The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Educating for sustainability in language degrees: a tale of 2 case-studies

Hubscher-Davidson, Severine and Panichelli-Batalla, Stephanie (2016). Educating for sustainability in language degrees: a tale of 2 case-studies. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 17(3) pp. 404–416.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (359kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-10-2014-0146
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Purpose
According to the 2014 joint report drafted by the Quality Assurance Agency and Higher Education Academy (QAA/HEA), universities have a key role to play in the development of sustainability literate graduates who can contribute to an environmentally responsible society. This paper aims to assess language students’ understanding of sustainable development (SD) issues.

Design/methodology/approach
Study 1 surveys two cohorts of final-year language students about to enter the graduate job market, and Study 2 surveys first-year language students before and after the inclusion of SD content in one of their modules. The questions to the students are provided along with qualitative and quantitative results.

Findings
Results suggest that only 48 per cent of language graduates are currently aware that they will need to take account of the environmental impact of their work as professional practitioners and 52 per cent do not consider it appropriate to learn about SD during their degree. However, results also suggest that incorporating SD early on in the language curriculum could contribute positively to the development of sustainability literate graduates.

Originality/value
While many language departments are aware of the importance of integrating sustainability into their curricula, and while employers are increasingly demanding sustainability literate graduates, there is little evidence that language students leave university with a real understanding of sustainability issues. This paper presents evidence of the current situation, as well as a novel way to integrate sustainability into the language curriculum to remedy the situation.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN: 1467-6370
Keywords: Higher education; Sustainable development; ESD; Employability; Languages
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > Languages
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 46405
Depositing User: Severine Hubscher-Davidson
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 14:13
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 19:49
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/46405
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU