2015 Events

December 18th (Fri.) DIGITAL WRITING WITH GOOGLE (Google Educator Tech Series Session 6) New York University - School of 
Professional Studies, American Language Institute, Tokyo Center, December 18, 2015,

This session will cover Google's digital research tools like Google Scholar, Google Books, and Google Docs and a few non Google tools that interface with Google Apps like Zotero. Participants will learn how to use these tools for research in the digital age. Then the session will cover digital writing with Google Docs and a range of third party browser based apps that work with Google Apps to refine academic writing. Taken collectively this session will equip participants with a full digital age research and writing eco system that can easily be passed on to colleagues and students.

December 11th (Fri.): LEARNING TO USE THE APP 'WORD SPACE' - Mick Short, Waseda University

Waseda University commissioned a book that specialized in the vocabulary most useful for the department of Political Science and Economics, called “Word-Scape”, it’s basically there to improve academic reading/TOEFL and has quite a large overlap with TOEIC vocabulary also. The first part of the talk was about the app, how it’s used and some of the results of a study I’m halfway through. The second part of the talk was about getting under the bonnet: what do you need to do to make an iPhone app? What steps do you take for personal app building and what steps for delivering through iTunes/AppStore. We also went through a brief demo, to make a small “Hello World” app and load it onto an iPhone. Participants saw a thin slice of the whole process.

Language learning histories have brought to the fore the diversity in affordances, trajectories and contexts of learning, but most language learning histories take the form of written texts. In this talk, I presented an alternate way of knowing our learners: draw and tell. I used visual narratives created by young, teenage and adult learners to demonstrate the advantages and versatility of visual narratives for understanding our learners and their learning in formal and informal learning contexts.    

Dr Chik's main research areas are language learning histories, English in popular music and popular culture in second language education. She is interested in the life-long experience of learning a second/foreign language, particularly in the areas of identity construction and out-of-class learning. She is collaborating with colleagues from Japan and Europe on the cross-cultural comparison of language learning histories and experiences. Other than narrative-based research, Dr. Chik is also engaged in research on popular culture. She is currently co-authoring a book which reports on a 3-year project exploring the historical and linguistic development of the Hong Kong pop music scene. Her passion for popular culture has also led her to explore the role of popular culture in second language learning and education. She was recently awarded a funded research project on video gaming and foreign language learning. This project looks at out-of-class English and foreign language learning through the eyes of Hong Kong video gamers. Dr. Chik's current teaching includes multiliteracies studies, popular culture, and creative communication at undergraduate and graduate levels.

November 6th (Fri.): - Google Search - Advanced Tools to Make Your Search Great! (Google Educator Tech Series Session 5) Presenter: Nate Gildart

This session looked at advanced search tools and a wide variety of Search 'operators' that will help you find information more efficiently. You will be able to find specific kinds of documents, such as PPT slideshows, Doc or Docx, PDF. This session helped us find specific phrases and search terms to narrow down your search. We also looked at some great tricks to help find things like flights, time zone conversions, definitions, pronunciations, and more! The following slideshow was prepared for the workshop. https://sites.google.com/site/gegwesttokyo/geg-events-workshops/tokyo-jalt-workshop-series#TOC-SESSION-5---Google-Search---Advanced-Tools-to-Make-Your-Search-Great-Nov.-6-

October  29th (Thu.) QUESTIONING 'OPEN' EDUCATION - Dr. Lesley Gourlay, UCL Institute of Education

The concept of 'open education¹ has entered the mainstream of higher education policy and practice in recent years in the UK and beyond, with the advent of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and the prevalence of open access publishing. This lecture took a critical look at the origins, tensions and complexities inherent in the notion of 'open education', with reference to recent research and critique. It concluded with a discussion focused on the implications for educational policy and practice.

October 16th and 23rd (Fri.) SHUKATSU (JOB-HUNTING IN JAPAN): HOW CAN WE HELP FOREIGN STUDENTS TO FIND JOBS IN JAPAN? - Asako Yamaguchi & Kentaro Sawa, Temple University Japan
Temple University, Japan Campus, founded in 1982, is the oldest and largest American university in Japan. We have been offering not only professional career support by the Career Development Office, but also a special course for foreign students who want to find employment in Japan after graduation.  In this seminar, first, Kentaro Sawa (Manager of the TUJ Career Development Office) will explained how Japanese “shuukatsu” (job-hunting) is carried out, and next, Asako Yamaguchi (Assistant Professor of Japanese) discussed how language teachers can help foreign students finding jobs in the framework of a language course.  For the past 3 years, Temple University, Japan Campus has been offering the “Advanced Oral Japanese Course,” in which we support students acquiring basic business Japanese language by preparing them for resume writing as well as job interviews, and having them experience business communication through SWOT analyses and presentations. 

October 9th (Fri.): GOOGLE CALENDAR (Google Educator Tech Series Session 4) - Kaori Hakone & Makiko Ogasawara

Your personal and professional schedules can be managed better with Google Calendar. The presentation began by showing how to change the way the calendar looks and acts to make it better to suit your needs, and later demonstrated how to create a single or repeating events and learned how to invite guests for events. The presentation also covered how to respond to invitations and get acquainted with the ins and outs of pop-up reminders and email notifications. And finally, we also learned how to create an additional calendar and share calendars with others.

September 25th (Fri.): Intersectionality and class, ethnicity, race and gender in sociolinguistics research - Dr. David Block, ICREA/Universitat de Lleida (Spain)

In this in-depth presentation, David Block explained the significance of focusing on social class as the central construct before moving to intersectionality as an epistemological framework in sociolinguistics research. Drawing on Victor Corona’s (2012) research on Latino youth in Barcelona, he considered how social class interacts with race and gender in society at large and with regard to language practices. ​To focus on the particular arrangements that race or class or gender take in our time and place without seeing these structures as sometimes parallel and sometime interlocking dimensions of the more fundamental relationship of domination and subordination may temporarily  ease our consciences. But while such thing may lead to short term social reforms, it is simply inadequate for the task of bringing about long-term social transformation. (Hill-Collins, 1993: 674)

Writing over twenty years ago, Patricia Hill-Collins decried the political toothlessness of research which takes a divide-and-analyse approach to dimensions of domination and subordination such as race, gender and social class. Hill-Collins’s reference to long term social transformation is an idea going back to Marxism and it is in Marxism where we find class as a key way of understanding the human condition in contemporary societies.  Over the past century and a half, understandings of class have evolved from a Marxist, economics-based interpretation to the idea that class is constructed and shaped by both economics (the base of society, in Marxist terms) and social and cultural forces (the superstructure) (Savage et al , 2013).  At the same time, as a construct central to the activity of researchers in the social sciences and humanities, social class has had its ups and downs. In sociolinguistics, William Labov’s foundational work, carried out in urban America in the 1960s, was heavily class-oriented (e.g. Labov, 1966), as was work in the UK by Basil Bernstein (1971) and Peter Trudgill (1972). However, beyond these and handful of other researchers, social class fell out of favour as we entered the 1980s and it is only recently that it has made a comeback of sorts, albeit a modest one (see Block, 2014, Rampton, 2006). In current work, one big challenge facing scholars is how to combine an interest in social class with more commonly researched identity inscriptions such as race and gender, and in addition, how to relate combined interests along these lines with language practices of all kinds (Block & Corona, 2014, 2016). 

September 4th (Fri.): GOOGLE SITES - (Google Educator Tech Series Session 3) - Rab Paterson, Lakeland College Japan

This session explored how Google Sites can be used as a personal or professional homepage, and how it can be taught to students for hosting students' group multimedia project work. Participants created a Google Site of their own and learned all the basic tools for adding multimedia content (including how to find and reference appropriately licensed images), types of pages, and also how to design the site. Then when the sites had a number of pages and content they learned how to share the site with others in teams and then worked on each others sites collaboratively. At the end they learned about restricting access to certain pages and how to enable different types of access to it. The final sites had a variety of content types on it and designed to match the site's content theme. Participants ended up with a usable site by the end of the session.

August 30 (Sun.) WHAT IT MEANS TO KNOW A WORD: IMPLICATIONS FOR PEDAGOGY - Professor Sandra Lee McKay, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University/ Visiting Professor, Hawaii Pacific University

This presentation explored what it means to know a word by examining how English words are related to one another. Specifically, we examined homonyms, polysemes, synonyms, antonyms, registers, dialects, collocation patterns and idioms, illustrating that to know a word, learners need to be aware of both the way words are related to one another and how they are used in various contexts. Next, we explored various ways of making the meaning of unknown words clear without relying on translation, though it is argued that there are occasions where translation is the most effective strategy for making meaning clear.  In closing, we examined how language classrooms can encourage learners to fully explore the depth of words.  Various strategies are offered for selecting, presenting and practicing new vocabulary items. 

Ultimately, the purpose of the lecture was to convince second language educators that, given the complexity of word knowledge, it is imperative that more explicit time be devoted to vocabulary development so that learners can use lexical items in ways that reflect the use of fluent speakers of the language. Sandra McKay received her M.A. in American Studies and Ph.D. in English education from the University of Minnesota.
At SFSU, Dr. McKay taught sociolinguistics, theory and methods courses for teaching reading/writing and listening/speaking, student teacher supervision, and writing courses. She also offered elective courses in teaching English as an international language and in language, literature, and culture.
Dr. McKay has been involved in teacher education programs in a variety of countries as a Fulbright scholar and as an academic specialist for the U.S. Dept. of State. Through these programs she has worked in numerous countries, including Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Hungary, Laos, Latvia, Morocco, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Uruguay. From 1994 to 1999, Dr. McKay was Editor of the TESOL Quarterly. Her journal publications include articles in the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, the Harvard Educational Review, the Journal of Second Language Writing, the Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, and TESOL Journal. She has written and edited numerous books. Her books, Teaching English Overseas: An Introduction, Teaching English as an International Language: Rethinking Goals and Approaches, and International English is Its Sociolinguistic Contexts: Towards a Socially Sensitive EIL Pedagogy (co-authored with Wendy Bokhorst-Heng), reflect her interest in the teaching of English in a global context. Other recent books include Researching Second Language Classrooms.

Dr. McKay is currently Visiting Professor of Applied Linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University and Project Manager for the U. S. Department of State: http://de.hpu.edu/smckay/ .

August 21st (Fri.) DOCS & DRIVE (part 1) - Forms, Sheets, Drive (Google Educator Tech Series Session 2) - Dan Ferreira

In this insightful presentation, Google Certified Educator Dan Ferreira introduced the basics of using Google Forms in teaching practices for generating quizzes, questionnaires and other ideas for blended learning. Since the results of any Google Form generates results in Google Sheets, he also introduced some filters, functions and formulas. Going beyond the basics, Dan also introduced a Google Sheets add-on that allows those who partake in Google Form surveys to receive an email with follow-up results. 

July 24th (Fri.): GOOGLE+ & PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORKS FOR ACADEMIC COMMUNITY BUILDING (Google Educator Tech Series Session 1) - Rab Paterson

Personal Learning Networks & Academic Community Building with SNS such as Google+ / Twitter  / LInkedIn are activities most modern professionals should take an interest in. These enable continuous professional development and the building of an academic support network. Initially these started with the emergence of the Internet via linked blogs, online groups, and Nings. They then evolved with the arrival of RSS and Twitter feeds, and professional focused services such as LinkedIn and the almost ubiquitous Facebook. Now Google+ Communities is also an SNS option in terms of power and convenience. This workshop session shows the power and range of Google Accounts and Google+ Communities for creating virtual PLNs for teachers and students. Google+ Circles and Communities offer many benefits over other SNSs in terms of PLN creation and usage, and this workshop will show how to leverage their many benefits by showing existing Google+ Communities and 

how well theyintegrate with Google Apps and beyond. Attendees should have a Gmail account and have signed up for Google+ before the workshop as we will create and use a PLN using Google+ Communities and use Google Apps extensively during the session. Also time permitting the session will briefly go over Twitter and LinkedIn as well.