6 th Joint JALT Tokyo Conference Sunday December 9th, 2012 Rooms 206-207, Azabu Hall, Temple University, Japan Campus Plenary Speakers: Andy Curtis (Anaheim University) Shinichi Izumi (Sophia University)Co-sponsored by JALT Tokyo and WestTokyo Chapters along with Abax,Cambridge University Press,Cengage Learning, englishbooks.jp,McGraw-Hill Education, and MacmillanLanguage House. With Special thanksto the Graduate College of Education,Temple University, Japan campus
> Plenary #1: 10:00-11:00Andy Curtis - The Origins of the "Best Method Movement": Past, Presentand Future(Kindly sponsored by Cengage Learning)These days, few would argue that there is just one best method for learning alanguage. However, 75 years ago, in October 1937, The Modern LanguageJournal published an article entitled "Lecture on the best methods of teachingthe living languages," given by Professor George Ticknor, then at HarvardUniversity. Ticknors talk had been given more than 100 years previously, on24 August 1832 -- nearly two centuries ago. This may, then, be one of the fewtimes that the origin of a long-prevailing idea in language education can beprecisely pinpointed.According to Ticknor: "The easiest and best method, therefore, for persons ofall ages and all classes to learn a living language is undoubtedly to learn it asa spoken one" (1937, p.19). In Ticknors talk, we can also see the origin ofwhat we now refer to as the Native-Speaker Myth, in which native-speakers ofthe target language were (or still are) assumed to be the best teachers of thelanguage: "Persons, then, who have the opportunity, should learn the livinglanguage they wish to possess, as it is learnt by those to whom it is native"(1937, p.19). In this plenary, we will look at the "best method movement":where we are now, where we have been and where we are going.Bio-information Professor Andy Curtis is an independent consultant forinternational education, based in Ontario, Canada. He is currently teaching inthe Graduate School of Education at Anaheim University, California, USA,and in the Department of Languages and Cultures at Sabana University, inBogota, Colombia. He received his MA in Applied Linguistics and LanguageEducation, and his PhD in International Education, from the University of Yorkin England. Until recently, he was the Director of the English LanguageTeaching Unit at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he has alsotaught at the School for International Training in Vermont, USA.
> Poster Presentations A: 11:15-12:45John Bankier (Soka University) – Hedging in Academic Writing: What to Teachand Ways to Teach itCommonly used in academic writing, hedging expressions such as “it may be” or “itappears that” can demonstrate the writer’s confidence in a statement and providepolite deference (Hyland, 2000). Misinterpreting and misusing hedges cansignificantly affect how meaning is expressed and understood, yet few textbooksfocus on hedging. This presentation will define what hedging is and describe a) astudy conducted to determine how Japanese university students view hedges b)suggested methods for teaching hedging in the classroom. Participants will alsoreceive a handout of activities.Patrick Foss & Ted O’Neill (Tokyo Medical and Dental University) - TeachingEnglish study skills in a university summer intensive course“How can I improve my English?” This is a common question from first-yearJapanese university students. Out of the highly-structured environment of highschool and now more responsible for their own learning, they often seem at a lossconcerning how to study English by themselves. The presenters will explain how theyconducted a 1-koma summer intensive course designed to teach students how to: 1)use online resources and other readily-available tools to improve their Englishreading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities; and (2) set and monitor personallanguage study goals.Mario Leto (Tsukuba University) - American Indian Literature: Cross-CulturalExplorations for Language EducationWhile the more salient aspects of language will always be of concern to the second-language learner, non-linguistic issues of culture and identity also present apromising aspect of language education. Second-language learners, through thecreative interpretation of literature, gain both a deeper understanding of the linguisticaspects of a text in addition to a cultural, political, and historical cross-culturaleducation. This poster presentation will show how American Indian literature—asunderstood, interpreted, and creatively assimilated by the reader—can be used in thesecond-language classroom to explore cross-cultural issues and the role of theEnglish language in the global community. It will introduce a diverse selection ofAmerican Indian writers and texts and show how second-language students canidentify and develop their own world-views and cultural experiences alongside theirlanguage education. The poster presentation will also offer some practicalpedagogical applications that have proven effective in the second-languageclassroom.
Kurtis McDonald (Kobe College) - Everything in moderation: Japanesestudents attitudes toward the use of IT in higher educationRecent literature seems to suggest a growing recognition that students’ perceptionstoward the technologies used in their university courses may have a significantinfluence on their overall effectiveness. This study seeks to provide an assessmentof current Japanese undergraduate students’ attitudes toward the use of technologyin their courses by examining several recent studies on this topic in conjunction withthe results of an original survey administered to 74 student respondents. Additionally,it seeks to provide further context for these findings by contrasting them withcomparable areas of recent EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR)Studies of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology conducted in NorthAmerica. The findings suggest that the Japanese students surveyed are using a widerange of technologies in relation to their coursework, have relatively high self-efficacytoward IT use, and generally recognize its importance yet they prefer moderate useof technology in their classes.Paul Rowan (Nova Southeastern University) - Peer Derived Feedback: a Self-efficacy Tool to Improve Learner OutcomesPeer Feedback is a time-tested system with students editing their peer’s assignedwork/tasks. Usually, peer feedback is completed with a red pen correcting mistakes.Intimidating when you are unsure of your answer, and often-similar mistakes are leftunmarked and thus uncorrected. While guidelines are usually given, often studentsare not clear what to check or correct. The peer-derived feedback exercise aids thelearner in identifying problems in their work because they have defined what is to bechecked based on their experiences. With the peer derived feedback rubric, studentsno longer correct the work of their peer but rather, they simply identify problems thatneed to be addressed in the work. Enhanced understanding of assigned tasks leadsto improved learner motivation leading to more positive outcomes for the learners.This poster presentation will show how a student derived feedback/critique functionsand how this activity can be implemented.Reiko Takeda (Colombia University, Teachers College) - Small talk: Awareness-raising activities for EFL studentsWhile small talk in the workplace by non-native English speakers has been widelyresearched, small talk by EFL students in the school context remains anunderexplored area. This presentation introduces research on small talk as a sociallubricant in workplace interactions. It then introduces the presenter’s preliminaryqualitative study based on pilot lessons on small talk to Japanese college students inan intermediate conversation class. Activities have been designed to developstudents’ sociopragmatic awareness by analyzing small talk interactions throughcontextual factors, such as status difference and social/psychological distancebetween the speaker and hearer, and how they determine the pragmalinguisticchoice of language for small talk. Based on analyses of students’ discoursecompletion tasks, ways to raise awareness on small talk are discussed. Whileactivities were designed for Japanese college students preparing to study abroad inEnglish-speaking countries, they can be modified for language learners of all levels.
Robert Werner (Kanda University of International Studies) - A Creative Way ofTeaching Students How to Visualize and Write a Personal NarrativeThis poster demonstrates a creative method of teaching students how to write apersonal narrative. Adapted from Calkins and Oxenhorn’s (2003) “small moments”strategy, students first make a timeline of the event in reverse order to bettervisualize and recall their experience. The poster provides a step-by-step guideshowing what both the teacher and students are doing during each stage of theprocess. Applicable for English learners of all ages and intermediate to advancedability levels, instruction is scaffolded so students can listen to a model story andwatch a timeline being made before completing these tasks on their own. The story iswritten in separate parts before revision, peer review, and completion of the finaldraft. Handouts of a model story and timeline will be available, and Japanesestudents’ work will be displayed.> Poster Presentations B: 14:00-15:30Andrew Boon (Toyo Gakuen University) – There is No Best Method - only ourSense of PlausibilityThis poster presentation will provide an overview of Prabhus (1990) article "There isno best method - why?" It will discuss the question of whether a method depends onthe context in which it is used; whether eclectism may offer us a way forward; orwhether the idea of method itself risks reducing teaching to the mere act of us goingthrough the motions. With these questions in mind, it will explore Prahbus concept ofa teachers sense of plausibility as being the real guiding force that helps createand shape the language learning experience within our classrooms for our students.Finally, it will argue that understanding our own subjective sense of plausibility as it isrealized within any given teaching moment may in fact offer us a best method.David Gann (Various Universities) - A Four-Stage Process for ScaffoldingCritical Thinking SkillsThis poster presentation covers the presenter’s efforts to improve English languagelearners’ critical thinking through (1) explicit instruction of a critical thinking skill set;and (2) the scaffolding of autonomous use of specific lexical features associated withformal argumentative and colloquial persuasive speech and writing. This involves afour-stage cycle that incorporates (1) out-of-class listening to the presenter’s self-produced podcast, Critically Minded: Critical Thinking for 2nd Language Learners(http://criticallyminded.com), followed by podcast transcript reading and note-taking;(2) in-class small-group discussion of the podcast content and relevant personalexperience; (3) on-line text reconstruction exercises (TREs) that reinforce students’working knowledge of lexical items taught in the podcast; and (4) on-line computermediated communication involving final group project work during which theaforementioned textual features are applied practically in the students’ field of study.
Helen Hanae & Erina Ogawa (Toyo University) - English-language Manga:Comics for the haves and the have-nots in your classes.The visual representation of conversation and humorous approach of comics build astrongly scaffolded, emotionally rewarding environment, both for understandingdifficult content and for generating productive language. Since human beings paymore attention to visual stimuli than to almost anything else, nonverbal visual supporthelps both weak and strong students. Comics and manga add emotional affect tovisual organization of content – this is why a good comic aids learning, while a poorone simply distracts readers even further. We have found that whatever teachersmay think of “manga”, students know that they are not necessarily an easyoption…they read them eagerly, talk about them, and think about them. You can giveyour students Tin-Tin, or you can use comics or graphic guides to help them learnabout the world of work, a foreign culture, statistics, or copyright law. Come and “seewhat we mean”!Mark Howarth (Kyushu Sangyo University) - A multi-method approach toteaching a 4-skills courseThe poster will describe a curriculum that was developed for lower level students(TOEIC 250-400) taking a 4-skills course at a Japanese university. A variety ofmethods/tasks are used so as to accommodate a wide range of learners’ individualstrengths and weaknesses. The curriculum places emphasis on first developing adeeper, more productive knowledge of high frequency vocabulary via a sentencewriting exercise. Reading skills are developed through extensive reading forpleasure, as well as an intensive reading approach using a textbook. Studentswatch TV shows, such as The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants, andtranscribe a portion of the show as an intensive listening exercise. Finally, speakingskills are developed by discussing student-generated topics, as well as orallypresenting book reports they have written for the reading program. The presenterwelcomes any feedback or suggestions for improvement to the curriculum.CeAnn Myers (Toyo Univerisity) - Learning a Language: Engage and ExciteStudents through Content-based InstructionThis poster presentation will provide participants with a variety of practicalsuggestions for incorporating content and language learning together in a way thatexcites students and enhances learning. According to Stoller (1997), content-basedinstruction (CBI) increases students’ interest and motivation. This presentation willshow participants how the integration of content and language skills can be verybeneficial to students. Within CBI, teachers are constantly using activities to deepenstudents understanding of the content and language skills (Kong, 2009). Focusingon practical information on implementing activities that will enhance content andlanguage learning such as: drama, white boards, experiments, guest speakers, fieldtrips, and projects. A handout detailing the benefits of the activity and tips for using itin the classroom on each activity will be available to participants. The information canbe tailored, allowing participants to focus on the activities best suited for theirsituation.
Roberto Rabbini (Tokai University) - Learning Discernment Teaching the NewWorld OrderThe presenter will display and share a variety of upper intermediate adult ageactivities that promote critical thinking skills and debating strategies based oncontroversial topics related to the New World Order (NWO). The concept of“Teachability Index” will also be discussed, which enables learners to evaluate theirlevel of motivation to learn new subjects. The goal of these materials is to raisestudents’ awareness of the NWO and to increase their linguistic and rhetoricalcompetency, allowing for growth at numerous levels. The content topics covered area first for the EFL/ESL industry as many teachers and students alike may not befamiliar with the issues surrounding the NWO. The eclectic approach adoptedhighlights the fact that indeed there is no one single best method for learning alanguage.Hitomi Sakamoto (Toyo Gakuen University) - English as a Global Language:Promoting International Exchange with TurkeyAfter the Great East Japan Earthquake, the presenter received a number ofencouraging messages written in English from Turkey, which she forwarded toEnglish teachers in the devastated area so that they could share them with theirstudents. Since then, a Turkish teacher and the presenter have had their studentsexchange letters in English. In the feedback comments of the students whoexperienced this exchange of letters, they said that they were happy to use Englishand wanted to learn more English words to encourage people. In March thepresenter visited the Turkish school with 170 cards written in English by Japaneseelementary school students and gave them to the Turkish students, who madepleasing comments in English. The aim of this poster presentation is to show oneway to facilitate communication between Japanese students and students in othercountries using English.Jennifer Toews-Shimizu (Seigakuin University) – Young Learners Output andAudience: A Socio-cultural linguistic PerspectiveThis study examines how young EFL learners speech is affected by the audience ina meaning-focused speaking task. The participants come from a private elementaryschool in Japan. This paper reports on a classroom-based study of learnerinteraction in two social contexts, interaction with the teacher/researcher (Group T)and interaction with a hand puppet (Group R). This study is based on motivational,anxiety (FLA) and socio-cultural theories. The results show that the young learnersdeliver varied speech tendencies and behaviors in each social context. It was foundthat Group R’s interaction was characterized by; more L2 utterances, more correctutterances, higher intrinsically motivated utterances, and more total utterances thanGroup T. The prevalence of these patterns suggestions that audience can highlyinfluence the young learner’s output performance and motivation.
> Plenary #2: 15:45-16:45Shinichi Izumi (Sophia University) - Beliefs about Language Learning,Learning Strategies, and Confidence of EFL Learners: Issues inInstructional Counterbalancing(Kindly sponsored by Abax)What ideas do second language (L2) learners have about the nature oflanguage learning? How did they come to have those ideas? These questionshave attracted interest of language teachers and Second LanguageAcquisition researchers because learners ideas or philosophies about L2learning potentially exert strong influence on both the process and product ofL2 learning. It is generally believed that learners’ beliefs constitute a variablethat accounts for individual differences in L2 learning and thus are viewed asan important construct to be investigated in relation to their subsequentimpact on learners’ behaviors. In this talk, the presenter is going to talk aboutmy recent study that investigated how learners’ previous learningbackgrounds influence their beliefs about L2-learning approaches, their usesof learning strategies, and their self-efficacy and confidence in their L2abilities. I will discuss the implications of the results for language learning andteaching.Bio-information Professor Shinichi Izumi is a professor at Sophia University,Tokyo, Japan, where he teaches in the BA program in English LanguageStudies and the MA and the PhD programs in Applied Linguistics and TESOL.He received his MA in Applied Linguistics from Southern Illinois University atCarbondale and his PhD in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University.He has been involved in EFL teacher education throughout Japan and haspublished widely both nationally and internationally in areas related toinstructed second/foreign language acquisition, in particular on topics relatedto CBI (Content-based Instruction), TBI (Task-based Instruction), Focus onform, and CLIL (Content-and-Language-Integrated-Learning).> Closing: 16.45-17.00