Enhancing ESD-Based English Instruction: A Case Study in a Japanese High School


The purpose of this research is to develop and implement a class that emphasizes active learning elements such as group discussions and presentations from the perspective of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as emphasized in the current curriculum in Japan. The outcome of the class is to propose solutions to challenges. The study involved 73 participants from two classes of 17 to 18-year-old third-year students in a Japanese public high school. Two Japanese teachers with varying levels of experience in ESD served as instructors. To ease the burden on instructors unfamiliar with ESD concepts and leaner-centered participatory teaching formats, the study utilized authentic open-source unit materials related to educational issues in developing countries. The class included workshops, discussions, and presentations, focusing on learner-centered teaching. The learners were divided into three groups based on their English proficiency: high, medium, and low. A two-factor analysis of variance was conducted to examine the impact of instructor experience in ESD and learner English proficiency on learner attitudes and awareness. The analysis found no significant differences in instructor or learner performance, suggesting that instructor and learner performance do not impact attitudes toward understanding the class or engaging in activities such as discussions, presentations, or writing. Through this practical experience, it was suggested that introducing ESD-based English classes can be motivating for educators unfamiliar with ESD and learners with lower English proficiency, by appropriately utilizing packaged materials and adopting teaching methods that respect learner agency.

Author Information
Rika Iwami, Uekusa Gakuen University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2024
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon