Introduction to Global Issues

Course Code: IGI101
Day: Tue Time: 19:10-21:00 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Spring Instructional Language: English Special Notes: This course serves as a bridge to our professional development courses and is non-repeatable. Location: Online English Proficiency Level: Intermediate, High Intermediate

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Course Description

This class approaches global issues through focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There will be weekly assignments introducing selected topics…often though level appropriate readings, but also through other formats such as short videos, charts and graphs, and picture essays. Class participants will submit short written comments about the assignment content. This process helps prepare them for follow up class activities. A comfortable class atmosphere and opportunities for small group work help discussion skills in English to grow.

Class members all do small independent research projects on a topic that they would like to explore in more detail, and they share the results of their research in a class presentation.

This course is intended for non-native English speakers. It provides an opportunity to build up all areas of language skills, practice critical thinking, and get an overview of important issues affecting our world today.

Learning Objectives

1. Improve speaking and discussion skills through various class speaking activities and supported by opportunities to strengthen critical reading and writing, improve listening comprehension, and increase vocabulary.

2. Increase awareness of key issues facing our global world which are highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Who should take this course

Non-native English speakers who want to explore, in a warm and collaborative group, the kinds of critical issues addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals, and at the same time expand their fluency and comfort in expressing themselves in English.

English Level: Intermediate to High-Intermediate

Professional Training Certificate Elective Course For:


No required textbook


Kathleen Schmitz

Instructor Biography

Kathleen Schmitz taught English at universities in Mexico, Malaysia, and the United States before coming to Japan. At TUJ she worked in many areas of the university English language instruction programs, including course development and administrative work. She is especially interested in intercultural topics and teaching English through content related courses. Currently she has ended full time work at TUJ but has continued with part-time teaching, primarily in the Continuing Education Program where she has taught courses related to global issues since the earlier days of the program. Her MA is in Intercultural Education/TESOL.