Emily MacFarlane


Nice to meet you! I'm originally from the Shetland Islands in the very north of Scotland (wind swept islands with viking fire festivals, northern lights and some very cute ponies). I've taught at elementary schools in Sendai for the past ten years. I've just finished doing master’s research in identifying and developing effective scaffolding techniques during picturebook read-aloud sessions. I found my small-scale case study created some interesting results concerning open and closed questions with Japanese learners. If you are interested please come along to my session to find out more!


Teaching Younger Learners Examining Responses to Various Question Types in Picturebook Read-alouds more

Sat, Jul 9, 14:05-14:30 Asia/Tokyo

During read-alouds, a great deal of the benefit and enjoyment learners gain is due to the interaction from sharing the picturebook (Wells, 2003) making it a very important part of the read-aloud. Teachers are often told to use open questions over closed questions if at all possible (Paul, 2003) as they increase interaction and conversation (Lee et al., 2012). However, Japanese conversational styles as well as cultural and teaching styles mean both Japanese teachers and learners can find open questions very challenging (Hammond, 2007). This presentation discusses a small-scale case study which examined how 10-12-year-old Japanese elementary school low-level English learners respond to open and closed questions during interactive picturebook read-alouds. This presentation will discuss four main areas: the amount of interaction created by each question type, the different types of responses elicited, the situations where students could not respond to questions, and how class dynamics affected student responses. Participants will leave the presentation with a clearer idea of when the use of closed questions may be more appropriate than open questions during read-alouds in the low-level Japanese classroom.

Emily MacFarlane