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EFL to ESL: Helping learners bridge the communicative gap


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Slides for TESOL 2017 presentation in Seattle, WA, March 23, 2017.

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EFL to ESL: Helping learners bridge the communicative gap

  1. 1. From EFL to ESL: Helpinglearnersbridgethe communicativegap Peter Neff Gavin Brooks Cameron Romney Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan
  2. 2. From EFL to ESL 0 200,000 400,000 600,000 800,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 International Students in the U.S. Source: Open Doors
  3. 3. Internationalstudents:The EFL majority
  4. 4. EFL studentsin an ESL environment ✤ Communication challenges ✤ Limited-English-ability learners often self-segregate (McCormack, 1998) ✤ An EFL grammar-focused (accuracy-focused) education can inhibit “real world” communicative competence (Tanaka & Ellis, 2003)
  5. 5. EFL studentsin an ESL environment ✤ Cultural challenges ✤ Ease of adjustment correlates to similarity of home culture new environment (Chen, 1996) ✤ Students from collectivist cultures can have greater difficulty fitting in (Toyokawa & Toyokawa, 2002)
  6. 6. Textbookchallenges ✤ EFL textbooks ✤ Less communicative focus ✤ Unrealistic conversation patterns ✤ L1 + L2 content ✤ ESL textbooks ✤ Assumed cultural knowledge ✤ High proficiency requirements ✤ Abrupt transition for EFL learners
  7. 7. ImprovingESL Preparedness The task: Prepare EFL learners for the communicative, cultural, and academic challenges of studying abroad The hurdle: Finding an effective mix of materials, activities, and peer support to prepare them
  8. 8. Contents ✤ Our educational context ✤ From EFL to ESL: Three practical, communicative-focused ideas to prepare learners for study abroad (SA) ✤ Modeling and analysis ✤ Scaffolding for academic oral presentations ✤ Peer mentoring
  9. 9. Our context ✤ Large Japanese university (Kyoto) ✤ Ongoing push to increase English SA programs ✤ Programs range in length from 2 weeks to 1 year, most in “inner circle” countries ✤ Short-term programs – General English; Long-term – mix of GE and academic courses ✤ Programs include short preparatory courses, pre-SA ✤ In our department, all learners study abroad for one year
  10. 10. Modeling and analysis for more complicated cognitive learning styles
  12. 12. EVALUATING SYNTHESIZING ANALYZING APPLYING COMPREHENDING REMEMBERING Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Bloom’s Taxonomy & Japanese Learners
  13. 13. EVALUATING SYNTHESIZING ANALYZING APPLYING COMPREHENDING REMEMBERING Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Student Centered Activities Teacher Centered Activities Bloom’s Taxonomy & Japanese Learners
  14. 14. EVALUATING SYNTHESIZING ANALYZING APPLYING COMPREHENDING REMEMBERING Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Student Centered Activities Teacher Centered Activities Bloom’s Taxonomy & Japanese Learners ESL? EFL?
  15. 15. Example EFL Materials[ ]
  16. 16. LearningOutcomes ✤ Learn how to disagree during an academic discussion or general conversation ✤ Introduce student-centered learning activities (in a low stakes environment) ✤ Practice with higher-order thinking skills (in a low stakes environment) ✤ Prepare for study abroad Direct OutcomeIndirectOutcomes
  17. 17. Academic Oral Presentations
  18. 18. Lessons learned from the research ✤ Repeated encounters necessary for acquisition (Hulstijn, 2001) ✤ Importance of drafts in learning academic writing (Hinkel, 2004) ✤ Feeling of tension and apprehension can have a negative effect on students in L2 contexts (MacIntyre and Gardner, 1994)
  19. 19. Setting things up Clear introduction to skills: ✤ Scaffolded and presented in an authentic way Topics simple but academic in nature ✤ Topics scaffolded, repeated, and got progressively more difficult Low stakes low cognitive demands: ✤ Start with smaller presentations in a “safe” environment
  20. 20. Presentation Activities
  21. 21. Activities 1. Carousel presentations 2. Breaking a presentation down into stages 3. Self and Peer assessment
  22. 22. Carousel Presentations Same presentation multiple times Maurice (1983): 4/3/2 technique Able to present to peers but less stressful than in front of the class
  23. 23. Using stages
  24. 24. Noticing and After the Presentation Peer assessment ✤ Similar to peer editing – students need to be taught how to do this ✤ Focus on specific items rather (or as well as) general opinion Self reflection ✤ Video tape and students watch later
  25. 25. Peer Mentoring
  26. 26. Peer Resources Target Culture Peer Deep cultural knowledge Resourceful Shared Culture Peer Insight into SA challenges Shared L1 and culture Understanding of needs Two type of peer mentors ✤ Target culture (a student who is from the SA culture) ✤ Shared culture (a student from the same culture who has experienced SA)
  27. 27. Mentoringactivities ✤ Guest speaking ✤ Arrange for one (or more) student peers/mentors to present to a group of pre-SA learners ✤ One-to-one mentoring ✤ A returnee/target culture peer is “assigned” to meet with one (or more) pre-SA mentees ✤ Long-distance mentoring ✤ Pre-SA mentees get in touch with current-SA learners via video calling, SNS, email, etc.
  28. 28. GuestSpeaking ✤ Ask SA-experienced peers to come speak to a pre-SA group ✤ Arrange topics in advance ✤ Guest speakers prepare short presentations (with guidance) ✤ After presentations, Q&A
  29. 29. One-to-oneMentoring ✤ Arrange meetings between pre-SA mentees and post-SA/native mentors ✤ Mentees make a list of 10-20 questions or topics to discuss ✤ Mentors brings photographs, mementos, and ready practical advice ✤ Mentees journals; arrange follow-up meeting(s) to review ✤ Mentors remains available during mentees’ SA
  30. 30. Long-distanceMentoring ✤ Arrange one-to-one (or one-to-many) pairings between current and future SA students ✤ Mentors arrange chat time, topics; mentees prepare questions ✤ With video, mentors can introduce homestay family members/dorm mates, or even give a tour of the residence ✤ Connect on Facebook/Twitter/etc for insight into daily life and social events
  31. 31. GuestSpeakingExample ✤ Every year, a group of last year’s SA learners visit my class 1-2 months before new learners go abroad ✤ 5 SA countries = 5+ guest speakers over 2 class sessions (90 mins x 2) ✤ Pre-decided list of topics ✤ 10-minute presentations ✤ Whole-class Q&A (20m) ✤ Break into groups (30m) Handling academics Social life and making friends Preparing for homestay Challenges and solutions Daily life
  32. 32. Key Pointsfor SuccessfulGuestSpeaking I. Stories + practical advice II. Difficulties and solutions III. Keep advice non-country specific (unless everyone is going to the same country) IV. Listeners should pre-discuss and write down questions in groups V. Presentations and whole-class Q&A in English; Group discussion in L1 VI. Include a follow-up reflection session
  33. 33. About studying: ✤ -How difficult or easy were the classes you took at the university? ✤ -What was the class atmosphere like? ✤ -Was there a lot of homework? About homestay: ✤ -Describe your homestay situation. ✤ -How easy or difficult was it to get along with your host family? ✤ -What kind of rules did your homestay family have? ✤ -What did you typically eat for meals? Examplesof Q&A Prompts
  34. 34. Other: ✤ -What sort of social/volunteer events did you participatein? ✤ -What things should students bring from Japan? ✤ -What are good souvenirs for host families? ✤ -What did you do if you were homesick? Examplesof Q&A Prompts
  35. 35. Questions?