There are many opportunities to engage with the world through English and MFL lessons. Through English these might include becoming engrossed in fiction from around the world; analysing contrasting perspectives in the media; exploring the power of persuasive language in campaigning and developing empathy through creative writing. Through the intercultural understanding strand of the Key Stage 3 Framework for languages there are opportunities to investigate connections within and between places with shared languages, and to explore different ways of seeing the world. These are a few of the examples of global learning which encourage young people to develop a wider sense of global awareness and respect for others, and also enable a positive self image.

A teacher group recently created resources for MFL as part of the Cities project – for more information click here

For details of our major EU-funded 2013-16 international teacher project, including work in partnership with Spanish, Kenyan and Gambian schools click here

In the sections below, we highlight resources developed by teachers which share ideas about: 

We hope that these resources will inspire you to try some global learning activities in your classroom ~ we would love to hear how they went!

Contact us to find out more about the support we offer, including our professional development programme and current teacher projects.

Fiction from around the world

Stories and story telling are integral parts of every culture. They help to define and consolidate identity, while simultaneously celebrating diversity. Fiction can be a starting point for engaging with global issues such as migration and conflict. In  ‘Using fiction to explore identity and diversity issues at KS3’ the Tide~ book group suggest texts and teaching activities to support this process.

The article 'Many songs and many stories' looks at images of Africa in music and storytelling.  

Using photographs, newspapers and cartoons as stimuli

The phrase ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is very evocative, and a powerful image can inspire many different emotions, and be a great stimulus for creative and persuasive writing. Teaching ideas for using images along with a selection of downloadable resources are available here. 

Newspapers provide a range of perspectives, on real situations, using a variety of styles. They are a rich literacy resource, which can stimulate discussion and debate. Newspapers from different countries provide an insight into diverse cultures and perspectives, while being an opportunity to extend vocabulary in MFL. For ideas on how to use newspapers, click here.

‘Thin black lines ride again’ is an engaging collection of cartoons that raise serious issues about development and perceptions of the world – thoughtful and stimulating, these are designed to provoke discussion.

Developing enquiry approaches

A starting point for many discussions about global issues has been the Development Compass Rose [DCR]. The DCR framework reminds us to consider a range of perspectives related to environmental, social, economic and political aspects prompting deep engagement while encouraging the development of a range of communication skills. This process challenges our assumptions and stereotypes, while creating a space to listen to others’ viewpoints of the world. The questions raised at this stage could be the starting point for a campaigning activity using persuasive language; an opportunity to find out more about current affairs; or a chance to use different languages. 

Exploring global learning

‘Enabling global learning through the key stage 3 curriculum’ shares ideas about global learning, proposes an entitlement for young people and is supported by a range of downloadable material which can be used in the classroom or with colleagues in a CPD session. 

Cross-curricular working

A cross-curricular approach supports the connections between different disciplines, and strengthens subject rigour. ‘Enabling through cross curricular approaches’ in  ‘Enabling global learning through the KS3 curriculum’ includes ideas for deep learning days, inter-disciplinary collaboration and issue based approaches. In this article teachers in Wolverhampton share their experiences of working collaboratively across subject boundaries.