On behalf of Saitama JALT, it is with great pleasure that we bring our members a smorgasbord of presentations from members of the Critical Thinking SIG (Special Interest Group) within JALT. As the name of the SIG suggests, the group and its members are especially interested in critical thinking and how incorporating such into our classroom lessons affects students and helps them to grow. Below you fill find the abstracts for the three presentations to be held on the day.
Oliver Smith presents "Critical Thinking and L2 Interaction"
This presentation will explicate a method for explicitly teaching critical thinking to a 3rd year Japanese high school class on an English for Academic Purposes course. It includes an overview of the ‘Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills course and how it fits into the programʼs wider curriculum, an example of a unit, and some of the theoretical underpinnings of the method, which suggest focused group discussion tasks aid both content and linguistic understanding through interaction.
Christofer Bullsmith presents "Critical Thinking and Japanese University Students"
The first half of this brief talk will review what critical thinking is, why it's important and particularly challenging in the Japanese context, and why language classes have a role to play in improving it. The second half will report on the author's efforts to encourage critical thinking in an EFL class.
James Dunn presents "Critical Thinking in EFL: What, Why, and How"
This presentation examines the definition, need, and methodology of critical thinking in the EFL context. By examining the definitions of critical thinking, higher-order thinking skills, and the action verbs that we use in activities, educators go from examining the need of a class to designing critical thinking-based course material that develops thinking skills. Attendees will receive sample course materials from the authors and generate ideas on how to implement critical thinking in their courses.
Each presentation will be about 50 minutes each, so be sure to take plenty of notes! Following the presentations, we have a reservation at Hana no Mai for our annual Year-End Party (忘年会).If you plan to attend, please let us know by sending an email to the following address:
We currently have a reservation for 10 people, but we are able to increase the number of reserved seats if we notify them early. Please contact us ASAP if you would like to attend. Looking forward to closing out another wonderful year with all of our members in Saitama JALT, as well as with our distinguished guests!