The English Language Teacher in Global Civil Society: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The English Language Teacher in Global Civil Society

1st Edition

By Barbara M. Birch


228 pages

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How can English language teachers contribute to peace locally and globally?

English language teachers and learners are located in the global civil society – an international network of civil organizations and NGOs related to human rights, the environment, and sustainable peace. English, with its special role as an international language, is a major tool for communication within this network.

On the local level, many teachers are interested in promoting reconciliation and sustainable peace, but often do not know how to do so. This book provides information, analysis, and techniques to help teachers around the world take action toward this goal. Balancing, in a readable and accessible way, the global and the local, core and periphery, cultural diffusion and resistance, theory and practice, pessimism and optimism, outsider and insider perspectives, the expert role and the apprentice role, and prescriptive and elicitive methods, it offers an alternative to literature about critical applied linguistics, globalization, and peace education that is simply too complex and wordy to spread easily from theoretician to the classroom teacher.

The English Teacher in Global Civil Society:

  • synthesizes threads from many fields and topics into a coherent and empowering argument for the activist role English language teachers can take to promote social change
  • draws on humanistic education, peace education, cross-cultural understanding, problem-posing, cooperative learning, and critical thinking methodologies to help English language teachers learn how to teach conflict resolution skills in their classrooms
  • covers issues in critical applied linguistics, approaches and methodologies in ESL/EFL, global and local curricular issues, and specific skill areas such reading, writing, and speaking
  • suggests a new goal for English language teachers: global citizenship.

This engaging, informative, provocative, and highly readable book is a welcome resource for English language teacher trainers, pre-service teachers, practicing classroom teachers, and Peace Corps workers around the world.


"This book, while providing information and strategies for teachers to become effective agents of change, is not, however, a dry recital of overly complex theories and ideas; it is an interesting and motivating resource that uses the Earth Charter to help empower English language teachers around the world."--The Earth Charter Initiative: Values and Principles for a Sustainable Future, August 2009

Table of Contents


Part I. The English Language Teacher in Global Civil Society

Chapter 1. The Big Picture

Chapter 2. Global Civil Society

Chapter 3. Global Civic Culture

Chapter 4. Global Citizens

Part II. The English Language Teacher in Local Civil Society

Chapter 5. Sustainable Peace

Chapter 6. Local Uncivil Societies

Chapter 7. Pro-social Capitalists

Chapter 8. Education for Global Citizenship

Part III. The English Language Teacher and Pedagogies of Transition

Chapter 9. Conflict Transformation

Chapter 10. Tolerance

Chapter 11. Remembrance

Chapter 12. Reconciliation

Chapter 13. Forgiveness

About the Author

Barbara M. Birch is Professor and Chair of the Department of Modern and

Classical Languages and Literatures at California State University, Fresno. She has

taught EFL in Spain, Ecuador, and Pakistan, conducted inservice workshops for

Peace Corps volunteers in Macedonia, and worked with English teacher trainers

in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
EDUCATION / Comparative
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language