Sessions / Learner Development (LD)
In this forum, a range of interactive presentations will critically explore the theme of transformative learning communities (TLCs), based on theories of transformative learning where learners reach fundamental shifts in their worldviews and actions through reflection. Presenters will focus on distinct groups of learners (high school students, university students, teachers, teacher trainees, and practitioner-researchers), with forum participants invited to discuss and later share their reflections about TLCs in Learning Learning, the Learner Development SIG's newsletter.
This is going to be the AGM of Learner Development SIG in 2020. At the AGM, we will look through the 2020 Learner Development SIG Committee Review, and treasurer’s report for 2019-2020 and draft budget for 2021. Also, we will discuss and plan our SIG activities for 2021.
It has been estimated that over three-fifths of modern English words have their roots in Greek, Latin, and the Romance languages. This workshop will introduce some practical activities for teachers to incorporate common English word roots into their discussion classes. It is hoped that these activities will help students remember more of the words they learn, see some of the patterns in the English lexicon, and give them practice speaking.
In recent years, researchers have argued that the growth mindset, deliberate practice, and grit have more explanatory power about achievement and mastery than do innate talent and intelligence. This presentation will report on techniques the presenters employed to raise metacognitive awareness in students including feedback strategies and self-reflection activities used to foster a growth mindset and grit.
Looking back at a quarter of a century as a teacher, author, publisher, and study abroad coordinator, the presenter will consider what he learned about teaching and learning along the way. He will look at certain significant events and incidents that suggest ways in which Japanese students and teachers in Japan might be served better.
Following an approach informed by sociocultural theory (SCT) and conversation analysis (CA), this paper explores peer roles in analytical sharing sessions of excerpts of learners’ own L2 production, which focus on (1) vocal, (2) nonvocal, and (3) material modes, and (4) the three combined (multimodality). The longitudinal data show that the diverse roles vary greatly as does their impact on displays of learner’s analytical skills in the three modes and the development of classroom community.
Instead of studying abroad some students stay in Japan, participating in quasi-immersion programs, such as English-only camps. The students and teachers get out of their classroom and participate in various activities, experiencing life in English in various situations. Are English-only camps effective? This presentation provides findings from the questionnaire and the analysis of participants’ writings, followed by a discussion of the efficiency of this type of program.
This presentation reports the findings of a research project done for the researcher’s Ph.D. program in Leadership with English content that was completed in the spring of 2020. The research investigated the leadership style preferences for workers at self-access learning centers at universities and colleges throughout Japan. The presentation will examine the results of the data collection and subsequent testing, as well as potential implications for future research.
EFL learners must use their second language (L2) to learn well, but this is challenging. Research was conducted to explore unknown relationships between learner autonomy, self-efficacy, and student preferences for instructional language on their willingness to communicate (WTC). Participants (n=100) from first- and second-year EFL university classes in Western Japan completed questionnaires at the beginning, middle, and end of two 15-week terms. Presenters discuss significant correlations between all four variables.
Heather McCulloch will draw on her own experience and research to examine what introversion is and what it is not. Her analyses of what goes on inside the introverted brain will help participants understand why introverts are so overwhelmed in social situations. She will discuss teacher attitudes that could help or hinder introvert performance within the classroom. She will offer participants ways to help introverts and extroverts work together to create a balanced community.
This action research study examines the ways in which the presenter implemented reflection and metacognitive strategies (Agarwal & Bain, 2019), fostered cooperation between students (Jacobs et al., 2002), and taught relaxation techniques to first-year students in a year-long academic writing and test preparation course. “Study Buddy” teams and “The Boot Camp” study planners used during the summer break kept the students motivated and accountable. Test scores and student feedback indicate the success of the approach.
This presentation traces how students gained interpersonal skills and intercultural communicative competencies (ICC) through drama-based pedagogy and participation in the International Virtual Exchange (IVE) project. Through process drama activities that culminated with writing-in-role, non-English major computer science students were provided a foundation for participation in the IVE project, thereby building community across the world.
This workshop first demonstrates how to set up and manage an online intercultural exchange (OIE) project for young learners. It also reports on a case study that examines how an OIE project creates a space for children to develop learner agency. In the Q&A session, the participants will have an opportunity to explore the practicality and transferability of such projects in their own contexts.
This workshop will introduce a teaching method informed by skills acquisition theory designed to help students develop speaking fluency in a series of scaffolded steps that lead them from simple question/answer drills to the goal of being able to engage in an unrehearsed conversation for several minutes. The length of the conversation and level of abstraction of topics is relative to students’ initial level.
While university graduates demonstrate academic and professional knowledge and skills, they lack interpersonal, communicative, and analytical abilities. Academic intelligence has little to do with emotional life (Goleman, 2009). The presenters argue that teaching soft skills in EFL classes has the potential to increase students’ sense of community and collaboration that they will transfer to their future. The different ways and techniques to develop learners’ soft skills and emotional intelligence in the ELT classroom are presented.
This forum examines learner communities in self-access spaces, through several presentations and a follow-up discussion. Topics covered include fostering teaching assistant study groups in a self-access context, learner engagement and identity with a social learning space as examined through the lens of the community of practice framework (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2015), and the challenge of sustaining and enhancing a community of learners split across two university campuses.
This forum features several short presentations on self-directed learning. The presenters will cover a range of topics related to their teaching practices, including their use of language learner histories; learner journals; online and face-to-face interactive tasks; negotiated goal contracts; and reflective tasks. They will also introduce measures they employ to facilitate open dialogue and create a professional teaching community. Finally, participants will be invited to share how they address learner autonomy in different contexts.
This collaborative research was undertaken to facilitate greater self-directed learning initiatives. Four iLearn services were offered to encourage wider participation in the SciTech community outside of student labs. Data analysis of audio recordings indicated students’ capacity to give and receive critical feedback on various aspects of their learning, particularly on choice of research methodology, data analysis approach, specialized lexis, poster design, non-verbal language, and to a lesser extent, syntax.
A Peer Support Team was set up to have second-year students assist the incoming students in their transition from high school to university. This presentation aims to explain the evolution of this program, including the selection of peer supporters and the activities involved. It will also look at the effect the program had on both student cohorts and options for further development in integrating incoming students into the university community.
This presentation focuses on university students’ interpretations of their language portraits and on wider factors in society that the students saw as impacting their languaged lives. The presenter will also report on what a group of teachers learned together from such student perspectives and how they came to new ideas for developing a team-taught course on multilingual issues in society.
In this presentation, a case study of international student peer support communities in a private university in Japan will be reviewed. In particular, two pilot studies of training international student peer supporters will be explained. Also, the presenters will explore how to build an interactive and reciprocal community of teaching/non-teaching staff and students for intercultural understanding on campus in Japan. Possibilities of encouraging autonomous learning in language education in Japanese universities will be discussed.
Recording dialogues can help provide a base for doing classroom assessment which is transparent and engaging for students. This poster describes an action research project comparing can-do lists and descriptive rubrics used in conjunction with Flipgrid, a recording app, as a tool for raising students’ awareness of conversation strategies and target language and functions. The presenter draws on Dornyei’s models of motivation by analyzing how repeated use of this framework helped students develop their abilities.
The first presenter will discuss a variety of learning theories including behavioralism, cognitivism, and constructivism, and a number of language learning strategies such as cognitive and meta-cognitive awareness-raising, that form the basis of inclusive education. The second presenter will introduce some concrete examples of how learners with different learning needs can individualize their study of English through the use of these theories and strategies as well as additional, personalized resources.
This presentation explores the results of a survey of 77 university students and 21 high school teachers about their high school and university experiences. Results show that even though curriculum implementation has promoted communicative and group focused tasks, the amount of opportunities to speak in the classroom are still lacking, which has an impact on student motivation and willingness to communicate in the university classroom. Hints about improving communicative output in the classroom are provided.
Classes led by international graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) impact first-year undergraduate students’ understanding of the world, their motivation to study and use English, and the expansion of their imagined L2 communities. Through analysis of qualitative data, this presentation encourages the utilization of NNS graduate student TAs from developing countries to broaden students’ knowledge about culture, customs, and issues in other countries, and to expose students to contexts and models of using English as a lingua franca.
Is it possible to create an in-class community of learners to promote presentation skills, research methods, self-confidence, motivation, and creativity with a single project? We have spent three years doing just that with our student poster sessions. The students conduct research projects of their own design and share them in poster expos. This workshop will share the complete project design, some of the posters, and a selection of qualitative feedback from the students themselves.
The presenter will address the result of a case-study which investigates how and what kinds of assistance are provided among low-proficiency high school learners, the teacher, and other learners in an EFL classroom setting in order to make a good learning community. The presenter will share what triggers scaffolding to occur, what types of scaffolding occur, and how learners and the teacher scaffold learning during classroom activities.