Global Education as a Cross-curricular Approach to Language Teaching for Democracy

Document Type : Original Article


Tottori University, Japan


Global education is a cross curricular discipline, originating in the 1970s and 1980s, developed for schools by international educators in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. One definition describes it as "education which promotes the knowledge, attitudes and skills relevant to living responsibly in a multicultural, interdependent world" (Fisher & Hicks, 1985, p. 8). Another definition states that "global education consists of efforts to bring about changes in the content, methods and social context of education in order to better prepare students for citizenship in a global age" (Kniep, 1985, p. 15).
This article introduces the field of global education, describes its aims and objectives, and outlines the rationale for taking a global education approach to language teaching. It will describe and discuss a variety of initiatives undertaken by global language educators in classrooms, programs and schools around the world that promote democratic citizenship, foster social responsibility and engage students in working to solve local and global issues. It will conclude by encouraging language teachers to explore global education as a valuable cross-curricular approach to language teaching for democracy.