West Tokyo JALT:

Where do New Ideas Come From?

Date: Saturday, November 27th, 2010 Time: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Speaker: Professor Alan Maley

JALT's Tokyo and West Tokyo Chapters are pleased to announce an afternoon with Professor Alan Maley, writer of over 30 books, former Editor for the Oxford Resource Books for Teachers, and visiting Professor at Kebangsaan University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Alan Maley writes:
In my 40 years in ELT, I cannot recall a time when 'new ideas' was not on the agenda! (Maley 2005). I shall suggest five possible sources for such new ideas. I shall also suggest that this search, though it may ultimately lead to dead ends, has an important motivational and developmental function for teachers and trainers. (Along the way, I shall suggest how some of these sources might be linked to Action Research projects.) The five sources are:

1. Teacher Interaction. Here I shall explore the various kinds of interaction which often produces innovative ideas, ranging from formal training contexts, through semi-formal professional contexts such as conferences, to informal exchanges in staffrooms.

2. Heuristics. By heuristics, I refer to basically simple 'rules of thumb', which, when applied inevitably change the teaching interaction. I will deal in some detail with John Fanselow's 'do the opposite' (Fanselow 1978). I shall also point out the heuristic basis of the 'designer methods' (Suggestopoedia, etc.). Other heuristics, such as 'withhold information' will also be mentioned.

3. Re-explorations of Traditional Techniques. Here I describe some areas which have been renovated by creative thinking: dictation, homework, vocabulary, reading and grammar, and suggest some others ripe for re-development, such as repetition, questions, dialogues, drills and translation.

4. Borrowing from Feeder Fields. These fields will include NLP, Multiple Intelligences, Music, and Art. I shall suggest that there are potential benefits to be had from considering areas such as Neuro-science, the psychology of Consciousness, and Creativity theory itself.

5. New Developing Areas: The most obvious (with certain caveats) is Information Technology. I shall also refer to Literature, Global Issues and CliL as content-related areas, and to Young Learners and Advanced Learners as areas for development. Recent renewed interest in 'Flow' (Czikszentimihalyi 1990) will also be included.

6. Conclusion: I shall conclude by mapping the evolutionary journey of a good idea from conception to publication, wider acceptance and application.

Hope to see you there! Please see the JALT West Tokyo website for further information.

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

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

Venue: Tokyo Keizai University, near Kokubunji Station on the JR Chuo Line. Building #2, Room B103 (first building on the right 150m in from front gate).

Location: Kokubunji City, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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