kip A. Cates, Tottori University, Koyama, Tottori City, JAPAN 680-8551
E-mail: Work Tel/Fax: 0857-31-5650