West Tokyo JALT:

Teaching English to Young Learners: Paving the Way

Date: Sunday, December 21st, 2008 Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Aleda Krause, Hitomi Sakamoto, Mayuka Habbick, and Chantal Hemmi

The West Tokyo Chapter and the Teaching Children Special Interest Group of JALT (Japan Association for Language Teaching) announce the eighth in a series of micro-conferences, each featuring several presenters exploring a particular topic for a whole day. The theme of our December micro-conference is teaching children, with presentations on global issues, young learners' goals, the role of the teacher, the role of games, and guiding young learners from listening to speaking.

10:00-10:15 Doors open

10:15-11:00 Hitomi Sakamoto (Toyo Gakuen University), Global education in EFL classes at elementary schools in Japan
The presenter will discuss how to incorporate global education into EFL classes at Japanese elementary school. She will argue that thematic learning can help stimulate studentsf critical thinking. An EFL class for children should, of course, be fun. But if it has meaningful content, too, it can be much more interesting and enjoyable, and motivate children to keep studying. Participants will be asked to pretend to be young learners and take part in a demonstration lesson dealing with a global issue.

11:15-12:00 Chantal Hemmi (British Council), Young learners' goals and teacher identity
The presenter will report some of the results of an ongoing research project conducted at Morimura Gakuen Elementary School on EFL students' and teachers' perceptions of native speaker teachers and young learners' goals. She will also discuss the results of interviews with two instructors on how they construe their identity as teachers. We will consider four important questions:
(1) What are young learnersf goals for learning English?
(2) How do they perceive native speaker teachers?
(3) With the introduction of EFL teaching at elementary level, how do we perceive our roles as teachers?
(4) How can our social and cultural identities and professional roles be manifested positively in the curriculum at the elementary level?

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:30 Mayuka Habbick (JJ Fellowship), Activities for EFL classes are tools, not targets!
Songs, games, crafts and other enjoyable activities are often on the agenda in EFL classes for young learners because they help motivate children to attend class. However, having too much fun with games can distract us from the true objective, learning English. In this hands-on workshop, the presenter will guide participants in thinking about the theory and practice of classroom activities, while emphasizing how children learn. This will be a good opportunity for teachers with a few years of teaching experience to reflect on the value of what they have been doing, with a view to rethinking their approach, and freshening up their classes.

14:45-16:15 Aleda Krause (Seigakuin University), From listening to speaking
Listening is the most important skill for children studying EFL in Japan. Active, participatory listening tasks to introduce and practice language are absolutely necessary, right from the first lesson. Many speaking activities follow naturally from listening activities. The presenter, author of SuperKids and SuperTots, will explain and demonstrate five steps from listening to speaking. Come prepared with clean ears and lots of energy, so you can go home with many ideas to help your students along the path from listening to speaking.

16:30-17:00 Feedback Session

An opportunity for you, the audience, to have your say on the ideas, themes, and issues raised today.

Organization: West Tokyo Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (West Tokyo JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 2,000 yen

Venue: Tokyo Keizai University, Dai-ni Kenkyuu Center, Lobby

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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