Sessions / Presentation
This presentation will introduce letter writing as a way to improve students’ motivation in their language learning by having them set goals that they determine. Goal-setting is an approach to develop learner autonomy in the classroom. Learner autonomy is important because students need to have a sense of control in their language learning (Benson, 2011). The presenter will share the process of using letter writing in lessons. The study gathered data from approximately 80 surveys distributed at the middle and end of term during one semester from three different classes at a Liberal Arts university. The first was a mandatory English presentation class for first-year advanced intercultural communication students. The second was an elective cross-cultural communications class for second- to fourth-year students from various faculties. The third was an elective English discussion and meeting class also for second- to fourth-year students from various faculties. The strengths and limitations of the study based on current literature and student responses will be discussed. Finally, the presenter will offer suggestions for potential ways that participants can use this activity in English classes with learners who have varying levels of proficiencies in different educational settings.
With the increasing amount of research and development conducted in the use of virtual reality (VR) in both vocational training and language learning, these two areas seem to be both represented in the context of tourism education. This study was conducted with 22 students in the Department of Global Tourism at a university in western Japan. The study was designed not only to detect English learning affordances, but also to glean insight into practical benefits and issues of using VR for tourism studies in the department curriculum. The students were trained to create virtual tours of their hometowns with Tour Creator, a VR platform developed by Google. Students then guided classmates on virtual tours of their hometowns in English, using smartphones and mini VR glasses. Following the virtual tours, all the students responded to a user experience questionnaire with Likert-type and open-ended items on virtual presence, perceived usefulness and future use of VR, as well as the pros and cons of the activity among others. The findings of this study have important implications for the use of virtual reality in tourism education in EMI (English-Medium Instruction) contexts. The experience also suggests other potentials in using VR in tourism education.
Whether students are ranking Marvel movies from best to worst or debating the potential value of increasing foreign workers, what they are doing in both cases is relying on general argument forms to persuade their audiences. Argumentation—the art of persuasion—is a skill with both social and academic validity for EFL students, but it has proven difficult to define, teach and learn (Hirvela, 2017). However, rhetoricians have taught that arguments take stock forms irrespective of their content (Keith & Lundberg, 2008), and these forms can be discovered by applying Aristotle’s common topics of conjecture, degree and possibility. The common topics are a generative heuristic that enable students to move beyond take-it-for-granted truisms and invent their own original, persuasive arguments on meaningful issues. In this presentation, participants will be shown how to apply the common topics to both general issues (e.g. Should discrimination be allowed?) and specific ones (e.g. Should Japanese medical universities be allowed to discriminate against applicants based on gender?) situated in Japan. Participants will then be able to generate persuasive arguments by applying the common topics to issues relevant to their own learners and contexts.
While digital games are not often integrated into foreign language curricula at schools and universities, a growing body of literature in digital game-based language learning suggests that commercially-produced games can be an effective and highly engaging means of facilitating second-language acquisition. Previous studies have mainly focussed on vocabulary acquisition and on the benefits of online interaction between learners and L1 speakers of the target language. However, the potential of digital games to develop learners’ L2 speaking skills still remains largely unexplored. To better understand the learning mechanisms involved, a study was designed in which four groups of young adult Japanese learners of English played the cooperative puzzle game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes over four one-hour gameplay sessions. An initial discourse analysis of learner language elicited through the gameplay activity will be presented. This analysis is informed by a cognitive interactionist SLA framework that posits instances of learners negotiating for meaning as evidence for second language acquisition. Evidence pointing to gains in discourse management, vocabulary, pronunciation accuracy, and oral fluency resulting from game-based interaction between learners will also be discussed.
It is through self-reflection that individuals are able to understand themselves, their context, and make sense of the connections. For students, self-reflection is a valuable tool in becoming more effective language learners, since those who are able to self-reflect have been shown to have a greater capacity for self-organising their behaviours than those who lack the ability (Deci & Ryan, 2000, Ryan & Deci, 2017 ). This presentation will argue for the need for more scaffolded self-reflective teaching practices based on the literature, and provide three mini-case studies on how self-reflection can be implemented in university settings. The first of these mini-case studies outlines materials developed for a reflective workshop conducted with 200+ sophomore students. The second will explore how written reflections when revisited with a critical eye, result in deeper, more critical reflective reports. The final case-study will provide insight into how group discussions can help build supportive classrooms and raise self-awareness. Each of these mini-case studies will demonstrate how student self-reflections elicited clearer goals and encouraged focused learning behaviours. The presentation will conclude with a call for audience participation to share the role of student self-reflection in their own classrooms.
A film-making project not only allows students to practice language skills, but also leads to a final product, one which has creative value to students and the world (Ford & Kluge 2015). Performance in Education proponents, Newmann and Wehlage (1995, p. 14), state that having students share their accomplishments with wider audiences through “outside” performance is a necessary step for what they call “authentic pedagogy.” The distribution phase is an essential aspect of the film-making process that provides great opportunities for the authentic performance of their product, but these works often get left in the dark. This presentation is aimed toward for teachers interested in film-making or interested in having their students take a more active role in the final stage by promoting and showcasing their films outside of the classroom or by participating in film festivals or contests. The presentation will detail the activities of English language students in a film-making course as they prepared to showcase their films at a school event and describe the development of an upcoming international student film festival, contest, and symposium for English language teachers and students to be held in Nagoya. Discussion on student films and other showcasing activities will follow.
The focus of this study was to investigate the use of AI speakers and the effectiveness of PeerEval software in improving English proficiency. The longitudinal investigation was carried out from April 2019 to January 2020 using Alexa, PeerEval, ATR CALL Brix, Facebook, Line, and online materials. The participants were 59 first-year students who were engaged in flipped learning lessons through CLIL for two semesters. Pre-test and post-test TOEIC scores, as well as post-training survey results, were used in evaluating the overall effectiveness of two groups. The participants were divided into two groups, one with using AI speakers (n=29) and the other with non-AI speakers (n=30). Non-AI participants were engaged in e-learning outside of the class. While the AI group is studying English with the AI speakers, participants recorded short movie clips of their learning experiences. AI group participants also kept written diaries with their observations about the contents and duration of their studies, periodically recording their thoughts using a smartphone. AI group indicated the improvement of TOEIC mean score from 407 (SD:113) to 604 (SD:92), and the non-AI group showed the increase from 447 (SD:93) to 598 (SD:147). Those who studied English with AI speakers outside of the classroom outperformed the group with non-users of AI speakers on a post-course TOEIC test. This research included some limitations in attempting to ascertain the effectiveness of using AI in teaching language and communication by exclusively focusing on the role of AI and students’ English skills.
Roleplay and simulation are considered effective teaching strategies not only in the realm of EFL (Winston, 2013; Chang, 2013; Piazzoli, 2011; Stinson & Freebody, 2010) but also in the field of medical, nursing, and care training (Gotwals & Yeager, 2014; Unsworth, Tuffnell & Platt, 2013; Hogan, Kapralos, Cristancho, Finney & Dubrowski, 2011). This presentation will explain how the presenter used roleplay in a General English course for students majoring in nursing. A review of the existing literature in this field will be followed by an explanation of the context of the course and the learning objectives of the activity. This will be followed by a step-by-step description of the procedure and the material used in the roleplay. The participants will also get an opportunity to participate in and get a hands-on experience of one of the roleplays mentioned in the presentation.
Annotation, whether in the margins of a book or online text through the use of an online tool, is a social process mitigated by social structures. Learning happens within a specific context, and with the right tools, the text itself can be that context. This presentation will introduce social annotation as a learning tool for the writing classroom by describing a project implemented across two university writing courses. The project asked students to annotate online texts prior to using the texts as sources for summary/response essays. This session will be practice-oriented, but the presenter will mention this research project as an example of how social annotation might be used in the writing classroom. The presenter will discuss how social annotation on online texts has the potential to facilitate collaborative learning, community building, and enhanced reading comprehension. Attendees of this session will leave with a better understanding of what social annotation is, and they also have the chance to explore a social annotation tool and consider the affordances it may bring to their own teaching and learning contexts.
As more and more EFL programs incorporate oral presentations into their curriculum, the time-consuming nature of presentations where one student presents while the rest of the class listens has necessitated experimentation with alternative formats in presentation procedures and assessment. Peer assessment is one way to help offset this downtime. As well as providing more formative feedback to the students, it is beneficial in focusing attention on those skills needed for making a presentation successful. This presentation will present the findings of a study examining the perceptions of Japanese university EFL students towards peer assessment of oral presentations. Quantitative data was obtained through the use of a survey adapted from Fazel (2015) administered two times to the same set of students; after one semester of instruction (n=19) and at the conclusion of the second semester (n=17). Additional qualitative data will be analyzed in the form of written comments provided by the students. Not surprisingly, the results indicate that the increased exposure allowed the students to developed stronger opinions as to the benefits of peer assessment in the oral presentation classroom. The findings will be discussed as well as considerations offered for future research.
The ability to create compelling narratives that inspire and promote cooperation is one of the most powerful tools humans possess. It is what makes us unique, allowing us to innovate, learn, survive and flourish. (Noah Yuval Harari, 2015). Storytelling is one of the fundamental elements of communication and learning. We are naturally able to process and apply stories to every aspect of our lives. Storytelling is an effective way to connect many people, allowing us to learn from things we have never experienced. Apart from knowledge and training, teachers possess their own personal and professional experiences or stories, applying these to language learning is of tremendous value to students. Everyone has a story to tell. Presenters will demonstrate how simple, concrete, and comprehensible narratives, critical incidents or experiences can be constructed and shared to help learners develop a deeper understanding of abstract and ambiguous aspects of language and culture. In conclusion, presenters will also discuss how a simple narrative framework can be applied to creating, teaching, or learning from stories. Examples, ranging from children’s books and popular films to keynote presentations and influential speeches, will show how good stories connect, motivate and inspire.
The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of EFL university teachers in Eastern Japan in overcoming barriers to the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in their daily teaching practice. The problem addressed in this study was that universities in Japan are under pressure to align their curriculum with government initiatives that demand ICT integration, but governmental guidelines for faculty development across educational institutions have not been developed. The research setting was a liberal arts college in Eastern Japan. Purposeful sampling was used to attain a sample of 12 EFL university teachers. Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) served as the theoretical framework. MAXQDA 12 software was used to identify codes, patterns, and themes across the collected data. The major themes included were (a) software was too difficult to use for teaching purposes and was a barrier to ICT integration and (b) faculty contemplation of learning objectives and learning outcomes informed decisions to integrate ICT successfully. Recommendations for educational leadership included creating a theoretically driven ICT training program tied to curriculum learning objectives and hiring educational technologists to provide “just-in-time” techno-pedagogical support.
In this practical presentation, the presenter will describe how Active Learning was introduced into a tertiary 1st and 2nd-year self-directed research and discussion course that centered on examining various global, political, and social issues. In the course, students worked individually on two research projects that were each completed over a 5-week period. After each period of research, students presented their findings to small groups in the form of a 12-15 minute presentation that included time for discussion. The presenter will describe how they scaffolded and facilitated the research process from the brainstorming to the presenting stage. In doing so, they will explain how research skills such as brainstorming, note-taking, and questioning were introduced to the students. As the presenter demonstrates each, he will provide examples and give advice that can be applied and adapted to other classrooms. In closing, the presenter will share some of the student reflections he collected at the end of the course.
Despite the importance of pre-departure orientations that focus on the culture and language of the host country where students study abroad, it appears that pre-departure orientations provided by many Japanese universities are limited to the basics, such as travel logistics and health and safety issues. Consequently, students could end up regarding studying abroad as merely traveling, rather than as educational opportunities. The purpose of this presentation, therefore, is to explore how pre-departure orientations that focus on the target culture and language would benefit students planning to study abroad. As an English teacher at a university in Japan, I developed a pre-departure orientation intended for university students planning to attend a two-week general English language course in the U.K. to help them understand British culture and improve English before studying abroad; and I conducted a qualitative case study to investigate participants’ perceptions of the newly developed pre-departure orientation to understand whether the orientation benefited students from studying abroad perspectives. I believe that the presentation will help you understand the benefits of pre-departure orientations that focus on the culture and language of the host country.
Are you adequately preparing your students for success outside of the language classroom? We asked ourselves this same question. In a one-year elective class aimed at developing professional skills, the educators aspired to facilitate university students’ abilities to excel in all classes and to become better prospective employees. By the end of each semester, students were tasked with creating projects that would require knowledge, research tools, and a number of technical skills. The hurdle was high and intimidating. However, by employing a progressive approach to project based learning (PBL), students learned skills in earlier projects that could transfer not only to the final projects, but also to other courses and employment options. Students themselves remarked on the progress that they were making and their abilities to apply what they had learned earlier to what was to come later. This presentation will share ideas behind the conceptualization of the class, data from what students learned in terms of skills and language, share student reactions and advice for improving the course, and help attendees to conceive of their own progressive PBL courses.
Peer feedback within writing instruction can help L2 writers understand the needs of readers. This presentation details a novel use of Rasch measurement and an anonymized judging plan to enhance qualitative and quantitative feedback for L2 learners in a writing course. While typically used for research purposes, these tools are used here by a writing instructor and the procedure is kept simple for the students. The presentation provides the conceptual backing for design choices, a general overview of the procedure, and the results of an initial trial run with 16 high-proficiency learners of English. Anonymity is used to create a space for learners to give constructive feedback. A judging plan allows for varied sources of qualitative comments for each essay. Together with Rasch measurement, it also allows for group-wide measures of both rating behavior and the rated essays without asking students to rate all writing samples from a class. The primary aim is to illicit diverging forms of feedback that require each learner to make interpretations. Finally, the learners write reflection papers on the experience. This peer evaluation design ensures privacy, diverse forms of feedback, reliable scoring, and manageable workloads. An exit survey from the trial run indicated that unique insights emerged for the participants about how different readers can receive writing in different ways.
Since the publication of Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen (2008), many educators have become persuaded that text-heavy slides are neither attractive or effective supplements to their message, but instead, lead to the dreaded "death by PowerPoint". As a result, many of these educators have reduced the amount of text on their slides and have taught their students to do the same. However, many people are unaware of the theory and research that support this approach. Some even scoff at the need to invest much time in preparing slides. Moreover, others lack the confidence to prepare data visuals that are both effective and attractive. Research by Mayer (2001, 2009) demonstrates that reducing text on the screen in oral presentations is supported by the evidence for increasing learning, Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning and its principles provide the framework from which to produce visuals that are more pedagogically sound.
This workshop will provide a brief summary of the research and will demonstrate practical steps for producing improved data visuals to support the message of the speaker and will also give suggestions for teaching students. Participants will be able to ask questions and share their own experiences and suggestions.
This presentation addresses the facilitation of students' using a devoted English speaking area within a multilingual self-access center (SAC) at a private Japanese university. When the current SAC facility opened, the need for L2 social interaction became apparent, prompting the creation of the speaking area. Observation and previous research indicated, however, that further support for increasing English use was needed. Therefore, interventions to promote student L2 interaction were held; these included regular events for speaking practice or collaborative learning led by SAC student staff, with support from SAC faculty (the presenters). The presenters are conducting ongoing research on these events, focusing on reflection by learners and student staff on effective support and environments for L2 speaking, as well as beliefs about their own language use. Initial findings, based on qualitative data from an online post-event questionnaire and subsequent interviews, are presented, along with their implications for learners’ autonomous language use outside of class. The presenters also share their reflections on their support of learners and the potential effects on both event participants and leaders. Finally, practical suggestions are provided for practitioners interested in nurturing L2 use beyond the classroom, fostering students’ agency in supporting peers, and keeping such support sustainable.
Short-term Study Abroad programmes organised for Japanese university students are becoming increasingly common. However, the presenter’s experience of organizing and accompanying such programmes over the last twenty years suggests that there is a risk that short-term programmes may dilute the SA experience so that it is no longer recognisably educational. With shopping to be done, sights to be seen, photos to be taken, and social media to be updated constantly, there is little time to learn anything about the local cultural environment or the language(s) spoken.
The presenter will suggest that there is a real danger that these programmes will function simply as training in how to be a tourist. Students learn to be consumers of experiences, to glide over problems and learning opportunities, and to package and label experiences so they have none of the life-changing, perspective-twisting consequences educators associate with SA.
However, he will further suggest that training students to be (responsible, thoughtful) tourists is exactly what we should be doing. Tourism, domestic or foreign, is likely to be in their future: if we can equip them to reflect on and learn from their tourist experiences, we are fulfilling our role as international educators. Drawing on Kolb’s (1984) model of experiential learning, Bennett’s (2012) three paradigms of intercultural learning, and recent findings from neuroscience and cognition, he will propose practical, field-tested activities that both encourage reflection during Study Abroa, and set habits that will enrich any future touristic visits with the potential for cross-cultural learning.
Both of MEXT(2018) and METI(2018) have been emphasizing the importance of integrating technology into education, so called EdTech. In English classes at university, students are also expected to use EdTech to enhance their learning effectively in this digitalized and global society. In this presentation, I will talk about one four skill-integrated English course at a university with the policy of BYOD in which a learning management system(LMS) called Manaba is used for flipped learning of grammar, group work of making a presentation, and peer evaluation of writing. The use of EdTech is expected to promote students’ active, adaptive, cooperative, and self-regulated learning. However, it will be important to investigate how students as active agents in English classes with EdTech perceive effects of EdTech. Regarding the use of EdTech into English classes, I will discuss results of a questionnaire survey from students and interviews with students and make pedagogical implications about how to use technology effectively in English classes taking students’ perception into consideration. As a final remark, I will propose how English teachers can help students acquire English and use technology, both of which are important skills in the 21st century, in English classes.
Teacher-student conferences (TSC) about essay writing can help students to raise their awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and revise their essays. However, few studies on the effect on learner autonomy (LA) to develop their writing skills have been conducted in Japan. Therefore, the present study aims to explore the influences of TSC on LA and students’ writing strategy use. An illustrative case study was administered with six 2nd-year university students in central Japan for 3 months. For this, data was collected through classroom observation notes, interviews, and the target students' learning logs. Using inductive thematic analysis, the researcher coded the data and categorized it into three groups: the use of secondary references, the use of a grammar reference book, and collaborative writing activities. Data illustrated that students still needed the teacher to judge whether their writing strategies were appropriate; however, the more actively students were engaged in conferences, the more revisions they conducted while utilising more writing strategies. Therefore, this study attests to the claim that teachers and students can collaboratively explore ways for students to revise their papers by themselves (Hirvela & Belcher, 2018). Accordingly, TSC will contribute to writing instructions and LA in EFL tertiary educational contexts.
In this study, the researcher investigated the cognitive and cross-linguistic influence of food and taste terminology in Japanese adult learners of English and how it affects language learning. The researcher investigated if Japanese adult learners of English think differently to native English speakers about the taste of food and if different features of language such as ideophones and metaphor affect cognition. The researcher used the domain of food to conduct two cross-sectional experiments on sixteen Japanese English learners and sixteen native English-speaking participants with similar variables using quantitative and qualitative methods. This study builds on research from previous studies and works by O'Mahony and Isshi (1986), Backhouse (1994), Deignan (1997), Cook (2010), and Littlemore (2015). The experiments carried out in this study established a number of findings that suggest that the language features of food and taste terminology affect cognition and identified several differences in the way the two groups think about food including variances in schematic mental associations. The results also highlighted the need for teaching materials to be developed to enable teachers to focus of figurative speech, metaphor interpretation and other cross-linguistic influences. These teaching materials could be incorporated into upper intermediate and advanced level curriculums for adult learners to improve the developing language competence.
There has been an increased focus in Japan on the importance of studying abroad and the role such programs play in the internationalization of universities and the making of human resources able to play an active in a global community. The purpose of this study was to examine (a) student interest levels in studying abroad, (b) student perceptions and preferences relating to studying abroad, (c) student awareness of opportunities made available by universities, and (d) the influence of specific study abroad marketing materials. The study involved 64 (61% male and 39% female) first and second-year students from various majors studying in a compulsory English language program at a private university in southwest Japan. The English proficiency of the participants on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) ranged from elementary level A2 to upper-intermediate level B2. Participant online surveys included four items measuring student interest levels in studying abroad and open-ended questions relating to student preferences, perceptions, and awareness of study abroad programs. The findings from this study indicate that the majority of participants (61%) did want to study abroad; however, preferences, intent levels, and program awareness varied based on academic major and year. Participants (39%) that did not want to study abroad frequently noted the financial costs associated with studying abroad. Implications of these findings and related factors regarding studying abroad programs for university students and administrators will be discussed. Suggestions will be made concerning the promotion of study abroad programs in order to better raise awareness.
While the efficiency of subjective reporting and qualitative data, both solicited and unsolicited has come in and out of fashion since its inception (Hyers, 2018), such techniques promote a sensitive understanding of the particularities and conditions of individual lives. In this paper, three intimate teacher’s case studies will be reported. Self-compassion, self-care techniques, and even self-compassion fatigue were drawn from narrative group work, eight-week meditation, self-led mindfulness, and solicited diaries to enhance teachers' overall psychological and emotional wellbeing. Through the case studies of non-Japanese English teachers based in Tokyo, the presence of ongoing workplace stressors and lifestyle adjustments that impact teachers’ professional performance and private life satisfaction are identified. Based on the result of the narrative self-disclosure, one of the participants revealed that despite the pressure on her jobs such as a limited source of teaching materials, language barrier, and teaching in different schools, at least four schools, in a day made her psychologically, and physically exhausted. Being connected with her colleagues, frequent communication with her family, and self-meditation helped her to embrace her current situation positively. In addition, the benefits and associated challenges of using self-compassion techniques and mindfulness with education professionals are proven to be effective.
Despite manifold advances in foreign language teaching materials, textbooks often lag behind and teach inappropriate language or use outdated approaches. This presentation is an attempt at a simple systematization of some of these issues. The audience is made aware of the differences and provided with methods for reducing them. This presentation takes beginners’ courses of German as an example and compares relevant parts of recent Japanese-German textbooks with corresponding parts in the presenter’s approach. The following issues will be addressed: - Limits of literal repetition of sentence parts, - Excessive/superfluous explicitness in German, - Lack of variations where these are preferred, - Sacrificing the target language for teaching traditions and learner convenience, - Lacking linguistic analysis leading to (at best) funny and ironic scenes, and - Overemphasis on grammar where simplicity would serve the learners. Solutions to the issues addressed will be proposed from the presenter’s approach and the audience will be encouraged to look for their own solutions to related issues.
Book whispering is a method teachers employ to recommend books to students for the purpose of motivating them to engage in extensive reading (Miller, 2010). This method entails teachers recommending books to students based on questionnaire results about their preferences. Miller popularized this method in her best-selling book, the Book Whisperer, and claimed her sixth grade students in Texas read 40 novels a year because of it. While the idea of book whispering is popular in the ER community, there is no evidence of its effectiveness with EFL young learners. The presenter will show results of an action research project conducted in an eikaiwa school in Japan, which showed that autonomy in choosing books for ER was very important to them. Students overwhelmingly responded negatively to having the teacher directly recommend books, which lead the presenter to abandon the initial plan to implement book whispering in classes. It was found that an indirect recommendation method called Teacher Read Alouds, where the teacher read aloud the first book in a series or the first chapter of a novel in a series and then made the series available for students to borrow, was received very positively. Analysis of book borrowing data show that students often borrowed books in the series read aloud by the teacher.
The rapid development of international education has occurred alongside a growing need for higher education institutions to educate global citizens. Yet, traditional approaches to internationalisation, such as a mobility, have proven to be restricted to a small percentage of students, and Japanese undergraduates often cite financial, safety, and job-hunting concerns as obstacles to studying abroad. Internationalisation-at-home has emerged as a viable alternative to experiences abroad in the quest for global human resources. This session is aimed at presenting cases of two Top Global universities leading internationalisation in Japan and their institutional efforts to foster interculturally competent domestic students through contact with international students on campus. I will discuss results from a longitudinal survey, carried out over one-year, of 164 Japanese students engaged in a range of curricular and extracurricular programmes with both international and domestic students and an intercultural focus, including teacher-led lectures and programmes, a residential programme aimed at first-year students, and regular university circles. Results from 10 follow-up student interviews shed further light on the factors promoting and hindering the development of globally competent graduates on domestic campuses, thus generating a discussion platform from which internationalisation-at-home strategies can be implemented more effectively.
Music in English lessons is important to introduce new grammar and vocabulary to young learners. Niigata City Japanese English Teachers (JTE) and Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) in public schools use original songs in textbooks provided by the Board of Education. Given that students and new teachers take time to remember new tunes, this study suggests utilizing nursery rhyme tunes that students already know to teach pronunciation and syllables. This paper employs a quantitative method to data collection and analysis. It analyzes 38 Grade 4 students’ responses to nursery rhyme tunes when acquiring new English words. Furthermore, students’ response to composing their own lyrics is observed. Students’ evaluation responses find that 79% of participants recalled new English words learned, and 63% found music useful when learning English. 11 participants recalled the lyrics from the previous unit, of which 8 participants managed to write the lyrics in Japanese (katakana). The results suggest activating schemata eases the recollection of words learned previously. Teachers can use this method for any topic in elementary Grade 4 to teach new words by adding familiar musical element. This method will be continuously developed to assist other JTEs and ALTs in various topics as an essential classroom material.
This presentation will report on the results of a survey designed to elicit learners’ and educators’ perceptions of the role of humor in university English language courses. The participants included students taking required language courses at ten universities across Japan (n = 956) as well as a selection of both Japanese and non-Japanese university-level educators (n = 50). Quantitative results of the study covered such variables as the role of humor in the classroom and how humor can both decrease L2 anxiety and deepen understanding of the target culture. Additionally, qualitative, open-ended survey items queried learners and instructors about the interrelation between humor, language proficiency, and cultural understanding and the potential negative effects of humor use in the language classroom.
Many of the respondents highlighted humor’s value for improving classroom atmosphere while others focused on how they had benefited personally, such as through increased language-learning motivation or a greater degree of teaching satisfaction. Additionally, many cited concerns about how cultural dissimilarities in values and humor focus can lead to misunderstandings.
After reviewing the results, the presenter will share expanded insights from follow-up oral interviews with select participants. Finally, implications for language pedagogy and intercultural communicative competence will be considered.
Podcasts have become ubiquitous in all aspects of modern life, including the English language classroom. It seems as though there is a podcast for just about every person’s areas of interest. There are, of course, a plethora of podcasts made specifically for English learners. But what if there are no podcasts that serve the needs of your students? Maybe their interests and abilities do not align with anything available to them. In this presentation, I will discuss the reasons for making a podcast specifically tailored to your students' needs and interests. I will also discuss some of the practical aspects that go into making a podcast, including basic equipment needed and internet resources needed. I will also share how I have used the podcasts I have recorded with my students for extensive listening practice. As many Japanese students may be unfamiliar with podcasts in general, I plan to share ways I have helped my students learn how to access and best utilize the podcast format on both their phones and computers. Podcasts need not be limited to students at an intermediate level and above. I will show you how to get past the initial hurdles of getting started. Getting started might seem like a daunting task, but with just a little help, anyone can be a podcaster.
While there have been attempts from Japanese universities to be more international and produce global jinzai (global human resources), guidelines for implementation have remained ambiguous. Therefore, this presentation explains how a global approach was used to design materials for an English discussion class. The approach combines elements from global Englishes, based on suggestions by Galloway (2017) that learners should be aware of world Englishes and English as a lingua franca, as well as elements from intercultural communication, based on suggestions by Yoshida, Yashiro and Suzuki (2013) that learners should develop an understanding of themselves, their own culture and cultural differences. Materials for two lessons are shown. One of them is about English in Singapore, as understanding the role of Singlish is beneficial to understand the connection between varieties of English and cultural identity (Jenkins, 2015). The other is about individualism versus collectivism, which is seen as essential in understanding the difference between western and Asian cultures (Servaes, 2016). The effectiveness of these lessons is discussed, and suggestions are made about how this approach could be used to generate more lessons which will help university students to be ready to successfully communicate with people from all over the world.
There are many reasons that travel to conferences by presenters may be unwanted or impossible. Such reasons include, but are not limited to, physical disability, lack of financing, political restrictions, and eco-sustainability concerns. Nonetheless, presenting at conferences is often key to academic and professional networking, disseminating one's research and ideas, and career progression. Thus, there arises for some a tension between the inability or lack of desire to travel to present and the perception of the need to present at conferences. Virtual presentations, in which the presenting party is physically remote from the audience, could dissolve, or at least ameliorate, this tension. The study presented here investigates the presentation format policies of more than 200 conferences in the field of English Language Teaching and adjacent fields. The percentage of conferences that permit virtual conferences is reported, and for those conferences that do permit virtual presentations, it is reported whether the format is synchronous, asynchronous, or mixed. This data then informs a discussion about the ethics of travel for conferences in terms of inclusivity/accessibility and sustainability. Some potential benefits of virtual presentations for conferences that do not currently permit them are also discussed.
When a student finds a group of synonyms in their Japanese-English dictionary they may struggle to decide which is most appropriate to use. A common reason for this is how synonyms often have different root languages in English. With a little awareness of etymology in English we can help our students overcome this barrier to learning and make their vocabulary-building more efficient. This presentation is based on the presenter's background in teaching and classical languages and will highlight the role of etymology in our understanding of word use and provide teachers with advice on how to make our students more etymologically aware. The presenter will give some common examples of synonyms and how their word origin affects their usage and how this can be applied across much of the vocabulary a student will come across. Attendees will not only be able to guide their students to learning vocabulary better but may also develop an awareness of their own classroom English.
Do all students like reading classes? If not, what reading activities can teachers do to guide them in reading? It is natural for students who have a certain English competence to read through textbooks or extensive reading books actively, but is not easy for other students who have negative feelings toward reading. To solve this gap, group textbook reading activities are effective to use the power of peer support in classrooms. Especially, some students who are positive, can play significant roles to support other students who lack energy in group activities. In addition, students did extensive reading activities at their home and book-talk in classes regularly, so they gradually got used to read stories by themselves to describe the book contents and characters. Overwhelmingly negative attitudes which some students showed at the beginning disappeared in the classrooms. At the end of the semester, the students stated that they held self-esteem while participating in the reading classes on their self-evaluation sheets as formative assessment. This presentation is practice-oriented and explains the correlation between effective reading activities with peer support and students’ perspectives are taken from questionnaire and interviews.
This presentation introduces an action research project conducted at a university in western Japan during the 2019 Fall semester. The project involved a group of twenty-eight non-English majors enrolled in an elective business-focused project taught by the presenter and aimed at investigating the effectiveness of augmenting a project-based learning (PBL) curriculum with team-based learning (the other TBL) elements. This interactive talk starts with some contextual background, goes on to offer brief outlines of PBL and TBL, and then gives a week-by-week overview of how each class meeting unfolded as well as how technology was used to manage the course and assess performance. Some of the more salient findings include increased learner engagement and achievement as measured by readiness assurance tests, both individual and team. After covering the findings of the intervention, its successes and shortcomings will be evaluated. It is hoped that this research might inspire others to experiment with PBL, TBL and other active learning approaches in their second language classrooms.
Students today are facing an increasingly interconnected global society that demands cross-cultural understanding and communication skills. Thus, fostering global education through online international collaboration and exchange in language classrooms has proven to be beneficial to students (El-Hindi, 1998; Schreiber and Jansz, 2020).
This study examines a school exchange program conducted through live video conferencing between two schools in Japan and Nepal. Through the exchange program, students learned about school life, culture, and society in each other's countries. The impacts of the program on broadening student's understanding of culture and society in each other's countries and their English language ability and motivation were evaluated through the questionnaire survey and observations. Participating students took the pre- and post- session-questionnaires.
Quantitative results show that students' interest and knowledge about the culture and society of each others' countries and motivation to learn English increased significantly after the exchange program. This technique was found to be effective not only to learn the language but also to enhance cross-cultural awareness that fosters global education.
References: El-Hindi, Amelia E. (1998). Beyond Classroom Boundaries: Constructivist Teaching with the Internet (Exploring Literacy on the Internet), Reading Teacher, 51(8), pp. 694-700. Schreiber, Brooke R; Jansz, Mihiri (2020). Reducing distance through online international collaboration, ELT Journal, 74(1), pp. 63–72, https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccz045
Teaching vocabulary is integral to teaching language. However, selecting which words should be taught can be extremely challenging. In order to enhance students’ fluency and vocabulary, 110 Freshman students at a private university in Chiba were given Web, Sasao and Ballance’s Vocabulary Levels Test Version B (2017) at the beginning of the 2019 academic year to determine their vocabulary level. Based on the results of the test, the corresponding BNC/COCA headwords lists were then used to select the vocabulary words to be used in this study. As those lists include only headwords listed in alphabetical order, it was necessary to alter the lists in order to make them more useful for classroom purposes. First, the BNC/ COCA lists were reorganized based on frequency. The lists were then lemmatized to avoid confusion (i.e., direct, directed). Polysemy was taken into consideration when choosing the most core meaning of the word . A sentence in which that word sense was used was provided for context. Finally, the most common kanji used for the head word was added and a translated version of the sentence was provided. The lists were created to provide a stronger base for students to remember the word lists and to connect those words back to their L1. This presentation will discuss how the lists were created, the rationale behind it, and how they can be used.
A major part of brain activity is given over to visual processing (Fiser et al., 2004) yet many "academic posters" fail to make much visual impact. This presentation takes a hard look at academic poster design to identify what works and what doesn’t. Using tips from the fields of graphic poster design and infographics, the presenter will offer some key rules and ideas to help make your academic posters more successful. Topics covered include use of text and language, colour and shape, as well as high-impact graphs and charts. With suggestions on software and online tools for poster design, and resources for artwork and creating new data visualisations, this session will help you to think afresh about poster design, both for your own academic posters and when working with students on poster projects. Most of the principles presented will be equally applicable to creating effective presentation slides.
Self-access language learning centers are a rapidly emerging phenomenon in Asia (Ryan, et al., 2019). However, there are few self-access language tables documented in the English-language literature in Japan, such as those at International Christian University (Ueno, 2017, 2019) and Osaka University. This presentation will introduce a foreign language table (FLT) initiative for undergraduate EFL learners at a new public university in Japan.
In the university curriculum, students take 400 minutes of English-language classes for 14 weeks in a mandatory 2-year program that culminates in a short-term study abroad program in an English-using country. In preparation for this program, many students have expressed the desire to interact with foreigners, and to use English and other foreign languages. However, students often do not know of or take advantage of language opportunities when they are offered on the university campus or at the university dormitory. Thus, issues about student outreach, participation, and engagement will be presented, in addition to how these issues were addressed throughout the academic year. Future directions include the development of the lunchtime language table into a student-led extracurricular club, and the subsequent proposal to develop the FLT into a standalone space.
Interdisciplinary collaboration combines approaches and methods from different disciplines with the intention of improving students’ learning experiences and outcomes (DelliCarpini, 2009). It has been described as having the potential to be a valuable and effective method of professional development (Dove & Honigsfeld, 2010). In this presentation, we describe an ongoing action research project following the cyclical process outlined by Altrichter, Posch and Somekh (1993). We used interdisciplinary collaboration in the form of joint writing and presentation tasks in World History and English Expression (writing) classes in an attempt to increase integration between English and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses at a technical college in Japan. We explain the rationale behind this action research project, its initial implementation and expansion to include other tasks and STEM subjects, and our impressions of the successes, failures, and limitations of the project over the 2 years. We conclude with our plans for future iterations of the project and suggestions for fellow teachers to incorporate interdisciplinary collaboration into their courses.
In this show and tell presentation, the speaker will talk about a school's four skills curriculum for a student-centered classroom. Although not a research-based presentation, much of what will be discussed will focused on research in 2018 from the United States and will follow the seven principles of student-centered learning. Those principles are learning that has positive relationships, whole child needs, positive identity, student ownership and agency, real-world relevant, competency progression, and anytime/anywhere features. The target audience will be teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade students. As many educators know, a school’s curriculum can set it apart from other competitors in the same geographical region. In other words, a school that focuses on its learners, and not just a one size fits all ideology, has a greater chance at reaching all learners in its institution. Specifically, the presenter will talk about a schools’ method used to instruct students, a differentiated curriculum, an effect assessment and evaluation process, educational results, and finally whether or not this matches the location the teacher works in. This will be an interactive presentation with questions being raised during discussion. There will be personal stories and lessons learned from over two decades of running a conversation school. Participant takeaways will be helping them assess their current curriculum needs and showing them how to develop a solid student-centered curriculum that benefits both their students and the school where they work. With a student-centered ideology in place, the pedagogy shifts from being standardized to individualized.
Investigating the experience of non-Japanese long-term EFL teaching professionals at Japanese Universities #107
As the population of Japan gets older and the number of students falls, hiring new teaching staff at Japanese universities has become less frequent than in the past. As a result, the average age of long-term teaching professionals has risen, and it is worthwhile to consider how these teachers are coping in the profession after many years of teaching. This presentation will briefly share some research on teacher burnout, and then focus on the findings from a series of interviews which were held with non-Japanese teachers of English at Japanese universities. Common problems and issues such as burnout, administrative changes, and other issues will be discussed. Some tips on long-term survival in a Japanese tertiary institution are offered and audience comments are welcomed.
What is the impact of learning a foreign language on EFL teachers? This presentation looks at the advantages and difficulties of EFL teachers learning beginner-level French as a foreign language (FFL). The class was offered to EFL teachers at the same university as a professional development opportunity, and was held twice a week for two semesters. The presenters are the teacher, one of the students, and the class administrator. They examine the results of student questionnaires and interviews which highlight the successes and challenges the students reported from learning FFL. The results indicate that the time commitments are the biggest impediment, while the benefits include French language learning, team bonding and insights into how it is to be a language student. Based on these benefits, the class administrator presents foreign language learning as an approach to EFL teacher development. By exploring the impact of EFL teachers learning FFL, this presentation contributes to the discussion on beliefs about learning, student empathy and faculty development.
This presentation aims to demonstrate a reliable and efficient method of developing valid constructs for placement tests with the use of corpus techniques. With English medium courses at universities rising, one of the challenges for English language support programs is to determine whether and to what extent students need extra language support. A lack of resources has meant that the English Language Program at International University of Japan has relied heavily on the TOEIC ITP test to place students, but over the years this has proved unreliable. This presentation will explain how instructors at IUJ have designed the grammar component of an in-house placement test. In particular, the presenter will outline how constructs for the test were developed from three sources of data: the ability of learners at an intermediate level as derived from a learner corpus; the experience of instructors in the program; the demands of academic writing at the graduate level as based on an academic corpus. The literature on test design offers little guidance for teachers on how to use corpora to make decisions about constructs. This presentation will begin to address that gap by demonstrating how to search learner corpora and handle the language data.
It is well known in the EFL world that film and fiction can be incredibly engaging for students. Through the media of film and literature, it is my belief that students are able to not only practice their listening and reading skills, but also develop their speaking and writing skills as well through class discussion and written assignments. Therefore, with a graduate and post-graduate background in Literature, I hoped to replicate an accessible seminar-style course, similar to my own educational experience, with a class of Upper-Intermediate students at a Japanese university.
This presentation outlines the pedagogical methods, topics and format adopted, as well as highlighting some of the chosen texts and rationales for their use, which attempted to successfully bring a native-level film and literature university course into an EFL conversation classroom. It will also present and assess the strategies used to make authentic, ungraded film and short fiction accessible, engaging and a source of fruitful discussion for students.
Teachers gather valuable information about students from in-class surveys often administered at the beginning or the end of a course. Responses may be quantitative or qualitative in nature, and they may assist teachers in action research designs to guide changes during the course or in a subsequent one. Questions may ask how well a lesson or some component is perceived as instructive, utile, or motivating, whether they are asked with ranking, choice, or open-essay format. Japanese university students are no stranger to feedback surveys; institutions require them at the end of courses to determine teacher and course effectiveness. But, students may face too many administrative surveys in a year. If they are required only to rank items, it is easy to become desensitized or demotivated and intentionally mark the answers inappropriately. Student anonymity is a prized feature of good surveys, but it may not always be practical to a teacher, especially if comparisons are desired between certain groups. This presentation will describe how weekly surveys of just one essay question each were delivered, and how the responses were compiled then presented back to students with insightful comments. Both teacher and students gained useful knowledge and perspective in the process.
The study aims to discuss the extent to which project-based learning (PjBL) involved in digital technology can create an environment for Computational Thinking (CT), which in turn might enhance the learning of Western literature in the Expanding Circle where English is used as a foreign language. While PjBL and CT have gained much attention from educators in Taiwan, teachers of literature are confronting a serious challenge resulting from students’ doubts about the function and practicality of learning literature. It is in such a context that I blend CT into a required course for English majors 2019-2020, “Introduction to Western Literature.” One purpose of this study is to observe how students’ familiarity with computer and the Internet enables them to concretize and present their understanding of literature. The other purpose is to utilize the elements of CT in class activities so that students could learn to simplify literary works by systemizing information and organizing ideas in the process of completing such projects as story creation, mind map, and micro movie. The result of this study is based on the execution of students’ projects, along with the instructor’s observations, and the analysis of a post-activity questionnaire.
While what we do as teachers is undeniably important, how we do it might be equally important. Keeping focus when a student is disruptive, knowing when to end an activity, and motivating students all take skill. While experience and knowledge of pedagogy can make situations easier to manage, teachers can also benefit by staying in the moment with a heightened sense of awareness. A mindfulness practice can help a teacher achieve a greater level of awareness and improved decision making on class day.
At the same time, there are things we can do to encourage our students to be mindful. Research indicates, for example, that subtle changes in the way teachers give instructions could make students more mindful. Moreover, some schools are introducing mindfulness meditation training for students. Japanese professors based in Hikone have instituted a U.K.-based mindfulness program here in Japan. The “mbsr study group” conducts research and offers mindfulness workshops for teachers in Tokyo and Kansai with an aim to introduce mindfulness in Japan's public schools.
This presentation identifies several approaches to cultivate mindfulness in education and provides brief descriptions of their efficacy. Journal entries written by teachers involved in mindfulness meditation will be shared.
Cultural awareness has commonly been discussed in the previous literature in relation to comparisons among cultural or national groups. However, Baker (2012) argues that such view should be reconsidered; he brings intercultural awareness into the spotlight defining it as “a conscious understanding of the role culturally based forms, practices, and frames of understanding can have in intercultural communication, and an ability to put these conceptions into practice in a flexible and context specific manner in real time communication.” Based on Baker’s notion of intercultural awareness, this study describes its application in the Japanese EFL context by emphasizing the importance of self-reflection type of assignments and classroom activities. Therefore, this exploratory study aims at examining students’ intercultural awareness development throughout a year, by analyzing their final project titled Our Intercultural Encounters which used Council of Europe’s Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters as resource material. The qualitative analysis of students’ group discussions shows a deeper understanding of themselves, their biases, and their own culture, as well as a higher level of intercultural understanding.
Bill will start the session with a demonstration of Google Forms, and how you should set up your Google Form for students to take quizzes. This overview will include self-grading quizzes as well as quizzes with open-ended answers that the teacher can grade as correct, incorrect, or partially correct. Question types include multiple choice (radio buttons, pull-down menus, and grid style), short answers, and longer open answers. Practical examples and applications of each type will be given. You will learn how to share the activity link with your students, and how you can see their grades. We will also include how to re-use questions from previous quizzes, and how to bulk load several answer choices at one time. Finally, we will cover an advanced technique for separating your students’ replies into different classes.
Then Nathan will introduce participants to a range of online quiz and assessment tools for the classroom. It will begin by building on the first session by demonstrating how Google Forms works in Google Classroom, as an introduction to Google Classroom's rubric tool. This will be followed by an interactive overview of other non-Google platforms such as TED-Ed, Edpuzzle, Online Quiz Creator, and others, while time permits. Resources will be provided in a Google Slides deck for your future reference following the session.
This presentation is sponsored by the Niigata and Matsuyama JALT chapters.
Academic Writing is a required two-semester course for first year students at Kyoto University. In the second semester all students write a long essay (normally a literature review) of at least 1,000 words. Textbooks typically focus on the language used (paragraph and essay structure, common genres, academic style, etc.), but aside from stressing the importance of paraphrasing and summarizing to avoid plagiarism, no guidance is given on how to take notes while conducting research. Students must efficiently read through multiple sources, and synthesize points into a coherent argument. This requires research and cognitive skills not covered in the textbooks. Dedicated software exists to help researchers organize their work, but teachers are not likely to require students to use such apps. The presenter will show simple templates in MS Word and Excel, and discuss how he uses them in his classes.
"The integration of new students into college programs can be a challenge for both the staff and the new students themselves. The start of college can be an anxiety filled time and the provision of support is not only appreciated by the new students, but also helps them gain a sense of belonging, form social networks, and increase confidence. The institution itself benefits from greater student satisfaction and improved student retention. This presentation will look at the evolution of a peer support program at a small university’s English department during its orientation period. The Peer Support Team (PST) involved twenty 2nd year students assisting forty-one incoming students in their transition from high school to university. First, an overview of the current program and how it was developed over several years will be presented. This will be followed by an examination of the results of post-participation questionnaires on both student cohorts. The mixed method research provided positive feedback on the program and its implementation, as well as identifying points for improvement. Time will be allotted to an exchange of ideas and strategies used to integrate incoming students into the university system, as well as to increase student involvement within the given department and the institution. Participants should leave the session with a renewed sense of the importance of how they integrate incoming students into the university environment."
The integration of new students into college programs can be a challenge for both the staff and the new students themselves. The start of college can be an anxiety filled time and the provision of support is not only appreciated by the new students, but also helps them gain a sense of belonging, form social networks, and increase confidence. The institution itself benefits from greater student satisfaction and improved student retention. This presentation will look at the evolution of a peer support program at a small university’s English department during its orientation period. The Peer Support Team (PST) involved twenty 2nd year students assisting forty-one incoming students in their transition from high school to university. First, an overview of the current program and how it was developed over several years will be presented. This will be followed by an examination of the results of post-participation questionnaires on both student cohorts. The mixed method research provided positive feedback on the program and its implementation, as well as identifying points for improvement. Time will be allotted to an exchange of ideas and strategies used to integrate incoming students into the university system, as well as to increase student involvement within the given department and the institution. Participants should leave the session with a renewed sense of the importance of how they integrate incoming students into the university environment.