Online learning from a student’s perspective

  • Speaker: Miguel Mision
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, June 15 (7:00-8:00)
  • Details: Online event using ZOOM. Meeting details will be provided 1 day before the event.
  • Registration

Abstract: After two years of the pandemic, it is still difficult to say what a ‘normal’ classroom will be like anymore. What important lessons were learnt in these past two years, and are there benefits to online learning beyond virus prevention? The author examined perspectives and experiences on what it was like learning remotely as a university student over the course of two years. Surveys and one on one interviews were conducted on a target demographic of students. The research had surprisingly mixed results both positive and negative. Students were asked which style of learning they preferred – online, face-to-face or a blend of both. Curiously, there was a three-way split between all options in the first year. In the second year, a majority favored online or blended learning. Although many students and teachers are quick to assume that face-to-face learning allows young people to enjoy a more “normal” university life – the results indicate that there are cases where the merits of online learning exceed those of face-to-face classes.  

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Reconceptualizing teaching through the concept of scaffolding

Those who teach in universities are experts in their fields, but many do not have teaching backgrounds. ‘Scaffolding’ can be conceptualized as a means to structure students’ learning experiences regardless of the subject or course in ways that assist them to reach the target of a lesson, course goals and their learning potential. In this presentation, we will unpack the concept of scaffolding by showing the learning theory that supports it; its role in that theory, and practical step by step examples of how scaffolding can work within a lesson to help students reach their learning potential. The claim will be made that ‘teaching is scaffolding”. As a part of our teacher development, recognition of this concept will allow our tacit knowledge of teaching to become more explicit, leading to ways to reconceptualize our teaching and better inform it. 

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Professional and private identities of ALTs in the JET program

Speaker: Takaaki Hiratsuka, Ryukoku University
Date: Saturday, September 25 (1:30-2:30)
Venue: Online Zoom (Register here.)

Abstract

For over three decades, hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals have set foot on Japanese soil as foreign assistant language teachers (ALTs) through the government- sponsored Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. The job of the ALTs is to teach English in elementary and secondary schools, in tandem with Japanese teachers of English (JTEs). Although there is an apparent need for scrutiny of the lived experiences of ALTs in their situated contexts, empirical discussion and research addressing them have been remarkably insufficient, as previous studies have focused primarily on the advantages and shortcomings of individual teachers and the characteristics of their team-teaching practices. Against this backdrop, the study on which this presentation is based explored, via narrative interviews, the identities and their constructions of 25 ALTs in the JET program. The findings revealed that the gestalt of ALT identity is comprised of two primary categories (i.e., foreigner identity and dabbler identity) and their six incumbent sub-identities (i.e., celebrity, sojourner, English expert, assistant, greenhorn, and Japanese novice). The presentation concludes with implications for teacher education and identity research.

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May Co-sponsored Event

Matsuyama JALT and East Shikoku JALT are inviting you to a Zoom presentation with Alexandra Burke on Students in the back and on the edge: neurodiverse students and your teaching methods

Date: Sunday, May 9, 2021

Time: 14:00 – 16:00 (Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo)

Cost: Free to JALT members and non-members.

Location: via Zoom. No public link will be provided, so if you’re interested, you can register in advance for this meeting: (Click here)

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Translanguaging with Multilingual Learners

Naomi Wilks-Smith (RMIT University, Australia)

Time: May 22, 2021 01:30PM Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo Join Zoom

Presentation slides can be found here.

Abstract:

Translanguaging offers practical ways to bring bilingual and multilingual learners’ languages into classrooms that have traditionally been monolingual. Translanguaging not only invites languages into classrooms but utilises them in pedagogical ways to expand on the content and conceptual knowledge and understandings of learners to leverage their learning. In this way, translanguaging connects the entire repertoire of a student’s linguistic skill-set and knowledge across languages with their overall learning. This presentation will introduce the concept of translanguaging and share examples of practice from a linguistically and culturally diverse Australian primary school context that draw on the varied multilingual abilities of students as learning resources.

Bio: Dr. Naomi Wilks-Smith is a language education specialist, teacher and researcher. She is a Lecturer at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Event: Getting the Right Questions out of Students

Online Event Co-sponsored with Matsuyama JALT

Time: Jan 10, 2021 02:00 PM Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo Join Zoom

Abstract:Has this ever happened to you? “Any questions, class?” […crickets…] If you’ve spent any time in the classroom, you’ve surely grown to appreciate the rare student who asks the right question, the one that cuts to the heart of what you’re trying to convey. Worth their weight in gold, they are!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get students asking the right questions regularly? What if I told you there was an “extraordinarily clear, low-tech, practical intellectual tool” for getting students to ask, not just any questions, but the right questions? That’s precisely the claim made by the book “Make Just One Change” by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana. 

In this presentation, I will relate my experiences this semester of trying to implement this “one change” in a student journalism project of upper-intermediate EFL students at Kochi University. I’ll explain where the “Question Formation Technique” idea comes from, how it works, and why it is a tool that probably belongs in every teacher’s toolbox, no matter the class.

About the Presenter: Davey Leslie has been teaching English in Japan since 1992. He currently teaches at Kochi University.

The Right Question Institue

PowerPoint for this presentation

East Shikoku JALT Social Event

Outdoor Family Bonnenkai BBQ and Winter Camp

With the current pandemic crisis putting a damper on most face to face events, we hope to create opportunities to collaborate and socialize with colleagues and friends under safe (and fun!) outdoor conditions. Our December East Shikoku JALT social event aims to get chapter members together in person for something unique through a BBQ and camp in the great (and remote!) Kochi outdoors. The aim is to meet in person and say good-bye to a challenging 2020 while keeping a safe distance in an expansive natural setting, and to informally plan what is best for East Shikoku chapter in 2021. Please join us for good food and cheerful discussion over a warm campfire. Feel free to bring along your spouses, partners, children, and pets. If you plan to attend, please register for this event by replying to Paul Daniels, our chapter Treasurer, at the email below.

Date: December 5 and 6, 2020
Time: Starting at 2:00 pm on Saturday
Location: Ashizuri, Kochi (Tojindaba Picnic Site): https://goo.gl/maps/e5W1aqpf9T3cfLxbA
What to bring: BYO food & drink, warm clothes, soccer balls, baseball gloves, tent & sleeping bag if
staying the night. The camp site is free and spacious with running water, but has only drop toilets.

Contact: Paul@hokulele.us

Managing Self-Access and Social Learning Spaces

  • Presenter: Garold Murray
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 7 (2:00-3:30)
  • Online event registration.

Abstract:

In this presentation I summarize what I have learned about developing and managing self-access and social spaces for language learning through my research and work experience. I draw on the first-hand knowledge I gained through establishing and overseeing the daily operation of two self-access centers. One of these was located on a university campus and the other, which catered to the general public, in the heart of a city in northern Japan. To support my points, I also make reference to three research projects which sought to identify language learning opportunities available in the L-café, the social learning space at Okayama University. These studies, which were carried out over an eight-year time span, included an ethnography, a multiple case study, and a narrative inquiry. After providing an overview of my experience, I address several considerations that I see as crucial to the successful development and management of self-access and social spaces for language learning. Following the presentation, participants will be invited to ask questions and share their concerns.

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