Gaby Benthien

Shumei University / Chuo University


Gaby Benthien is a professor at Shumei University and adjunct lecturer at Chuo University. She taught Japanese and PE at a secondary school in Australia from 1991 to 1999 as well as Japanese at a group of primary schools. She spent 1996 on a working holiday in Japan, and returned in 1999 to work as an ALT in Yamanashi for six years. While working as an ALT, Gaby completed a master degree in international education, and later on her doctorate degree focusing on L2 motivation during and after a study abroad program. She is currently teaching classes related to culture, general English, and L2 education in primary schools. Gaby’s research interests include intercultural understanding, L2 motivation and teacher development. She is currently the Tokyo Chapter TYL co-chair, and publications co-chair for the TYL SIG and ICLE SIG .


Teacher Development Using the J-POSTL Elementary: Benefits, Challenges and Possibilities more

Sat, Jul 9, 12:20-12:45 Asia/Tokyo

A foreign language became a formal subject in Japanese elementary schools in 2020. Due to a lack of specialized English teachers, homeroom teachers are also teaching English classes on their own or in a team teaching combination. Thus, in order to prepare pre-service teachers (PSTs) for this eventuality, two new English courses have been added to the elementary education teacher license curriculum. The Japanese Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages Elementary (J-POSTL Elementary) is a reflection tool featuring 167 self-assessment descriptors (SADs). Designed to be used by both pre-service and in-service teachers, it is currently being trialed at a number of universities. Qualitative survey data obtained after the completion of the two new English courses indicate that the PSTs found the J-POSTL Elementary useful for reflection, goal-setting and self-evaluation. However, some PSTs felt overwhelmed by the SADs, while others were unsure of how to use the portfolio effectively. This presentation highlights the benefits and challenges of integrating the J-POSTL Elementary into elementary education English classes. Possible future uses and adaptations of the portfolio and its components are also discussed, including English versions to create additional common ground between educators, and extending non-language specific SADs to general elementary education contexts.

Gaby Benthien

Intercultural Communication in Language Education TYL & ICLE SIG Forum: Intercultural understanding in Japanese schools more

Sun, Jul 10, 11:45-13:15 Asia/Tokyo

This forum is a collaboration between the Teaching Young Learners (TYL) SIG and the Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIG. Its aim is to showcase how intercultural communication is approached in primary and secondary schools from a variety of perspectives. Some of our invited presenters will share their research based on descriptors from the Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures (FREPA) as to what degree intercultural communicative competence is promoted in the new elementary school English textbooks. Presenters will also discuss the difficulties of teaching aspects of an L2 that are not a common feature in the L1 sociocultural environment, engaging ways in which a teacher can introduce their own country and culture to a class, how the School Lunches Project promoted the development of an investigative stance towards plurality, and how intercultural understanding is incorporated in pre-service teacher education.

Roxana Sandu Gaby Benthien Fumiko Kurihara Yoichi Kiyota Natsue Nakayama Satomi Miura Maria Theresa Niibori ピアースダニエル Grant Osterman