Transformative Language Education: The English of Sustainability


As the countries of South-East Asia continue to broaden their horizons and coalesce into a single ASEAN community, there are numerous transformations taking place that will radically alter the educational landscape. The ASEAN Secretariat emphasizes sustainable development as a goal to permeate the changes ahead, which will require the voices and experiences of all the stakeholders involved. Current university students in Thailand will graduate during the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community and will face social change that seeks greater equality in all aspects of society. Preparing students for the challenges ahead is the context for the focus of this presentation: a term-long project that combines business studies and EFL. The project uses transformative pedagogy to engage students in study of the Triple Bottom Line framework developed by John Elkington. In addition to improving students’ language skills, the aim of the project is to provide students with a richer understanding of social responsibility and business ethics — an understanding that they develop themselves through exploration and critical thinking. Determining the successfulness of a company by researching and analyzing its effects on the environment and society in addition to its profitability offers students the opportunity to rethink a corporation’s role in society as well as their own. Student autonomy is emphasized through independent research, peer editing, and the negotiated meaning of the notion of sustainability. An explanation of the methodology used and ideas for similar projects will be provided by two lecturers who developed and implemented this project.

Author Information
Joseph Serrani, Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Alexander Nanni, Mahidol University International College, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2014
Stream: Education for sustainable development

This paper is part of the ACE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon