ELT classroom: Creating a Greener Mindset

We all aim to sensitise students on environmental issues, right? But how can we empower our English learners to make positive changes? Here are some easy and smart ideas that will help you to create a greener mindset in your English language classroom! 

✅ Green Classroom Practices 

Incorporate sustainable practices in your ELT classroom, such as reducing paper usage, turning off lights when not needed and saying yes to the growing trend of computer-based tests and exams!

👉 Don’t forget to always explain the reasons behind all these practices! For example, you could explain that so far, more than 2 million E-planet students have sat online paperless tests and that’s equivalent to approximately 30 million sheets of paper, which has saved almost 3,000 trees! 

👉 Always remember that adding a little bit of excitement can make everything easier! For example, you can easily create some fun recycling bins for your ELT classroom, such as bins that look like hungry monsters, with their ‘mouths’ wide open and ready to ‘eat’ paper, plastic and glass! Just make sure that all your students know what your monsters can ‘eat’! In general, it’s useful to bear in mind that young learners cannot easily understand what sustainability means, but they can easily follow examples of eco-friendly behaviour.

✅ More Green Topics

Work on topics that often encourage students to explore environmental issues. When it comes to eco-consciousness, you don’t have to be an expert, but you should be able to rely on ESL books which offer high-quality and stimulating content. And we don’t need to mention that the books you use should be made of responsibly sourced paper to help ensure our forests are harvested sustainably, right? 

👉 Create a ‘Green Calendar’ with your students. Firstly, focus on important and well-known days, such as World Environment Day on 5th June, and then ask your students what other key dates they would like to add to the calendar. For example, World Bicycle Day on 3rd June could be a great opportunity to focus on the benefits of cycling for the environment and motivate your students to create attention-grabbing posters or leaflets about cycling. And if you are wondering how you can make the ‘Green Calendar’ days fun for teens and older English learners, just let them base their English homework and writing projects on endless TikTok scrolling and short videos about the topic you’re talking about! 

👉 Bear in mind that environmental issues may seem complicated, abstract and intangible, so try to connect them to real stories and people, like Greta Thunberg, the well-known climate campaigner. Storytelling and using empowering role models have always been crucial tools when it comes to teaching students about anything, so now you know how to easily grab your English learners’ attention. Well, since the beginning of time, people have always tried to understand the world through inspirational examples!

✅ Technology & Thinking Green 

Did you know that to reduce our company’s carbon footprint, E-planet chooses to invest in paperless and plastic-free technology? That’s why it no longer prints teacher’s editions nor distributes sample copies en masse for teachers or schools. But you can always rely on us as we provide digital samples and access to our School Panel resources and lots of ELT materials! Taking advantage of technology can really help us all to adopt eco-friendly teaching habits. What can you do?

👉 Say no to photocopies and stop relying solely on printed materials! Why not use free online games, quizzes and other fun activities instead? For example, NASA's Climate Kids website and NOAA’s Webpage for Kids are full of games and other activities that make science accessible and engaging!

👉 Motivate older students (teens and adults) to get an app that will track their carbon footprint and offer suggestions (in English!) for smarter and more eco-friendly food, transportation and lifestyle options.

Last but not least, believe that you and your students can really make a difference! Do you know why most children dream of becoming astronauts, firefighters or doctors? It’s because they instinctively want to offer help and create a better world! So, let them set an example and do your bit to make the world greener! As Mahatma Gandhi put it, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’!

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