Language Teacher Rebels build bridges

I’m really excited to feature a guest post from Anneli Haake Language Teacher Rebels
We heard her speak a Language Show Live back in October. The things she said really resonated with me and I wanted to hear more of her thoughts, so over to Anneli

I’m a Language Teacher Rebel.

I teach Swedish online and have been doing so for over 10 years.

But for me, being a Language Teacher Rebel is not just about working from home and being a “digital nomad”.

We are becoming more global and connected as a society. But in one area, we’re going in the opposite direction; media and social media. You may have heard about the word “filter bubble”. A filter bubble means that you can get different search results when you search for something online, based on your search history. This happens on Google and in social media. Which means we are at risk of getting a distorted view of our world through the Internet and social media.

In a globalised world, many problems have become globalised; the environment, economics, social issues, etc. These global problems require global solutions, and for that we need global conversations.

Teaching a language can support the development of global conversations. With the help of language, people can express themselves and share their thoughts with the world, especially if we combine them with digital technologies.

Right now, we are seeing a new wave of extremist-right politics in the Western World. In several countries, we are seeing a shift towards more isolationist and protectionist policies. Politicians are suggesting new physical boundaries between countries, as well as breaking out of established political and economic unions. Populist parties in Europe have tripled their vote over the past 20 years.

Although not everyone want to become a politician or an activist, I do feel that we as language teachers have a really important role to play in the future. As a Language Teacher Rebel, we can make a positive impact on the world. We can become a bridge-builder and make a difference.

We can expand people’s “bubbles” by teaching them our language, so they can read and understand media and literature from our countries. We can widen people’s webs and networks by publishing, sharing and telling stories about our own country and its culture. The Internet and the digital era we now live in give us an amazing opportunity to reach people on an unprecedented global scale. But we will also widen our own network, and burst our own filter bubble through interacting with the learners that will study with us from all over the world.

Culture is an important component to help people to connect, both regionally and globally. Familiarity overcomes and destroys fear, and in order to understand culture, language is a key component. Language skills are a ticket to participate in a culture. With digital tools, this journey can now start much earlier than before and so prepare a person before they settle in their new country.

We can encourage integration on a worldwide scale. With our skills, together with technology, we can share cultural values and understanding way beyond the classroom. We can build bridges, spread knowledge and increase empathy.

And today, more than ever, it’s badly needed.

Anneli Haake
Language Teacher Rebels
https://www.annelihaake.com/
Facebook Group: Language Teacher Rebels

Free download: Tools and Resources Guide for Language Teacher Rebels (see what tools and resources I use in my online language business)
(link: https://www.annelihaake.com/tools )

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