AKITA JALT meetings in 2002

December

see the meeting pictures

Discussion and General (Business) Meeting

We will be holding the last meeting in 2002 on December 7 -- discussion and general meeting. Please mark you calendar.
 
Discussion topic: "Language teaching and learning in Akita: What do you want?"
Date: December 7, Saturday (2002)
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students
 
Instead of inviting a guest speaker, we will have discussion (among the participants) on English teaching and learning in Akita during the coming decade. It is timely and appropriate to do this because MSU-A is closing the door on its 12 year involvement and starting on a new phase of the adventure.
 
We will also have a general meeting of Akita JALT. Your frank opinions on what you like about Akita JALT or more importantly what you don't like about it will be appreciated. We would welcome your suggestions or ideas about the line up of guest speakers for 2003. If you'd like to volunteer for any officer positions of Akita JALT -- president; program chair, membership chair, publicity chair, treasurer, recording secretary and others -- feel free to tell us. We will have elections if more than two people volunteer for a single position.
 
We will have a party or "bonenkai" after the meeting. Join us if you have time.
 
Thanking you for your active participation and support.
 
See you on December 7.
Takeshi

At the meeting
You may get a book(s) you want for free!

MSUA faculty will give away books that they no longer need
and could be used by local teachers or students. 

Helen Korengold

If you have books you don't need any longer,
will you bring them to the meeting?
Other people might want to use them.

Takeshi Suzuki

17 attended the meeting.

November

see the meeting pictures

Guest speaker:Dr. Kirby Record
Date: November 17,
Sunday (2002)
Presentation: See below
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Presentation:
My presentation will demonstrate methods of using content-based instruction with low-intermediate to advanced students. I will use segments from one or more films and show how these materials can be used effectively even with students with minimal proficiency in English for instruction in listening, speaking, writing and reading.

I will then demonstrate how to teach American poems to intermediate-level to advanced students and how this instruction is also useful for improving the comprehension of English reading and writing. This also increases the students' sensitivity to the sounds and nuances of the English language  and trains them both in logical and imaginative thinking strategies.

My demonstration will last around 60 minutes with as much time as desired remaining for questions and answers.

Outline

I. Pedagogical Rationale for content-based instruction   (9 minutes)
II. Specific value of film content for lower-proficiency students  (1 minute)
III. Demonstration of materials and classroom techniques. (25 Minutes)
IV. Demonstration of teaching a poem to second-language learners.@(15 minutes)
V. Question, answer and discussion period (open time period)

Bio Data

I was born in Indiana, USA. I earned my Master's Degree in  Linguistics in 1976, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1982, from Indiana University. Since then I have taught at several universities in America and Asia, including Indiana University, Arkansas State University, Harvard University, Keio and Chuo Universities and Showa Women's University, where I now serve as the English Skills' Program Coordinator, and teach courses in English, Semiotics, American literature and film studies. I have published five textbooks of English-language teaching materials with Obunsha and Sanseido, numerous essays on American poetry, and two books  of poetry with American publishers. At present I am working on a series of books for Sanseido, using films as the main content source.

*Dr. Record made a presentation for Akita Akita in October 1998.

18 attended the meeting.

October

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Guest speaker: Kristie Collins
Date: October 19, Saturday (2002)
Title: 'PopStars' and Star Taxi' (a new method for teaching EFL using drama techniques)
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free


Description:
The DramaWorks team, authors of textbooks Star Taxi (2000) and PopStars (2002), will do a presentation using a new method for teaching EFL using drama techniques. This method has been used successfully in secondary and higher education, and would appeal to teachers in these areas. Both are stories told in 20 scenes of dialogue. They are easy and fun to use, and do not require any drama experience, props or special acting ability. They are complete courses, and include warm-ups, language activities and teacher's notes. They may also be used as supplements. This will be a workshop-style, participatory presentation.

***
DramaWorks has conducted successful presentations at numerous JALT chapters since 1999. These have been workshop-style, participatory presentations. They have been enthusiastically received. A DramaWorks presentation is usually conducted by 2 presenters.


14 attended the meeting.


September

see the meeting pictures

Guest speaker: Naoko Taguchi
Date: September 28, Saturday (2002)
Title: The Corpus Linguistics Approach to Language Teaching: Trends, Directions, and Challenges
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students


Abstract:
Recently there has been a growing interest in the use of language corpora and computer analysis tools for second language education.  This presentation discusses recent developments in the field of corpus linguistics, particularly its applications to TESOL (i.e., Teaching English as a Second Language).  Some applications include: descriptions of English grammar in actual context, ESL materials development, potential changes toward more authentic testing, and descriptions of academic discourse in U.S. university settings.   This presentation provides an overview of these applications with examples.

Biodata:
Naoko Taguchi holds a Masters of Education Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from State University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently teaching at the ESL Department of Minnesota State University-Akita, Japan, at the same time pursuing her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University. Her research interest includes interlanguage pragmatics, learning strategies, and discourse analysis. 

17 attended the meeting.

July

see the meeting pictures

This month we will have a discussion meeting! See you.

Facilitator: Helen Korengold
Date: July 13, Saturday (2002)
Discussion topic: Teaching Culture (see below*)
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students


* TOPIC of the discussion
Teaching Culture: How do English teachers in Japan approach this topic in their classroom?
Sociolinguistic considerations:
"Learning a language without learning the culture is a good way to make a fluent fool of oneself"
Brembeck

The above topic is related to interesting issues such as intercultural communication, internationalism, globalization, testing systems, etc, too. What do you think about the issues? Nowadays most schools have an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) or a native (English speaking) teacher(s). How can (or should) they help learners?

** PANEL:
Brad Blackstone, Akemi Sugiyama, Mio Kimura, Stephen Shucart, Michiro Hayashi, Amar Shekdar, Chieko Shibata, Mark Cunningham, Haruyo Abe, Takeshi Suzuki

First round of discussion:  Mio, Takeshi, Mark
Quotes about the relationship between language and culture will be presented.
Some questions:
What are some good ways to incorporate culture into language teaching?
What are some problems (re culture and language) specific to Japanese studying English in Japan?
I will also make up more questions as the discussion goes along.

Second round:   Michiro, Akemi, Brad
Quotes about the cultural nature of gender roles will be presented.
Some questions:
1.  What challenges (re gender roles) to language teachers/students face when teaching a foreign language abroad?  in the target country?
2.  How does the language teacher address gender roles when teaching the target language/culture?

Last group:  Steve, Amar, Chieko, Haruyo
Comments on the topics raised by the first two groups, conclusions

Each group will have about 20-25 minutes to discuss.  At the end (after break), audience asks specific questions.  We can also have audience questions after each round if audience has questions.

*** MESSAGE from HELEN KORENGOLD, who will facilitate the discussion
As a facilitator, I will keep the discussion going, inject questions when the talking dies down, pause for audience questions, keep discussion on track, prevent people from monopolizing the discussion. See you on July 13.

18 attended the meeting.

June

see the meeting pictures

Guest speaker: Dave Ragan
Date: June 22, Saturday (2002)
Title: Effective Language Learning Strategies and Techniques
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students


Summary:
I will present and then have participants apply various strategies and techniques a student or any language learner can use to improve their language learning skills specifically and learning skills generally.

We will learn about the STARS vocabulary study system, the review cycle, and flashing all using  the old fashion vocabulary cards.  I will introduce very basic mind mapping and some other useful techniques and skills. Participants are requested to bring a portable recorder such as a cassette recorder or MD recorder or one of the newer IC chip recorders.  These relatively cheap devices can greatly enhance your language learning if used correctly.

The presenter believes that every language learner needs a portable recorder to collect and review her target language.  Come to this workshop to find out why and how.

Information about the guest speaker:
Jarrett D. Ragan Jr. is an Assistant Professor of ESL at MSUA.  He has been interested in how people learn since 1975 when he first successfully learned Spanish.  This interest led him to teaching English in 1978 and to brain compatible learning and teaching in 1993.

** At the end of the meeting we will survey the audience/participants on the topics of interest for our discussion meeting to be held on July 13. If you have a good topic(s) for the discussion, please bring them with you on June 22.

12 attended the meeting.

May

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Guest speaker: R. Jeffrey Ringer, Ph.D.
Date: May 25, Saturday (2002)
Title: Social Aspects of Communication and Their Relationship to Teaching English as a Second Language
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Summary
Most people think of communication as the transfer of information from one person to another.  But communication is also a social process in that it is through language and talk that humans relate to each other.  Insults and put-downs not only convey the speaker's thoughts to another person but they also attempt to situate the speaker as being better in some way than the other. In my presentation, I will briefly describe the social dynamics of communication and why I believe teachers of  English as a second language need to recognize them.

Biodata
Professor R. Jeffrey Ringer, Ph.D., is Visiting Professor at Akita University and Professor of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, USA.  He teaches English conversation, composition, and presentation and conducts research on the ways that humans relate to each other through language. His current project involves studying how men produce intimate relationships with other men.  He has interviewed men from 75 partnerships in five different countries (US, Denmark, Taiwan, Australia, Japan).  He has also studied Japanese students' use of portable phones.

22 attended the meeting.


April

see the meeting pictures

Guest speaker: Todd Jay Leonard
Date: April 27, Saturday (2002)
Title: Utilizing the Four Skills in Textbook Design
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for all


Summary
Professor Leonard will speak on the importance of including the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in all English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.  He will illustrate how to do this by introducing four textbooks that he has authored with Macmillan Languagehouse (which are based on the "four skills" concept).  All those in attendance will receive complimentary copies of the textbooks Mr. Leonard will use in his presentation.

Bio
Todd Jay Leonard has lived and worked all over the world since he was first introduced to Japan as a high school exchange student during the summer of 1979.
After graduating from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) with a BA and MA, Mr. Leonard taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Academics in a Second Language (ASL) at the Universidad de las Americas, San Jose, Costa Rica as a visiting professor.  Upon returning to the United States, Professor Leonard served as a course coordinator for the Spanish Department at Purdue.

Academic works
Currently, Professor Leonard lives and works in Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken at Hirosaki Gakuin University.  He has published extensively in magazines, newspapers, and academic journals on cross-cultural and English related themes.  He is the author of "Crossing Cultures:  America and Japan"; Extra! Extra! Read All about it!"; Team-Teaching Together:  A Bi-lingual Resource Handbook for JTEs and AETs"; "Talk, Talk:  American-Style"; "Words to Write by:  Developing Writing Skills through Quotations";"The Better Half: Exploring the Changing Roles of Men and Women with Current Newspaper Articles"; "East Meets West:  An American in Japan"; "East Meets West: Understanding Misunderstandings between ALTs and JTEs"; "Trendy Traditions: A Cross-Cultural Book of Essays about American Traditions and Customs."

22 attended the meeting.
February

see the meeting pictures

I'm pleased to welcome our old friend and colleague, Al Evans, on behalf of MSUA and Akita JALT, back to Akita, for a presentation on Wednesday, February 13. The abstract should be of interest to us as we look forward to the new international college in Akita. We're hoping that English speaking members of the prefectural planning committee will also be able to attend. (written by Helen Korengold, MSUA)

Guest speaker: Albert Evans
Date: February 13, Wednesday (2002)
Title: Personal experiences in an International College
Sub-title:  Thoughts on the successful elements at Miyazaki International College.
Time: 7:00 PM - around 9:00 PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free

Abstract
Miyazaki International College is a four year liberal arts college in Kyushu.  In this presentation I will discuss the background of Miyazaki International College and describe what makes it different from the average college in Japan.  I will then discuss some of the things I believe work very well in the program.

23 attended the meeting.



AKITA JALT meetings in 2001
November

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Dr. Sean Izumi
Date: November 3, Saturday
Title: Focus on Form in English Teaching: Integrating Meaning and Form
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

We will focus on the issues concerning how we can best integrate focus on meaning or communication on the one hand and focus on language forms or grammar on the other. We will also take a historical perspective on the issues of grammar teaching and overview some of the most popular proposals that have been put forth for language teaching over the last few decades. We will examine the rationale and problems of each of these approaches to language teaching. Then, we will consider the notion of focus on form proposed by Mike Long (1991, 1998) and others, which tries to integrate attention to form and attention to meaning in the course of language leaning and teaching. The subsequent discussion will focus on issues that need to be addressed in focus-on-form teaching. We will see some SLA studies that have examined the efficacy of focus on form in second language leaning.

Biodata

Sophia University, Department of the English Language and Area Studies
Dr. Shinichi Izumi

Shinichi Izumi better known as Sean, earned his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University, USA. Having spent almost 10 years studying and teaching in the United States, he recently joined the faculty of the Department of the English Language and Area Studies at Sophia University. At Sophia, he teaches courses in EFL (English-as-a-foreign-language) speaking, listening, writing, reading, English Linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), the last of which is his specialty. His research interests include second/foreign language acquisition and the interface between SLA research and EFL teaching. His research work has been published in Applied Language Learning, Second Language Research, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and TESOL Quarterly.

October

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Prof. Thomas Simmons (JALT national president)
Date: October 13, Saturday
Title: What influences our individual approaches to teaching in the classroom?
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

How Dr. Simmons teaches what in his classroom:

(The following is what Dr. Simmons has done in his classrooms. It's from email he wrote to me earlier and I hope he doesn't mind the quotation. It'll help you understand him and his ideas of teaching English. Takeshi Suzuki)


VIDEOS
I have taught the higher level students, among other movies:

Driving Miss Daisy in a seminar. We discussed:
Stereotypes, Race relations, Jews, the KKK

Steel magnolias
Lots of discussion about semiotics, what different scenes and motifs meant

The Fugitive
Movie laws and courts as opposed to real ones.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Motifs and semiotics again
Stereotypes, mythology, good and evil.

These classes spend a great deal of time in vocabulary acquisition and I also turn over the group discussion to them in very short order. At the top of the levels are students who easily take over and solicit information from the other students and rephrase the students' comments. At the bottom are those who merely read off some questions.

COMPARATIVE TEXTS
Another area I work is in the comparison of media--what Japanese papers say as opposed to what the international press says. I do that with other countries as well. Getting the U.S. viewpoint first and then getting a British and Japanese and French and Canadian and New Zealand perspective.

DISCOURSE STRATEGIES
I also maintain a fairly constant core for all my classes in discourse strategies. Each student gets a handout in Nihongo and English. The most basic DAs are the means by which we solicit more information or information to clarify or simply repeat ("Can you explain that?" "What did you say?").  Later if they get any good at the basics we work on drawing out people with different styles, rephrasing, offering opinions, that sort of thing. The problem that most teachers seem to have is getting the students to simply speak up and ask for information or offer information. That is of course if they are trying to teach the students to communicate in another language.

VOCABULARY ACQUISITION
Another core area of work is concentrated on is vocabulary acquisition. Students are given group activities so that they need not spend long hours in their dictionaries. I also have their definitions proofread so that I know if their Japanese equivalencies are correct. I give frequent short quizzes on vocabulary and devise group activities wherein they must use the DAs to solicit information about new words.

PROJECTS
Projects include: a personal business card, photo journals (I used to use regular journals and did so somewhat successfully for classes of 80-90 students) and speeches. There are also special extra credit assignments like monitoring an event in the media or writing reviews for movies.

STUDENT RECORDS
Another one of my primary core approaches is student records. All students get a copy of their grade sheet with each category delineated for each class. The sheets are passed out at the beginning and collected at the end. No one takes theirs home. Successful completion is part of their overall participation grade since it involves actually doing work and following instructions given in English. Grade categories areDATE  BOOKS  HOMEWORK  QUIZ  TA  ACTIVITY  DA

BOOKS merely refer to whether or not they brought their assigned books. They are expected to show up with a textbook, and a notebook (for the use of this one class since it will be graded) and dictionaries

HOMEWORK is checked a the beginning of each class and merely graded on the whether or not it is completed. The class then works together to check it. The homework category also includes the large projects they are given such as speech preparation and photo journals. Each student must also make a bilingual name card that is modeled on the typical business card and it includes a photo of the student. It often turns out to be a very creative outlet for the students. The quality ranges from a simple handwritten work on a blank piece of paper with the photos or car stock with printed entries and resplendent with the university logo. there may also be various assignments like maps and tour guides with photos. Much of what I do with the homework is geared to give the students a chance to show off
what they can do.

QUIZ I usually have or or two a class in vocabulary and on their homework. Wrong answers are no points for or against. no answer is counted as a negative and a correct answer may be given partial credit for being partially right. Intelligent wrong answers are also given points.

TA simply refers to small task they are given with instructions in English. TA means "teaching assistant." Quite a bit of my work in class is given to the students enabling me to spend more time actually teaching. The TA tasks may involve distributing handouts and grade sheets, running errands, writing their answers on the board (those who do their homework get an additional TA grade) or leading discussion groups (again, those who do their homework have another opportunity to better their grade). I also keep class notes and a student is assigned to copy everything I put on the board--those who do it well get more opportunities and thus a greater TA grade. I spend a lot of time with small groups and group leaders become an essential part of keeping the students on task as I walk about the room dealing with problems. these small groups also remove the stigma of having to be seen by the class as a whole and the more reticent students are able to speak out in the presence of trusted friends rather than fear making themselves look foolish in front of 30-40 strangers. TA runs the gamut from simple to very complex and is graded accordingly.

ACTIVITY is a overall grade for being in class and taking part of any activity for the day--thus attendance becomes more crucial. Speeches are also included in this category since they are done by everyone and they are done in class even though the preparation may be done out of class and included in homework.

DA is "Discourse strategy." When the students spontaneously use the strategies i teach them or volunteer answers, the get a DA point.

In this way, the students always know what they are required to do, and how they are doing. there are no surprises at the end of the year. Further, it allows me to pinpoint the students who are not getting much done and I can sort out special attention.

I spend a lot of time keeping the students on activities that use English and that means a lot of work, so class management activities are essential for me to keep the ball rolling and make sure people do not spend too much time chatting in small groups on unrelated topics in Nihongo or sleeping. Apathy is the best way to get a failing grade in my classes.

Over the years I have developed approaches to teaching that deal with restrictions in inadequate class time, apathetic students, administrative demands and over large classes. It is in many way pro-active and designed to forestall criticism from the administrations who tend to view the process of learning as entirely dependent on the teacher's ability.

Anyway, those are some of the common themes in my approach to teaching.
--
Cheers,
Thom Simmons

 
September

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Kensaku Yoshida
Date: September 8, Saturday
Title: Teaching English in an EFL Context
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Each country has its unique objectives for teaching foreign languages.  In Japan, as is well known, getting into higher institutes of education is probably one of the most obvious objectives.  At the same time, there is also a more general need for the Japanese to learn English, which is to acquire it as a means to surviving in the international society of which Japan is a prominent member.  I will try to present several criteria to, hopefully, clarify these points.

some pictures of Prof. Yoshida's meetings in the past
Prof Yoshida's lecture in June, 1998
Prof Yoshida's lecture in June, 1999
July

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Keith Adams
Date: July 28, Saturday
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Title: Business language students can use at work!

Abstract

In the increasingly international world of business, the demand for English communication skills in the workplace is greater than it has ever been. Whether managers are reading e-mail, or using English in ereal-timef situations, such as making a presentation or receiving foreign customers, English has become an indispensable skill for many executives.

However, managers at lower-levels of English proficiency face a daunting prospect. They have high-level business needs for English, but most business English textbooks are at an intermediate level or higher. These managers need materials that match their language level while providing them with realistic tasks and content relevant to their professional lives and experiences.

Business English teachers also face special challenges. For example, unlike general English classes with twenty or more students, the typical business English class is small and frequently involves one-to-one teaching. Furthermore, sequenced presentation of learning materials can be problematic because the studentsf busy schedules may cause them to miss classes. Therefore, teachers need a text that provides appropriate tasks for small classes and flexible choices of material to accommodate students who sometimes can only attend irregularly.

In this session, wefll discuss these and other issues for learners and teachers of business English. Taking examples from the Global Links series, the authors will present ideas on teaching business English to give managers the English communication skills they need in international business.

Summary

This presentation will focus on important issues in teaching business English, with a particular emphasis on the challenges faced by lower-level English proficiency students and their teachers. Taking examples from the Global Links series, the authors will present ideas on teaching business English to give managers the English communication skills they need in the international world of business.

Bio

Keith Adams teaches at Tohoku Gakuin University and is the co-author of Workplace English: Office/Travel File. Rafael Dovale is General Coordinator of Panasonicfs Language Training Programs.
June

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Yoshinori J. Watanabe, Ph.D.
Date: June 23, Saturday
Title: Proficiency and Achievement Tests for Screening
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

*Dr. Watanabe will also talk about his experience of teaching at ICU (International Christian University), a well-established language institution called the ELP (English Language Program). He had been working there for ten years before coming to Akita.

abstract:
(research and practical applications relating to using proficiency and achievement tests for screening)
It is common to claim that if a test were to improve, teaching and learning would accordingly be changed in a better way: hence, a deterministic view of test effects. However, a test itself has little power over test-users. It is test-users who make its effects negative or positive. In order to make the best use of tests, then, it is important to understand their purposes. Prior to selecting or developing a test, test-users need to be ready to answer the questions, such as "What is the test intended to measure?" "What are the test results expected to be used?" and "Why is testing necessary in a given educational setting?" The presentation addresses the issue of appropriate uses of language tests in line with each unique educational context. A particular reference is made to a major test use distinction that is commonly made in the testing community: achievement (to test what a learner has learned) and proficiency (to test what a candidate will be able to do). A discussion will also be made about the mechanism of washback effects of language tests in reference to the attribution theory of motives.

Dr. Watanabe received his doctorate in Linguistics for English Language Teaching from the University of Lancaster and currently is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Human Studies at Akita National University.

** Dr. Watanabe has joined the Faculty of Edu. and Human Studies of Akita National University this April. Welcome to Akita English educational world, Dr. Watanabe!
May

pictures of the meeting

Guest speaker: Nathan Edwards
Date: May 26, Saturday
Title: Essential Internet Activities for the Language Classroom
Time:3:30 to 5:30PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Abstract and Brief Bio-Data:

Essential Internet Activities for the Language Classroom by Nathan Edwards, Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT). (Presenter at JALTCALL2000 Tokyo, JALT2000 Shizuoka and major contributor to Recipes for Wired Teachers: Practical Ideas by Teachers for Teachersby the JALTCALL SIG.)

This presentation is based in part on articles/ lesson plans which appear in the most recent JALT CALL SIG publication: Recipes for Wired Teachers.The four areas explored are:1. Utilizing global "live" webcams in the language classroom. 2. Using Panoramic 3D Images: Free, easy to use "Livepicture" software. 3. Discovering Internet Relay Chat: Analyzing authentic texts. 4. Easy to use, free video conferencing:"Microsoft Netmeeting" used by an EFL learner. *Please note that even teachers who do not currently have or use a computer will benefit from the discussion of teaching methodology and exchange of ideas.
April

pictures of the meeting

Elementary school English education
You can read Tom's handouts both in English and Japanese about the subject.
Guest speaker: Tom Merner
Date: April 21, Saturday
Title: Elementary school English education
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)
Admission: Free for members, 1,000 yen for non-members, 500 yen for students

Akita--Introducing Public Elementary School English and the Monbusho Handbook by Tom Merner, Japan College of Foreign Languages. English instruction is about to become an option for the new "Period for Integrated Studies" in the Japanese public schools. Monbusho has published a "Handbook for Elementary School English Teaching Activities," to provide support to teachers. Merner, member of the authoring committee, will introduce the handbook, share views about the direction public elementary school English seems to be heading, and introduce results of a survey about the current situation in schools which have already implemented English.

Tom Merner has been teaching English at his own school in Japan for 15 years. He is currently also an instructor of a teaching English to children methods course at Japan College of Foreign Languages and has served as a member for the Ministry of Education's authoring committee for the Practical Handbook for Elementary School English Activities. He is co-editor of Teachers Learning with Children, newsletter of the JALT Teaching Children SIG.
January

Guest speaker: Charles Adamson, Ph.D
Date: January 27, Saturday
Title: Suggestopedia
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Place: GH-300, MSU-A (Minnesota State University Akita)

Suggestopedia accelerates language learning by employing suggestion to free the students' functional reserves. Joy, mental relaxation, and concentration without tension allow both the conscious and the unconscious to become involved in learning. Art, psychology, and pedagogy are combined into a seamless whole which allows the student to cope with the three barriers to learning. In practice this means the use of infantilization, concert pseudopassivity, prestige, double-planeness, intonation, and rhythm. A pure suggestopedic class consists of three phases: the decoding of the material, a concert session, and elaboration.

Suggestopedia as an independent method will be described first and then suggestions will be offered concerning how these ideas could be applied to the participants' classrooms.

go to meetings in 1998 to 2000

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"GENKI" English education homepage by Takeshi Suzuki

Read My Diary 4(from January 1, 2003)
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