Lisa Donohoe Luscombe will be a featured speaker at the Asian Conference on Language Learning, April 25-28, Osaka, Japan. She will discuss content-based instruction for critical global issues, based on a team-teaching model developed in a CNS/GSTILE collaboration on English for nuclear safety and security. Following is a synopsis of her talk:

Content Based Instruction for Critical Consciousness: An Authentic Response to Wicked Global Problems

In the 21st century language classroom, teaching merely for language proficiency is not enough. Today’s increasingly interconnected linguistic, cultural and professional groups use language as the vehicle for solving the world’s most wicked problems, from gender equality and civic concerns to regional conflicts, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. To teach real communicative competence, we must contextualize language in issues of vital concern to our students. Language teaching for our time requires that we go beyond the teaching and learning of form and meaning and aim for true, intercultural and context-appropriate communication. In content-based instruction (CBI), with the dual curriculum goals of content learning and language learning, language is a vehicle to meaning using authentic, relevant materials in real-world contexts. Research shows that students who learn language through CBI achieve context-appropriate language competency, are more motivated to learn, retain information longer, score higher on tests for longer-term academic success, and have greater opportunity for employment. Most importantly, because they have developed a more critical consciousness about the world’s thorniest issues, they are better prepared to respond appropriately and authentically in any context.