Right now I only have one presentation scheduled: Sendai JALT on January 23rd.
That’s actually quite a strange feeling. The last couple of years have been great for me in terms of chances to present. I’ve been all over Japan and met all sorts of great people. You can see some of the presentations on the Sendaiben Youtube channel.
However, I have started to feel a bit burned out. In 2014 I will be attending some conferences as a participant, not a presenter. I’ll also be working on some really exciting new projects (stay tuned for more information soon).
I hope to be doing a lot more writing next year, on this blog and elsewhere.
Recently I have been working a lot with one of my colleagues at my university.
A lot of the time, working with others is a drag on effectiveness. Things take longer to get done, you need to agree on what to do, people don’t do their share. It tends to be 1+1 ends up being less than two, and for every person you add to the mix the final number gets lower and lower. After a certain point the results drop to zero.
However, once in a while you end up with a team that works. Synergy occurs as your complementary skill sets allow you to do things that you couldn’t do by yourself.
In that rare situation, 1+1 ends up being 3 or 4 or 5.
We have a new project in the works, and I think you will like it. More details in 2014.
In the meantime, if you don’t have a copy of our ER Program Design Manual, why not order a free copy from our Center for Professional Development?
Have you ever had a synergistic collaboration?
At the Oxford Day this year, I really enjoyed talking with Goodith White.
During her keynote, she mentioned this speech by Paul Collard, which I then tracked down and found excellent. He has some interesting points on teaching, test scores, and educational systems in Japan and Korea:
Lots of takeaways for language teachers. Some of the standouts for me:
- teachers need to train students to learn outside of the classroom
- our students are going to have to make their own jobs
- students that are pushed to achieve high educational test scores often end up disliking the subject and not pursuing it in the future (English in Japan?)
- autonomously functioning (self-directed) students do much better at university or in the workforce
What did you think of the speech?
conference curriculum elllo extensive listening extensive reading graded readers language courses Language learning materials online resources presentations self-study
I was extremely lucky to be invited to speak at the first Oxford Day in Japan this month.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed the whole thing. 188 teachers attended, and there were nine presentations (five time slots). The venue was a very comfortable meeting space in Shibuya, and the provided coffee and sandwiches were excellent.
Most importantly for me, I had a fantastic group of teachers in my presentation who were very forgiving and asked me a bunch of questions at the end. Here is a copy of my slides in .pdf format and the video of the presentation is below:
131123 Maximising Input (slides in .pdf format)
If you have any questions please let me know in the comments, or send me an email to email@example.com.
high school jobhunting Language learning op-ed study abroad university
Here is an interesting article about Japanese students and the demand for study abroad programs (thanks Glenski).
*image stolen from the MOFA website
This seems to be a perennial topic of discussion, and there is much hand-wringing about how few students actually plan to study overseas.
To me this seems quite simple: I believe students are on the whole rational actors. Facing them are a range of issues:
- there are significant financial costs associated with studying overseas
- there is limited support for students to study overseas from universities and schools (generally students have to take time off from their studies)
- companies pay lip service to internationalization, but study abroad does not seem to help with job hunting and in fact hinders it greatly if students are away in their third and fourth years
- students don’t have the necessary language skills to study abroad after going through the normal English educational system in Japan
If these factors were flipped, particularly the third one, I am sure we would see interest rise.
What do you think? Is the system at fault or are Japanese students really the passive, docile, unadventurous generation that some media tries to make them out to be?