Aoyama Gakuin University
Andrew is a coordinator of the English Program at Aoyama Gakuin University. His research interests include Intercultural Communication, Materials Design and Media Literacy. He has a PhD in Applied Linguistics and teaches classes on Communication, Comparative Culture and Media Studies. He is from Vancouver, Canada and enjoys cycling, nature and all adventures big and small.
Learning communities are becoming important as learner needs become more diverse. Learners with disabilities are one example where learning communities are underrepresented. The 2016 Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities reemphasizes learning capacity for those with special needs. This change raises the question: how can learning communities be formed to expand accessibility to language learning? This session will engage in discussions regarding learning and professional communities, diversity and accessibility in language learning.
Supporting teachers with limited technological skills, encouraging students to participate who have anxiety or social withdrawal and generally motivating the connections and communication we take for granted, are at the forefront of online learning management skills. The quarantine situation will pass eventually, however the skills and techniques developed and discussed in this forum will continue to be essential elements of the hybrid English classroom and lifelong language learning, well into the future.
The ability to create compelling narratives that inspire and promote cooperation is the most powerful tool humans possess. How can we apply a narrative structure effectively to language learning? Everyone has a story to tell. Presenters will demonstrate how simple, concrete, original, relatable and comprehensible narratives, critical incidents, or experiences can be easily constructed and shared to help learners develop a deeper understanding of the more abstract and ambiguous aspects of language, culture, and communication.
Communities are built on empathy, flexibility, and the ability to make meaningful connections that bridge individual as well as cultural differences. This roundtable will engage in discussions on raising awareness of relationship building as an important communication tool. A key focus will be discussions on problems of identity, cultural obstacles, and biased expectations involved with intercultural relationships. How can we apply our skills and experiences to help learners use relationship building to become better communicators?