Climate Change
Conversations about Environmental Justice

Conversations about Environmental Justice

In this article, Sylvia makes a strong case on why we need to have conversations about environmental justice with others such as our colleagues and students. Sylvia is an English Teacher at Lausanne University Language Centre. We met on the online course Language Teaching for the Planet and have stayed in frequent contact ever since.

A lively conversation

Yesterday, a colleague recounted a shocking programme she’d watched on ‘sustainable’ labels for food harvested from oceans.  This led to a lively conversation about personal choices, teaching, and our role as educators. 

Previous Avoidance of the topic

When I took ‘Language Teaching for the Planet’, I was on fire but timid about bringing the climate crisis into my classroom. Conversations like the one I had yesterday – and those I was able to have virtually during the course – are a must for me: discussing ideas, challenging each other, and seeking thoughtful ways to incorporate ‘green’ in our classrooms.

Empowering Dialogue

To build such motivation, I have created spaces both at work and within our national teachers’ association for discussion of social and environmental justice topics. Sharing perspectives breaks the isolation of teaching and creates energy and accountability around issues that matter.

What about you?

I encourage anyone who is ‘on fire’ for the planet or even just feeling the first spark of sustainability to launch a conversation in formal or informal ways with their colleagues. New ideas grow when we connect with each other within a shared context.

by Sylvia Goetze Wake

A Resource

Why not use this infographic to help you and your learners to focus on the functional language for having such conversations?

Functional language for conversations about environmental justice

This infographic was created by Owain and is based on the excellent publication from Climate Outreach called The Talking Climate Handbook.

How do you have conversations about social and environmental justice topics? If you have any ideas, share them in the comments or via the contact page!

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