ALT,  Professional Development,  Programs

ALT Agorà – September 21, 2022 – Register Now!

The worst of summer is behind us, and we hope you’re all getting ready for the cooler months ahead of us. Our September revent will return to our original format with three breakout rooms and a 7:30pm start. Information on this month’s speakers and their topics can be found below. Don’t forget to register and tell your friends and co-workers about our events!

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, @7:30 pm JST


How to join: the link will be sent to your email address.
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This month join us to talk about the following topics!

Room 1: Making Meanings: The use of multimodality in the EFL classroom
Speaker: Michelle Bautista (ALT in Fukuoka)

The pandemic has forced both university teachers and students to go online. However, this is not true for most high school students who continued with their face to face classes.  In this presentation, I will show you how we can use multimodality in the EFL classroom to ensure that our students are better prepared for university as most of the effective digital practices and tasks will likely continue even after the pandemic.  Then, I will explain how our role as a curator and facilitator in an EFL classroom allows everyone in the room to negotiate and produce meanings. As Säljö (2010, cited in Magnusson & Godhe, 2019) explained that “Conceptualising education and learning as a process of designing meaning-making differs from views on learning as a process of transferring knowledge.” Finally, I will explain how we can help students to develop their multimodal awareness and skills through the use of rubrics.

Room 2: Developing speaking & listening skills through comprehensive team teaching
Speaker: Alex Crockett (ALT in Kyoto)

Team-teaching classes provide a unique opportunity to develop active speaking and listening skills – and it’s coincidentally what the new MEXT course of study asks English teachers to evaluate. In this talk I’d like to discuss some strategies for accomplishing this, first by sharing some of the lessons and activities we have had success implementing ourselves (including making videos, thinking critically, debating and discussing, and giving speeches), and then by discussing the strategies that led to their creation (e.g. meeting the needs of the teachers and students, creating lessons that further rather than impede the regular lessons, and evaluating your own successes using student feedback). Finally, I’d like to discuss how we can apply these strategies broadly across a variety of student levels and classroom goals.

Room 3: Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors – Using Picture Books to Help Develop Learners’ Intercultural Understanding.
Speaker: Emily MacFarlane (University Lecturer)

In the mainly monolingual monocultural Japanese classrooms, where the emphasis is on conformity, English classes are one of the few opportunities learners have to encounter other languages and cultures. While picturebooks are often used for learner enjoyment or to introduce new vocabulary, they can also support learners to look beyond their own worlds and deepen their understanding and interest in other cultures. This presentation will discuss how picturebooks can be used with learners to act not only as windows and sliding doors into more diverse worlds for Japanese learners, but also as mirrors for any minority learners who may be in the classroom. Additionally, concrete examples and results from use in the 5th and 6th grade elementary school classroom with be provided. Participants are also encouraged to discuss and examine their own use of picture books in this interactive presentation.

The speakers that will join us for this event are:

Michelle Bautista (ALT in Fukuoka)
Michelle Bautista is currently a 6th year SHS ALT in Fukuoka. Before coming to Japan, she taught English to high school students in the Philippines. She has written a module entitled Masterpieces in English Language and Literature Teaching for Grade 10 students that is still being used in Marist School, Philippines. She finished her Master of Arts in English Language and Literature Teaching from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.  She has tried the use of multimodality in her EFL classroom.

Alex Crockett (Kyoto Prefecture ALT)
Alex studied Computational Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, where his experience working in science outreach programs led him to pursue a career in teaching. He has been working as an ALT at Kyoto Prefectural Sagano High School since April 2018. His professional interests include using games, drama, debate, and public speaking for learning, as well as integrating technology with education.

Emily MacFarlane (University Lecturer)
Emily MacFarlane currently teaches English at a number of universities in the Sendai area. Previously she worked as an ALT, specialising at the elementary school level, for 12 years. She recently completed an M.A. TESOL with her research focusing on identifying and developing effective scaffolding techniques during picture book read-aloud sessions for low-level Japanese English language learners.