abstract / The Association of Canadian Teachers in Japan ACTJ

日本カナダ教育学会 ACTJ
The Association of Canadian Teachers in Japan / L'Association des Enseignants Canadiens au Japon

20th September 2010 ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE INFO:

Vetted Abstracts for the 20th September 2010 ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE

Title

Thinking globally, acting locally: Creating a support network for multicultural families in Niigata

Authors

Cook, Melodie, Assistant Professor, University of Niigata Prefecture

Abstract

This report outlines the background for and the set-up and logistics of a community support project focusing on multicultural families launched at the University of Niigata Prefecture. This project, The Support Network for Niigata International Families, and the events called International Family Gatherings were made possible by funding through a grant for aid in research and community outreach projects, from the University of Niigata Prefecture. The program is aimed at supporting multicultural families living in the Niigata area, while at the same time providing exposure and experience for students at the university interested in multiculturalism and/or childcare.


Title

Teaching about Canada through its music and song

Author

Joyce Cunningham

Abstract

This session will provide participants with a range of possibilities that have been used to introduce Canadian culture into a third-year English course at Ibaraki University for the past three years. Content-based courses can be challenging for both students and teachers alike. Consequently, in order to familiarize learners initially with the geography, history and colour of the land, useful resources are referred to. Among others, Teachertube and Slideshare offer beautiful presentations or the well-known Youtube provides instant contact not only with songs but also with interviews, movie trailers and commercials to further enrich and supplement content-based material. A variety of topics and techniques used in class will be put forward wherein students are encouraged to discuss related issues such as the homeless, marriage and divorce, and so on, comparing and contrasting them with Japan. The need to motivate students to go beyond the weekly lesson to discover more about each singer or song will also be tackled. The audience should leave with a better idea of Canadian music that has worked well in class as well as with handouts which will be distributed at the end of the session.


Title

Sociocultural and contextual influences on motivational L2 learning behavior –
A survey of one Japanese junior high school

Author

Carolyn Pieroway

Abstract

Japanese junior high schools follow a distinct philosophy of learning, strongly influenced by socio-cultural beliefs, and which in turn permeates their learning environments and management decisions such as in designing curricula. But are the resulting environments created conducive for second language learning or do they induce anxiety that cause learners to move away from studying? This study investigates how the learning environment of one private junior high school, influenced by its culturally derived curriculum, affected its learners’ motivation for English study. The results suggest that while a curriculum of English learning activities, based on Japanese beliefs about education and designed to be demanding (with challenging activities ensuing hardships as well as opportunities unique to the school for learners to potentially enjoy learning English) motivation was not significantly deterred even though both types of activities had the potential to create anxiety for the learners.

Title

Barrier to Communication?
(the use of Katakana-English by Japanese students)

Author

Robert Walker

Abstract

Two points eventually bubble to the surface in any broad discussion of Japanese EFL learners: limited overall achievement; and communicative problems related to Katakana-English. On standard English tests, how does Japan compare to other nations ... and why? For a typical Japanese student, what is the effect of Katakana on English communicative competence ... and why?


Combining statistics, research and group insights, this session seeks to widen the discussion of effective English teaching in Japan. Kachru’s “three circles” model of World English, a foundational principle for many educators, will be critically re-examined in light of current English-in-Asia realities.


If our goal as English teachers in Japan is to see our students communicate competently in English, the goal of this session is to gain new perspectives on the challenging issue of how to effectively address the sub-language that every Japanese student brings to the classroom: Katakana-English.


Title

Performing favorite scenes from Miyazaki Hayao's animation

Author

Mitsuko MATSUO (MS)

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to find the answer to what material and approach would satisfy both motivated students and unmotivated students in EFL classrooms at colleges and universities. Due to the decrease in number of young people's population in Japan, even low level and unmotivated students could enter colleges and universities except some prestigious universities.. Top down teaching with textbooks has left unmotivated students behind. Therefore the author experimented with group project work of performing favorite scenes from My Neighbor Totoro, one of the most popular Miyazaki Hayao's animations. The collected data from the term-end questionnaire were analyzed quantitatively from the point of effectiveness of this project. The data will be shown in graphs. Students' comments to open-ended questionnaire showed their excitement and involvement in performing their favorite scenes from the Japanese animation in English. Every student seemed motivated in learning English autonomously through listedning go the DVD in English version and reading their part in the English version scripts. Since they had pre-knowledge about the content in Japanese version, and since many of them had seen My Neighbor Totoro amazingly more than ten times, they could enjoy their own performance and other groups' performances.


Title

Research, Study & Management Opportunities in Higher Education

Author

Praggananda Sraman

Abstract

Buddhist education is the principal tool of human growth, essential for transforming the unlettered child into a mature and responsible adult. Yet everywhere today, education may be necessary to guarantee societal stability, it does little to fulfill the higher end of learning, the illumination of the mind with the light of truth and goodness.A major cause of educational problems lies in the "commercialization" of education. The industrial growth model of society, which today extends its tentacles even into the largely agrarian societies of South and Southeast Asia, demands that the educational system prepare students to become productive citizens in an economic order governed by the drive to maximize profits. Such a conception of the aim of education is quite different from that consistent with Buddhist principles. Practical efficiency certainly has its place in Buddhist education, for Buddhism propounds a middle path which recognizes that our loftiest spiritual aspirations depend on a healthy body and a materially secure society. But for Buddhism the practical side of education must be integrated; with other requirements designed to bring the potentialities of human nature to maturity in the way envisioned by the Buddha. Above all, an educational policy guided by Buddhist principles must aim to instill values as much as to impart information. It must be directed, not merely toward developing social and commercial skills, but toward nurturing in the students the seeds of spiritual nobility.
The entire system of Buddhist education must be rooted in faith (saddha) — faith in the Triple Gem, and above all in the Buddha as the Fully Enlightened One, the peerless teacher and supreme guide to right living and right understanding. Based on this faith, the students must be inspired to become accomplished in virtue (sila) by following the moral guidelines spelled out by the Five Precepts. They must come to know the precepts well, to understand the reasons for observing them, and to know how to apply them in the difficult circumstances of human life today. Most importantly, they should come to appreciate the positive virtues these precepts represent: kindness, honesty, purity, truthfulness, and mental sobriety. They must also acquire the spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice (caga), so essential for overcoming selfishness, greed, and the narrow focus on self-advancement that dominates in present-day society. To strive to fulfill the ideal of generosity is to develop compassion and renunciation, qualities which sustained the Buddha throughout his entire career. It is to learn that cooperation is greater than competition, that self-sacrifice is more fulfilling than self-aggrandizement, and that our true welfare is to be achieved through harmony and good will rather than by exploiting and dominating others.


Title

Globalization of Companies and MP

Author

Marco Castrucci

Abstract

People are the driving force Man Power ensures stability. It is the decisive force for flexibility, changes, growth and globalization of a company. Any vision set, any target fixed, any strategy deployed, will not succeed if the man-power does not understand it, support it and finally live it. In case of companies who are operating on a global scale, a global mind set is a necessary base for success. A global mind set needs to be grown from bottom-up, it needs to come from the man-power. Off course there has to be a path , a vision given from the top management. Basic communication on a day to day base will be necessary in order to think globally. The local working force is closed in a local thinking and will not always be able to think globally. Work force moving to different countries, bringing their culture their experiences in a local environment are an enrichment and the basis for a successful globalization. My paper would like to offer a brief insight into a successfully globally operating company in the automotive aftermarket business. Bosch has needed to globalize to expand its business. In order to achieve this, also the man power has needed to go through changes and mature, in order to be a reliable driving force.



Title

An Analytical Study on the Reasoning Skills of Technical Institute Students in Taiwan

Authors

Mingchang Wu, Professor
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
En-Szu Lin, Associate Professor
National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Shih-guey Joe, Professor
Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Taiwan

Abstract

Reasoning skills have been proved to be conducive to learning innovative knowledge, transferring knowledge to job skills, and solving problems in workplaces. The skills are crucial to college students in technical institutes in order to succeed in their future career. The major purposes of this research are to analyze the reasoning skills of technical institute students in Taiwan, and to identify potential factors constructing the reasoning skills by testing the effects of several variables, including gender, professional experience, and academic performance.
A sample of 1,132 students selected from eight technical institutes was tested by using the Reasoning Skills Assessment (reliability .83). The data from effective sample (N=864) was finally analyzed by series of statistical procedures, including t-test, single factor variance analysis, Scheffe' Method analysis, Spearman rank-order correlation, Kendall' s coefficient of concordance, and Discriminate Analysis. This research drew the following conclusions:
1. The students, educated under Confucianism, generally possessed only medium-level of reasoning skills. They were identified to perform relatively better in correctly identifying the authenticity of information resource and opinion, and classifying information on inventive arguments. However, generally speaking, they lacked the thorough capabilities of analyzing multifarious interior factors to better organize solid conception, and applying academic theories to realistic problem solving.
2. The following results of this research reconfirmed the artificial effects on the reasoning skills development: (1) just opposite the stereotype, female students surpassed the male students in reasoning skills performance; (2) students in public technical institutes performed better than their peers in private institutes because of the advantageous academic background; (3) students in humanities colleges, involving multifarious viewpoints to conclude their own arguments, surpassed their peers in both Management colleges and Engineering colleges.
3. A series of discriminate analyses exposed the systematical mechanism of four reasoning sub-skill clusters and found that during the reasoning process, the students were unable to effectively associate and integrate fragmental viewpoints for appropriate decision-making because of failing to judge information authenticity and realize its precision (Fig. 1).

text1.JPG

Figure 1. Reasoning processes

Based on the aforementioned conclusions, this research finally suggested that reasoning skills should be taught in technical institutes so that students can improve essential core competencies through reasoning quality, can learn decision-making skills through reasoning, and eventually can transfer the academic knowledge to job skills in the real world.

Keywords: Reasoning Skills, Technical institute at higher education level



Title

The patterns and outcomes of networking with peers: an exploratory study on applied engineering students in Taiwan

Authors

YANG, PETER (1); WU, MINGCHANG (2); FU, HUNG-I (1); HUANG, CHING-YUN(1)

Organizations

1: National Chiayi University, Taiwan; 2: National Yunlin University of Science and Technology

Submitted by: Peter YANG (National Chiayi University)
Presenting Author: Peter YANG (p.yang71@yahoo.com )

Abstract

Networking is one of the transferable skills that are increasingly important to contemporary careers. In organizational literature, it has been argued that different networking styles could benefit employees through several different outcomes, including positive affective state, work efficacy, and career self-management. However, in educational practice, we know little about how students learn from interpersonal experiences in universities, and the benefits they derive from networking with peers remains unclear. In this paper, we aim to study networking patterns of Taiwanese students who were studying in Applied Engineering, as they were considered as having insufficient competence to deal with interpersonal issues. The outcomes of their networking experiences were also examined.
Methodologically, the current research employed a qualitative design with exploratory characteristics. Fifteen students from the Applied Engineering Department of two technical universities were studied. The Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was used to discover the students’ networking behavior around critical situations in which they were facing learning or career-related difficulties. In addition, they were asked about the positive outcomes experienced in networking with peers. Grounded theory was used as a systematic method for the generation of theory from the data.
The results indicated that applied engineering students performed quite similar networking behaviors. Most of them only established intense support relationships with particular peers. Their support partners were few, but supportive when they were facing difficulties. The results revealed the strategic dimension of networking relevant to different characteristics of network patterns. Bonding and bridging strategies could be used to differentiate between network patterns. Furthermore, networking contributed to the establishment of a positive self-concept. The benefits of networking were categorized in terms of cognitive, affective and behavioral outcomes. These results tied in closely with the conclusions of recent literature given to the importance of support networks for work and career outcomes, and the link of networking strategies with positive outcomes was also highlighted in this study.
Such findings contribute to theoretical advancements in networking, as well as help to lay the foundations for the conduct of career education intervention for applied engineering students. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that some methodological limitations were likely to bias the results. Due to the method used for data collection, only some information of their support networks was obtained in this study, and the complete picture of their networking behavior in university life remained unclear. An in-depth analysis of the structural properties of networks should be grounded on complete network data, which is quite difficult to collect in research practice. Collecting data from all network members in a group is a necessary condition of carrying out a social network analysis. The collection of complete network data will be a challenge in research practice. Implications of this research for positive psychology are discussed
Keywords : social capital, career management, social networks, career counseling



Title

POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTIONAL TEFL AND THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE COMMERCIAL EIKAIWA MODEL


Author

Lee Arnold

Abstract

Policy-making authorities in a number of postsecondary institutions in Japan have turned to outsourcing their TEFL programs and functions to the commercialized eikaiwa industry to reduce costs, attract learners, bring more performance-based criteria for teacher hiring and retention to bear, and expedite what obligations they have to TEFL. Yet as the bankruptcy of Nova in 2007 and declaration of bankruptcy of Geos this year have both demonstrated, the model of TEFL such entities have popularized can be a danger for the non-profit postsecondary sector. The myriad of controversial issues with regard to teacher hiring, training, compensation and dismissal, and treatment of students that Nova in particular generated, is amplified all the more by the Nova-Geos collapse. This calls into question the model of commercialized eikaiwa and the temptation of some Japanese postsecondary institutional policy-makers to embrace its business and marketing practices. This presentation outlines the shortcomings of the model, the risks to institutional credibility it entails, and proposes better directions for future relations between postsecondary TEFL and policy-making to take, along with recommendations for the eikaiwa industry to advance itself more affirmatively.


Title

Readers Theatre and Performing Genres

Author

Gregory Strong

Abstract

The presenter outlines a task-based framework for using TV and film scripts for Readers’ Theatre in the classroom and demonstrates its use with the genres of movie trailers, commercials, news broadcasts, speeches, and movie scenes. Online resources including websites for scripts, or templates for storyboards will be provided.
From digital story-telling projects to authentic listening materials drawn from YouTube and DVDs, language teachers use more authentic video materials than ever. Yet the scripts for these programs can also be effective in their their own right in teaching speaking because of their high interest level and their use of English in different genres. The presenter outlines the use of scripts in the classroom within a framework of task-based language teaching (Willis, 1996; Willis & Willis, 1996). The scripts range from the genres of movie trailers, commercials, news broadcasts, speeches, and a movie scenes. Rather than interpreting character which is the traditional approach of the actor, students are directed to employ a readers’ theatre approach. They also read the scripts rather than attempt to memorize them. As part of the process, they are shown the film sequences for the videos and try to emulate the performances. Scripts assist students as scaffolding for the development of original scenes. The presenter shows how to implement the task-based approach with these genres, provide sample scripts and websites for additional ones, as well as resources for creating film storyboards, script writing templates, and afterward, methods of assessing student work.


Title

Performing World Old Stories Retrieved from the Internet

Authors

Aiko Shinohara
Mitsuko Matsuo

Abstract

According to the survey on Japanese college students’ aptitude, there were so many students had not taken English in the college entrance examinations. It means they could get through without making efforts in studying English. Most of those students are unmotivated and passive. What are the strategies to deal with those students?

Presenters exploited cooperative group project, performing folk tales from Japan or from the world. In a group they select an old story from the Internet. They read it and rewrite it into a script for the performance. In the process they learn reading, writing and speaking cooperatively. In class performance they evaluate other groups’ performance in order to listen to other groups’ performance attentively. As formats of performance they used Kamishibai, puppet show, or shadow play. Students use their multiple intelligences in creating the performance. They get involved and their attitude become active, utilizing their talents like acting, singing, playing the piano or other musical instruments other than English skills.

Both motivated and unmotivated students seem comfortable with the group performance activity. Effectiveness of this project will be analyzed in graphs as the result of the term-end questionnaire.

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