May 14, 2016

Next Meeting - Saturday, June 4th 2016 Update

Date: Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Place: Ibaraki Christian University, Hitachi
Time: 11:00~17:00 (10:30 Doors open.)

Morning Presentation - (11:00~11:40)

Applicability of the Silent Way Method: Evaluating in terms of Foreign Language Anxiety and Conversation Analysis
by Hidenori Kuwabara, Tokiwa University & Yosuke Ogawa, Kansai University

Since the Silent Way fell out of use in the 80s, it has not been examined by any of the modern pedagogical methodologies. Nevertheless, this unique method could have the potential to be applied to current language classrooms, especially with focus on form and fluency activities. This study attempts to investigate the applicable features of the Silent Way from the Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) perspective along with a qualitative analysis of its interactional sequence. Data from video recordings and pre/post-questionnaires was analysed to assess how learners’ affective filters (i.e. FLA) were processed and how the interactional architecture in the local activity has been co-constructed. These two types of data, one qualitative and the other quantitative, provide triangulation and help to uncover how the teacher can practically induce learners’ output in addition to reducing their FLA through the Silent Way activity.

Bio data:
Hidenori Kuwabara is an assistant professor at Tokiwa University. He is interested in Fear of Negative Evaluation in Foreign Language Anxiety, Focus on Form, Task-Based Language Teaching, and Second Language Acquisition.

Yosuke Ogawa is a lecturer at Kansai University, Osaka. He teaches both English and Japanese in various levels and Japanese media and culture. He researches native-nonnative interaction from multimodal pragmatic perspectives, particularly native speakers’ linguistic and interactional modifications. His current research interests include pragmatic functions of paralinguistic features and participants’ communicative accommodation in inter-group interaction.

Afternoon Presentation  (14:00~16:10)

Language Instruction Through Cultural Participation: The Peculiar Case of Shape Notes
by Tim Cook, Chiba University, Mejiro University, & Seikei University

Shape notes are an early American pedagogical invention intended to aid church congregations to sight-sing hymns in unaccompanied parts. Common in the first several decades of U.S. history, shape-note singing survived to the present only in remote corners of the American South. For such reasons, the culture of shape-note singing lends itself to the type of superficial representations of the exotic Other favored by foreign language textbooks. At the same time, shape-note culture defies reduction into such representation. It is nothing if not participatory. Following that spirit, this presentation for Ibaraki JALT will be a participatory introduction to shape-note singing, its cryptic notation, the strict meter of its poetry, and the unbound joy of communal singing. While the texts are steeped in the stark theology of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Protestant hymns, the singing culture that evolved around them is strictly nonsectarian. That culture is fiercely democratic and requires no prior musical ability to participate. Admittedly an unusual topic for a meeting of language teachers, this tradition offers an example of tacit language learning that is task-based, contextual, cross-disciplinary, and fun.

Bio data:

Tim Cook teaches English communication and culture courses as a part-time instructor at Chiba University, Mejiro University, and Seikei University. Prior to coming to Japan in 2015, he taught Japanese at the university and high school level, including through a Georgia Public Broadcasting program for which he won the only Emmy ever awarded a distance learning instructor. He also taught English in the Mombusho English Fellows Program (precursor to the JET Program) in Yamaguchi Prefecture and at the college level in Suzhou, China. As a transplant to the American South from the Midwest, he soon became active in rural shape-note singings. The Alabama State Council on the Arts has twice awarded him master folk artist grants to teach the tradition in Alabama and beyond. At other times in his life, he has herded sheep on the Navajo Indian Reservation, laid rails in northern Michigan, hiked the Chinese wilderness along the North Korean border, interviewed the president of Vanuatu, and received the key to the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He was awarded an MAT degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the School for International Training and a PhD in mass communication from the University of Alabama.

Business Meeting (16:20~17:00)

May 4, 2016

Sayonara Services for Our Friend Bob Betts.

This is to announce the date and time of cremation and memorial gathering (SHINOBU-KAI=偲ぶ会) of Betts-sensei. Please share this information with anyone who might be concerned.

1) Cremation:  May 7 (Sat) 13:50 -  (at Mito City Crematorium)
  火葬: 57日(土) 13:50~ 場所: 水戸市斎場  住所: 茨城県水戸市堀町2106-2 
   Please gather at 13:00 if you would like to attend.

2) Memorial Gathering (SHINOBU-KAI): May 8 (Sun) 15:00 - (at FUJISAITEN Mito Station South Exit Hall)
    ロバート・ベッツ先生を偲ぶ会: 58日(日) 15:00~  富士祭典セレモニア富士水戸駅南館 住所: 水戸市桜川2-5-11
  ★Please be advised that people can gather in casual dress for SHINOBU-KAI.  
    If there is anyone who wishes to send a flower for the hall of SHINOBU-KAI, please request him/her to make contact directly with FUJISAITEN's office at 029-251-7235.
  ★We have prepared this gathering with the name of Betts-sensei's brother, Mr. Thomas Betts as its host. 
       「偲ぶ会」の主催は、ベッツ先生の弟さんのThomas Betts さんということで準備しております。(弔電を送られる方がいらっしゃれば、Thomas Bettsさん宛でお送りくださるようお伝えください。)

Thank you again for your attention and cooperation.