Designing teaching materials to confront modern-day slavery

This is the next of several previews of talks to be given at the upcoming ELTAM−MaWSIG conference in Skopje, Macedonia, on 30 September, 2017. Here, Margarita Kosior and Despoina Sarantidou introduce their talk. For more details about the event, click here.

According to the Global Slavery Index 2016 report, 45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today, and annual global profits generated by modern-day slavery are estimated to be $US150 billion. Modern-day slavery is a market-driven crime. Illegal trade in human beings boils down to basic principles of trade and commerce: when there is demand, there is supply. It may sound raw, but it’s real. As educators, we cannot stay indifferent and we have to make sure that our students are well-informed about this issue.

The purpose of our session is to empower educators to produce teaching materials on issues they feel passionate about and to make them realise that, through their own materials and their own work, they can really change the world. We will present a project which was carried out in collaboration with The NO Project, and which formed part of the Evaluation and Design of Teaching Materials unit at The University of Sheffield International Faculty, CITY College in Thessaloniki, Greece. The NO Project is an award-winning, global, anti-slavery educational campaign which raises youth awareness on human trafficking and modern-day slavery. It addresses crimes such as commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labour, which often form part of the supply chain of our daily products, including chocolate, tea and coffee. Trainees were asked to design a 50-minute lesson for students aged 16+ on the topic of human trafficking with the aim of raising awareness of the crime of modern-day slavery. Plans will be uploaded to The NO Project website, and thus The NO Project will launch this new initiative.

During our session, we will look at different forms of modern-day slavery, present the framework of the assignment and describe the nature of the collaboration between the English Studies Department and The NO Project. We will also focus on the process of creating a lesson for The NO Project website. We will wrap up the session by recommending excellent resources for people who would like to learn more about the crime of slavery and trafficking.

ELT teachers who would like to devise plans to raise awareness of modern-day slavery can contact to find out how they can contribute their own teaching materials to this cause.

Margarita Kosior is an instructor at the English Studies Department, The University of Sheffield International Faculty, CITY College in Thessaloniki, Greece. Despoina Sarantidou is a graduate of the same department.

2 thoughts on “Designing teaching materials to confront modern-day slavery

  1. I’m sorry that I’m going to miss the presentation of such a vital project – especially important at this point in history. With Brexit negotiations underway, we have a UK Prime Minister who is talking about ripping up the Human Rights Act and are in danger of losing many of our protections guaranteed by the Act. The victims of trafficking and modern slavery are particularly vulnerable to any erosion in human rights laws that are there to protect them. English teachers have an important and growing role to play, both in source countries and working with victims/survivors of trafficking. Good luck with the talk and it would be great if you could please share the discussion with participants who are unable to attend.

    Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Kathryn. You are right, the protection of the Human Rights is absolutely vital at this point in history. The purpose of our session is twofold. First, we want to make the participants of the session aware of the problem and to make them realise atrocities such as human trafficking and modern-day slavery do not only happen in distant places, but more often than we can imagine, they happen just around the corner. Then, we want to empower the participants by reminding them that the teaching practices each of us applies and the materials we create are tools to improving the world.
      Yes, we hope people get intrigued, some interesting discussions get started and great lesson ideas are born.
      Let’s stay in touch!

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