Two practical and thought-provoking online webinars 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.

We hosted a panel discussion, followed by a webinar looking at some tangible and practical ideas from one of our most recent publication ‘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

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 a recording of this webinar: 

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

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.

Watch the final 20 minutes of the webinar:


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:



Dear peers - some teacher educators, life-continuing learners, educational volunteers participate-observers, educational writers and across-cultural life-practisers:

I used to think I should write a piece on the web of Teaching for Success online conference for concluding some experiences recently. But, just glancing a moment did I find it was already in the past 2016, and suddenly did I find this happy page! Then, ideas have been turned to the centre of positive power, and heart has been warmed back. I should feel happy, thanks!
I asked myself: Jason, what should you say and begin with? I thought-may it be:
Oh, to be honest from the bottom of my heart, currently, the international situation on globalization wasn't quite good, and even worse some troubles-makers would or would have already made our peaceful teachers and some of their learners lose their ways and some tools (especially some regularly-used digital tools) for their personal expressions of some voices and practices-conclusions of their educational believes. Meanwhile, some positive kindness and across-cultural communications, in real world or online, have also been marked or misunderstood. This point, in my mind, meant some powers, I don't know who, began to impact educational reality, some inductive approaches of education and our commons' normal-virtual-worlds. It wouldn't be a piece of good news. You knew, education, as my piano music, should be a pure-land for the freedom of expressions, especially for next generations. Some teacher educators would also feel hard to send out their best wishes to world's peace from any small corners anywhere around our earth. I felt very sorry to say those but I had to...
However, if viewing back the whole year from last September, we have really improved our abilities and practiced more ideas from education to the whole globalizing society, from western worlds to eastern worlds, in postmodernist multiple-channels. Some of we have applied our native, binary-linguistic, multiple-linguistic ideas and some good across-cultural thinking skills into our local classrooms; some of we have attempt to cultivate learners' all-around literacies of subjects through English information-seeking, individual curriculum-designs, some visualized action-plans, relatively guided practices of critical thinking and some self-disciplinary participant-observations & experiments in their own lives. Yes, I have artist paid lots of peaceful endeavours breaking some limitations channelling to the pure-land of education and peace. Without us, the tree of global civilization cannot grow up so many beautiful fruits, and some learners wouldn't get some opportunities of education, explicitly or implicitly, and for their future learns and understandable happiness from the stability of their own lives.
No matter how and what to do in future, in my mind, those kind-hearted contributions should be understood, opened and developed in the sustainability. I knew we, including small Jason, had full-filled ourselves in last year. And further, we should hold our original true-hearts (loves) and dreams in the local responsibilities and the scope of our own subjects, with a eye appreciating world's beauties from here to there. To some charitable ideas, some constructions of thinking ways for a better life, the accumulation and creation of languages across cultures, we should also insist on contributing, for involving more young generations to equally enjoy better chances and sources of teaching & learning, under what abilities we have already cultivated and been willing to sustain...
Last but not the least, I hope you can also enjoy good lives with your family members. May it be that seeing our learners as friends of our families, or even members, wasn’t a bad idea... You knew, our earth needs love and friendship to 'recover a near -broken heart'. More communications would be a good medicine, we should believe...

It's also near Mooncake Festival of Eastern worlds. May it be that seeing our careers as spending a joyfulness in festival holidays wouldn't be a bad idea to relax our hearts, meanwhile, learn something new from others in life' - All-inclusively, we all wish things would be fine.


Best wishes and Sincerely regards

Yours Jason M.C., Han
30th September 2017

My minds were stilly staying in this page & day, and frequently asking myself: You knew, goals were so huge. Then, how could us - teachers and teacher educators land them into our own classrooms - no matter what types, formal or informal, schooling or family-tutoring, in organizations or single... I almost got one answer, but not very clear, which I would like to share.
Briefly say:
Demonstrate behaviours into examples representing basic principles, such as treating students in equality, focusing on knowledge & thinking itself, sharing kindness with students from non-rich families (oh, it should be to say in all situations), trying to save energies and protect environments surrounding you, and attempting to balance classroom fees into reasonable and acceptable scopes , and self-internalizing some good characteristics as your daily self-disciplines (even no see) ... ;
Attempt your best to apply languages to describe/ explain what you have done or say (even it was a very small kindness but in good logics) to your students and parents, and, help them in reasoning out meanings behind your behaviours & languages much clearer (even some days, students can tell you: hi, Jason, I did this... was because of ..., as what you had said/ done '...' Thus, I felt good, did you think so? -then, we can give some comments to recycle those kindnesses)

If every small person could do so, as you and me... what a beautiful world it would be in the views of education!

This thought wasn't quite clear, but would be an answer. Just one point, teachers were also human beings (not saints), their welfares need our organizations' cares and loves. Sometimes, please forgive some mistakes they would have made, or something they had already predict but not in current era or across cultures. They have been dreaming after a better world for long time; yet, they haven't need to dedicate themselves here for many years... like candles burning out themselves or their families a drop after a drop, day after day, and year after year.
That's fine. Take it easy, I can get out from that World Teachers' Day...

From the reasonability of Education to say, after this worldwide celebration (event) of Teacher's Day, currently, it was another Examination period for all subjects, including piano and English. Even only a small test or a huge level-grading test, we need to help our learners prepare and assess it, such as to get away the pressure and keep a good store of knowledge & skills. Afterwards, we can enjoy a happy holiday period. I thought many UNESCO basic principles can be 'downloaded' and 'threaded' into our local operations, such as 'to protect the equality and respect the creativity'. Afterwards, you see, it would be a beautiful holiday waiting for us...
Best wishes for your examination preparations, a very merry Christmas and happy 2018...

Today, I have heard Sarah Brightman's 'Silent Night' - so peaceful as if a sweat voice from heaven... Yes, we would all be on Christmas Holidays and try our best to calm ourselves down gently with the musicality wings-flying by upon the atmosphere of jingle bells. We might feel hard...such as going to public... in this Christmas Day, but as the meaning of Christmas Day- Jesus' forgiveness from born... Till the night, we still need to be positive and make plans for new hopes of future...
In this night, as a later sense of Christmas Eve pushed to this night, I changed my image with some new pictures of the happy moments, as for a new beginning. Then, I preferred to write down some words (though I didn't have a clear mind what I should write) to you - teachers still standing in the big classroom - life, and myself:
Peers, hard working... full-time dedicating yourselves to our education... Oh, Santa, Santa, we have behaved quite nice for a whole year, though somethings in the world weren't determined by us...
Let us take our Christmas cakes and forgive all!
I wish you -
a very merry Christmas and happy new year!

Annually, in current season- winter, after being at a glance of the past time, a teacher's circle will complete. Then, we were together in holidays and home - avoiding the coldness and waiting for the arrival of Spring Fairy. After the period of examination, we might assess and conclude our learners' performances from various types of data - usually from knowledge, skill, attitude and beliefs (as a common knowledge)... and being summarized upon words and statistics numbers... We might also comment each learner and award some excellent ones for the encouragements and setting examples to all... But remember: in those coldest days of the year, everyone wants to be warm and happy, who also wishes to bring this feeling to his or her family. You knew, a severe 'fall' with some 'hard-heard' words (writing or announced) would make your learners trapping their whole families into the deep depression, especially to those who had paid a lot of endeavors, worked very hard but still couldn't achieve their goals in the dreams and designs. In those cases (yes, in many classrooms, there were also some), after a carefully designed and difficult examination time, please try to give an easy-going result and the forgiveness to their learning ways and your teaching effects... You knew, an embrace and an encouragement from a teacher, tutor, supervisor... in this winter, would re-raise up people's falling smiles, make them blooming against the coldness and warming a whole room's enthusiasm, which couldn't be equalled to some money or relationships... If to some learners, after taking back a step, they still cannot get anything - beautiful knowledge & skills, good scores, or (or and) a beautiful certificate awarded, a fame... but they really did work hard very much days and nights (he or she just cannot understand the smart ways, or need much time in life), as teachers, I thought we can self-make out some individualized certificates, encouragements and suggestions for them... 'to save a falling star and light up its place in night sky', which shouldn't be because of money or relationships or other unnecessary issues..., but your participant-observations and accompaniment for a whole term till today.'
After finishing all the final issues, by returning in silence, we will warm our bodies and souls in our families, and wait for a new spring's coming... Oh, a small teacher's cycle will end and some people would make their departures for a while... But, a larger educational recycle across many boundaries will be still on going. Maybe, names of you and me will not be called and remembered in the history, there must be a voice from the deep world's civilization and the deep reasonability high-up supporting our (educational kids' ) endeavors and letting lights of truths shining more...
Oh, by the way, the lucky animal of 2018 is a loyal one - dog who is honest, helpful and hospitable. Hopefully, from the spring of this year, things will be going on well.

Assessment - Conclusion - awarding good learners with your humanity - organizing holiday activities, such as holding an activity with learners and waiting for Spring Festival Fairy with stories of lucky animals (A good course lighted my eyes: ) - Waiting the coming of new spring in your warm and small family (Yeah, and also Easter - all for Spring)
Oh, by the way , following this line above, in this year 2018, watching Winter Olympic Game may give us many positive powers from hearts, which can also be added into our activities' plan.

Oh, dears, thanks to your fulfilments of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in this teaching cycle!

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