Uncovering EFL Learners’ Perspectives on a Course Integrating Global Issues and Language Learning
AuthorBalkır, Nalan Bayraktar
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CitationBalkir, N. B. (2021). Uncovering EFL learners’ perspectives on a course integrating global issues and language learning. [İngilizceyi Yabancı Dil olarak Öğrenen Öğrencilerin Küresel Sorunlar ve Dil Öğrenimini Entegre Eden bir Dersle ilgili Bakış Açıları] Novitas-ROYAL, 15(1), 118-133.
The fact that our world increasingly faces serious problems including poverty, wars, environmental destruction, climate change, pandemics, gender inequality, hunger, oppression and so on raises the question of the role of foreign language teaching profession in struggling to find solutions to those global issues. This understanding relates to an educational stance called global education which aims to equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and ability to effectively communicate in a foreign language and enable them to be socially conscious of global problems and provide them with the linguistic tools to take action. In this regard, this study aimed to uncover a group of tertiary level EFL learners’ perspectives on a course integrating global issues and language education. To this end, a study with a qualitative design was conducted, and focus group interviews were held with a group of students at a state university in Turkey. The data analysis revealed that the learners’ conceptions of global issues included ones such as poverty, environment, education, and oppression. Furthermore, they had mainly positive opinions about the effects of dealing with global issues in class, primarily referring to expanding their perspectives and improving learning gains. Finally, they made suggestions for textbook content and classroom activities. The results of this study might contribute to the attempts to make global education one of the vital approaches of foreign language education with the hope that the world could turn into a better place.