Chubu English Language Education Society Conference

About once every 10 years, the Chubu English Language Education Society Conference is held in Nagano.  The highlight at this year’s conference (for us at least, there are over 80 presentations) will be Shinshu JALT’s sponsored speaker – Dr. Naoyuki Naganuma.  There will also be presentations by local members, Greg Birch and Dr. Sue Fraser, as well as a panel discussion about team teaching.  See the abstracts below for detailed information.  Hope to see you there.
Click here for more information about the conference.

JALT Shinshu will sponsor Dr Naoyuki Naganuma at the Chubu English Language Education Society – Nagano Conference

Event: Chubu English Language Education Society – Nagano Conference
 / 第47回 中部地区英語教育学会 長野大会
Date: June 24 – 25 (Sat&Sun), 2017
Venue: Shinshu University, Faculty of Education
/ 信州大学教育学部
Admission: JALT members, non-members  1500 yen for 2-day conference

Suggested presentations for JALT members

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 10:50 – 12:00
Room: Library (2Fl)
Presenter: Dr. Naoyuki Naganuma, Tokai University

Designing tasks informed by CEFR and CLIL to develop cognitive and intercultural skills
Under the current discussion for the direction the MEXT committees are taking for both primary and secondary education, deep learning, dialogical (collaborative) learning, and active (autonomous) learning are developing as the three key concepts in their plan. The MEXT committee’s curriculum direction is not limited to the area of foreign language, but includes all subject areas. The idea of deep learning is often discussed with the development of cognitive (thinking) skills, which naturally require sophistication of language and content, but we may need to consider the needs of thinking activities even at the lower language proficiency level when one thinks about the role tertiary level education plays.

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The CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) is now attracting more and more attention over the world as a reference of second/foreign language development describing skills ranging from more familiar basic communicative ones to more academic or professional ones, but what can the majority of A2 (waystage) and even A1 (breakthrough) level learners learn beyond BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)? How can we foster their CALP (Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency)? The CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach seems to be one of the possible solutions. We can design our language tasks gradually shifting the focus from LOTS (lower-order thinking skills): remembering, understanding and applying to HOTS (higher-order thinking skills): analyzing, evaluating, and creating. We need to scaffold not only their language skills but also their thinking skills to elicit curiosity and more involvement of the learners in the content they learn to activate their deeper thinking.

Another generic, non-linguistic, skill to be developed is the skill to cope with diversified society and cultures. Mutual intercultural understanding and communication are essential even among learners. The INCA (Intercultural Competence Assessment) framework describes six key competences from the points of openness (respect for otherness and tolerance of ambiguity), knowledge (knowledge discovery and empathy) and adaptability (behavioral flexibility and communicative awareness) in three levels (basic, intermediate and full). Informational and relational aspects are two sides of the same coin of language communication, and we cannot ignore the importance of rapport management when we pursue language tasks. Critical cultural awareness helps us to think more logically, and from various perspectives, while empathizing with others. Thus it is necessary to sophisticate both cognitive and intercultural competences in this rapidly globalizing world.

Naoyuki Naganuma, Ph.D., is a professor of the International Education Center at Tokai University. He got his doctor’s degree in 2006 from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. His research interests are mainly on language learning motivation and language testing, especially can-do oriented assessment to promote learning and motivation. He was a committee member of MEXT for setting learning attainment targets in the form of can-do lists in foreign language education.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 9:30 – 10:00
Room: 第1室 (N101)
Presenter: Gregory Birch, Seisen Jogakuin College

Implementing the Language Portfolio for Japanese University: A Pragmatic Approach
Under pressure from university administration to document the effectiveness of an EFL university program, the author prepared a guidebook to clarify the learning outcomes for this program and a curriculum tree to specify in which classes these outcomes were to be achieved, and utilized the Language Portfolio for Japanese University (LP-J)(Framework & Language Portfolio SIG, 2009) to monitor and document student progress.

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The LP-J is based on the European Language Portfolio, which was created by the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education and linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (Council of Europe, 2001).

The purpose of this presentation is to describe how elements of the LP-J have been implemented, and outline its primary use as a pedagogic tool to document student language learning achievements, record significant language learning and intercultural experiences, and provide concrete evidence of the students’ communicative proficiency.  A secondary goal was to promote learner autonomy through goals setting and reflection, and faculty involvement through monitoring.

The LP-J was utilized to encourage students to monitor progress in relation to program goals (i.e. Learning Outcomes). Assessment of student performance against these outcomes serves as a measure of accountability.  At this time, a key aspect of the portfolio that has not been utilized is its use as a self-assessment tool in relation to CEFR Can-do statements. The use of Can-do statements was avoided as their use implies that the existing curriculum was designed based on CEFR, and goals at each level - from curriculum to individual classes to activities - have been clearly identified and communicated to the students, agreed upon by all stakeholders, and linked to CEFR’s illustrative scales.  Therefore, it was felt that the most pragmatic way to implement key aspects of the Common European Framework of References for Languages was through a partial introduction of the Language Portfolio for Japanese University.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:40
Room: 第1室 (N101)
Presenter: Sue Fraser, Seisen Jogakuin College

We have to? We want to? Tertiary-level Language Learning Motivation in Japan
Ever-increasing opportunities for worldwide interaction through business, travel, technology and social media are motivating learners around the globe to acquire English communication skills. However, is this also true in Japan? The purpose of this on-going study is, therefore, to explore and compare language learning motivation, attitudes to studying English, and perceived L2 ability among Japanese learners approaching the end of obligatory English education.
Cohorts of 2nd-year students of Education, English, and Engineering at three different universities are surveyed each year to elicit interest in and reasons for studying English, and experiences of the L2 learning process. Results are compared every three years to identify patterns in responses, in order to ascertain to what extent motivation has varied over time. Responses also reflect how recent changes in English education and MEXT policy aims of internationalisation may be influencing motivation.

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Data are interpreted in relation to motivational concepts including L2 Self System, International Posture, and Integrative/Instrumental Orientations. Differing views of those majoring in English or other subjects, as well as relationships between motivation and perceived L2 ability, are examined. Quantitative results are discussed, and qualitative examples are provided to allow for student voices to be heard. Classroom activities reported by participants as effective and enjoyable are also highlighted.

Findings include indications that despite a stated desire to communicate with foreigners, there is a decline in interest in travelling or studying abroad and in seeking out opportunities for international exchange. The gap between the ideal L2 self and the actual L2 learner may thus suggest a trend toward insularity rather than intended globalization. Identifying what learners enjoy in L2 classes and what inspires them to study has implications for establishing and sustaining motivation, which in turn may inform curriculum planning, materials design, and classroom methodology on what is appropriate for tertiary-level English education.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 13:30 – 15:30
Room: 第2会場   (N201)
Presenter(s): Peter Ferguson, Nara University of Education; Simon Woodgett, Fukui Prefecture Board of Education

Teaching and Assessment with ALTs

Thirty years have passed since the JET Program started. When we observe English classes now, various roles of ALTs can be identified. For example, the ALT is used as an assistant and acts based on the JTE’s direction, or sometimes the ALT is the main teacher with the JTE assisting students’ comprehension of English. In many situations the current TT (team-teaching) system works well; so what are these good points? On the other hand, in some situations the present TT system does not work so well; so what are the problems and the solutions?

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We can improve the current TT situation, by giving all ALTs an independent role in covering aspects that they are uniquely suited to that perhaps the JTEs are not, and vice versa. Making the best use of both ALTs and JTEs, by having them work together mutually and interactively, should be the ideal of a new type of TT. Our goal is to point out the merits and problems of the current TT system, propose possible solutions for the problems and give useful hints/ideas/examples to further expand the positive aspects. This presentation will not be a lecture or a one-way presentation; we would like to encourage the audience to engage in group-discussions in order to share and co-create some new ideas relating to the themes that we will address.

➀ Making CAN-DO Lists to Share the Goals between JTEs and ALTs
Haruhiko Naito (Asahi Junior high school)
This presentation shows the merits of goal sharing between JTEs and ALTs. Last year, we started making CAN-DO lists to share the goal of each unit and criteria for the evaluation with students. However, we did not make them with the ALTs. The ALTs suggested some good activities for classes, but sometimes the activities are not focused towards the goal of unit set by JTEs because the goals hadn’t been shared with the ALTs. 

Based on this situation, we are making two kinds of CAN-DO list with ALTs now. These are “Grade CAN-DO” and “Unit CAN-DO”. “Grade CAN-DO” shows the goal of each grade by term and unit. “Unit CAN-DO” shows the goal of each section within each unit. Through making CAN-DO lists with ALTs, we can share the goals and we can make teaching plans and activities that work towards these goals. In addition, understanding the goal will allow for more tailored feedback from ALTs and JTEs for the students. In my presentation, I will introduce our CAN-DO list, how we can make them with ALTs, and how we use them in class.

➁ Effective Use of ALTs in the Classroom – In Regards to Oral Assessment, Student Motivation & Creative Communication
Simon Woodgett (Fukui Board of Education)
After collating feedback and research from teacher-training sessions, I have identified the most common concerns of each party involved in TT, which in brief, is as follows: Many ALTs feel underutilized and unsatisfied in their current roles. Many JTEs, on the other hand, feel overburden and over pressured, whereas many students feel they learn English only to pass tests and not in order to develop it as a useful tool for international communication. 

Addressing these concerns, I will explain and show the success story of my experience introducing a new system for oral assessment in TT class, as well as the importance of making students active agents in their own English language progression. This will be followed by some audience-interactive examples of how to encourage students to communicate in a more creative and effective way beyond their current language level.

➂ Effective Team-teaching for Improved Student Achievement
Peter Ferguson (Nara University of Education)
TT should be a collaboration of abilities and backgrounds with the sole aim of improving student learning through effective classroom practices. TT provides a number of benefits, both real and perceived, not only for students, but for the teachers as well. In other words, effective TT should have an impact on both the students and the teachers involved. However, TT requires teachers, especially JTEs, to take up two teaching methods and styles. This can be difficult for many teachers for a variety of reasons. But if teachers are willing to be flexible in their teaching methodologies, there are a number of benefits – both professionally and personally – that can be gained. 

Why are two heads better than one? By having two English teachers in the classroom they can demonstrate effective communication skills/strategies, properly demonstrate the use of non-verbal communication, increase the lexical input and provide varied sources of input for students. TT also enables teachers to be less reliant on the textbook, which brings language learning to life for the students. All of this could possibly lead to improved student motivation and student achievement. 

The main goal of TT is to improve students’ English language development in the classroom. This presentation will focus on how TT can be an effective method to improve student L2 acquisition.




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