JACET ESP SIG Kanto (May Meeting)

Date: Sunday, May 28th, 2017 Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Paul McBride (Tamagawa University) and Charles Robertson (Aoyama Gakuin University), Michael Sharpe (Kochi University of Technology)

The ESP Kanto Chapter will hold our first meeting for this academic year on May 28 (Sunday), 2017. We will have two presentations followed by a business meeting.

Research Presentation by Paul McBride (Tamagawa University), Charles Robertson (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Title: Pedagogical implications of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) for EAP writing instruction

Abstract: In an ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) circumstance, users of English are not bound by native speaker (NS) norms; rather, their "success" can be measured by their ability to communicate effectively, and to adapt communication to reflect the diversity and variability of English use in shared contexts. However, what are the implications of ELF for writing instruction? Since, broadly speaking, EAP (English for Academic Purposes) assumes that Non-Native Speakers (NNS) should conform to native forms of language use, how should college English instructors address the issue of writing in EAP? There are divided opinions among ELT practitioners. It is argued that adherence to native English norms in academic and professional writing tasks reflects editorial realities: conventional native norms embody the language, organization, and presentation used for academic discourse. On the other hand, ELF researchers contend that priority in language teaching may be given to nurturing 'communicative capability' (Seidlhofer 2011, Widdowson 2003, 2015). Such a capability, it is claimed, would serve learners well when they subsequently needed to or wished to conform to native norms (Seidlhofer 2011).

The presenters will examine some of the challenges (and opportunities) posed by ELF research concerning EAP writing instruction. An overview of current ELF research findings will be presented. The importance in L2 academic writing pedagogy of Standard English and a distinction between "correctness" of language form and appropriateness of language use will be explored. Approaches which may assist ELF writing practitioners in a multiple-draft, process writing context will be proposed, and suggestions about conferencing ELF writers will be made. Finally, the presenters will discuss how ELF-informed thinking has affected their instructional practices and interactions with students.

Research Presentation by Michael Sharpe (Kochi University of Technology)

Title: Dissecting the tests: Commonalities, individualities and predispositions in standardised academic English tests

Abstract: This presentation will report on a study in which analysis of a corpora of TOEFL, IELTS and EIKEN (2008-) reading and writing tasks was undertaken. Several aspects of the tasks were examined including 1) Commonalities and individualities in task types and topics, 2) Culturally-related predispositions within tasks, 3) The nature of the English used to compose tasks. The overall aim of the study was to gain greater insights into these widely-used standardised assessment tools and guidance for EAP curriculum development in a college level context. It will be argued firstly that, while these tests are often treated as discreet entities, it will be both more productive to design curricula that encourage the development of skills and knowledge applicable in multiple contexts.

Presenter Bios and more information can be found at jacet-esp-kanto.org.

Organization: JACET English for Specific Purposes SIG (Japan Association of College English Teachers) Kanto (JACET ESP SIG Kanto)

Cost: free (all are welcome)

Venue: University of Electro-Communications (UEC Tokyo), Building East 1, Room 705 (UEC Tokyo, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8585) Link for the location (English): http://www.uec.ac.jp/eng/about/access

Location: Chofu City, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan


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Contact JACET ESP SIG Kanto

Website: jacet-esp-kanto.org/

Reiko Fujita
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Shinichi Hashimoto
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