Two practical and thought-provoking webinars which took place on Thursday 5 October to celebrate World Teachers’ Day.

What is World Teachers’ Day? 

World Teachers’ Day is a UNESCO initiative celebrated in more than 200 countries worldwide, which aims to highlight the contribution teachers make to society. This year's slogan is ‘Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers’.

In honour of teachers around the world and in celebration of World Teachers’ Day, TeachingEnglish and EnglishAgenda hosted two special webinars exploring the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the language classroom, with tips and advice from experienced practitioners.

There was a panel discussion followed by a webinar which looked at tangible and practical ideas from one of our most recent publications ‘Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom’. The resource book has proved to be very popular, and has already been downloaded four thousand times by teachers and teacher educators around the world. 

World Teachers’ Day debate: Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom

Date:  Thursday 5 October
Time: 13.00 - 14.00 UK time

Panellists: Chrysa Papalazarou, Linda Ruas, Malu Sciamarelli and Adrian Tennant. 

A lively panel discussion provided thought-provoking answers to some of these questions:

  • Are the Sustainable Development Goals appropriate subjects for adults and young learners?
  • Some teachers feel that their role is to teach language and not introduce global issues such as the SDGs into their lessons? Is that a valid point of view? 
  • What advice would you give to teachers about respecting their students’ views on the SDGs even if these differ hugely from their own beliefs and values? 
  • Are there any circumstances in which you might advise teachers not to focus on the topic of the SDGs?

Watch the webinar recording.

Read a British Council Voices blog post by Malu Sciamarelli: Should language teachers avoid global issues when teaching?

Creativity and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Date:  Thursday 5 October
Time: 15:00 - 16.00 UK time

Speaker: Nik Peachey

In this webinar Nik Peachey shared a little of the background to the idea behind the book: Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom and why the focus on creativity and the UN SDGs.

He also shared a range of practical examples of activities from the book and looked at how you can bring the UN’s sustainable development goals into your classroom.

See the presentation slides.

The speakers

Chrysa Papalazarou

Chrysa Papalazarou is an English teacher and blogger from Greece. Chrysa holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Education and Human Rights. She is also one of the contributing authors in the British Council’s first publication on Creativity in the English language classroom (eds. A. Maley & N. Peachey), and most recently 'The Image in English Language Teaching' publication (eds. K. Donaghy & D. Xerri). She has presented her teaching practice in conferences and workshops in her country and abroad. You can find out more about Chrysa's work in class by visiting her blog Art Least.

Linda Ruas

After teaching and training for many years in Brazil, Japan and other countries, Linda Ruas is now teaching ESOL and CELTA at a further education college in London. She also runs the New Internationalist Easier English wiki ( and is Joint Coordinator of the IATEFL Global Issues Special Interest Group.

Malu Sciamarelli

Malu Sciamarelli has been working as a teacher and teacher trainer since 1993. She is a committee member of the Creativity Group and the IATEFL Literature SIG. She has published articles on creativity in ELT Journals and presented in conferences all over the world. She is one of the authors in Creativity in the English language classroom (eds. A. Maley & N. Peachey). She also writes poems and short stories for language learners and has her own website:

Adrian Tennant

Adrian has been involved in ELT for almost 30 years and now works as a teacher trainer, writer and consultant. He has worked in many countries and contexts including in Cambodia, Jordan, China, DR Congo, Senegal, Montenegro, Turkey, Spain, Saudi Arabia, India and Ecuador. As a writer he understands the importance of content in language learning and is interested in helping students learn about the world around them.

Nik Peachey

Nik Peachey is a freelance teacher trainer, materials writer, blogger and course developer specialising in digital publishing and the development of digital resources for teachers. He has been involved in English language teaching since 1992 and has worked all over the world as a teacher, trainer and project manager. In 2016 after winning the British Council ELTon award for Innovations in Teacher Resources he co-founded He is based in the UK but is a regular international conference speaker. His books include: