West Tokyo JALT:

The 4th Joint JALT Tokyo Conference: Successful language learners and what they can teach us

Date: Sunday, October 11th, 2009 Time: 9:45 AM - 5:30 PM

Speaker: Chuck Sandy, Rob Waring, Yuka Iijima, Kevin Cleary, Marcos Benevides, Sarah Birchley, and Andy Boon

09:45-10.15 Registration

10:15-12:00 Sarah Louisa Birchley and Andy Boon (Toyo Gakuen University)
Making molehills out of mountains: Realizing learner potential and creating opportunities
This presentation will provide an overview of 'What the "Good Language Learner" can teach us' (Rubin, 1975), and detail the theory behind the design of a new 2nd-year English course, ALPS (Academic Learning and Professional Skills), which is aimed at further developing 'good language learners ' at a Japanese university. The strengths and limitations of the course will be discussed. Finally, we will hear from the learners themselves regarding their learner strategies and language learning experiences.
BIO: Andy and Sarah Louisa are teachers at Toyo Gakuen University. They are both engaged in doctoral studies. Their research interests include educational management, teacher development, action research, and motivation.

11:15-12:00 Marcos Benevides (Kansai Gaidai University)
Intensively extensive: My experience as an ESL reader
The presenter will present his experience as an ESL learner and EFL teacher to argue that successful language learners can read both extensively and intensively at the same time with the right input, and that this input need not be at too low a level to be motivating. If the readings are supported by meaningful extension tasks and are inherently interesting and sustainably engaging, then even slightly demanding materials can be both motivating and instructive.
BIO: Marcos Benevides is an assistant professor at Kansai Gaidai University. He is co-author of Widgets: A task-based course in practical English (Pearson, 2008), and Whodunit: Bridge to Extensive Reading, ABAX, to be published.

12:00-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:00 Kevin Cleary (Tokyo Medical and Dental University)
Finding and nurturing successful learners: One teacher's experience
Do you have students who read the assigned text several times over, without prompting? That read the "recommended books" listed on your syllabus? That voluntarily share interesting information they discovered on their own? The presenter will share his experience in finding and nurturing such students. He will also share his thoughts on how find such students and help them use a combination of intensive and extensive reading to develop conversational fluency. Disclaimer: They are not university students.
BIO: Kevin Cleary has enjoyed teaching English in Japan since 1991. An Associate Professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental, his research interests include technical communication by second language learners and the process of simplifying or otherwise adapting texts for language learners and for the cinema. He is the Tokyo Chapter Membership Chair and the Director of Treasury for JALT.

14:15-15:00 Yuka Iijima (Dokkyo University)
Empowering learners through strategy-focused curriculum
This presentation reports how strategy training has been incorporated into a university EFL curriculum. It particularly focuses on listening strategy training which was contextualized in a required EGAP listening course. The presenter will share the results of students' feedback and suggest ways to integrate listening strategy training with different types of texts and language activities, and will look at how to build these strategies into curriculum to empower learners with the tools for success.
BIO: Yuka Iijima is a full-time lecturer at Dokkyo University. She holds a Diploma in TESL from Victoria University of Wellington and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Ohio University. She is especially interested in English for general academic purposes in EFL context and curriculum development.

15:15-16:00 Rob Waring (Notre Dame Seishin University)
Building an academic vocabulary through reading
Most of what we read in real-life and in standardized tests is non-fiction. This presentation will put forward the case that students should read interesting non-fiction materials on a wide range of topics at various difficulty levels. Part of learning to read non-fiction, means learning an academic and 'technical ' vocabulary. One of the most effective ways to do this is by a combination of direct intentional study complemented by graded reading of academic non-fiction texts. This presentation will show how this might be done.
BIO: Dr. Rob Waring is an acknowledged expert in Extensive Reading and second language vocabulary acquisition. He has presented and published widely on these topics. He is Associate Professor at Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan. Professor Waring is a board member of the Extensive Reading Foundation.

16:15-17:00 Chuck Sandy (Chubu University)
Just because you are teaching doesn't mean everyone's listening
Why is there so often a disconnect between what we teach and what students learn? How can we make it more likely that what's taught is actually learned and learned deeply enough to be retained? Participants will explore the answers to these questions before being introduced to techniques and activities to better connect teaching and learning so that each class has real take away value. Discuss the issue and view handouts at http://tinyurl.com/teaching-learning
BIO: Chuck Sandy is a well-known ELT author, teacher trainer, essayist, and poet who has coauthored Passages, Connect (Cambridge), and Active Skills for Communication (Cengage). He works in the School for Humanities at Chubu University.

17:00-17:30 Coffee with the presenters

To pre-register, send an email to Andy Boon, Conference Chair: andrew.boon@tyg.jp

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

Cost: JALT Members: Pre-Registered: 1,500yen / Non-Registered: 2,000 yen
Non-members: Pre-Registered: 2,500 yen / Non-Registered: 3,000 yen

Venue: Toyo Gakuen University, Phoenix Hall, Building One, Hongo campus, Tokyo (map)

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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