Sessions / Location Name: E25: DO NOT RECORD

Physical Location

Exploring the benefits and challenges of using humor in online teaching #2735

Sat, Jul 9, 10:00-10:25 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

Humor can be a vital component of the language teacher’s repertoire, especially considering its positive impact on classroom atmosphere and student participation (Reddington & Waring, 2015). Unfortunately, instructors had to drastically rethink their approach to incorporating humor with the sudden shift to online instruction. Would students still appreciate or even recognize humor use with lessons being taught via online video conferencing?

In order to gain a better understanding of the role of humor in synchronous online teaching, the presenters undertook a mixed methods study, administering a survey to university English language teachers (N = 60) and conducting follow-up interviews with select participants. The Likert-scale items in the survey covered variables such as the benefits, challenges, and approaches to using humor in online teaching. Additionally, open-ended survey items queried teachers about topics such as comparing the use of humor in online and F2F lessons and solutions to the limitations of online teaching. Responses indicate vast differences in opinion, with some participants lamenting the obstacles to incorporating humor into their lessons while others enthused over the unexpected possibilities offered by the novelty of this new teaching environment.

After reviewing the survey results, the presenters will share expanded insights from the follow-up interviews.

Visual Storytelling in Creative Writing #2813

Sat, Jul 9, 11:10-11:35 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

Maloney (2019) states that creative writing is perhaps "the most under-used tool in the ELT box." Research shows that the benefits of using creative writing in the EFL classroom include raised critical consciousness (Stillar 2013), increased motivation (Smith 2013), and improved acquisition of grammatical structures (Pelcova 2015). This practice-based presentation will outline how one particular aspect of creative writing, screenwriting, can be successfully utilized in the Japanese university classroom. ‘Visual storytelling’ is a form of writing used by screenwriters to communicate on the page images and information that will be seen on screen. The presenter will begin by explaining what visual storytelling is. He will then describe how he teaches a course for university 3rd- and 4th-year students that utilizes visual storytelling techniques to introduce students to creative writing. The presenter will explain how he makes use of short films, feature film clips, and screenplay extracts to foster student creativity. Samples of work done by students will be introduced.

Building an EMI course: Strategies for critical thinking & student efficacy #2883

Sat, Jul 9, 11:45-12:10 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

As part of the national government’s strategy to develop “global human resources,” English Medium Instruction (EMI) has expanded rapidly in Japan (Yonezawa & Shimmi, 2015). Although initially adopted by larger, internationally-oriented institutions, for smaller universities all-English classes provide an opportunity for delivering niche courses that offer engaging content and life skill development. This presentation introduces an introductory seminar for an EMI culture and society course within the English department of a small liberal arts university. The course’s objective is to encourage critical thinking and develop student efficacy, creating internationally minded students with broad perspectives who are skilled at English communication and have a spirit of service. There are obstacles to delivering effective EMI courses in the Japanese context (Morizumi, 2015) and achieving course objectives presents an opportunity to experiment with pedagogical strategies. The presentation introduces examples of strategies currently in practice, including scaffolded group work, exploration of identity and values, and a continual process of feedback. Class material, which draws on the work of previous students, links familiar topics to new information, creating an environment that develops skills, fosters curiosity and critical thinking. The classroom models an inclusive community, where students develop confidence to speak out and share different perspectives.

An Analysis of TESOL Teacher Motivation – Values vs. Rewards #2731

Sat, Jul 9, 13:30-13:55 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a renewed and much needed spotlight on the plight of teachers at all stages of education. This has been a welcome development, as while motivation of students continues to be a heavily researched area, in-depth looks at teachers have been sparse, with even less focus being directed specifically at second language teachers. The current study sought to explore TESOL teachers’ values related to, and rewards gained from, their teaching jobs and careers. Responses to a modified version of the instrument used in Kassabgy, Boraie, & Schmidt’s (2001) study were obtained from 368 in-service instructors spanning the globe and analyzed by factor analyses. Like Kassabgy et al., intrinsic motivation was found to be central to reported feelings of job satisfaction and motivation, which were positive overall despite disparities between values and the realities of the job. However, slightly different factors and loadings were found from Kassabgy et al., namely a trend away from relationships with coworkers. One hypothesis is that the development of social networking over the past 20 years may be the key factor, revealing a shifting support structure away from the workplace and into cyberspace.

What to expect when you’re expecting zemi students #2741

Sat, Jul 9, 14:05-14:30 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

What exactly is a “zemi” and what does teaching one at a Japanese university involve? Although teachers may hear the word “zemi” often, some may not completely know what they are or how they are managed. This presentation will outline the troubles and successes of the presenter’s first year and a half of teaching zemi students at a private Japanese university. It will give practical survival skills to teachers who are either new to teaching zemi students or for those who are hoping to be in a position to be teaching them later in their careers. The presentation will also discuss the difficulties of supervising zemi students’ research and graduation theses. It will be a crash course in what to expect, beginning with how to prepare for your first meeting with your new zemi students and then how to manage them from that point onward. The presenter will share a basic outline of what kinds of things happened during weekly meetings with his zemi students and how the he trained them to undertake their research projects.

Using Text Chat to Increase Participation and Engagement #2697

Sat, Jul 9, 15:15-15:40 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused an upheaval in tertiary education, with many classes either going online or becoming hybrid. Students participating in classes through Zoom often report "Zoom fatigue" and a loss of interest and motivation. Some students reportedly "ghost" classes, appearing in name only. In in-person classes, one effective technique to maintain student interest and attention is to periodically ask multiple-choice questions, and have all students respond simultaneously with response cards or through an online answer system. While there are many ways to replicate this during Zoom classes, there are several advantages to eliciting student answers via DM (direct message) in the chat. It is an easy way to elicit a variety of answer types (multiple choice, words, or phrases). DM is low risk; students' answers are invisible to the other students, so no student sticks out. DMs are motivating because the students know that the teacher sees their name alongside their answers. Zoom chat can be saved, thus preserving records of each student's participation. Finally, while these questions are best planned beforehand, DMs can be used spontaneously. This practice-oriented workshop will include a demonstration of how to analyze the chat transcript for quantitative and qualitative participation data.

Democracy in the classroom: Allowing students’ input into class decisions #2857

Sat, Jul 9, 16:25-16:50 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: E25: DO NOT RECORD

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated transition to either wholly online classes or a combination of face-to-face and online presented challenges but also the potential for flexibility. For example, it provided an opportunity to allow students greater influence over some decisions traditionally made by teachers. Previous research suggests that allowing individuals agency in decisions encourages greater engagement and responsibility (Birdsell et al., 2009). Thus, during the 2021-22 academic year, the teacher-researcher allowed students a choice in matters such as lesson format and assignment deadlines, then later surveyed students to establish the extent to which this experiment in class democracy was well-received, and whether or not democratising the classroom benefitted the learning environment.

In this presentation, these survey results will be discussed. The analysis reflects on, for example, whether too many decisions were allocated to students (or not enough), how to be mindful of minority voices in any ‘voting system’, and whether allowing students a role in decision-making increases their motivation, or all too often results in students choosing the “lazy” or easier option. This presentation will provide a summary of the decision-making progress, the results from student surveys, and how this will affect future decisions in the classroom.