Many English Teachers will encounter a conversation or speaking evaluation test at some stage in their career. These may be for placement of students in a course, for needs analysis, or assessment for the students’ grades. While all tests need to be as valid and reliable as possible, for the teachers carrying them out, they also need to be practical and manageable.
This presentation will take the form of a mini workshop, and will encourage the participants to explore two ways to assess the students conversation skills as fairly as possible within their own time and resource constraints. It will also give an opportunity for participants to share their own experiences and hopefully try some new ideas.
Adam Stone is currently teaching English at Kyushu Sangyo University and at Kyushu Sangyo High School. In 2001 he graduated from Auckland university in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2016, he completed a Master of Applied Linguistics at Massey University in New Zealand.
Extensive Reading (ER) is regarded by many as an effective way to help language learners improve their language skills, with a general acknowledgement that "a wide range of learning benefits accrue [from ER but] the benefits do not come in the short term. Nevertheless, the substantial long-term benefits justify the high degree of commitment needed” (Nation, 2001, p. 156). To be effective, an ER course must be sustainable, and implementing such a programme involves a number of challenges. Instructors and administrators need to ensure a range of suitable reading material is available and easily accessible, either in the learning space or the institution’s library. Students should be able to access books often and easily if they are to read at the levels required for successful extensive reading. Then some system to check if reading is actually being done may be required, especially if it is part of a required or for-credit course. All this needs to be manageable for administrators and teachers who are often hard-pressed for time, and in a way that won’t be overwhelming for students.
In this presentation, we will draw on our experiences of coordinating, managing, and teaching a university-level extensive reading course to illustrate how such a programme can be set up. We will consider the challenges involved, and how these can be overcome to keep the programme running smoothly. We will also report on student reactions to, and outcomes of, the ER course with particular focus on our use of Moodle Reader and the online xReading system as the backbone of our ER courses.
Paul Collett currently teaches at Shimonoseki City University, and helps run the ER programme at Seinan Jo Gakuin University. His interests are in teacher and learner psychology, and research methodology.
Malcolm Swanson teaches English and media studies at Seinan Jo Gakuin University. His interests revolve around the implementation of technology in active learning programs.
This presentation will outline the current publishing market in Japan for EFL/ESL textbooks by reviewing the various points of views of the publishing industry. The presenter has published extensively within the ESL/EFL market in Japan and will offer helpful advice to budding authors who wish to pursue projects geared to Japan's domestic market and has spoken on this topic at Kitakyushu JALT before. The industry is constantly changing, however, and he offers updated insights into ESL/EFL publishing for budding authors wanting to break into the publishing field.
Most likely, every language teacher in Japan has (at some point during his/her tenure) contemplated writing a textbook to fill a void in the market...in that constant search for the perfect, all encompassing textbook. In today's competitive publishing world, getting the proverbial "foot in the door" can seem daunting and nearly impossible. What are publishers looking for in the current market? What appeals to editors who ultimately decide which titles go to production and which ones do not? What are the salespeople on the front lines hearing from their market base? What must an author do in order to get his/her book published?
This presentation focuses on these very questions, offering inside insights from all the various points of view that must be considered when writing a proposal to publish a textbook--the publisher, the editor, the salesperson, and the author. The presenter will explain the realities within the publishing industry and addresses some common myths associated with EFL publishing.
Todd Jay Leonard has been actively involved in book publishing for nearly thirty years and has published twenty books. He has published books with a number of different Japanese publishing companies and this experience has given him a unique perspective in offering advice to potential authors on what the market is looking for currently and what the publishing industry is searching for in new titles.
Stories, the original Wikipedia, are the oldest tool of teaching, and still the most potent. For most of human existence, we have used stories to share information and educate our offspring about the world. It is no wonder our brains have evolved to process stories so much more effectively (or did stories evolve to fit our brains?) than other formats of information delivery. In fact, stories do more than allow information transfer. They cause parallel activation of the insula in both speaker and listener that enable a kind of brain linking.
Likewise, no other format of verbal transfer results in as high a retention rate. A study in London found that use of statistics in a presentation led to a retention rate of 5-10% at best, but by adding a story, retention more than tripled. With use of stories alone, the retention rate soars to more than tenfold.
But why? We know stories cause the release of dopamine, cortisol, oxytocin and other learning-related neurotransmitters, but there is another reason as well, one related to something the brain is doing subconsciously every second.
The presenter will discuss research showing how effective stories are, explain the neuroscience behind this phenomenon, and suggest techniques for using them in class, including Rex Tanimoto’s DigiTales. Be ready to tell your own stories.
Popular speaker and writer, Curtis Kelly (EdD), is a Professor of English at Kansai University in Japan. Since his life mission is the “relieve the suffering of the classroom,” has spent most of his life developing learner-centered approaches for “3L” English students, students with low ability, low confidence, and low motivation. He has written over 30 books, including Significant Scribbles (Longman), Active Skills for Communication (Cengage), and Writing from Within (Cambridge). He has also made about 400 presentations on neuroscience, adult education, motivation, and teaching writing.