Probably few teenagers and even fewer grown-ups return to reading folk tales past their childhood age, yet folklore in many cultures offers a simple way of learning about the world. Reading such a story may surprise or disappoint you, but it will never leave you indifferent.
Everyone knows that creativity is a Good Thing: Governments want more of it in schools, and teachers want more of it in classrooms. Yet the educational champions of creativity frequently leave its meaning undefined, often deliberately so.
Spencer Robinson began by observing that growing interest in applying the findings of neuroscience to English language teaching (NeuroELT) is welcome, but fraught with misconceptions and misapplications. He then gave a good introduction to what we know about the brain and the physiology of learning, and highlighted the importance of a supportive environment that encourages and rewards curiosity.
Against a backdrop of extensive listening, reading, and fluency-building communication activities, there is a place for small doses of challenging material. Sometimes such material is required by a content-based curriculum, but even if not, wrestling with challenging texts can lead to deeper learning, boost confidence, and give learners a taste of their future progress.
￼Humans – through the biological determinants of evolutionary selection – have developed a uniquely social brain. In the human social brain, learning is the principal mechanism that shapes all behavior, and language is the medium through which learning takes place and cognition is acquired. Cognition is the understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us.
Participants this month were treated to a preview performance of JALT presentations by three of Gifu’s finest. Firstly, David Barker presented on the topic, “What do we know about language teaching and learning?”. Barker argued that there are two types of ‘knowing’, which are: 1) being aware of the truth of something, and 2) being convinced or certain of something.
Shearon spoke as a man who has been reading, learning and synthesizing all kinds of information about money and investing for more than the last three years of his life. A fellow expatriate English teacher, living and working in Japan, Shearon warned about the three biggest dangers to financial security: doing nothing, doing the wrong thing, and getting ripped off.
JALT Gifu chapter will again be having a special session to allow local members presenting at JALT2015 a chance to give their presentation to a friendly audience and get valuable feedback before the big conference.
There will be four presentations:
EFL and sustainability: Multiple approaches
What do we 'know' about learning foreign languages?
Kawakami opened by sharing how awkward she feels presenting in front of a large group of people. Presenting is quite different from acting, because an actor puts on a mask, which gives a sense of security. The dramatic mask used in acting can be put to good effect in the communication classroom.
*Hosted jointly by the JALT Nagoya and Gifu chapters*