We are very excited to start off our collaboration with our neighbor to the north, Gunma JALT, for the Saitama portion of a MyShare event that will be held both this month and next and see members from both chapters present at both locations. For those that don't know, MyShare events are an assortment of short, 25-minutes-or-less presentations from presenters that either do not have a lot of experience presenting and want to get some while getting feedback from an audience, have something that they are working on that is not quite ready for a long-format presentation, or simply have something amazing to share that can be done within the shorter timeframe. Below you will find the abstracts for the presentations coming from members of both Gunma and Saitama for this event:
Azalia Zaharuddin presents "The Effects of Translation Use on Advanced Student Attitudes"
Although recent studies have shown that translation use can be beneficial to students in second and foreign language classrooms, its implementation has often been hindered due to the negative attitudes associated with the grammar-translation method. This paper argues that students' attitudes towards translation use will be more positive when they are exposed to a translation-inclusive classroom compared to one where students receive instruction only in the target language. Semi-structured interviews conducted with learners of Japanese as second language after taking a translation-inclusive class reveal that they have more positive views towards translation use so long as the teacher is fluent in both languages (English as a shared language and Japanese) and ensures that it is not overused.
Daniel Hooper presents "Trading off, not trading up: Perspectives on ELT in eikaiwa and university"
Within Japanese ELT, private conversation (eikaiwa) schools are commonly viewed as the bottom rung of the professional ladder. In contrast to eikaiwa’s marginalized position, language teaching in university is regarded as the pinnacle of the field’s professional hierarchy (Nagatomo, 2016). In this presentation I will focus on firsthand perspectives of teachers who have transitioned between these two teaching environments and analyze perspectives on each context’s pedagogical constraints and benefits. Teachers revealed that eikaiwa teaching provided them with experiences that contributed to their pedagogical skillset and evolving teacher beliefs. On the other hand, university teaching afforded enhanced professional identity due to factors such as increased teacher autonomy and authority in the classroom. In this presentation, I hope to promote a more nuanced view of different teaching contexts in Japan that recognizes diverse affordances and constraints rather than subscribing to a linear, hierarchical view of certain ELT settings.
Heather McCulloch presents "Inferences in ESL Contexts"
Inferences are bits of knowledge that are shared or assumed among groups of people. In some cases, they can be understood as creating an “educated guess,” based on a particular situation. By using inferences, we can get students to think about English language structure in a contextual format, which can help to facilitate linguistic progress and proficiency. This presentation seeks to showcase to educators some effective tips and tricks that can be used to get students thinking about language independently.
Isobel Hook presents "Raising Children in Bilingual Environments"
Much of a student’s linguistic exposure occurs prior to students entering formal educational, and language relationships are greatly influenced by what, how, when and with whom each language is used within the home. To better understand children’s linguistic identities, parents of young children living in bilingual households have been surveyed to explore their usage of different languages with and around their child. Regard is also given to the parents’ relationships to languages, as this can be seen to greatly differ how, in turn, their children will respond in later years. Reflection on parents’ personal experiences and their hopes for future bilingualism in their children provides insight into the current realities for young families in a globalising world. While much has been written on the globalisation of English and the ways in which English fluency may provide educational and professional opportunities, equal importance has also been given to the non-English influences on the children, in this case Japanese and Korean. Some families note abilities in other languages, such as Mandarin and Spanish, however this study focuses on the primary and secondary languages of each parent and how they overlap, are utilised by parents, and are adopted by children.
John Larson presents "How Do We Assess Communication?"
Assessment should ideally be objective and reflect the abilities of the individual without outside influence. Communication is necessarily a two-way process that involves at the minimum a producer and a receiver. How do we square this circle?
First, participants will be asked to reflect on the ways they assess communication, and if these are both fair and accurate. After sharing their ideas in groups, Saitama and Gunma members will discuss their experiences and methods to arrive at a consensus on best communication assessment practices.
As always, we would love for people to join us after these fantastic presentations from some drinks and refreshments at a local establishment nearby the venue. Please make time to join us if you are able!