Tim Murphey started by outlining the importance of group dynamics and how we can help students learn more socially and interactively. We went through the four main stages in group life (forming, transition, performing, and dissolution), and looked at the special needs and problems that seem to occur in most classrooms.
Presentation Abstract: “Mini Speeches”
Tottori JALT's next event will be on March 12 (Sunday) from 2pm to 4pm at Tottori University. The title will be “Group Dynamics in the Language Classroom (with Lots of Songs)” in English or 「言語学習における集団力学について～ 歌を効果的に利用しながら～」in Japanese.
We were delighted to welcome Mutsumi Kawasaki and David Barker of Gifu University to Tottori for a witty and relatable presentation on the personal experiences of learning Japanese and English. This was a particularly memorable presentation because it was the first one held in Tottori that was conducted in both English and Japanese.
Presentation Abstract: In this bilingual session, David Barker will explain in Japanese how he went about the task of learning the language, and what he discovered about language learning on the journey.
On September 13, 2016 Tottori JALT held a “My Share” event at Tottori University. Naho Iwata (Aoya high school), Noriko Nakada and Hitomi Taniguchi (both from Tottori Higashi high school) talked about Using iPads in the Classroom. Nicolas Verhoeven of Tottori University of Environmental Studies talked about What is a ‘Good’ Teacher?
1) Naho Iwata, Noriko Nakada, Hitomi Taniguchi of Aoya and Tottori Higashi Senior High Schools
"Using iPads in the Classroom"
2) Nicolas Verhoeven of Tottori University of Environmental Studies
"What is a ‘Good’ Teacher?"
3) Shirley Leane of Tottori University
"Assessing Communication Skills in Large Classes"
We were very happy to welcome back Hiroki Uchida to Tottori for a wonderful presentation on meaning-focused learning. Meaning-focused learning is one of the four strands of language learning, with the other three being meaning-focused input, language-focused learning, and fluency development.
Presentation Abstract: Meaning-focused learning is essential for the students’ fluency development. When we look back on a long history of English education in Japan, or possibly even now, the classrooms were/have been full of language-focused learning opportunities, which explicitly explains why Japanese students were/are not capable of communication in the language.
Mr. Paul Shimizu presented on “how to get students to engage with each other and with the teacher in positive, challenging and motivating ways.” Mr. Shimizu addressed many of the problems foreign language teachers face in our language classrooms, particularly, the problem of unmotivated students who don’t feel particularly challenged.