Saitama JALT:

1) On defining 'good' language learners; 2) University listening classes: less product, more process

Date: Sunday, March 8th, 2009 Time: 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM

Speaker: Joe Siegel

On defining 'good' language learners
This workshop will examine the notion of "good" language learners (GLLs) in terms of learner characteristics from second language acquisition literature. GLLs in two different contexts will be discussed: traditional compulsory classrooms and private language schools. The hypothesis that certain learner characteristics may be more advantageous in one learning environment than the other will be offered. After an explanation of different learner factors and contexts, participants will create their own GLLs for one of the teaching contexts. A group discussion of the selected traits will be followed by a brief presentation from one teacher's point of view of GLLs. Some ideas on how learners can become "better" will also be considered. Final comments and questions related to the topic will then be addressed.

University listening classes: less product, more processs
Field (1998) points out that a large amount of listening practice "focuses upon the outcomes of listening, rather than upon the listening process itself, upon product rather than process." This three-part presentation promotes the de-emphasis of product in university listening classes. It will be argued that more attention be given to the process of listening if the skill is to be used beyond the classroom. Part one of the presentation will describe the current state of listening classes taught at one public university in Japan. This will be followed by a description of how direct listening strategy training was incorporated in one of these classes in an effort to teach the process of listening. Preliminary results from triangulated research into student use of and reaction to strategy instruction will be shared. Finally, in a segment related to curriculum innovation, the presenter will describe steps that might be taken to promote and implement such a shift throughout the university's English department.

Joe Siegel has been teaching in Japan for 7 years, and has also volunteered in ESL classrooms in the US, UK, and Turkey. He has experience teaching in conversation schools, elementary schools, and universities. Currently studying towards an MA in TESL/TEFL through the University of Birmingham (UK), his research interests include learner autonomy, listening, strategy use and teacher talk. Joe is always interested in participating in education-based discussion and teacher development. He can be reached at

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

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen

Venue: Sakuragi Kominkan map

Location: Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan


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