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April 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 2

ISSN 1755-9715

Care Global. Teach Local!: 12 Months of Social Issues - ELT Calendar of Special Days

A note from IATEFL GISIG

365 days , 52 weeks, 12 months a year. That is a lot of time for things to happen, for the world to change, for people to make a difference. We all like to celebrate special days, remember those who sacrificed their lives for us, marvel at the resilience of the human spirit. There are so many different, important days in a year. So many people and things that affect our lives. Sometimes in our day-to-day lives in the classroom, we want to teach our learners something different and meaningful, something that will engage them, teach them about the issues that are important and affect us. How do we bring these important issues into our classrooms in a sensitive and educational way, which will raise awareness and help develop understanding and empathy in our learners? Look no further.

12 Months of Social Issues helps you do this and much more. This very special teachers’ resource book will help teachers across the globe to teach their students about some of these important events. IATEFL’s Global Issues SIG is very proud to bring you Margarita Kosior’s labour of love. A book that is very much needed in times of uncertainty and instability for educators, to help local communities and wider society shape a better future.

Varinder Unlu IATEFL GISIG Coodinator


A note from the author

Although incorporating social issues into ELT is presently growing in popularity, more often than not it has the form of a mere one-off occurrence. The creation of an ELT calendar of special days, a pack of ready-to-use ideas (B1-B2 student materials complete with teacher’s notes), is an attempt to turn global education into a more systematic effort. It is a compilation of lessons, one per month, focusing on a different special day (mostly UN and UNESCO) each time. In this way, this volume consists of 12 complete sessions. The publication meets two basic goals: developing linguistic competence (receptive and productive skills, vocabulary and grammar) and raising awareness of important issues. Raising awareness is essential, especially today, in the days of crisis and instability. Since world crisis and instability both stem from and lead to the crisis of human relationships, a few of the lessons in the volume focus on nurturing such bonds and values. Stronger human relationships will inevitably lead to better collaboration, fewer conflicts and a better world. It is, therefore, our duty as educators to make our students aware of social issues and global injustice, and to help them realise that their voices can be heard and that, when in unison, they will resonate even louder. To this end, the lessons in this volume do not only present important social issues, but also encourage students to take action, reach out to the wider community, and make a difference.

Margarita Kosior



Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January)

Cancer Day (4 February)

International Day of Happiness (20 March)

17 Mother Earth Day (22 April)

International Missing Children's Day (25 May)

World Bicycle Day (3 June)

International Day of Friendship (30 July)

International Youth Day (12 August)

International Day of Charity (5 September)

World Homeless Day (10 October)

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (Third Sunday in November)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December)

You can download pdf files of the lessons. See below.


Please check the CLIL for Secondary course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the  How to Teach Environmental Studies course at Pilgrims

Tagged  Lesson Ideas 
  • Thanksgiving Lessons with Deeper Meaning
    Malgorzata Bukowska-Ulatowska, Poland

  • Care Global. Teach Local!: 12 Months of Social Issues - ELT Calendar of Special Days
    Margarita Kosior, Greece

  • Picture This, Picture That: How to Use the Potential of Art in Language Teaching
    Magda Zawadzka, Poland

  • An A-Z Guide to Quizzes: A Memorable Way to Learn
    Peter Whiley, UK/Poland

  • The Map is Not the Territory
    Robert A. Buckmaster, Latvia/UK