2011 Events

November 16th: India's First Writing Center
Ashok Dange, Srikrishana S. Adsul, Hanumant C. Chopdenkar, Chowgule College of Arts & Science, India

This two-part presentation shared the experiences of
starting up India’s first writing center in Chowgule College in Goa. In just three years, the center has grown to cater to approximately one-third of the total student population and continues to look toward increasing attendance to the Writing Center through offering a wider variety of activities as well as a business certification program. Other language departments are getting involved in order to establish connections with the center. The score of presentation attendees included writing center directors and tutors from Waseda, Sophia, Columbia Teachers College, GRIPS and Tokyo University. A lively discussion took place in which attendees received helpful insight from the presenters and also shared their own experiences in their writing centers.

October 20th: Processing Instruction and Teaching Grammar
Dr. Alessandro Benati, University of Greenwich, UK

Dr. Alessandro Benati, Professor of Applied Linguistics and Second Language Studies, presented on the impact that processing instruction has made since its conception. He explained processing instruction, both its main theoretical underpinnings as well as the guidelines for developing structured input practices. He provided an overview of the empirical research conducted to date, on processing instruction and it will reflect on the new research trends on measuring the relative effects of this instructional approach to grammar instruction.

July 11th: English Rakugo and its Effectiveness in English Education
Tatsuya Sudo, Kanda University of International Studies

This seminar introduced English Rakugo and its use in English education. Rakugo is a traditional verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller sits on the stage, and without standing up from the Japanese seiza position, the performer depicts a long complicated comical story using only a paper fan and a small towel. Sudo claims the effectiveness of Rakugo in English class, since learners can practice conversational English without partners and they can learn Japanese traditional culture, humor and cross-cultural elements. He explained the history of Rakugo and English Rakugo, and how it can be taught in English class. The highlight of the seminar was Sudo's own English Rakugo performance.

May 10th: "Words, Words, Words: Issues in Teaching Vocabulary" 
Prof. Steven Gershon, J.F. Oberlin University

Prof. Steven Gershon has been teaching in Japan for nearly 25 years. In this seminar, participants were given the opportunity to consider some relevant issues related to vocabulary learning and teaching in general, and English vocabulary specifically. This was followed by a discussion on some principles that can guide us in presenting vocabulary and designing vocabulary activities for the classroom.

January 17th: Designing eLearning Language Courses
Tomasz Chudak, University of Vincent Pol, Poland

Mr. Chudak is the owner of two educational companies in Poland: Dialogo School of Romance Languages where he lectures in Spanish, and Oxigo CreativEducation where he serves as an instructional designer, e-tutor, and e-learning project consultant. In this well-attended talk for JALT he provided a detailed explanation of the necessary skills for educational technologists in designing eLearning language courses based on his experiences in building his Oxigo company. Of particular interest to the participants was the long list of free online eLearning possibilities ranging from YouTube to Facebook to many more.