The Four Freedoms: Raising Awareness of Human Rights in the English for Academic Purposes Classroom


This presentation introduces an approach to teaching students about human rights, a term-long project that is being implemented in an intensive English for academic purposes (EAP) program at a Thai university. The objectives of the project are to improve students’ language skills while also cultivating their knowledge of human rights and social justice. The project is informed by the theories of project-based learning, emphasizing student autonomy and constructive investigations. It introduces students to the history and development of human rights, focusing particularly on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Four Freedoms. Students are each assigned a different country to research, and they analyze current issues in that country through the lens of the Four Freedoms. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, the students prepare a term paper and presentation highlighting their most significant findings. Through engagement with human rights issues in countries around the world, students are able to transcend their learning space and become better citizens of Thailand, ASEAN, and the global community. The contents of this presentation will be of special interest to language teachers, but a similar project could be applied in a range of courses across the high school or university curriculum.

Author Information
Alexander Nanni, Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Leigh Pearson, Mahidol University International College, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Education: social justice and social change

This paper is part of the ACE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon