JAPAN UH-DESL CHAPTER

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CHAPTER
(UHAA-DESLC Japan Subchapter)

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Photos from JALT conferences
(including previous years)



PAC3 at JALT 2001

Selected summaries and abstracts (in order of presentation)
November 22 (Thu) - 25(Sun) in Kokura, Japan

Takahashi Satomi

Explicit vs. Implicit Learning of L2 Complex Request Forms
Format: Short Paper
Friday 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM in Main C

Summary: The present study examined what kind of input condition in instructed settings allows Japanese EFL learners to learn more appropriate request realization in English. The following four input conditions were set up in the current study: explicit teaching, form-comparison, form-search, and meaning-focused conditions. 138 Japanese college students were engaged in the tasks required for each input condition for four request situations. The results indicated that the explicit instruction helped the learners both develop their pragmatic competence and enhance their confidence in performance to a greater extent than the remaining three conditions which were implicit in nature.

Jeff Blair

Language Crimes and Other Linguistic Misbehavior
Format: Guided Discussion
Friday 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM in Room 32C

Summary: In this guided discussion we will examine three cases from the U.S. dealing with choice of language. After the presenter outlines the background of each case, participants will be invited to consider in small groups how they would rule if they were the judges. This will be followed by a discussion of the issues raised and how they relate to (a) the laws that define language policy and (b) the judicial process.

Abstract: The nations of the world can be divided into three catagories on the basis of their language policies: (a) nations with a single official language, (b) those with multiple official languages, and (c) nations with no official language. The United States has no official language; yet its state, territorial, and local governments have occasionally established their own official languages or sought to restrict residents' freedom to use their language of choice. In more recent years, as members of the public have become increasingly aware of and sensitive to their legal rights, advocates of language rights for minority language discourse communities have appealed to the federal judicial branch of the U.S. government to make government more responsive to the needs of non-English speakers. Thus in the absence of any clear statutory or regulatory policy from other branches of government, the burden of finding and interpreting a national language policy has fallen on the federal courts. In this guided discussion we will examine three cases from the U.S. dealing with choice of language. After the presenter outlines the background of each case, participants will be invited to consider in small groups how they would rule if they were the judges. This will be followed by a discussion of the issues raised and how they relate to (a) the laws that define language policy and (b) the judicial process.

Fujiko Sano

Gender Representation in Japanese EFL Textbooks
Format: Poster Session (with Miyuki Iida and Thomas Hardy)
Friday 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Event Hall

Summary: This poster session presents the findings of an analysis of gender representation in the seven approved English textbooks series for Japanese junior high schools. Although there was no significant difference in the linguistic features in overall texts, some texts contain gender-biased implicit messages. Researchers also present a checklist of criteria to evaluate the text and suggest ways to evaluate ESL/EFL textbooks for gender bias. Specific ideas for classroom activities conclude this session.

Abstract: This poster session explores and presents the balance of gender representations in EFL textbooks. Recent moves toward sex equality may have changed lexical choice in school textbooks but young minds receive both explicit (lexical) and implicit messages from texts. Therefore, there is still a need to examine if more subtle and implicit messages have also changed. To examine and evaluate the balance of gender representations which appear in seven junior high school English textbooks, the researchers created a list of criteria. Using this, linguistic, extra-linguistic, and meta-linguistic features were collected. The data was first analyzed quantitatively. It was then analyzed holistically, i.e. discourse analysis for bias in gender representation. The findings show that 1) obvious sexist language has been eliminated, 2) grammatical differences such as tag questions has been disappeared, but 3) there is great variety among the texts in the more subtle forms of sexism and gender bias, such as the presentation of language, activities, interests, characterizations, and topics. This poster session concludes with specific ideas for classroom activities.

Michael Depoe

Interactive Activity: Real-Time Conversation Practice
Format: Demonstration (with Hiroyuki Yamamoto)
Friday 6:00 PM - 6:45 PM in Room 21D

Summary: Providing students with real-time conversation practice outside of the classroom is a difficult task for English teachers in Japan. The purpose of this demonstration is to showcase a web-based activity that presents students with opportunities to engage in real-time conversation through the use of streaming-media. Students will participate in the communicative process by interacting with various video segments. The course of the conversation will be determined by the students' choices.

Abstract: A significant challenge for English teachers is to provide students with realistic conversation practice outside of the classroom. This situation is even more difficult in the EFL setting of Japan where native speakers of English are limited. The following internet activity was designed with these specific needs in mind. This demonstration will provide an introduction to a web-based activity which presents students with opportunities to engage in real-time conversation practice by using interactive streaming media. The activity is designed so that students can experience multiple situations while interacting with a real-time video. Here is how it works. The opening page of the web site shows a party scene with 3 people highlighted. Students are given the choice of who they want to speak to. They simply click on the person and the conversation begins. Students interact with the content by selecting from a set of multiple-choice responses. The results of each choice will launch a video segment in streaming format. Using streaming media allows for a minimum wait time between sequences. Students will be able to determine the appropriateness of each speech act based on the resulting outcome. When the user chooses the right answer for certain situation, the movie will continue as in a natural conversation. On the other hand, if the user makes an inappropriate choice, the video will have a strange reaction. By actually creating the story-line, students truly become participants in the conversation. Future scenes include asking for directions and a conversation in an elevator.

Nagatomo Kazuhiko

Implications of Naturalistic Acquisition of Japanese ga and wa
Format: Short Paper
Friday 6:30 PM - 6:55 PM in Main C

Summary: Based on our finding that naturalistic acquisition has an advantage over in-classroom acquisition in acquiring discourse/pragmatic competence involved with the use of Japanese 'ga' and 'wa', I discuss its possible incorporation into classroom instruction, and also propose a theoretical framework to explain how naturalistic/in-classroom second language acquisition takes place.

Lesley Riley

Participant Appraisal of EFL Classroom Materials
Format: Short Paper
Saturday 12:00 PM - 12:25 PM in AIM 3C

Summary: The presenter reports a study evaluating classroom language learning materials, post-implementation. Fifteen EFL teachers and 1,216 learners in a Japanese university respond to questionnaires to determine the suitability of listening and reading textbooks within a core English program. Quantitative and qualitative results identify and compare teachers' and learners' reactions and perspectives. The study highlights the need for more feedback and resulting accountability within curriculum decision-making and development.

Abstract: In EFL classrooms, how do teachers and learners react to language learning materials that have been selected and are in use? One of the messages communicated in current literature on materials evaluation is the "need to find out more about what learners and teachers want from language learning materials" (Tomlinson, 1998, p.341). Rather than appraisal of materials by apparent value, appeal, or hope they might work, there is a need for more systematic feedback from materials users; however, to date, there has been little published on post-use/post-course materials evaluation (Ellis, 1998). To help inform decision-making in any given context both teachers and students are uniquely situated and the most obvious users to provide firsthand feedback of materials (Brown, 1995). This study presents results of a questionnaire administered post-course, to fifteen EFL teachers and 1,216 learners in the context of a core English program in a technical university in Japan. The investigation aims to determine the suitability of two new core textbooks within an innovative curriculum. The presenter examines and describes participants' reactions to a range of listening and reading task-types and textbook topics, perceived difficulty of the language learning level of the texts and cassettes, the extent of perceived self-improvement in learning English, and the importance of the art and design in the texts. Additionally, open-ended responses are collated and presented. Results of the data are used to identify and compare teachers' and learners' perspectives with the aim of generating effective decision-making and increasing accountability within curriculum planning and development.

David Neill

JALT 2002 Steering Committee Meeting
Format: Meeting
Saturday 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM in the VIP Room

Summary: An opportunity to receive a sneak preview of the site for JALT2002, to get to know some of the players, and to sign on to assist the fun and hard work in the year to come.

Donna Fujimoto

Interpreting Student Silences
Format: Short Paper
Saturday 12:30 PM - 12:55 PM in Room 32B

Summary: The Japanese claim that silence holds meaning which is qualitatively different than in other cultures. What does it mean when it occurs with great frequency in language classes in Japan? Rather than relying solely on the interpretations of teachers, this paper attempts to listen to student versions of what the meanings of these silences are and the reasons why they occur.

Abstract: One of the basic lessons which non-Japanese teachers learn when they teach Japanese students is that it is important to give longer wait times for responses from students and that silence in the Japanese culture has different meanings than in English speaking cultures. Studies have shown that Japanese use silence to convey specific meanings, and that greater knowledge of Japanese language and culture can help non-Japanese begin to grasp the finer nuances. Yashiro (2000) specifically places Japanese silence under the category of verbal behavior and NOT nonverbal behavior because silence holds meaning just as much as the linguistic utterances and because Japanese speakers consciously use silence strategically. However, do the same principles operate in the language classroom in Japan? In an attempt to explore the answer to this question, the presenter has collected videotapes, student written reflections and student interviews regarding student talk and silences. Students have been asked why there are frequent silences during discussions, and the instructor made specific attemptsto raise student awareness of the pattern of student talk and silence during the class. Different teaching strategies were used to encourage more student talk. In some cases the students made different assessments than the instructor which helped guide her to make changes in the class instruction in order to better fit the students. Attempting to listen to student interpretations is valuable for it improves the instruction and gives students more confidence when they realize that the teacher is taking cues from them. Yashiro, K.Intercultural dimensions of the language classroom, JALT Shizuoka, Nov.2000.

Howard Higa

Maximizing Study Trips Abroad
Format: Poster Session
Saturday 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Event Hall

Summary: This poster session introduces innovative ideas for organizing highly successful study trips abroad (kenshyus) for universities/colleges. Charts and graphs will outline ways to follow the successes of our school trip: 90% "specialized" lectures/sessions (non-agency arranged); substantial savings through making own arrangements; highest marks on student evaluations or presenter evaluations. Slides, photos, video footage, student booklets, pre-trip lessons, our "self-introduction booklet", and post-trip activities wil be available.

Vernon Chun

Developments in Digital Video
Format: N-SIG Forum
Saturday 4:00 PM - 5:45 PM in Room 21D

Summary: Talk #4: Vernon Chun explores the kinds of hardware and software needed to do computer video editing while showing how he records and edits together scenes from different movies and music videos to use as listening exercises.

Gabriele Kasper

Can Pragmatics Be Learnt in Foreign Language Classrooms?
Format: Chap/N-SIG Sponsored
Saturday 5:00 PM - 5:45 PM in AIM 3B

Summary: According to widely held belief, learning pragmatics in foreign language classrooms is notoriously difficult. The author will examine what two types of data-based studies tell us about opportunities for learning L2 pragmatics in foreign language contexts: studies that observe naturally occurring classroom interaction, and studies examining the effect of planned instructional intervention on students' learning of the targeted pragmatic feature. Several recommendations for teaching pragmatics in foreign language settings will be given.

Fu Akemi

Pragmatics & Its Pedagogical Application
Format: Colloquium
Sunday 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM in Room 33A

Summary: Talk #1: Effect of Scaffolding on Japanese Pragmatic Acquisition The present study examined scaffoldings observed in NS-NNS interaction in a JFL classroom. It was found that scaffolding is a useful technique to help the acquisition of Japanese pragmatic formulaic statements, at least at the uptake level. Results from this study lead to further questions on grouping issues in pairwork activity.

Abstract: Akemi Fu first presents the results of her study that examines a technique of scaffoldings observed in native-nonnative interactions. Fu comparing role-play interactions attempts to show various examples of scaffolding helping learners to acquire pragmatics.

Akemi Fu; The Effect of Scaffolding on Japanese Pragmatic Acquisition; The main purpose of the present study is to compare role-play interactions between NS-NNS with interactions between NNSs in order to see whether scaffolding is observed in both interactional patterns. This study was motivated by Vygotsky's theory of zone of proximate development (ZPD) and the effect of scaffolding on Japanese pragmatic acquisition reported in previous studies (Ohta 1995, 1996a). The primary research question is how scaffoldings from NSs help NNSs acquire Japanese pragmatic formulaic expressions. Recorded and transcribed role-play data in a JFL classroom showed various examples of scaffolding, which seems to be helpful for pragmatic acquisition. In addition, NSs perceived some problems with NNS's cues such as long pauses and non-target like morphemes. Furthermore, role-plays between NNSs did not reveal any examples of scaffolding; this finding is different from Ohta (1995, 1996a). Ohta suggests that less competent learners as well as more competent learne! rs achieve higher levels of development in L2 within the ZPD through collaborative discourse. The different findings in the present study led to an important question for further studies: should role-play activities be designed to match learners with different proficient levels, or with similar levels? Keiko Sato; Effect of Interactional tasks in Pragmatics Instruction in EFL; Recently some studies address the need of teaching pragmatics in ESL and EFL (Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Kasper, 1997). They found effectiveness of explicit information of metapragmatics instructed on successful communication in a target language (Rose & Kasper, 1999; Takahashi, in press). It is also reported that raising awareness of context factors to differentiate linguistic forms of communication acts is important (Schumidt, 1993). Interactional activities for practice, however, are simply regarded as one of the tasks. This study compares the effect of interactional activities, different kinds of role-play, to awareness-raising activities for Japanese learners’ development of appropriate performance of complaining in English. Two intact classes in a college are assigned for different teaching approaches: one is for instruction using awareness- raising activities and the other for role-play practice. Both classes are led to notice through tasks the relation between social contexts and linguistic forms in realizing complaints. Data such as role-play and questionnaires are analyzed to see what degree to which the use of strategies such as politeness and mitigation is changed. The final purpose of this study is to consider how pragmatics should be taught in a classroom in EFL.

Richard Gitsaki-Taylor

Teaching W.E.L.L. & Loving I.T.!
Format: Short Paper
Sunday 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM in the Int Conf Rm

Summary: This paper will first address the need for a structured use of online materials and present a pedagogical framework for constructing a syllabus for web-enhanced language learning. Then a report will be given on the results of a research project designed to measure Japanese students attitudes and beliefs towards the use of the web for learning English, after having been exposed to the above-mentioned pedagogical framework for a period of 14 weeks.

Abstract: Web enhanced language learning, i.e. the use of on-line materials for teaching English, has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years. More and more teachers are happy to utilize the enormous amount of information readily available on the web in order to expose their students to authentic English and real-life language use. Unfortunately, a lot of the time this use of on-line materials is random and it is not based on a carefully structured and pedagogically sound syllabus. Furthermore, research in second language acquisition through web-based materials is scarce and even then the results are not encouraging. In most cases, the teachersand studentsenthusiasm for using the web overshadows the relatively unstructured way in which on-line materials are being utilized and the disappointing results in term of language acquisition. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First I will address the need for a structured use of on-line materials and I will present a pedagogical framework for constructing a syllabus for web enhanced language learning. Then I will report on the results of a research project designed to measure Japanese studentsattitudes and beliefs towards the use of the web for learning English. The subjects of this research project are Japanese college freshman who have been exposed to online materials based on the above mentioned pedagogical framework for a period of fourteen weeks. The results of this project will also be compared and contrasted with the results of a similar study carried out with students of Spanish as a foreign language.


Other alums and friends who attended last year's conference

David Neill was elected JALT Director of Treasury and will be Site Chair for JALT 2002.

Christina Gitsaki--Peter Robinson's first PhD graduate and co-author of Internet English--was seen with her co-author/husband Richard Taylor being congratulated by the staff at Oxford Univ. Press. It seems that twin daughters are due at the end of January. They gave a presentation on The Role of the Web in the EFL Classroom.

Kate Wolfe-Quintero, Vernon Chun, Howard Higa, Raine Sakka, Ted Kitchen, Michele Louwerse, Sharell Reintsma


JACET 2000

Okinawa

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Also attending

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For more information about JACET 2000



Links

Do you know of other links that we should add?


To Other Alumni Sites

  • UH-DESL Alumni Association Bylaws


    To Academic Papers

  • Jeff Blair-collected research papers
  • Peter Robinson-Issues in Second Language Acquisition Research
  • The Internet TESL Journal
    Last updated November 2001 by Jeff Blair
    jeffreyb@dpc.aichi-gakuin.ac.jp