GCC Facilitator and English Teacher/EAP Coordinator, Greg Stephenson, with graduating student

Active Global Citizen

John Taplin

SDG #4 Quality education
President and CEO, Global Village Calgary
Intercultural educator working with indigenous youth in Australia; immigrant and international students, first nations Canadians, and teacher trainees in Canada; embracing global competence education as part of language learning
Aligning language education with global competence training is instrumental in helping our students to become even better global citizens

John Taplin began his career as an educator working with indigenous youth as a high school English teacher in Australia. His life’s journey in intercultural education continued in Alberta, Canada where he has worked in university and private sector settings as an English teacher for immigrant and international students, first nations Canadians, and as a teacher trainer. In 1996, John became the founding Director of Global Village Calgary which is a language centre focused on adult students from around the world plus local students adjusting to life in Canada. In 2016, Global Village Calgary embraced Sentio’s Global Competence Certificate which is run as a natural fit with English language training.

How does your work help global citizens?

The main expertise of Global Village Calgary is to teach English to international students from over 90 different countries annually. We also prepare students to have the English and associated skills to function better in their lives beyond the school, whether their future takes them on to further study in English-speaking colleges or to careers in their own countries, or to both. Having an international diversity of students in classes is tailor-made for students to not only learn English, but to become more knowledgeable about, and understanding of, other cultures. The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) Course really supports our goals of promoting cultural understanding and acceptance through language education.

How does your work address the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The work of Global Village Calgary addresses several of the UN Sustainable Goals in compelling ways. Firstly, we feel that students are receiving quality education, but more importantly, our students tell us though regular surveys and informal feedback that they are. Students also learn about each other’s culture in transformative ways. We observe that more cultural understanding and acceptance leads to males and females understanding each other better as well, and one can argue that this will lead to greater gender equity. A better understanding of peace and justice issues across the world is also fostered in the GCC Course. I am convinced that aligning language education with global competence training is instrumental in helping our students to become even better global citizens. Their business and personal connections with other international students, whom they meet in classes, is an active and necessary force for good in the modern world.

Why would you recommend attending the AFS Global Conference?

It will be very powerful to hear of all the different innovative initiatives and projects that are happening in education with respect to active global citizenship. The AFS Global Conference represents a great opportunity to meet and hear from professionals who are inspired and inspiring.

Connect and network with John as well as other Active Global Citizens and leading 21st century education stakeholders at the AFS Global Conference: Active Global Citizenship—and How to Educate for It, 9-11 October in Montreal.   

Register for the AFS Global Conference