- David Beglar: The Well-Balanced Individual: A Challenge for Educators
- Mehrasa Alizadeh: Reimagining Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Looking Back, Moving Forward
- Ann Mayeda: (Re)framing Mindsets/Attitudes to English Use in Japan
- Yukio Tono: (Re)imagining language education in relation to the CEFR/CV and the CEFR-J
David Beglar: The Well-Balanced Individual: A Challenge for Educators
On an individual level, a key purpose of education is to bring forth the latent abilities that exist in each person. On a societal level, a primary purpose is to contribute to the emergence of an ever-advancing civilization. These purposes are intimately related and can be achieved when individuals act on the basis of an evolving set of knowledge and skills that has practical and beneficial applications, positive emotional health, an ethical foundation in which the welfare of others is important, and an ability to think creatively. Although foreign language teachers are primarily responsible for supporting their students in their efforts to perform the challenging task of acquiring an additional language, foreign language classrooms can--and arguably should--be the site of more diverse types of learning that help learners develop their innate abilities in ways that touch on four aspects of what it means to be human: cognition, affect, ethics, and creativity. These four overlapping aspects can be embedded in language-learning tasks in ways that can potentially lead to cognitive development, the healthy expression of emotion, ethical thinking, and new and interesting angles on ideas and ways of acting in the world.
David Beglar is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Temple University, Japan Campus. He has published in journals such as Language Learning, Language Testing, Language Teaching Research, Reading in a Foreign Language, RELC Journal, and JALT Journal. He is also the co-author of Inside Track: Writing Dissertations and Theses and Contemporary Topics 3, an academic listening textbook. His main research interests are foreign language assessment, vocabulary acquisition, and reading fluency development. He is currently writing a book about his experiences in the Peruvian Amazon and an art book about a modern Japanese woodblock print artist.
Mehrasa Alizadeh: Reimagining Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Technology enhanced language learning (TELL) has evolved considerably since its early days, and immersive technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality will significantly transform the way we approach learning moving forward. It is therefore important for academics and professionals to know about immersive learning and how it can help reimagine the future of TELL. In fact, immersive technologies have made their way into different sectors and industries such as entertainment, arts, manufacturing, marketing, healthcare, and education. Aside from their use in content knowledge acquisition, immersive technologies provide affordances that are highly valuable for learning such as sense of (co-)presence, embodied interaction and communication, and emotional engagement. However, their use is still limited in language education due to reasons such as low access to resources and unfamiliarity of teachers with immersive learning design. In this talk, I will introduce immersive technologies and argue that these technologies will immensely change the way we interact with digital media in future iterations of the Web. In the rest of my talk, I will connect that introduction to recent trends of research and practice in immersive learning and the affordances and challenges of these technologies in creating novel learning experiences. I will also touch upon the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on development and implementation of immersive technologies in learning contexts.
Mehrasa Alizadeh is an assistant professor at the International Professional University of Technology in Osaka, Japan where she teaches EFL courses. She holds a PhD degree from the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University with a focus on technology-enhanced language learning, Mehrasa's research interests include blended learning, mobile learning and immersive learning in second language education.
Ann Mayeda: (Re)framing Mindsets/Attitudes to English Use in Japan
"We are Japanese, our common language is Japanese so why should we speak to our peers in English?" This an oft heard refrain from not only my learners but also in society at large. While this might be true to a degree, in this presentation I will suggest some reasons why this might not be quite the right attitude towards gaining proficiency and may hold a key to Japan's stagnant global English proficiency rank. I will share some of the insights into what I learned during my work over the last several years with teachers and young learners in Nepal and in the Philippines. Both countries have fought, debated and glorified the role and impact of English, but have nonetheless claimed it as one their own. Japan has fought, debated and glorified the role and impact of English, but has not yet claimed it as one of their own. A small shift in perspective in our classrooms and in our teacher-training programs might go a long way in developing an "English-user" identity. In this brief talk, I hope to provide a few illustrations of how I came to this realization and how it might impact how we teach, the resources we use, and how our learners learn.
Ann Mayeda is an associate professor and teacher educator in the Teaching English to Young Learners Program at Konan Women's University. She has a keen interest in learner development and issues in autonomy as it applies to young learners and young adult language learners. She has worked on developing the self-access center and integrating its components into the curriculum, serves on the learning advising team, and oversees the management e-space.
Ann has taught courses in graduate school programs and has conducted workshops and teacher-training programs for pre- and in-service primary and secondary school teachers. For the last several years she has been involved in implementing extensive reading programs in primary and secondary schools in Nepal. Most recently, she was selected as an English Language Specialist to deliver webinars to over 3,000 K-3 teachers and school leaders in the Philippines in a professional development program coordinated through the US Department of State and the Department of Education in the Philippines.
Yukio Tono: (Re)imagining language education in relation to the CEFR/CV and the CEFR-J
Since the publication of the CEFR in 2001, policymakers, researchers and teachers in foreign language education around the world have started to use the framework to review their own systems and practices. This includes the structure and content of language syllabuses, textbooks and teaching materials, as well as instructional and assessment methods. The publication of the Companion Volume (CEFR/CV) in 2020 will further concretise the principles of the CEFR and re-propose a new framework for language teaching, including sign languages, mediation skills and online communication. The application of the CEFR, with its extremely broad scope, can sometimes be a hindrance to a sound understanding of its principles and fundamental concepts, which can lead to applications based on superficial knowledge. It is also true that it is difficult to implement language education policies that cover the full range of the CEFR.
In this talk, I will give an overview of the CEFR and the CEFR/CV and discuss the implications of using the CEFR as a common framework for all languages. As an example of focused applications, I will argue what the future of intelligent CALL based on the selection and arrangement of language materials by the CEFR levels would be like. Finally, as Principal Investigator of the CEFR-J, a localization project of the CEFR in Japan, I would like to consider what is needed for the CEFR to truly take root in foreign language education in Japan.
Yukio Tono is a professor at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, JAPAN. He received his PhD in corpus linguistics at Lancaster University. His research interests include L2 learner corpus research, L2 vocabulary learning, corpus applications in applied linguistics and CEFR-related research. He is a principal investigator of the CEFR-J Project, and also directs the project called CEFR-J x 28, where the CEFR-J resources are applied to the development of 27 language teaching/learning resources.