Learners who take responsibility for their own learning, make their own choices, and capable of self-reflection are found to be successful learners. Unlike learners from the West, studies on learner autonomy revealed that Japanese students do not possess these characteristics. Holden and Usuki (1999) found out in their study that the reason why Japanese students are not autonomous learners is because the environment in which they have studied a foreign language, characterized by a formal, teacher-centered, grammar-translation approach that discourages experimentation with language and the development of a set of personalized learning strategies is responsible for the students' classroom behavior. Although their study has provided valuable data on learner autonomy and the role of learning environment in shaping Japanese students' capability to be autonomous, the study's scope was limited only to six groups of four to five Japanese college students. It is the aim of the present research to validate the results of the study of Holden and Usuki by providing a larger sample size. The learner autonomy dimensions examined in this study are responsibility, ability and activity.
Kobe JALT honorary member Donna Tatsuki will provide the audience with a sneak peek at the 36th Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning & Educational Materials Exposition as well as the the 18th International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning. Included will be an overview of the conference themes, introduction of the plenary speakers and much, much more. Come out and join us.
In this workshop, the presenter will demonstrate how portfolio assessment plays an integral part in his communicative English courses at a Japanese women's university. Participants will experience tasks and activities that will enable them to successfully develop their own grading rubrics, coordinate peer assessment, and learn why shared accountability improves language acquisition based on interactional theories of language.
Creating portfolios provide students with the chance to learn the skills of reflection, self-evaluation, critical thinking and independent learning. Portfolios can be used in a variety of teaching situations to promote student generated experiential learning.
Steve Quasha has been teaching EFL in Japan since 1996. He is an associate professor in the management department at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Nagoya. He holds an MA in Asian Studies from San Diego State University and an MA in Applied Linguistics – TESOL from Macquarie University. His research interests include language assessment, motivation, and learner autonomy.
Much English language teaching focuses on grammar at the level of the sentence, and many students have little awareness of how to use language at the level of discourse.
This workshop will examine some common vocabulary and grammar points from the point of view of discourse. The presenter will introduce language activities that help raise students’ awareness of the importance of discourse in shaping language output, and creating coherent stretches of language, with the focus on spoken, interactive language.
The activities, will include such items as question formation, reported speech, present perfect questions of experience, and are adaptable to a variety of levels and classroom situations.
We will be experimenting with the Pecha Kucha Night format for this year's December meeting. Normally, December is reserved for a potpourri meeting at which Kobe JALT members are invited to present. With Pecha Kucha, speakers have 20 slides for 20 seconds each slide (total = 6 min. 40 sec.) to introduce their work. Please e-mail your slides to #109;ailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to introduce anything related to your current or past research, professional development endeavors, curriculum or materials development, or activities. We need at least 10 presenters to make this a viable event so please tell your friends and plan on presenting yourself. Check www.pecha-kucha.org for more information on PKN. Our BONENKAI or year-end party follows at 7:30 in a nearby restaurant. Get a chance at loads of prizes with our holiday raffle.
The paper explores the application of two learning theories, functional literacy theory and contextual learning theory, as applied to English language learning in Japan. Citing empirical research on using these two theories and discussing how it will assist in professional teacher development, the author concludes that these theories can help English language teachers achieve their objectives in teaching English courses that are relevant, current, and interesting to students.
How many words do our students know? Is it possible to accurately identify the specific vocabulary words that each learner knows and should study next? How can online technology be used to test and teach these words? Based on the doctoral research of the presenter and one of his colleague, this session will discuss both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of the online testing and teaching of high-frequency vocabulary for EFL students. A variety of online tools will be introduced including ones developed by the presenter.
Developing English-Japanese Biliteracy (Mary Goebel Noguchi)
Families raising children with two languages as different as Japanese and English may wonder about what level of competency in each language they should be shooting for. Should they aim for complete mastery of all four skills in both languages—or set more modest goals, such as high levels of competency in all four skills in one of the languages and just oral proficiency in the other?
Drawing on a wide range of research on bilingualism, including her own studies on raising bilingual children in Japan, the presenter will provide a rationale for developing literacy in both of a bilingual’s languages and then go on to offer some suggestions on how parents can help their children develop literacy skills in both English and Japanese.
Interaction in Bilingual Communities (Tim Greer)
Bilingual children, by definition, can and do speak two languages, so it should come as no surprise that they sometimes use both of their languages in the same conversation. However this can also be a matter of concern for their parents, many of whom were raised monolingually. Drawing on a corpus of video-recorded naturally-occurring bilingual conversations, this session will focus on some of the socio-interactional functions of codeswitching and demonstrate how bilingual people can use it to express certain aspects of their identities. The discussion will invite parents to consider when and whether bilingual interaction is appropriate, and what (if any) effect it has on the acquisition of two or more languages. An optional barbecue will follow at 2000 yen for adults, 1000 yen for children 12 and under, free for kids 4 years and under. Limited childcare will be provided. Email Shirley Ando at #109;ailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Sunday, May 31th. to reserve the bbq and/or childcare.
This is an event where chapter members and other interested parties will swap ideas for lesson plans, activities or other language teaching/learning interactions. Bring 2 or 3 of your favorites (one-page introduction with any necessary handouts) and go away with a fistful of ideas from other teachers.
This event has been postponed to Sunday, June 7, 2009 due to the spread of a new-flu in the area.
Space is limited. Please contact Shirley Ando at #109;ailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, May 31 to join us in barbeque and/or if you need childcare. For more details go to: http://jalt.org/events/kobe-chapter/09-06-07