Global Citizenship in the English Language Classroom

This 54-page booklet comprises a collection of papers with contributions from leading researchers on global citizenship in language education in several corners of the globe. It provides not only sound theoretical frameworks for investigation but also practical findings for application in diverse segments of ELT, ranging from university environments to public schools and from EFL to ESL contexts.

Global citizenship has become one of the most important issues for English language teachers around the world, as we witness the growing importance of this language in the international scenario and its incorporation as part of the discourse of socio-economic inclusion. This is owing mainly to the recognition of the interdependence among countries and advances in communication technology that have created opportunities for greater contact between people from various parts of the world. There is a growing sense that local problems are in fact connected to wider social processes in a global scale.

The English language plays an important role in creating a global community and developing planetary citizenship. Consequently, the education of learners to enable them to participate in the global forum has brought new challenges for teachers who have to go beyond the traditional ‘tools of the trade’. There is a whole new world to be explored. In order to help teachers in this journey of exploration in 2005 the British Council organised a seminar entitled ‘Global citizenship and language learning: education in a multilingual world’, attended by teachers, lecturers, researchers and administrators from all continents, in both face-to-face and online modes of participation. It was the first event that provided ‘live’ coverage, enabling professionals to interact with the discussions via technology. For this reason it created a more global forum that brought together experiences and ideas from both the UK and the participants’ countries.

Following on from Audrey Osler and Hugh Starkey’s 'Citizenship and Language Learning: international perspectives', published in 2005, this collection aims at offering ideas and practical suggestions on how teachers around the world have tackled the teaching of English within a citizenship education perspective. There are seven chapters, from authors working in different parts of the world, such as Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Colombia, and Pakistan.

There are five report style chapters that deal with courses, teaching materials, research and curriculum innovation. The two remaining contributions can be seen as proposals for implementation of a global citizenship perspective in English language classrooms.

The diverse interpretations teachers of English around the world have been giving to the task of promoting global citizenship in their classrooms are reflected in this collection with understandings that range from a more prescriptive approach to a transformational one. They bring the potential for new approaches to be tried out in different contexts. The aim is to inspire teachers to experiment and evaluate the results.

Contributing authors include Susan Hillyard, Elena Tarasheva, Clarissa Jordão and Francisco Fogaça, Esperanza Revelo Jiménez, Sabiha Khuram, Vanessa Andreotti and Telma Gimenez.

Edited by Telma Gimenez and Susan Sheehan and published in 2008.

This booklet is free to download.

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