Adapting Kagan structures for Japanese secondary school English classes. Part 1: The three-step interview
Most Japanese secondary schools have had difficulty implementing the communicative methods of English instruction endorsed by MEXT. This presentation offers an overview of the literature which has explored these difficulties, and responds to calls from some of the local JALT community to explore cooperative learning as a potential means to meet the MEXT guidelines. It argues that Kagan structures offer a base for teachers to draw upon in designing group work activities that engage students in extended periods of uninterrupted interaction, by providing a social structure which develops the social skills required for effective communication. There are video and practical demonstrations of three separate activities which we have built around a single Kagan structure (the three-step interview) for varying purposes and levels, and we reflect upon the effectiveness of the activities within the PIES framework. It aims to encourage other secondary school teachers to develop activities around the PIES framework and share them within a community. This is a step towards developing a context-appropriate communicative methodology, and providing MEXT with the teacher resources necessary to successfully reform English education nationwide.