I am going to be doing a presentation at the ETJ Tohoku Expo with Steve Williams about using Japanese in the English classroom (use of L1 in L2 classes).
This seems to be a topic where the research (and publications) seem to be completely out of whack with actual practice. Many ALTs and eikaiwa teachers have restrictions on how much Japanese they are allowed to use in the classroom, and there seems to be a general expectation that native speakers will operate exclusively in their L1 while teaching. However, almost all the academics that write on the topic accept that the students’ L1 can be an extremely useful tool in the hands of an experienced teacher.
Steve and I agree that this is something worth talking about with working teachers, so we’re going to be presenting about when and how to use Japanese to make classes more effective. We only have 45 minutes, so the biggest problem is going to be fitting all the research Steve has done into such a short timeframe!
Please feel free to comment, especially if you oppose the use of Japanese in English classes in Japan, and if you can come along on the day (October 3rd, in Sendai) we’d love to see you.