Second Seminar - Abstracts and Schedule

9:00 - 9:15


9:20 - 9:45

Mie Gotoh (Nanzan University)

How Well Can Katakana English Be Understood by Native Speakers?

Quite often, Japanese students’ pronunciation is greatly overlooked. Pronunciation is, unfortunately, not frequently taught in Japan, and often given lower priority compared to other language components like grammar or vocabulary. Many students use “katakana English” when they speak English. Katakana is used for words that are foreign in origin, but because Japanese kana has a specific sound that is distinct from English, the result is that Japanese students’ pronunciation can render English words difficult for native English speakers to understand. When Japanese students learn the English version of a katakana word, they tend to still pronounce it the way they would pronounce it in Japanese. While many students are aware of the importance of pronunciation, they are so accustomed to using katakana English that they find it hard to get away from their ingrained habit of pronouncing English words in a very Japanese way. Many teachers in Japan, whether they are Japanese or not, understand those katakana words already… Therefore, they are still able to make sense of their Japanese students when they use katakana English. However, how many of those katakana English words can be understood by English speakers who have no knowledge of Japanese at all? The presenter conducted research by having American people, who do not speak Japanese, listen to Japanese students’ katakana English to see how many of those words they could clearly understand.

9:55 - 10:20

Joseph Tomei (Kumamoto Gakuen University)

Music Videos Carrying Metaphors: A Resource for the EFL Writing Classroom

This presentation introduces a range of music videos that carry multimodalmetaphors and shows how they can be used for EFL Writing courses.Multimodal metaphors present a rich set of prompts for students and providea unique framework for longer form compositions, a notable weakness forJapanese EFL students. A curriculum developed by the presenter over thepast 5 years will be discussed and participants will be encouraged toexplore the possibilities that metaphor can bring to the EFL writingclassroom. This presentation will also discuss how using videos can avoidplagiarism and computer translation and provide opportunities for research.

10:30 - 10:55

David Kluge (Nanzan University)

Performance-Assisted Learning: A Proposal for Successful Change of Education

This presentation will introduce Performance-Assisted Learning (PAL), which is using any kind of performance to assist in the learning, consolidation, and assessment of content (Kluge, in press).

PAL is one element of a proposed change for education in Japan based on the successful Circles of Support learning model that Newmann and Wehlage (1995) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed from research on four studies of U.S. elementary and high schools conducted over a five-year period from 1990 to 1995. The model includes the elements of student learning, authentic pedagogy, school organizational capacity, and external support.

The presenter will define PAL, explain the Circles of Support model, and then apply it to the Japanese tertiary education situation.

11:05 - 11:30

Lauren Landsberry (Nanzan University) & Tenesha Kanai (Osaka Board of Education)

The Challenges and Difficulties That Foreign Working Mothers Face While Raising Multicultural Children in Japan

Most foreign women living, working, and raising multicultural children in Japan may find it challenging to manage their roles as caregivers and cultural and linguistic transmitters, while pursuing their professional goals. In a patriarchal society, where more old-fashioned expectations of women prevail, foreign working mothers must endeavor to navigate their way not only culturally and linguistically but also professionally. The aim of this study is to explore foreign working mothers’ efforts across their multiple roles in Japan. Data obtained via questionnaires consisting of qualitative and quantitative items from working foreign women practicing multicultural child-rearing were scrutinized and statistically analyzed to provide a rich understanding of the participants’ experiences. Findings outline the challenges faced in tending to their roles and responsibilities and the strategies they adopt to deal with the challenges experienced. The presenters will further discuss the societal and familial factors that have contributed to the respondents journeys.

11:40 - 12:05

Ivan Lombardi (University of Fukui)

Integrating a Speaking E-Portfolio into an English Communication Course

My students of English writing are often amazed by their progress in only one semester of classes – they feel they can write more and better, and their writing portfolio is objective proof of this. Conversely, my students of English communication (heavily focused on speaking) struggle to see their advancement. From the outside, their progress in confidence and fluency is undeniable. From the inside, however, they seem to have forgotten their English-speaking selves of just six months before, and this lack of a reference results in a vague sense of improvement (if any at all). To tackle this recurring issue, I started using an online LMS that allows students to record themselves performing a number of speaking tasks of increasingly challenging nature, building the foundation for a “speaking portfolio” that they can access at all times to have tangible proof of their improved ability of using spoken English. In this short talk, I would like to share with fellow language educators how I use the LMS to create an e-portfolio, the challenges of integrating this tool in a set curriculum, feedback from 2017 and 2018 students, and my plan of using the same setup in a forthcoming public speaking course.

12:15 - 12:40

Bill Jones (Nanzan University)

Transforming Lives Through Foreign Language Learning

When it comes to effective, positive and actionable life transforming information, ignorance is most certainly not bliss. There is no greater teacher satisfaction than seeing students’ lives transformed for the better through language as they start the lesson as their “old self”, and leave the lesson as a new person with definitive goals regarding their future.

This presentation will be a realistic classroom simulation with participants acting as students requiring self-reflection and discussion of complex, and sometimes sensitive topics, that have been simplified to make understanding and more importantly, misunderstandings, clearly visible.

Participants will learn, and can immediately use, or adapt these techniques and prints to suit individual situations regarding English level abilities and motivations. These lessons have been tested, modified and improved over more than a decade at several universities of significantly varying levels.

Upon successful completion of the presentation, educators will be able to enable students to help themselves on topics such as dating, marriage, money, children, employment and more.

12:40 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:55

Joseph Wood (Nanzan University)

The Podclass: Improving English Listening Skills in the Digital Age

These days, language teachers and learners have access to a wider range of authentic materials than ever before. However, the sheer amount of free material can be overwhelming. Teachers and learners alike need to know how to assess which materials will work for them, and to understand how to use them efficiently. This session will present practical ideas for using podcasts to teach English listening. It will also recommend podcasts to use and briefly discuss students’ opinions of a university English listening course that introduced students to podcasts and then used them as the primary teaching source for the class.

14:05 - 14:30

Christian Sumner Bradford (Doho High School)

Motivational Changes in First Year High School Students from a Dynamic Systems Perspective

Teachers often wonder what types of activities can motivate their students, yet often research motivation from a macro level, in that they track motivational changes at intervals over a long period of time. Communicative activities and tasks often show a positive change in student motivation over an extended period, but the day-to-day influences of communicative activities and tasks are rarely researched. This presentation will look at small changes in motivation that happened during four different lessons and how the activities and tasks affected student motivation. In order to see how these small changes affect students, this presentation also follows the motivational changes in three students over five months. Finally, the presenter will describe some of the activities that were used during the research and how the data from the motivational surveys influenced changes in some activities.

14:40 - 15:05

Jaime Morrish and Benjamin Filer (Nanzan University)

Understanding the TOEIC & IELTS Tests and Considering Students’ Perceptions

The aims of this presentation are twofold: to inform educators about two of the major English language testing systems, IELTS and TOEIC, and to discover university students’ perception and understanding of these tests. By having a better understanding of these two popular examinations, teachers can recommend and give better advice to their students depending on their needs and requirements.

15:15 - 15:40

Naoya Shibata (Nagoya University of Foreign Studies)

The Impact of Flash Writing on Students’ Coherency in Writing

Flash writing (FW) is a fluency development activity, which learners write as much as possible about an easy topic for an assigned time (Nation, 2013). Nation (2008) states that learners should develop their L2 writing fluency by conducting “fast easy writing” tasks (p. 96). However, ESL/EFL writing research in secondary educational contexts has rarely been conducted (Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008). Therefore, understanding how this kind of writing task can help students improve their writing coherency is vital to further research. This study aims at revealing how beginner-level Japanese high school students benefit from writing fluency development tasks.

This research explored the effectiveness of FW activities at a private senior high school in central Japan during the 2017 school year, based on data collected from surveys, students’ writing samples, and semi-structured interviews. The research findings revealed that the participants found this kind of task to be beneficial in developing their target language abilities. Furthermore, the test results illustrated that they improved their writing modality regarding fluency, coherency, and communicability.

This study attests to the claim that fluency development tasks in writing are effective for “accuracy and general quality of writing” (Nation, 2013).

15:50 - 17:00

Brent Simmonds (Nanzan University), Bob Jones (REJ English House & Sugiyama Jogakuen University) & Heather Dorion (Nanzan Extension College)

Simple Ways to Create and Tell a Story

This presentation will follow a ‘my share’ format featuring three ways to write and tell stories. The presenters will share three times and the audience will be invited to listen to each presenter in turn

Brent Simmonds will demonstrate how students can write a story through brainstorming activities using stimulus both inside the classroom and in the school grounds and give examples of how story writing can be linked to text book activities.

Heather Dorion will demonstrate story writing through pictures showing how these can be adapted to any level, describing how she motivated lower-level students with story writing as project-based learning.

Writing a story can be daunting but telling the finished product can also be challenging. Bob Jones will describe the typical structure of conversational stories and present some techniques to help students develop their abilities as conversational storytellers.

17:00 - 17:10