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December 1999 - Issue No. #37 (p.20)

New language teaching textbooks dealing with global issue topics

a list by Kip Cates

A World in Common: Global Perspectives for the Future

by K. Asakawa, J. Casey, R. Sato, Y. Hasegawa, H. Udagawa (2000)

Tokyo: Sanshusha Ltd.

This innovative 90-page illustrated text takes a global education approach to teaching EFL to Japanese students. The book's twenty chapters cover topics such as endangered animals, threatened cultures, volunteering overseas, medical ethics, child labor, working for peace, women in society, ecotourism, indigenous rights, immigrant workers, legacies of war, and education for empowerment. Each four-page chapter includes a warm-up (photo, data, graphic), a one-page reading (with comprehension questions), a dialog listening task, and further activities. An audio cassette and teacher's book are available.

Tapestry: Power through the Written Word

by Robin Scarcella (1994)

Heinle & Heinle or Thomson Learning

This illustrated 280-page advanced ESL reading/writing text teaches language skills through meaningful communication about real world topics. It's divided into four sections of three chapters each: (1) Personal Power (defining power, Nobel Peace Prize winners, women and power); (2) Power Through Force (causes of war, protesting injustice); (3) Power and the Environment (pollution, injustice and the environment); and (4) Power Through the Written Word (good writing, the language of deception, empowerment through writing). Readings range from Mother Teresa and toxic waste to Tiananmen Square and Greenpeace. Teaching points include punctuation, grammar, writing skills, and learning strategies. An audio cassette and teacher's book available.

The Global Community

by Mallory Fromm (2000)

Tokyo: Seibido Ltd.

This 115-page Japanese university-level EFL text comprises a set of English reading passages (11 pages each in length) featuring the author's philosophy, ideas, and stories about world trends, globalization, and the interdependence of our global village. The book's 8 chapters are entitled "A Small World," "The Next Frontier," "Are Nations Necessary?", "The Globalization of English," "Vested Interests," "Global Business and Human Rights," "Aspects of Globalization," and "A Last Thought." Japanese vocabulary notes are given at the back of the book and a Teacher's Guide provides comprehension and language exercises. A separate audio cassette is available.

Newsworld 2000

by Wallace Gagne (2000 )

Tokyo: MacMillan Language House

This 116-page EFL text aims to give Japanese students the English skills and world knowledge they need to become independent newspaper readers. The book's twenty chapters are divided into five sections: "Globalism and the Third Millennium" (global news, the postmodern world); "North America" (US foreign policy, NAFTA); "Asia" (Japan, China, Korea, tradition vs. modernity); "Europe" (the EU, Great Britain, Russia, Eastern Europe, ethnic conflict); and "The Third World" (SE Asia, Africa, the Middle East, debt, arms & violence). Each lesson has a 2-4-page reading with Japanese vocabulary notes. The book also contains maps, photos, charts, and a separate cassette.


by Linda Lee, Kensaku Yoshida, Steve Ziolkowski (2000)

Tokyo: Oxford University Press

This colorful, glossy, 76-page text is a speaking and listening course for pre-intermediate to intermediate Japanese learners of English. It aims to improve students' communicative English skills through looking at customs, practices and values in Japan and other cultures. The book comprises twelve four-page units: names, greetings, possessions, drinks, festivals, dating, jobs, gifts, food, clothes, culture shock, and TV. Each unit has an "Exploring the Topic" section of personalized communication activities and an "Across Cultures" section which looks at the topic from the perspective of young people from countries as diverse as Korea, France, Ghana, and Iran. The book includes a bilingual word list, a world map, and a CD-Rom for listening.


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