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Revising is Fun
by Jun Harada
Many students often have trouble expressing themselves through writing due to their poor vocabulary and low confidence. One way to overcome this is to be witty and use simple language. Moreover they should learn to enjoy writing by exploring many possibilities to express the same message. In other words, we should teach them a fun aspect of revising their writing.
Rescuing a Dying Class: How to Utilize Card Trick Instructional Videos with Supporting Online Language Learning Resources to Develop 4-Skills Competence
by David Gann
This presentation explains an ongoing problem-solving process involving the development of an array of activities aimed at increasing motivation and fostering learner autonomy in students of mathematics, physics, and mechanical, electrical and civil engineering at Tokyo University of Science. In the presenter’s mixed level class where there were varying levels of both proficiency and motivation, students were not engaging the formulaic textbook material. The instructor had previously found a single-lesson magic activity to be a powerful aid in teaching critical thinking skills in higher level classes. Enthused by that success, he developed methods and materials for extended student-centered magic-related small-group projects. Based on criteria which will be discussed in the presentation, the instructor selected a dozen card trick instructional YouTube videos as a foundation for two types of custom-designed online text reconstruction resources. The first type involved cloze exercises based on a video transcript. The clozes focused on temporal and positional prepositional phrases, commands, requests, and interrogatives. The second type of exercise involved sequencing fragments of a streamlined instructional text written by the instructor, using somewhat different vocabulary and altered grammatical constructions. By completing these exercises in pairs or triads, students learned to do the card trick and acquired the basic communicative language skills for discussing it. During speaking tests, small groups were matched randomly and tasked to teach their card trick to the other group. Subsequently, each group gave a class presentation, performing and explaining their card trick. Finally, they completed a small-group process writing assignment, which also included an analysis component in which they explained the mathematics behind the card trick. The instructor observed that motivation and engagement increased dramatically as a result of this activity. Attendees of this presentation will learn to make use of these materials which are freely accessible to any interested educators.
Correlation between Extensive Reading and Intuitive Grammatical Confidence
by Kevin Miller
In an attempt to build upon existing theories and research related to the possible benefits of extensive reading, this study utilizes two online learning platforms, X-reading and Error Spotter, in order to illuminate any connection between the amount of extensive reading and improvements in learners’ grammatical confidence or accuracy. Before data collection, the study’s main hypothesis was that students with higher word counts in extensive reading would show greater improvement in their scores and times on the Error Spotter activity. The data were collected over a single semester (approximately 4 months) at Tokyo International University. Though the small sample size (12 upper-intermediate sophomore students) limits the amount of significant statistical conclusions that can be made at this time, this study could serve as a general model for continued research in the field. Preliminary descriptive data showed improvement in grammatical confidence and accuracy over the semester; however, this improvement’s correlation with the extensive reading word count remains to be seen.
English Self-Study: How Interactive Programs Boost Learning Imperatives
by Fuad Olajuwon
Online learning imperatives are an excellent way to supplement English self/study, as well as help educators keep up with their students in terms of frequency of practice. This presentation will cover the pros and cons of using such materials.