ETJ Tokyo:

A Workshop on Cooperative Learning in the Junior and Senior High School OC Classroom

Date: Sunday, September 11th, 2011 Time: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Bill Mboutsiadis, Joel Laurier, Katie Sudo

Here is an invitation to a workshop that will add some useful tools to your teaching toolbox. Please note the change of venue. The room holds only 24 people, so please pre-register by sending an e-mail to If you come to Nakano Arai Katsudo Center via Numabukuro Station, just follow the chalk arrows. If you come via Nakano Station, you can meet Terry Yearley at the North Exit at 12.30 pm and join the 'walking bus'. You can find a map showing the venue, and the stations at

Bill Mboutsiadis
Cooperative Learning Activities through Storytelling - English Narrative Skill Development Kamishibai Style Workshop
Kamishibai, or traditional Japanese picture storytelling, provides learners with a shared cultural context which can nurture learning opportunities in both L1 and L2 narrative literacy skill development and overall L2 acquisition. By also using Japanese and international folktales in English, students can spark some motivational interest in acquiring cross-cultural learning. The presenter will explain the history and instructional methods of Kamishibai, and show how it can develop English narrative skills in both speaking and writing through task-based learning activities. The use of purchased bilingual story cards and student created narratives will be demonstrated. From an early age, a child's burning curiosity is stoked through storytelling by family and educators. This innocent curiosity, originally sparked by narrated experience, diminishes as learners go through the rigors of test-driven senior high school education and beyond. How do we reignite this lost childlike motivating curiosity in our language learners? How can Kamishibai support multiple literacies through context-based learning and cross-cultural experiences? Furthermore, how can we use Kamishibai to foster autonomy and collaborative learning opportunities, both desirable qualities in our L2 learners? This hands-on workshop will have participants cooperatively trying out the Kamishibai method with instructional coaching from the presenter. The presenter will also discuss research findings from exploratory studies and action research which was conducted firstly with elementary students during an in-service teaching project in The Philippines, and secondly in a Japanese university summer school, community outreach project for children ages six to twelve. Qualitative and observational research methods were used to reflect on various learning theories that have subsequently demonstrated positive outcomes.

Bill Mboutsiadis M.A. TESOL (TC Columbia) pending. He has worked in Canada, Slovakia, Greece, Germany and has recently presented and volunteered in the Philippines. He has been teaching ESL at the University of Toronto since 1996 in the English Language Program. He is currently a guest lecturer at Meisei University, Tokyo and chair of C.A.L.L autonomous learning classes. He is a high school and TESL Ontario certified educator. Research interests include: transformative learning, Kamishibai & digital storytelling, C.A.L.L, extensive reading & literacy development, volunteer in-service teaching, content based instruction, English for academic purposes, children's literature, teachers helping teachers' international seminars amd workshops.

JoŽl Laurier
Cooperative Learning
Cooperative Learning (CL) has much to offer. It involves teamwork, yet promotes autonomy. It is also both a motivational tool, and a time saver. This presentation will introduce CL to teachers of Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High Schools who wish to, not only impart knowledge, but also help build links between what we teach in class and the practical dimensions of society. The goal of this presentation is to show the empowering qualities of CL and share some CL structures enabling participants to take away some ideas that they can implement immediately. We will look at when and how to use CL, and will debunk some myths about it. The presentation will be delivered in a CL style, and will rely on audience participation.

JoŽl Laurier is a teacher at the elementary division of Gunma Kokusai Academy. He has taught English in ELA (English Language Arts), ESL and EFL contexts as well as teaching FLS (French as a Second Language) and French in Canada and Japan. He is a Cooperative Learning crusader, and an MA TESOL candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Katie Sudo
Cooperative Learning
Using cooperative learning techniques, teachers can increase student talk time, develop students' leadership skills, monitor and correct errors and create an enjoyable atmosphere for learning. In this workshop, we will discuss how to create and manage student groups, practice some group activity structures, look at materials and content used for group work, and discuss and practice how to use rubrics to assess students in groups. These techniques are great in team-teaching situations and work well for large classes. While the demonstrations will be aimed at teaching junior high school students in English oral communications classes, they can be adapted for elementary school students all the way up to the university level. Bring your own ideas to share on how you use groups in your classroom, too.

Katie Sudo is the head teacher of the Oral Communications Department at Senshu University Matsudo Junior High School in Chiba.

Organization: ETJ Tokyo (English Teachers in Japan) (ETJ Tokyo)

Cost: free

Venue: Yoshitsu 2, Nakano Arai Katsudo Center, Arai 3-11-4, Nakano-ku (less than 10 minutes walk from Numabukuro Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line, and Numabukuro is less than 10 minutes from Takadanobaba)

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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Contact ETJ Tokyo


Ellie Kumagai and Chinny Mbakwe
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