Iwate-Aomori JALT:

Sustainable Language-based Critical Thinking Instruction

Date: Sunday, September 25th, 2016 Time: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Speaker: David Gann (Tokyo University of Science)

The presenter will report on the first in his multi-step course design for aiding students in the development of critical thinking competence and dialectical discourse. These steps include

  1. intake of explicit instruction in argument analysis delivered via podcast;
  2. completion of two types of online text reconstruction exercises specially designed to facilitate noticing of
    (a) salient textual features associated with various premise-conclusion constructions; and
    (b) dialectical discourse items used in professional, academic and civil discourse;
  3. online discussion threads concerning either
    (a) issues raised in the textbook during Freshman English; or
    (b) problem solving, hypothesis testing and data interpretation during subsequent Integrated Skills courses; and collaborative writing via online documents;
  4. speaking tests, during which students draw upon their recent discussion thread communications;
  5. assessment based on the use of the aforementioned language items, followed by meaningful feedback; and
  6. how a technological solution helped the course design and approach reach sustainability.

The presenter will explain the rationale behind the various steps; pedagogical considerations that informed various technological aspects of production and delivery; how the podcast material was connected to in-class activity; and how well the course design was received by our students.

Bio Originally from the U.S., David Gann moved to Japan and began teaching in 1996, after earning an M.A. in English literature. In 2010, he began co-producing Critically Minded Podcast. That same year he also co-founded JALT Critical Thinking SIG. Since 2012, he has taught as Assistant Professor at Tokyo University of Science, where he has continued to develop materials for critical thinking instruction. In 2013, he completed a second M.A. in Educational Technologies and TESOL at the University of Manchester. His main interests include critical thinking instruction, CALL and learner autonomy.

Organization: Iwate-Aomori Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Iwate-Aomori JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)

Venue: AIINA AIINA Rm 817 (map)

Location: Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, Japan


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Contact Iwate-Aomori JALT

Website: iwatejalt.wordpress.com

Mary Burkitt
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Phone (work): 019-663-3132
Jason Hill
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