Mainstreaming the global goals in the ELT classroom is the aim of this site. The global goals are an excellent springboard for resources. They fit beautifully into a classroom where the focus is on content.
Digital literacies are key in the way we approach integrating the global goals here, as so much of students awareness of issues in the world around them comes digitally, and the skills of filtering, interpreting and using this information, as well as creating it, are critical in fullfilling the desire to deal with the global crisis we face.
We currently live in an age where, in many different countries and contexts, a standardised approach to schooling, including ELT, is increasingly the norm. This is typically characterised by low-risk, discrete-item teaching, frequent testing and dependence on measurable results and outcomes. By introducing children to the Global Goals as part of foreign language lessons, we can redress this balance and integrate a more holistic, personalised approach to children’s education into our classroom practice.
Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom: With reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ed. Peachey, N and Maley, A. British Council, 2017
The United Nations Global Goals are a perfect starting point for those wanting to deal with 21st century problems in their English teaching. English as a lingua franca will have to play an important role in the global response to global problems. Therefore as teachers we need to empower our students with the tools to deal with these issues as well as the language to do this.
Why focus on digital literacies to integrate the theme of sustainability into your classes?
I would argue the following:
- if you aim to free yourself from published materials and approach new topics, digital technology offers an effective way to do this.
- learner autonomy is your goal if you wish to create both effective language learners and assist your learners to think critically about 21st century issues.
- much of learners’ language use will take place in the digital domain, and much of the debate about global issues does too. Teaching with the use of digital tools and focussing on digital literacies means you empower your learners to operate effectively in this environment.
- a 21st century problem requiring 21st century skills. Learners need these skills in combination with their linguistic resources.
Language cannot be separated from content, meaning and information, so there is much more to learning a language than the structure of it, and this site aims to bring these other elements to the forefront using the content of the global goals.