Speaker: Alan Maley, Leeds Metropolitan University

Video of Alan Maley’s talk.
Title: Where do New Ideas Come From?
Date/Time/Place: Wednesday, Nov. 24th, Kochi Women’s University, Eikokuji Campus, Meeting Room 1 (1st floor – 5 meters from the main entrance) Time: 6:30-8:00
In my 40 years in ELT, I cannot recall a time when ‘new ideas’ was not on the agenda! I shall suggest five possible sources for such new ideas. I shall also suggest that this search, though it may ultimately lead to dead ends, has an important motivational and developmental function for teachers and trainers. Along the way, I shall suggest how some of these sources might be linked to Action Research projects. The five sources are:
1. Teacher Interaction: Here I shall explore the various kinds of interaction which often produces innovative ideas – ranging from formal training contexts, through semi-formal professional contexts such as conferences, to informal exchanges in staff rooms.
2. Heuristics: By heuristics, I refer to basically simple ‘rules of thumb’, which, when applied inevitably change the teaching interaction. I will deal in some detail with John Fanselow’s ‘do the opposite’ (Fanselow, 1978). I shall also point out the heuristic basis of the ‘designer methods’ (Suggestopoedia, etc.). Other heuristics, such as ‘withhold information’ will also be mentioned.
3. Re-explorations of Traditional Techniques: Here I describe some areas which have been renovated by creative thinking; dictation, homework, vocabulary, reading and grammar, and suggest some others ripe for re-development, such as repetition, questions, dialogues, drills and translation.
4. Borrowing from Feeder Fields: These fields will include NLP, Multiple Intelligences, Music, and Art. I shall suggest that there are potential benefits to be had from considering areas such as Neuro-science, the psychology of Consciousness, and Creativity theory itself.
5. New Developing Areas: The most obvious (with certain caveats) is Information Technology. I shall also refer to Literature, Global Issues and CliL as content-related areas, and to Young Learners and Advanced Learners as areas for development. Recent renewed interest in ‘Flow’ (Czikszentimihalyi, 1990) will also be included.
Speaker Profile:
From 1962-1988, Alan Maley worked for the British Council in Jugoslavia, Ghana, Italy, France, China and India. He was Director-General of the Bell Educational Trust in Cambridge from 1988-1993 and then worked as Senior Fellow at NUS, Singapore until 1988. From 1999-2003 he set up and ran the graduate programme in ELT at Assumption University, Bangkok. He is currently Visiting Professor at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, a freelance writer and consultant. He has published over 40 books and numerous articles.


Bern Mulvey speaks on University Accreditation: How It Impacts You

Date/Time/Place: Saturday, Nov. 13th, Kagawa University, Education Faculty Campus, Room 411 (3:30-5:30)
As of 2004, all universities in Japan must submit to an external accreditation evaluation every seven years. They receive detailed written assessments which are made public. They also receive grades: pass, probation, and fail. MEXT, hopes these new requirements will induce improvements in teaching and research quality. Universities are being prodded into a greater level of transparency in regard to finances, grading policies, and even hiring practices. Harassment prevention procedures have had to be adopted. These accreditation assessments also serve to confirm both the presence of on-campus “Faculty Development” committees and the effectiveness of their various activities.
University accreditation, at least in theory, represents an unparalleled opportunity to achieve meaningful, lasting educational reform in this country. However, as is often the case with reform attempts of this scope, the reality is much more complex and, particularly with regards to EFL classes and their (often non-Japanese) instructors, troubling.
In his presentation, Bern Mulvey will provide a critical overview of the accreditation requirements, including both the associated problems and the potential opportunities they represent.
Speaker Profile:
Bern Mulvey has served as Dean at a Japanese university which was undergoing accreditation and headed an accreditation committee. He is therefore able to provide valuable first-hand insights not available elsewhere in English. He currently works at Iwate University, so this may be your only chance to hear him speak in Western Japan.
** Please contact Gerry McCrohan at Kagawa University for further details: gershin2003@gmail.com
JALT members: free
One-day members: 500 yen