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English Language Teaching for Sustainability

We have been witnessing a growth in interest in the focus on sustainability in English Language Teaching in recent years, and there are a lot of materials available online. There has been a sustained growth in activity since CoP26.


Global Issues Special Interest Group

One of the earliest groups that have focused on producing materials in this area is the Global Issues Special Interest Group of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (GISIG). The SIG has been developing materials for some time and their remit in terms of issues is wider than a simple green agenda. There are lots of useful links to other resources on the website.

Cambridge University Press & Assessment (CUP&A)

Alongside a larger organisational move to being sustainable, CUP&A are putting effort into exploring ways of brining more awareness of sustainability for teachers and learners, as well as re-visiting their materials. There are some good background materials as well as materials themselves.

Activity cards for Young Learners, Teens, Adults

As well as teaching English as a Foreign Language materials, CUP&A also produce materials for different countries where English is a medium of education in schools, or international and bilingual schools, where again, English is the medium of instruction in at least some subjects. There’s a report and various other materials on their Climate change education pages.

The British Council Climate Connection

The British Council have also been working to develop a range of materials and resources related to climate and environmentalism with their web pages called The Climate Connection. The resources include information for teachers, as well as learning materials for students. There is an accompanying MOOC which provides background knowledge and also a MOOC which wraps around the CoPs.

Adult ESOL
Adult English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides English language education in the further and informal education sectors in the UK working mostly with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. A range of materials is available from different sources.

National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) is a professional organisation for Adult ESOL teachers and have produced a Padlet of useful links to resources and materials connected to sustainability.

National Association for Teaching English and Community Languages to Adults

The Education and Training Foundation (EFT) have produced a range of materials focusing on English for Sustainability. As well as lesson plans for direct teaching, this includes an audit document, as well as creating a Green Week.

Other interesting websites
set of English language materials, called Renewable English, created by Harry Waters and other that take an activist approach.

A post from the Global Partnership on Education looking at Climate Change education.


Goulah, J. & Katunich, J. (Eds.) (2020) TESOL and sustainability: English language teaching in the Anthropocene era. London: Bloomsbury.