Matthew W. Turner

Toyo University


Matthew W. Turner is an English language lecturer in the International Tourism Management faculty at Toyo University, Tokyo. His research interests include reflective practice, professional development, podcasting and digital media, English for specific purposes, and special educational needs in language education. He co-founded and co-hosts The TEFLology Podcast and CLIL Voices podcasts. Matthew is also the formatting editor for the TD SIG's Explorations in Teacher Development journal.


Accessibility in Language Learning  Perspectives on how to support learners with special educational needs more

Sat, Jul 9, 10:00-10:25 Asia/Tokyo

While accommodation for students with special educational needs (SEN) is built into mainstream education and teacher training courses, and considerable research has been carried out regarding SEN students' language learning, much less attention is given to the professional development of language teachers who seek to provide inclusive and adaptive learning environments for SEN students. This presentation reports on a case study carried out among five instructors who taught students with SEN in an academic discussion course at a Japanese university. These teachers were considered representative of university-level language teaching practitioners in terms of qualifications, experience, and teacher education, including a lack of official training regarding working with SEN learners. The study used reflexive writing by the teachers to uncover a set of developing perspectives on, and diverse approaches to, supporting SEN students. The results reveal two areas that are potentially instructive for both teachers and academic managers of professional development programs. First, they give some insight into the extent to which pre-service training programs are currently preparing teachers to help learners with special educational needs. Second, they outline a variety of ways in which teachers can proactively adjust their practice in order to better create equitable and inclusive classrooms.

Robert James Lowe Matthew Schaefer Matthew W. Turner