As IATEFL Global Issues SIG Joint Coordinator and creator of the New Internationalist Easier English wiki, Linda Ruas is a keen advocate for bringing global issues into the classroom. Here is a short extract from her recent publication Why Global Issues?
“It’s the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Anger, the Age of Trump, Kali Yuga (the Age of Vice, the epoch of terrible things, or the Dark Age), the Age of People Power, the Age of Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence, the Age of Consequences, the Age of Promiscuity, the Age of Social Unrest … the list goes on. So how do our ELT classes reflect this, and how can we in ELT make a difference? But hang on a minute. Are we allowed to mention social unrest in class? People might not agree with it or might be offended or upset by any mention of violence or political demands. How about bringing religion into class? And isn’t Kali a Hindu goddess? Can we mention sex, refugees, strong feelings? And Trump – can we refer to politicians by name and share real opinions about current events in the world? Is this what students want, or would they rather be protected by the ‘soft, fudgey, sub -journalistic, women’s magaziney world of EFLese course materials’ (Rinvolucri, 1999 1). If you’re confused about which global issues, if any, you can safely bring into class and why you’d even dream of deviating from time-honoured published materials, you’re not alone.”
It’s the age of information and we need to get as informed as we can about what other things might help us live healthy lives.’ Linda Hamilton (1956), American actor.
When I started my pre sessional course, I made so many grammatical mistakes. My writing was full of them. I decided to use ‘Grammar Clinic’. This material helped me identify my common mistakes and work on eliminating them.Marianne