We are pleased to have an exciting pair of presenters joining us this month to present on two topics that are very relevant within EFL education in Japan. Please find the full abstracts for both presentations below:
Treatment of Foreign Words in Japanese EFL Studies
This presentation will discuss the ways which negative language transfer can result from non-English loanwords in the Japanese language. The presenters will discuss an experiment which was conducted based on the hypothesis that some L1 interference may result from the use of katakana for such borrowed words. The results of the experiment and follow-up study will be examined at length. The presentation will include a discussion on how the history of Japanese loanwords have shaped the Japanese language and the perceptions of foreign languages in general.
During the presentation, a discussion will be had with the attendees regarding the notion that students may not be able to discern English loanwords from the non-English variety. Furthermore, groups will be expected to examine and talk about their own experiences in the Japanese education system.
Social Awareness and Content-Based Curriculum
This discussion focuses on using an English communication classroom environment with the dual purpose of conversation practice and creating interest in civic responsibility among Japanese university students. Students were given questionnaires about their interest in politics, government, economics, energy, and law. Many students admitted to having little interest, often because their understanding of the topics was limited.
The background for this talk and the workshop that presenters want to engage in with the attendees is based on a plan used in university classrooms that focused on current events in Japan and the world. The skills involved include reading, research, writing, speaking, and asking questions based on listening. The presenters will explain and model some of the methods used for the lessons and discuss their experiences with these techniques.
There are ethical concerns when dealing with political topics in any class. During the workshop, the presenters will discuss some of these and both elicit as well as provide advice for teachers who may wish to engage in this type of class work.
As always, we will stop off for some food and refreshments following the presentations, so please make time to join us if you can!