GISIG provides a forum among ELT practitioners to stimulate awareness and understanding of global issues to exchange ideas on integrating peace education, human rights education, development education, and environmental education into English language teaching. It is for teachers who see themselves as educators in addition to teaching the language and who are keen to bring real-world issues into the classroom, instil a sense of social responsibility and develop critical thinking skills.

GISIG Activities

We organise a regular Pre-Conference Event at the main IATEFL Conference and are on hand to talk to people about our role in IATEFL. We also join with other special interest groups within IATEFL and local organisations to organise local and online events. Please see our events page for further details.

GISIG attempts to reach out to its members through this website, its Facebook page and Yahoo! groups. Even though it is one of the smallest of IATEFL SIGs, it is committed to sensitise its members to global issues, engage in dialogue with them and help them in their professional development.

If you are a new member, click here!

Find out more about the individual members of the SIG Committee below!

GISIG Committee

Varinder Unlu – Coordinator





Linda Ruas (UK) – Publications Coordinator
Linda has been teaching and training teachers for many years, in Brazil, Japan and now back home in London. Recently she’s worked on short teaching and training projects in São Tomé and Príncipe and in the refugee camp in Calais. She now teaches ESOL and CELTA at Greenwich Community College, London, and, in her spare time, runs the Easier English wiki New Internationalist. Contact: [email protected]


Rose Aylett (UK) Materials/Publications Co-ordinator

Rose Aylett is a freelance teacher, trainer and Celta tutor, based in Liverpool, UK. She has been working in ELT for over twelve years, predominantly across North Africa and the Middle East and is currently working towards an MA in Professional Development in Language Education. Her areas of interest include materials-light teaching, creativity in teacher education and the integration of PARSNIP issues in the classroom. In 2017 she set up ‘Pop-up Teacher Training’ and now delivers training at conferences and teacher development events worldwide. Find out more about her work via her website: www.pop-uptrainer.com. Email: [email protected]

Hind Elyas (Saudi Arabia) Issues Month Coordinator

My name is Hind and I’m British, originally from Sudan. I grew up in the U.K. and Saudi Arabia and I currently live and work in Saudi Arabia as an English Instructor at the Niagara College in Makkah and I really enjoy working there a lot. I have been living and working in Saudi Arabia for almost 6 years now and it’s like my second home as I spent most of my childhood here.
I am the Acting Vice President of TESOL Sudan, the Executive Secretary at Africa TESOL and the Professional Development Coordinator at KSAALT (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association for Language Teachers). Growing up in different countries has given me a broad world view and helped me develop an interest in learning about different cultures, social diversity and change and that is why I decided to join the Global Issues Special Interest Group. I am very excited about being part of this group and I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from everyone too.

Stella Smyth (UK) Newsletter Editor

Stella SmythStella Smyth  MA TESOL, RSA Dip Ed, , MA Shakespeare and Education, MA Creative Leadership/Management Studies

Stella has worked as a materials writer, teacher trainer, consultant and academic manager in schools and universities in Ireland, the UK, China, Japan, India, Chile, Bhutan, Romania and Sri Lanka. She is currently employed as a teaching fellow in the School of Languages Linguistics and Film Studies at Queen Mary University London, where she designs and delivers ESP, EAP, and |Literature courses to home and international students.  Email: [email protected]

Bill TemplerBill Templer (Bulgaria) - Discussion List Animator
Bill Templer is a Chicago-born educator with research interests in English as a lingua franca, critical pedagogy, minority studies and social justice issues in the EFL classroom. He has taught at universities in the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Iran, Israel, Bulgaria, Nepal, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia. Bill is active on the Editorial Board of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, and within BETA in Bulgaria. He is also a widely published translator from German, especially in the field of Jewish history and culture, and is based as an independent researcher in eastern Bulgaria. E-mail: [email protected]
László Hajba (Hungary) - Online content manager
László Hajba is a freelance teacher and materials writer based in Budapest, Hungary. Besides being a teacher of English and Hungarian as a foreign language he is also interested in using ICT, video games and other digital technologies in education, particularly tablets and smartphones. Contact: [email protected]
Gergő Fekete (Hungary) - Social Media Coordinator
My name is Gergő Fekete and I am happy to be joining the Global Issues SIG committee. I hold a B.A. in English and German Studies and I’m currently pursuing a Masters in English and German language teaching in Budapest. Ever since Margit acquainted me with the SIG, I’ve been on the lookout for various ways of bringing Global Issues into the English class. Outside the classroom, I like swimming and exploring new places, and my latest hobby seems to be the pursuit of finding time for them.  I’m excited about making a contribution to the SIG.

Advisory Committee

Margit Szesztay (Hungary)
Margit Szesztay (Hungary) - GISIG CoordinatorMargit Szesztay is an EFL teacher and teacher trainer working at ELTE University in Budapest and current vice-president of IATEFL. She has been involved in many teacher training workshops and seminars both in Hungary and abroad. Her main areas of interest include community building, the teacher as educator, group dynamics, creativity in language teaching, and language development for non-native speaker teachers.

Wolfgang Ridder (Germany)
wolfgangWolfgang Ridder was, until his retirement, the Director of Studies in the Foreign Languages Department of the Volkshochschule Bielefeld, Germany. He has been a member of IATEFL for 30 years and in this time served in various roles within it, including acting as Coordinator of two different special interest groups. He trained as a teacher in the Russian, Polish and English languages. Since April 2011 he is the Vice-Chairperson of English Language Teachers Association – Ostwestfalen-Lippe (ELTA-OWL) in Germany and a freelance teacher of EFL/ESL.

Dennis Newson (Germany)
DennisDennis Newson began teaching EFL in Ghana in 1961, and subsequently taught in Sierre Leone, London, Qatar (Arabian Gulf), Norway and finally in the University of Osnabrueck, North Germany. He has taught in secondary & middle schools, a teacher training college, a technical and an arts university. Since official retirement he worked for short periods as a trainer/adviser in Kosovo and Sarajevo.


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