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Wednesday, 09 November 2011 16:02

English for Communication in Multi-Cultural Societies: Education for Sustainable Development


Paper presented at:

“Learning Community for Sustainable Development”
4th International Conference on Educational Research (ICER), Khon Kaen, Thailand. 9th-10th September 2011.


Published in the ICER 2011 Conference Proceedings, pages 746-756.

For more content access PDF version.


The 1999 Education Act set the scene for future educational development in Thailand and it has been the responsibility of tertiary education establishments to develop their graduates for the international marketplace in both a sustainable and ethical way. Thailand’s teachers and lecturers have been directed to move away from the more traditional teacher-centred approach to education, to a more learner-centred communicative way, which has impacted all levels of language teaching; primary, secondary and tertiary.


When constructing curriculum and syllabuses for courses, designers have to take into account the selection of realistic goals, the enabling objectives to achieve aims and the many factors that will affect the way the course is implemented. In order to encompass the ethos behind UNESCO’s continued push for sustainable development in education and the impending ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, Khon Kaen University International College has promoted similar beliefs of equality and mutual respect among people from different cultures and countries when planning their English language curriculum.


Whilst it is not practical to encompass all of UNESCO’s and ASEAN’s objectives in one course, first year university students are currently participating in the globalisation process in a responsible manner by learning in a grounded context as part of their continuous learning process, with the use of critical reflection and peer evaluation. Trial courses are being conducted across four faculties and the initial feedback has proven productive and encouraging.

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