How to engage students with the environment in the English classroom


Are you struggling to engage your students with the environment? Are you desperate to talk about the Climate Crisis but don’t know how? If so, Speak Out for Sustainability is perfect for you.

I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years and an activist most of my life. As the learning guide for Speak Out for Sustainability, I’ve been able to combine my passion for teaching with my love for the planet. The project includes a range of free materials across the following 5 themes all related to the environment:

  1. Carbon Footprint 
  2. Plastic and Litter 
  3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 
  4. Water Waste  
  5. Deforestation 

With the environment being such a large focus of the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals, this project can help our lessons have a greener focus. At the same time, it helps our students become more aware of sustainability, and gives everyone involved a voice to use in the fight against the climate crisis. 

Each of the five themes follows the same format, and the content has been collected into easy to follow theme map to give you access to all resources at the touch of the button. Above you can see the theme map taken from theme 2: Plastic and Litter. It’s been designed to give you everything you could need from each theme at the touch of a button. Just click on the piece of content you are interested in and you’ll be directed to the video, worksheet, quiz etc. 

There is no set order to present the project. You can pick and choose as you like. However, if I were to make one suggestion, start with the introduction video and finish with the live lesson. 

Theme maps

Find all of our theme maps here:

What to expect in each theme 

At the center of each theme is the Interactive worksheet. From here you can access the materials for almost every other part of the theme. 

There are two interviews, one with an expert (like this one with Fashion Revolution Co-founder Orsola de Castro) and another with a youth activist (like the one we did with Amy Meek Co-founder of Kids Against Plastic).  

Each interview has accompanying materials. These can be found in the worksheet and will help your students connect with the topic and get to know our guests a little better. 

Away from the workbook we also have reading texts from our popular courses, such as Speak Out and Wider World, which  you can use in your lesson, or as a stand-alone class. 

Our BBC Studios videos have been carefully chosen to engage your students and start conversations in your classes.  They also have subtitles to help learners follow along, and a range of materials to use before, during and after watching. The featured video for theme 2, for example, is all about the microplastics in the Mediterranean sea. 

Adding creativity to your classes 

Looking to add some creativity to your classes? Check out our video challengestop tips videos and motivational quotes. Have your students create their own versions to help them develop their voice, to speak out for sustainability. 

You and your students will also be able to interact with the content and meet other eco activists on our Instagram channel @pearsonenglishlearning using the hashtag: #speakout_for_sustainability. 

Join Pearson and BBC Live Classes


And don’t forget to join our Sustainability Live Classes or Big Live Lessons over on the ELTons Award winning project Pearson and BBC Live Classes. 

So, what are you waiting for? Head to our website and start planning your next environmental English course with the help of Pearson and BBC studios. 

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