English for Academic Purposes Lesson on Sustainability

English for Academic Purposes Lesson on Sustainability


EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Lesson on Sustainability

There is a compelling need to embed sustainability into language education. With the urgent climate crisis, learners require knowledge and skills to understand and engage with sustainability issues. Language teaching is not just about linguistic competence – it should foster global citizenship. As an EAP teacher, I decided it is time to share an English for Academic Purposes lesson on sustainability.

An EAP First

This is the first English for Academic Purposes lesson on this site specifically incorporating sustainability. It exemplifies how EAP lessons can integrate critical global topics like environmental sustainability.

Frameworks for Sustainability Education

The QAA (Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education) has
encouraged embedding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into
higher education. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are an excellent
framework for integrating ESD into the curriculum, and the QAA
recommends utilizing them. The 17 Global Goals address interconnected sustainability challenges, spanning climate action to reduced inequalities. They enable creating lessons on sustainability across diverse subjects.

Starting Small

A good starting point for any teacher wanting an English for Academic Purposes lesson on sustainability is to link an
existing topic to one of the seventeen Global Goals. For instance, this
lesson focuses on how green spaces positively impact the wellbeing of
Chinese international students. It can connect to SDG 4 – Quality
Education, or SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities. Although
there is no explicit Global Goals reference in this lesson, it helps
prepare learners for an upcoming assignment on suggesting ways to make
the local community more sustainable, referring to SDG 11.

English for Academic Purposes Lesson on Sustainability Learning Outcomes

This lesson uses an academic journal article as the core text. The article, International Chinese Students in the UK: Association between Use of Green Spaces and Stress Levels, has been a motivating and accesible text for international students in this lesson. The lesson develops academic skills and language skills working towards the following outcomes:

  • Reading sources to evaluate the usefulness of information for seminar assessments
  • Seminar discussion subskills such as agreeing, building on what others have said, and disagreeing in a courteous and academic manner
  • Giving peer feedback

Take Action

Integrating sustainability starts with individual teachers taking small steps. Download the lesson slides to see an example of bringing sustainability into EAP. Use and adapt them to build your own sustainability-focused lessons.

Share Your Wisdom

We all have insights to offer on embedding sustainability in language teaching. How are you linking equity and justice to environmental topics? What novel approaches are you taking? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments or via the contact form. Let’s advance sustainability and justice through our teaching practice together!

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How do you integrate sustainability into English for academic purposes lessons? If you have any ideas, share them in the comments or via the contact page!

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