1. Lunch Discussion: LGBT Students & Topics in the Language Classroom
Thursday 9th July, 12.20 – 13.00
Room 4-303 (Feel free to bring your lunch)
This lunchtime discussion session is aimed at any KUIS teachers who are interested in discussing ideas, experiences and questions they have in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender [LGBT] second language students. It is also a forum for participants to discuss their experiences (or lack thereof) of incorporating LGBT-related topics in their classes. Anyone interested in participating in the session is encouraged to send an email detailing what kinds of questions / topics you are interested in discussing to me in advance. I will use this information to structure and facilitate the session. If you have no specific questions or topics, please feel free to join us on the day. Eating and drinking during this relaxed session are positively encouraged!
2. The learning needs of LGBT students and how they can benefit everyone in the language classroom
Thursday 9th July, 16.30 – 18.00
Presentation Room, Building 6
This 90-minute presentation and discussion focuses on the often hidden learning needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered [LGBT] students in our classrooms. I will start by discussing the particular challenges that LGBT students encounter within language classrooms, giving concrete examples from the still small number of studies which have explored this, my own research and my own experiences as a queer language learner of Japanese. I will then go on to look at how many well-meaning attempts to incorporate LGBT content and themes into language classrooms can have a negative effect on the motivation and engagement of LGBT students. In this section I will ask participants to critique some language learning materials in groups. Finally, I will draw on Nelson’s (2009) queer inquiry approach to suggest concrete ways in which we can manage our classrooms and design materials and tasks in order to better meet our LGBT students’ various learning needs. At the same time, I will argue that, in paying attention to these needs, we also benefit the rest of the students in the class by giving them access to the sociosexual literacies that we all make use of on a day-to-day basis in our first language groups but which are rarely, if ever, taught in our second language classrooms.
About the Presenter
Ashley Moore is the director of the Language Learning Center at Osaka Institute of Technology. Prior to moving to Osaka, he worked at Kanda University of International Studies for four years. His research into the intersections between second language acquisition / education and sexual identity has been published in TESOL Quarterly and as a chapter in The applied linguistic individual: Sociocultural approaches to identity, agency and autonomy (edited by P. Benson & L. Cooker).
Issue 6(2) of SiSAL Journal has been published. It features articles from colleagues based in Belgium, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico. Congratulations to all of the contributors including SALC learning advisor Junko Noguchi. Junko’s paper ‘“I am a SALCer”: Influences of Identity on Fear of Making Mistakes in English Interactions’ is a preliminary study looking at the attitudes of students working in a self-access centre with regards to communicating in English with their peers.
You can access the complete issue here: http://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun15/
SiSAL Journal is an open access, peer-reviewed, quarterly publication for those interested in the field of self-access language learning. The articles reflect the ongoing contributions to the field and are aimed at international researchers and practitioners. The scope of the journal incorporates self-access learning and skills support centres which aim to promote learner autonomy. The journal has an open call for general papers, and there are currently two calls for contributions for upcoming special issues. More details can be found on the journal website http://sisaljournal.org/
Introduction to Advising in Language Learning
Advising is the process of working with learners to enable them to think deeply about the learning process in order to steer their own paths as autonomous language learners (Esch, 1996). After a brief overview of the field of advising, participants will learn about some advising strategies and tools that can promote reflection on learning. We will then practice some basic advising strategies that provide the learner with the sense of being listened to (repeating / mirroring / restating / summarizing). These active listening strategies are useful for working with learners, but are also effective for everyday life.
During this workshop, participants will:
- briefly look at an overview of the field of advising
- learn about some advising strategies and tools
- practice using some basic advising strategies
- Thursday June 25th
- 12.10 – 1.10
- Presentation Room, Building 6
- All welcome
Esch E. (1996), Promoting learner autonomy: Criteria for the selection of appropriate methods. In R. Pemberton, E.S.L. Li, W.W.F. Or, & H.D. Pierson (Eds.), Taking control: Autonomy in language learning (pp. 35–48). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Learning Advisor Neil Curry joined the Centre for Applied English Studies ‘Faces of English’ International Conference at the University of Hong Kong from 11th to 13th June 2015. His presentation, “Techniques to address Foreign Language Anxiety in university students” covered tools he has been trialing to help learners overcome their anxieties about speaking in English inside and outside class, and how they can gain confidence. He welcomes any enquiries about his research and can be reached at email@example.com
What does a learning advisor do?
The theme of the June 2015 SALC Bulletin is the role of learning advisors (LAs). LAs are trained teachers who work mainly with individual learners outside the classroom supporting them as they develop and work on their language-learning goals. LAs are specially trained to help students to understand and take responsibility for their learning just as counsellors are trained to help people understand and take charge of their lives. There are many ways that LAs help students, for example, through one-to-one advising sessions, workshops, optional self-directed learning modules, credit courses, class visits, and self-access materials. Research and training are also important aspects of the role. We will provide more details and answer the following questions in this extended blog post:
- What is a learning advisor (LA)?
- Who should meet with an LA?
- What do LAs help with?
- How do LAs help students?
- What language does advising take place in?
- What else do LAs do?
- What does a typical week look like for an LA?
- What training / background do LAs have?
- How common is it to have LAs?
Every summer after semester 1 classes end the SALC offers 4-5 workshops in order to encourage learners to continue to use the SALC and think about studying English during the break. This year, these workshops will run from 31st July to 6th August.
Remuneration for running a one-off workshop is 10,000 yen a time. The workshops are aimed at fostering learner autonomy and self-directed learning skills, encouraging the use of learning strategies, teaching learners how to use the SALC better, promoting some of the materials we have in the SALC, and managing study during the break. You can see some of the recent workshops on the “Let’s Study English” website under “past workshops” (http://elisalc.org/category/past-salc-workshops/).
If you are interested in running a workshop in the summer, please complete this online proposal form by July 1st (or sooner if possible). https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/?sm=ENJ80D6CdAyrhVTy13g3oGFUnQEYBskcdT9%2f02c53Z0%3d
Unfortunately, because we have a limited budget, we will not be able to accept all proposals, but there will be more opportunities in the fall semester. If you have any questions about these workshops, please feel free to contact Yoko Ohno, SALC Assistant Manager.
Learner Autonomy: From theory to practice
Facilitator: Jo Mynard
Presentation Room 5pm – 6pm
Wednesday 17th June – all welcome!
Slides available here
Learner autonomy is the ability to take charge of one’s own learning (Benson, 2011) and is a concept that has been valued at KUIS since the 1980s. In this practical workshop, after briefly examining some definitions of learner autonomy, we will consider why promoting autonomy is important. We will then discuss and compare ways in which autonomy is being implemented at KUIS and with what results. Finally, we will then look at ways in which autonomy is promoted through the SALC modules and how the approaches might be applied to classroom-based learning. Continue reading