Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom

Watch a recording of this panel discussion with Chrysa Papalazarou, Linda Ruas, Malu Sciamarelli and Adrian Tennant.

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.

About this talk

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 below

About the panelists

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.

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 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:

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

Adrian Tennant 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.

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