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Globalisation: Ideas Required As Most Websites Too High Brow

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Roddy Scott

Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 9
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:22 am    Post subject: Globalisation: Ideas Required As Most Websites Too High Brow Reply with quote

Hi There Everyone,
I'm in the process of researching material which will help me to write then present at least the first half-dozen or so lesson plans on the topic of 'globalisation' (British spelling!). The material is to help another (Cantonese) teacher here who will complete the work of a total of 21 lessons for next year, with English as the medium of instruction. I'm happy to help as I know I will be able to use these lessons- in an adapted form- for future lessons I will conduct myself, in English language discussions- both oral and written, composition work.

Obviously this is cross-curricular, and the topic could come under the aegis of an economics teacher, liberal studies or humanitarian studies, or geography. That's not so important as the fact that I'm finding most of the websites (and surfing these is taking up valuable time....) to be very 'high brow' affairs, like the University of Warwick's (England) 'Center for the Study of Globalisation.' The fact is that I need to provide material that is accessible to junior form or middle school- students aged 15 & 16 or so, for the North American teachers. So far, I have written a lesson plan introduction, the framework for it at least, focussing on the Korean farmers protest in 2005 in Hong Kong, where I'm based. I have news clippings from these days of protest which I can use.
But the newspapers and the 'high brow' articles miss the need for balance: globalisation is not simply an issue which engenders negative outcomes. There are things like 'Tsunami Relief' widely reported in the press which indicate that 'the global village'- surely a very obvious positive aspect to it all- is an issue of awareness, that globalisation is also about raising awareness, and the fact that awareness is raised shows the world's a much much smaller place- so there must be a positive impact in that aspect of the effect of globalisation.

So as you can see I've had a good long think and scribble about it all- what I need now is to see if any of you guys out there have got links to issues, websites, good news articles, that offer accessible writing to younger readers, and a balanced view of the whole picture.

Any takers, please? Meanwhile, back to the drawing board. Hope I've not bored you all too much (sorry...)
Cheers, Roddy.
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Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Globalisation: Ideas Required As Most Websites Too High Reply with quote

Roddy Scott wrote:
Hi There Everyone,
I'm in the process of researching material which will help me to write then present at least the first half-dozen or so lesson plans on the topic of 'globalisation'
Any takers, please? Meanwhile, back to the drawing board. Hope I've not bored you all too much (sorry...)
Cheers, Roddy.

Try and search globalisation.
The website has to be accessible (understood) to all members of the (UK) public) so the language is simple.
Below is a quote from a minister, which will give you an idea of the level.

Rt. Hon. Stephen Byers - Former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Dec 1998 - Jun 2001)
Globalisation and Free Trade
London Business School

Friday, August 04, 2000

"I want to consider what globalisation means in terms of free trade and open commerce.

For some there is no more threatening word in our vocabulary than globalisation. It denotes a nightmare of greed and inequality. A threat to our culture. With Coca-Cola, McDonalds and American TV sit coms replacing Tizer, fish and chips and two way family favourites on the radio (or should it still be the wireless).

For its proponents globalisation represents the sun-lit uplands of growth, opportunity and prosperity. A belief that increased trade between nations promotes prosperity and by promoting prosperity and the links that come from trade we promote peace between nations.

I believe that globalisation can be a bringer of opportunity and not a threat. And I do so for the following reasons.

If we turn our backs on globalisation then we will end up retreating into nationalism and protectionism.

That of course was the response of many countries to the financial crash and depression of the 1920's and 1930's. We all know the bloody and destructive results that were produced as a result.

Compare that situation with the long period of growth in the US and Europe as trade barriers come down in the 1950's and 1960's.

Or look at the situation of South Korea. In 1970 poorer than Ghana now richer than Portugal.

A recent study by Sachs and Warner found that developing countries with open economies grew by 4.5% a year in the 1970's and 1980's while those with closed economies grew by just 0.7% a year."
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Joined: 02 Feb 2004
Posts: 92
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be interesting to incorporate language into this as well; after all, the very topic you are teaching is in fact language, and that in and of itself is part of the whole process of globalization.

If you can,try to get a hold of English as a global language by David Cristal:

I don't agree with everything in teh book, but it covers the topic of English as a global language quite well, with many quotes from history going back a few centuries up to today, Some very supportive and defensive of English. Some very critical thereof. Good mixture.

In addition, you could look up:

this site is infested with typos, so be warned. But again, there is material in there from the 1930s to 1950s covering the whole question of English as a world language.


Good to discuss alternative language movements.

And the following speech of Churchill's might be of interst too, depending on your students' language ability:

Very pro-English, in the usual Churchillian style, but could likewise bring up various topics relating to how globalization is affecting students in your classroom at that very moment.

This could cover the whole last century of language and globalization.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3030
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seidlhofer's Controversies in Applied Linguistics has a good chapter on the role of English (some international uni students review/react to Philipson's Linguistic Imperialism, for a start, and said author and David Crystal also spar verbally back and forth with each other). Sorry if this is also a bit too linguisticy and/or high-brow.
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 97
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Globalisation Reply with quote

For a more positive/ mixed view I would look at Business English textbooks, e.g. Business Matters has a whole unit on it.
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Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 151
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:18 pm    Post subject: Photographs, movies, clothes, and memories Reply with quote

You've identified a real problem, partly created by excessive political ideology in the classroom.

For better or for worse, globalization often makes life easier and better. For instance, the ability to speak English allows individuals to communicate with millions of other people from around the world. Some globalization critics and ethnic nationalists, especially in smaller countries, have attacked English as subverting national and group identities. This is true, but cultures become stronger when encountering and learning from other cultures. It's also true that English speakers tend to be the more educated, more affluent, and more successful individuals in several developing countries.
You will also find a rich literature on the use of English in advertisements in non-English speaking countries for the same reasons. Modern technological products and companies, such as LG, advertise in Europe in English their message that "Life is Good". The clear implication is that buying their LG product makes "Life Good" and as does speaking English since only English speakers can understand their ads. Hence, English has also become a symbol of modernism and stylish consumerism. LG is a Korean company!
Globalization also means more choice and greater freedom. Just as some romantic anthropoligists want remote tribes to remain "pure" of western contact and technological tools developed after the stone age, some ESL teachers seem intent on imposing a negative frame to global trade and modern capitalism.
Yet as teachers and tutors, we need to carefully assess the full range of motives and aspirations that our students as we choose and develop materials. If our students need a certain score on a standardized exam (TOEFL, TOEIC, citizenship), we need to choose appropriate materials to meet their immediate goals.
English, an optional language for a majority of the globe, remains a smart choice.
What materials would I use to demonstrate the power of trade and globalization? That's simple. Start with photographs. Ask students to bring in their favorite photographs. Analyze them. Where is this? Where was that made? How did you travel there?
Or ask students about their favorite movies. Why do they like it? Where did they see it? WHere does the film take place? Of course, some movies will come from outside their own culture and country. And that's the positive side of globalization too.
Ask about their favorite clothes. Where did they buy it? WHere was it made? Imagine the path from design to manufacture to distribution to purchase. That's the positive side of globalization too.
Students' own experiences and lives show the value of global trade. We don't have to "sell" globalization; people like choices and freedom. Let's just ask students to share experiences, reflect on their own lives, and exchange insights.
Speking English opens many doors. Can you think of a door you would like to open? Why would you block or discourage students from opening new doors to our world?

Ask more. Know more. Speak more.
Create Compelling Conversations.
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