We are fortunate to have a number of presenters coming from the Gunma chapter of JALT, who kindly hosted our presenters from Saitama last month, joining us to present on a wide variety of topics. Below you will find the abstracts for each presentation, which will be between 20-25 minutes in length including time for questions.
Harry Meyer presents "A Short Workshop for Intercultural Relations"
As the world is becoming more globalized, the importance of intercultural education in Japan continues to increase. This very short workshop will focus on something that most of us take for granted - personal space. We will start with an examination of our own personal space, followed by a look at personal space in different cultures, and finish with a discussion. The goals of the presentation are to:
- make participants aware of various cultural perspectives regarding personal space.
- make participants aware that foreigners are not one monolithic block, but are culturally diverse and may seem strange to each other.
- make Japanese aware that their own behavior may be strange to people of other cultures.
- have participants consider the importance of their own use of space in the classroom and its impact in intercultural.
Yoko Kamo presents "Using Kobanashi in a Beginner Level English Classroom"
This is a report of a short project to use kobanashi in a beginner level English class of 6th grade students. Kobanashi, are short jokes that rakugo performers tell to warm up the audience before launching the main story of rakugo. Performing kobanashi in English could be one of the excellent ways to learn English regardless of age. This presentation will explain its educational effects by showing students' performance movies as well as some kobanashi stories.
Daniel Hooper presents "Self-access Learning in eikaiwa: Attitudes, Reflections, and Challenges"
This presentation is based upon two recent studies concerned with the need for and viability of self-access language learning among adult students in the under-researched private English conversation school (eikaiwa) sector. Language learning in eikaiwa schools is unique within Japanese ELT in many ways and, therefore, any instructor needs to be aware of these context-specific affordances, constraints and ideological hurdles if they are to create realistic and sustainable provisions for self-access learning that will engage students. This presentation will address potential contextual constraints, highlight relevant findings, and present practical ideas for teachers interested in promoting self-study in eikaiwa schools.
Yoko Miyazaki presents "An Activity Exploiting L1"
I believe students’ L1 can be positively integrated into teaching methodology for lower-level adult classes in Japan, where often more than 90% of students share the same L1. I would like to share an activity which utilizes L1, or Japanese, to help learners establish the linkages between pragmatic functions expressed in L1 and those in L2. The learners are encouraged to grasp the meanings of the English sentences and by chunking them and applying equivalent Japanese to them. They are also encouraged to be aware of the form of the English sentences through repeating and shadowing exercises.
*After the event, we will have a social gathering at a nearby location (TBD). We would love for all presenters and attendees to join us, so if you can set some time aside for food and drinks following the event, please plan to do so.