Nara JALT presents: Content and Language Integrated Learning: An Online Panel Discussion.

The start of 2020 has brought all of us unimaginable challenges and sacrifices. Many of us have had to fundamentally change the way we go about doing even the simplest of things. Spring is usually the time when we begin new journeys and challenges. This year has certainly given us plenty of them already. 

The officers at Nara Jalt had prepared a wonderful selection of events for you this year. Attending these events gives us all the chance to learn new things while meeting like-minded people. April’s event was going to be a panel discussion with 3 CLIL experts and we were so disappointed when we had to cancel it. 

The world is fighting an invisible enemy, and this battle is causing us all immense pain and stress. It is at these times that we must remember that we are all part of a wonderful community that loves and supports one another. So, the officers at Nara Jalt decided to take our April event online and share it with all of you. We wanted to try and bring a little bit of normality back at such a crazy and unpredictable time in all our lives.

We would like to thank Laurence Anthony, Francesco Bolstad, and Brian Shaw for taking the time to participate in Nara JALT’s first online event. This would not have been possible without their support. Thank you so much.

Stay safe and practice social distancing.

Nara JALT Officers.

Upcoming Nara JALT events: Cancelled: April 19th, 2020

Content and Language Integrated Learning: A Panel Discussion.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an umbrella term for several language teaching approaches, including immersion, English-medium instruction (EMI), and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). This event brings together a panel of experts in these approaches to offer perspective and discussion on this exciting area of language teaching. 

Date:
April 19 (Sunday)
Time:
10:00–12:00
Venue:
Nara Women’s University (S-Bldg, Room 228)
Fee:
¥1,000 (JALT members free)

Panelists:

Laurence Anthony 

Brian Shaw 

Francesco Bolstad

Nara JALT in collaboration with the JALT CEFR and Language Portfolio SIG present:

Getting to know the CEFR: An introduction to the Common European Framework of Reference

The next Nara JALT event is co-hosted by the JALT CEFR and Language Portfolio SIG and features two speakers: Jack Bower, a local chapter member now working at Tezukayama University, and Gary Cook from the Hiroshima Bukyo University.

Speakers:

Presentation 1: Jack Bower (Tezukayama University)

Suggestions and Resources for Using the CEFR in Language Education

Presentation 2: Gary Cook (Hiroshima Bunkyo University)

The CEFR Shuffle: Getting Familiar with Can-do Statements

Date: Saturday, December 7th, 2019

Time: 14:00-17:30

Venue: Nara Women’s University (S-Building, Room 228)

https://jaltnara.wordpress.com/venues/
Fee: Free for JALT members. ¥1,000 for non-members.

Presentation 1 (14:15~15:30): Jack Bower (Tezukayama University)

Suggestions and Resources for Using the CEFR in Language Education

The Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) has become increasingly influential in foreign language education around the world. However, many language teachers remain unfamiliar with the CEFR and unsure of how it can be used to improve foreign language curricula and classroom practice. This presentation will give a brief overview of the CEFR followed by succinct explanations of four major uses the CEFR for language teachers. These uses are:

1. for setting language proficiency goals for programs, courses and lessons

2. for fostering learner autonomy

3. for designing classroom assessments

4. for language teacher professional development

For each of these areas practical suggestions will be made, and participants will be directed to further resources.

Biography: Jack Bower is an associate professor at the Tezukayama University general education centre. He has taught English at Japanese Universities for over ten years and he recently graduated with a PhD from Macquarie University. His research interests include curriculum development and language assessment. 

Presentation 2 (16:00~17:15): Gary Cook (Hiroshima Bunkyo University)

The CEFR Shuffle: Getting Familiar with Can-do Statements

Since 2012, staff at Hiroshima Bunkyo University have been involved in creating curricula with the CEFR as a guide for its language learning center; the Bunkyo English Communication Center (BECC). One aspect of the CEFR, Can Do statements, form the basis of goals incorporated into many of the 18 courses offered at the BECC. While staff had participated in CEFR-focused professional development, little had been done for students to raise their awareness of the CEFR. From 2017, 31 first-year students were introduced to an activity dubbed the ‘CEFR-shuffle’: a sorting exercise utilizing self-assessment descriptors. Those students were then asked to repeat the CEFR-shuffle once each year. This workshop will introduce the results of students’ performance from the ‘CEFR-shuffle’ over 3 years, and ask participants to take part in a descriptor-sorting exercise in which they can experience how useful this activity could be for themselves and their students to become familiarized with the CEFR.

Biography: Gary Cook has been a lecturer and coordinator at Hiroshima Bunkyo University since 2011. He has previous teaching experience in Spain, France, England, Georgia, and his native New Zealand. His research interests are in the areas of curriculum development and the CEFR. 

Teaching Young Learners: English for Elementary School Education

Sunday, June 23, 2019

This event will provide participants with practical teaching ideas for Foreign Language Activities for 3rdand 4thgraders, and English as an Official Subject for 5thand 6thgraders, officially starting from 2020 academic year. With the speakers who are teaching English at elementary schools, we would like to discuss and better ways to teach English effectively in elementary school education. We hope this event will help to gain a deeper insight into professional development for teachers teaching English in elementary schools.

Speakers:

Presentation 1. Julie Rhodes (Kawai Town Board of Education) & Masayuki Takano (Nara Prefectural Tomigaoka High School) 

Presentation 2: Wakana Chihara (Kori Nevers Elementary School, Osaka)

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019

Time: 10:00-12:00

Venue: Nara Women’s University

https://jaltnara.wordpress.com/venues/

https://goo.gl/maps/g7xPwDM4sa3BorGVA

Fee: Free for JALT members. ¥1,000 for non-members.

Presentation1: 

English has become the lingua franca of many aspects of modern life. From the macro—international diplomacy, scientific literature, technology, business—to the micro—international friendships, and personal travel. Children now live in a more internationally connected world, and English is an increasingly important subject in Japanese schools at all levels.  However, since the introduction of English as a main subject for elementary schools, there have been many questions about how to approach teaching it. Many home room teachers (HRT) are English language learners themselves, with little to no English teaching training. Understandably, many HRTs have anxieties about how to teach a challenging subject they are generally inexperienced with.  Through this presentation, we will address some of these concerns and give teachers of all levels practical strategies for teaching English actively and communicatively, as well as ways to give students more learning autonomy. Ultimately, we hope to illustrate how giving students more agency can lead to increased engagement, and a more effective English classroom that meets the needs of a globalized generation.

Presentation2: 

Phonics has been taught to children who are learning how to read and write in English. Learning phonics helps children to connect a letter or letters to a specific sound which leads to individual reading and writing. In phonics, there is a synthetic approach that teaches the isolated phonemes (sounds) first, and the phonemes are blended together (synthesized) allowing children to read on their own.

Jolly Phonics is a synthetic phonics approach which has a multi-sensory method which is fun for the children and for the teachers themselves. In this presentation, participants will be able to experience the Jolly Phonics method.

Biography:

During her years as an English teacher to both America immigrants and Japanese primary and secondary school students, Julie Rhodes has developed a passion for student-centered teaching methods.  She is perusing study in communicative language teaching for ESL and EFL learners, as well as literacy intervention for native English speakers. She currently lives in Nara prefecture, where she teaches at the preschool, elementary school, and junior high school levels. 

After finishing his Master’s in TESOL, Masayuki Takano is currently teaching English to high school students in Nara Prefecture. His academic interests includes  teaching pedagogical grammar for communicative competence and professional development of language educators.  He also taught Japanese for a year in University of Guanajuato in central Mexico. 

Biography:

Having grown up in Puerto Rico and the US, Wakana Chihara has always had an interest in bilingualism. After working in public elementary schools in Hirakata City as a JTE, she is currently teaching English to elementary school students in a private school in Neyagawa City.

Teaching Young Learners: English for Elementary School Education

Sunday, June 23, 2019

This event will provide participants with practical teaching ideas for Foreign Language Activities for 3rdand 4thgraders, and English as an Official Subject for 5thand 6thgraders, officially starting from 2020 academic year. With the speakers who are teaching English at elementary schools, we would like to discuss and better ways to teach English effectively in elementary school education. We hope this event will help to gain a deeper insight into professional development for teachers teaching English in elementary schools.

The abstracts of the presentations and biographies of the speakers will be updated soon. 

Speakers:

1. Wakana Chihara (Seiwa Gakuen, Kyoto)

2: Julie Rhodes (Kawai Town Board of Education) & Masayuki Takano (Nara Prefectural Tomigaoka High School) 

Date: Sunday, June 23, 2019

Time: 10:00-12:00

Venue: Nara Women’s University

https://jaltnara.wordpress.com/venues/

https://goo.gl/maps/g7xPwDM4sa3BorGVA

Fee: Free for JALT members. ¥1,000 for non-members.