Steve Paton: Freeing up Fluency in a Silent Speaking Class
In speaking classes with English majors, I’d become disappointed that students weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to speak, and to learn through experience. Many students were using too much Japanese, or hiding silently behind their more enthusiastic classmates.
With mobile technology ubiquitous among university students, students can use their mobile devices' built-in video cameras outside of class to create videos narrated in English. This brings the language they’ve studied in their coursework into a familiar context. They could, for example, describe their neighborhood, or introduce their hobby.
Simon began his presentation by demonstrating the benefits of utilizing lateral thinking puzzles and riddles to create communication opportunities in the classroom and target specific question pattern constructions. He demonstrated how small groups could be utilized to scale the activities to a variety of classroom contexts and offered a range of sources for finding lateral thinking puzzles.
In this presentation Andy discussed how to get students talking in class using examples from Inspire II which he co-authored.
The chapter held its annual pecha-kucha night, which featured six presenters discussing a variety of topics related to language teaching and learning.
Stephen discussed how games, both digital and traditional card games, can be utilized to develop and facilitate classroom tasks and activities that both engage students and encourage cooperative language development. Stephen suggested that teachers should keep an open mind about how simple sandbox smartphone games can serve as mini-tasks for the language classroom.
For the first part of the presentation, Rick discussed how Rory’s Story cubes can be utilized to generate a variety of assessment protocols that can be used in a variety of educational contexts.
ESL teaching, unlike many professions, is a very solitary endeavour. Teachers frequently are asked to not only teach their classes, but to develop entire programs on their own. What strategies can be pursued to create a collaborative environment in schools and what can be learned from the mistakes and misadventures of someone trying to manage a school and teachers?
This month, Simon Capper will be joining us from Hiroshima to give two separate presentations, 45 minutes each.
Adaptable Vocabulary Activities for ESP and Beyond.
30 years ago, Dinsmore (1985) documented the phenomenon of silence in the Japanese EFL classroom. It can be argued that this problem still persists today.