Promoting Sustainability Literacy Through Immersion Abroad Experiences for Teachers

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Writing Center



Publication Title

Redefining Teaching Competence through Immersive Programs: Practices for Culturally Sustaining Classrooms


Is this what English language teacher preparation can look like? On the horse is a student, Samantha, coming down from a mountain on the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes, after having worked to help plant around 300 trees as part of a reforestation project. This is an organized part of an immersion abroad experience for ESL teachers, and while the immersion program did offer an extensive practical teaching experience along with language learning and cultural encounters one unique element of the immersion was this particular weekend-long field experience to the Mazar ecological reserve, which had participants hiking, planting trees, learning about the local ecology, and sleeping in basic accommodations (without Wi-Fi or cell service). Why incorporate this kind of encounter with the natural world as a core component in an immersion program designed to prepare teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL)? What does teaching ESL have to do with tree-planting, puma populations on the reserve, and the challenges posed by anthropogenic climate change?


For more information on the published version, visit Palgrave MacMillan's Website.

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