What is diversity? How much should teachers and learners ignore the world?

Should teachers tell learners about usage in current affairs when teaching vocabulary?


It would be interesting to hear views from native speakers and learners (however advanced or elementary) alike.  Please come forward and give your views. 


Today is 22 January, 2016.  A debate is raging in the world about diversity at the Oscars.  An italki learner asked a question at 2 pm GMT, "What does lack of diversity mean?"  Here is that post:


Should we include "inclusion of minorities" in our explanation of what diversity means?


Should we tell the learner what a diversity committee is and what it does?


Or should we just say, "Diversity means variety"?


There is much food for thought here, especially for full-time teachers at conventional schools.  There are so many other similar words, such as "self-determination", "democracy", "burqa", "secularism laïcité)", etc, which relate to current affairs or history.  How much or how little should a language teacher teach?  Does he or she have a duty to impart enough knowledge to enable the students to read and understand the news? 


It would be great especially to hear from learners.  How much or how little would they like?  What do teachers think?  



Jan 22, 2016 10:24 PM
Comments · 2
Personally I would like to know more profound or social meaning of a word. If a teacher just tell me the literal meaning, what's the difference from a dictionary. It's kind of boring I think. When learning a word, if a teacher explains and discuss it in current affairs, then I think it's more than a word printed on a book. Maybe it takes times but it's meaningful. I think that's good way to understand the word more, and at the same time, we know the society more.
April 5, 2016

I don't have a lot of interest in the debate about the Oscars and I don't watch the show or even read about it online other than headlines taking up space on my screen. As I see it the problem begins with whether or not jobs are even available for minorities in quality film productions. You can't be nominated for an award if you weren't hired for any movies.

With that out of the way, as a language learner, I'm very interested in being able to follow and discuss current affairs. I appreciate my language partners and teachers who are willing to help me with that by maybe reading current articles or newspapers. I think teachers who include current events are providing education that is a little above and beyond what many language programs offer. Many students may not be interested but I am. I am also curious to read what others think.

January 22, 2016