October meeting- Okayama JALT

Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Event Speaker: 
Douglas Sweetlove
Fee for JALT members: 
Fee for non-JALT members: 
500 yen
Contact or Queries: 

A Survival Guide to Student Misbehavior
The classroom is the arena where student, teacher, and lesson all come together. Yet there is often friction between these elements as to what behavior is and is not acceptable.

The issue of disruptive classroom behavior in universities in Japan is one that alternately amuses and irritates many teachers. Classroom management issues can be particularly challenging for native English teachers, who may not be fully aware of the cultural setting their students operate in. At the same time, students (who may have as many as 18 classes in a week) may struggle with the differing expectations of their various teachers.

However, little research has been undertaken comparing what native English teachers and Japanese English teachers find acceptable or irritating. This presentation compares how seriously both Japanese and native speaking English professors view several common examples of poor classroom behavior. Through an anonymous online survey, responses were gathered regarding teacher perceptions of ten common forms of student misbehavior. These results were examined as explained above, and the results compared.

Following this research, the question was what to do about it. This presentation will provide examples of effective techniques to curtail student misbehavior from the first class of the year. These techniques will help provide both the physical and psychological environments conducive to learning and promoting self-regulation and autonomy.


Douglas Sweetlove is a native of Canada, and has taught in Japan for more than 20 years. He is currently a lecturer at Kinjo Gakuin University in Nagoya. His research interests include student autonomy, motivation, and teacher development. When he isn’t in the classroom, he enjoys travelling and has a personal goal of seeing at least two UN World Heritage Sites every year.