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Global Ideas for the Classroom


With the Olympics, and a need for international minded citizens in order to protect their international trade and the national security of Japan. Here are some ideas to promote global thinking in the classroom.

First, try using world art, music, and culture in your lessons and on your worksheets. Add the spice of an exotic scenario to your lessons. If you are reading a dialogue between two characters, instead of always using characters in Japan, establish that the characters are in Africa or China! Help your students relate to people from other cultures, and show them how much things can be the same or different between cultures. Use photos, art, even fonts which evoke another culture. has a treasure trove of free fonts to make your handouts more exciting and cultured.

When teaching about weather, talk about the weather of the world with the climates of other countries, and how their seasons may differ from Japan's. The more international examples you give on any topic will help to expand their minds. When teaching about numbers, show YouTube videos of American rhymes for learning the multiplication tables or the Kenyan way of counting.

Incorporating global issues or recent news can be a great way to connect your students to the world. Especially if these topics can be used with the vocab or grammar of your current syllabus. Such as the most common occupations in India, or fruits and vegetables of Iran. It may require some research on your part, but at least you'll be learning as well.

Skype is a great way to connect with people in other countries, with many organizations to help you set up pen-pal relationships for your students with people in other countries. But time differences can pose a big challenge. But, creating a class Twitter account is a great way get your students' English out into the world. It might even help you find a friendly class on the other side of the world. Something like "Hey! I want to collaborate with your classroom! DM me. #collaboration #education" will help get the ball rolling. Or as a class you can decide posts and tweets and talk with other Twitter users, even celebrities!

For the more ambitious and inspired teachers, look into the Peace Jam program for your English club activities. They provide a wonderful curriculum to help your students get involved with the world.

If you have an iPad, fire up Google Maps 'Street View' to show your students what it looks like in China, Syria, or your own hometown! "How's the weather in Canda?" 

So why not try introducing these ideas into your classroom? Sometimes studying English for English's sake can be a bit dry. Showing your students the world can help them realize why they are studying English in the first place, to connect to the global village.

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