Event Report, Ibaraki Chapter March 2016

March 14, 2016 by Ibaraki Chapter

Ibaraki Chapter

Hugh Kirkwood
Bruno Jactat
Marc Helgesen
Event Date: 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

IBARAKI: March— Corpus linguistic analysis of NESTs’ informal online discourse by Hugh Kirkwood, Ushiku & Hitachinoushiku Elementary Schools. Kirkwood first stated that informal, often anonymous and relatively uncensored discourse could provide insights into the professional development of Native English Speaking Teachers (NESTs). He then introduced us to corpus linguistics analysis and explained how he used it to identify key words in the discourse and analyze them in the context of surrounding lines of text. Based on the results of his analysis, Kirkwood argued that NESTs in Japan’s informal online discourse was often focused on Assistant Language Teaching (ALT) and English conversation schools, suggesting that these contexts were perceived to provide an entry into work in Japan, while extended work in these contexts was viewed to be harmful to professional development both outside of and within language teaching. Acoustic Impedance: How it impacts language learning by Bruno Jactat, University of Tsukuba. Hearing plays a crucial role in language acquisition, but according to Jactat, this ability can be hindered by factors like surrounding air quality and childhood linguistic input. This so-called “acoustic impedance” puts some people at physiological disadvantage when they try to learn a new language. For instance, Japanese tend to have trouble learning French and English because they cannot hear high-frequency sounds required in those languages. Jactat, however, asserted that teachers can help learners overcome such disadvantage by training their listening skills, and he showed us actual ways of doing so. DIW NeuroELT: 7 keys for making your textbook more brain-friendly by Marc Helgesen, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University. In this presentation, Helgesen introduced 7 principles that can be used to make language lessons and textbooks compatible with the human brain. For instance, Helgesen says that making contents and activities emotionally engaging is important because people can retain information better if they feel personally connected to it. As he explained principles and sample activities, he also gave us opportunities to work in pairs and groups to discuss how we can apply them to our own teaching practices.

Yuko Koike & Naomi Takagi


The Asian Conference on Language Learning - http://acll.iafor.org/
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