Towards Higher Education (THE)
Welcome from THE Conference 2019 Organization Committee
We would like to welcome you to Towards Higher Education (THE) Conference 2019! In our past conference, we tried to create a common platform for national and higher education institutions with preparatory programs. Being on the theme of bridging the gap between secondary and higher education settings, the first conference was just the groundwork, a venue to establish a forum where, through subsequent conferences, more critical or more ambitious ideas will be discussed. With the valuable feedback we received from our participants, we have come to the conclusion that it is significant to bridge another gap which is integrating global issues into our ELT classrooms by also utilizing 21st century skills.
We are moving towards a world in which many people suffer from forced migration, border conflicts, lack of access to quality education, injustice and inequalities, the consequences of unplanned population growth, scarcity of resources, lack of access to health care, and environmental issues such as climate change and pollution. Much as we have a myriad of problems, we also have the resources, the means and the will to produce solutions. It is possible to train students who are not only professionally proficient but also globally conscious and circumspect, and who act as agents in the solution of these problems.
We believe that language teachers are more than just teachers of language. What we teach and how we teach it have an eye-opening and long lasting influence on the future attitudes and personalities of our students. As teachers of the 21st century , we have the power and technology to address these global issues in our classroom in a critical and creative way instead of turning a blind eye to them. In THE Conference 2019, we invite research papers and presentations that address the ways to bridge this gap at higher education settings as well as creative and effective strategies for application.
Teacher. What do you do?
I’m a teacher.
What do you teach?
What do you teach them?
You mean grammar, verbs, nouns, pronunciation, conjugation, articles and particles, negatives and interrogatives …?
What do you mean, ‘that too’?
Well, I also try to teach them how to think, and feel – show them inspiration, aspiration, cooperation, participation, consolation, innovation,
… help them think about globalization, exploitation, confrontation, incarceration, discrimination, degradation, subjugation,
…how inequality brings poverty, how intolerance brings violence, how need is denied by greed, how –isms become prisons, how thinking and feeling can bring about healing.
Well I don’t know about that. Maybe you should stick to language, forget about anguish. You can’t change the world.
But if I did that, I’d be a cheater, not a teacher.
Alan Maley (2017)
Maley, A., & Peachey, N. (2017). Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom: With reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. London: British Council.