Homework readings

In our final class on Friday, July 8th, each of you is to plan a 15-minute  lesson (20 minutes if you are working with a partner) that makes use of some reading material — possibly, but not necessarily, from one of the reading texts you selected last week as a good candidate for use in the Reading I or II course. [I told Marco that he could select a reading for his “lesson” that has something to do with Chaucer or Middle English and Yumi may choose a reading that deals with interpretation in some way. I realize that Yumi and Marco are not specializing in English Education, however, I think the task is relevant to them since giving conference presentations is very much like teaching a class, so, the preparation they undertake for their final lesson echoes, in some ways, the prep required for delivering a talk at a professional conference.]

You will need to prepare a lesson plan for a 90-minute lesson even though you will only demonstrate highlights of that lesson for 15-20 minutes during our class on July 8th. Here is a model lesson plan, and here is a template that you should use for creating your own reading lesson. I will give you until July 15th to submit your detailed lesson plan, which you’ll have to do online to a BBS I established for that purpose. In other words, you’ll have until a week after the final class to submit the detailed plan (and reflections about how it actually went) for the lesson you will perform on the 8th. [As I told you in class, you will get extra credit if you provide evidence that you used a professional mailing list (such as TESL-L) to exchange information with teachers before your lesson in order to get ideas or suggestions from them.]

You should also prepare follow-up activities that you would assign to students for homework. The homework could involve the use of some sort of apps or websites that you have identified as being helpful in developing students’ vocabulary, reading skills, or simply in providing more opportunities for the students to read on a related topic.

In addition to all that–on the same BBS where you are to post your lesson plan–you will need to post a 350-500 word essay about your understanding of professional development and how it was influenced by this Kiso Enshu. The due date for that will be July 29th.

Finally, I wasn’t completely satisfied with how you all handled the assignment I gave you concerning monitoring–and, possibly, participating on–mailing lists. So, I am asking you to submit more detailed reflections on that using the BBS as well. That way, your classmates will be able to benefit by your observations and experiences. The due date for that will also be July 29th. On the BBS, you’ll find eight questions to answer concerning your use of a professional mailing list. However, if you decide to use a social networking site, such as Twitter, to connect with like-minded colleagues, you can answer these questions:


  1. What sort of information can you get about your area of interest through twitter?
  2. How might you make use of this information in your studies?
  3. Who did you follow and how did you make your decisions about who to follow?
  4. How do you intend to contribute to the scholarly flow of information by creating tweets that may be of interest to your colleagues?
  5. Give examples of tweets related to your areas of interest which you found to be particularly useful or interesting.


You can access the BBS, which is on a phpBB site on my own website, at this address:


When you use the system for the first time, you’ll need to register. Click on the “Register” link at the upper right hand side of the page. Next, click on the “I agree to these terms” button. Then, you’ll need to fill out a brief registration form. Please use your first (i.e., given) name and the first letter of your family name as your “username.” [E.g., If your name is Ayano Sakurai, your username would be “AyanoS.”]

After you register, you’ll be asked to login with the username and password that you chose. To do so, click on “login,” in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Subsequently, each time you use the page, you will be able to sign in just by clicking on “login” and inputting your username and password.

After logging in, click on “Graduate Students’ Forum.” You’ll be asked for a password to use the forum. The password is “peace” (without the quotation marks). You can then either introduce a new topic by clicking on the NEWTOPIC button or reply to the message that I posted on the forum, with your responses to the homework questions. Don’t forget to return to the site to check for messages and replies left by your classmates.


Problems some of you perceived in the Reading I & II classes


  • The teacher spoke a lot (possibly a consequence of having too many students in the class).
  • Students had few opportunities to speak.
  • Students spent most of the time waiting while others took turns offering translations.
  • There was no connection between Reading I and Reading II.
  • No reading skills were introduced.
  • The texts were too easy.
  • The texts were too general and did not prepare students for reading long passages and for the textbooks written entirely in English that some professors required in the 3rd and 4th years.
  • There wasn’t enough vocabulary introduced.
  • No academic journals, or texts with sources cited, were used

Suggestions for Change


  • The differences between Reading I and Reading II should be more clear.
  • It’s necessary for there to be coordination between Reading I and II teachers concerning both texts and teaching method.
  • An online vocabulary development system might be used to give students more exposure to vocabulary.

Favored reading textbooks for Reading I & II (recommended by Kiso Enshu students)


  • Reading Explorer 4 (4 out of 7 students selected it)
  • Q Skills for Success 4 (2 out of 7 students selected it)
  • Inside Reading 1 & 2 (2 out of 7 students selected it)

Other suggested texts


  • Developing Reading Skills
  • Reading the News
  • Weaving it Together
  • New Window on the World
  • Reading the World through the Times & the Guardian

Possible supplemental text


  • 6-way Paragraphs


Part of professional development is learning a process for making decisions. In the case of teachers, one of the important decisions that you may need to make is which textbook to use for a course you’re teaching, or that’s being taught by others, at your school. You can read about some general considerations for choosing a textbook in THIS CHAPTER from a book by Jeremy Harmer.
[Harmer, Jeremy. How to Teach English. London: Longman, 2007.]

As I told you in class, for this week’s assignment (to complete before July 1st), you will imagine that you are on the committee that must decide on a textbook that will be used in Reading I (for freshmen) and Reading II (for sophomores) at Aoyama Gakuin University’s English Department. Until now, teachers were free to use any text that they wanted, but it was decided that, if suitable texts could be found, one would be selected for Reading I and another for Reading II. You will need to choose TWO candidate texts for each of the levels and, on Friday, you should justify the decision that you made.

[Actually, this is a very “real world” assignment since a special committee in the English Department is busy discussing this issue now. We have been holding meetings since the autumn semester of 2010. We began by looking at the list of texts that teachers were already using, as there was no set text and each class was assigned a different book by the teacher. We also looked over the course descriptions and the guidelines that we had been using for the classes.]

You will need to consider the following factors when trying to come to a decision about which textbooks to use as “set textbooks” (i.e., ones used program-wide) for each of the levels:

1) Text characteristics

  • its attractiveness and ease of use
  • relatively inexpensive; e.g., less than ¥4,000
  • suitable length for a one-year course
  • should include such varied subjects as art, contemporary life, culture, literature, linguistics, philosophy, science, social or global issues
  • should include several genres of reading; for example, literature, essays, and magazine-style articles
  • should include some reading exercises and exercises addressing grammar and vocabulary

2) The results of the following surveys…

[These are just selected items from the surveys that do not reveal the identity of the survey takers nor compromise any personal information. However, keep this information in confidence and it is only for your eyes.]




3) A Powerpoint presentation summarizing the results of all three surveys.

Reading for life – Matsumoto JALT PAN-SIG Conference Presentation

You will find the textbooks from which to choose from in the English Department Office/Library on the 9th Floor. Please DO NOT ask any of the office secretaries or assistants to help you find them. It will be easy to find them on your own. There are stacks of book shelves in the Office/Library and I placed the textbooks on Book Shelf No. 8. You’ll find books by these publishing companies: Heinle, OUP, CUP, and Macmillan. Put the books back where you found them after you refer to them. Note that they will be in use by the committee to improve the reading courses from 4:00 PM until around 6:00 PM on Wednesday, so you won’t be able to access them then.


This is just for your information. It demonstrates the use of a PPT sharing website called Slideshare, which allows for the sharing of PPT presentations over the Web (i.e., it’s not necessary for the viewer to have the Powerpoint application.

On May 21st, at the JALT PAN-SIG Conference in Matsumoto, Strong Sensei and I gave a presentation related to the plans for revising the Reading I & II courses. We would like to make the PPT presentation that we used in the talk available to you through a presentation social networking system called Slideshare. In the PPT, you’ll find summaries of surveys in which teachers and students participated and proposals for some tasks that will be piloted in selected classes. Credit for the survey must be given to Allen-Tamai, Yokotani, Wakabayashi, Robinson, and Yamanouchi Senseis (not only Strong Sensei and myself).


On the 24th of this month, we’ll hear Ruriko, Maimi, and Tatsunori give their presentations on the teaching organizations that they researched:

Tatsunori Otsubo — Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Inc. < http://www.tesol.org/ >

Ruriko Tsuji — The Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching < http://ajet.net/ >

Maimi Hamada — European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning < http://www.eurocall-languages.org/ >

In order to prepare for our class on June 24th, you should join, at least, three mailing lists or discussion groups that deal with your area of specialty, whether it be translation, philology, or language acquisition and teaching. Take a look at archived messages of the group and pay especially close attention to recently posted messages. Note down the most popular “threads” (themes of written “conversations”) and be prepared to report on some of the most interesting “conversations” that you came across. You will get extra credit if you actually contribute to a thread, either by starting one or by adding to it. In your presentation you should also tell us 1) the purpose of the group, 2) a bit about its history, 3) the sort of members who belong to it, 4) the amount of activity on the group, and, 5) the rules that exist for participation. The Internet Journal’s list of TESL Discussion Groups is HERE.

NOTE: It’s important that you do not choose ANNOUNCEMENT only groups. That is, groups that exist solely for the distribution of newsletters. The groups that you join must allow members to contribute messages, which can be distributed to all the group members. Please keep in mind that some of the groups you join may have hundreds of, if not more than a thousand, members.

Here are some other suggestions:

TESL-L is an international discussion mailing list (10,000 strong and growing!) for Teachers of English. This list is moderated and often refuses postings which address issues more applicable to its sublists:

TESLIT-L (Adult education and literacy)

TESLIE-L (intensive English programs)

TESLIC-L (intercultural communications)

TESLFF-L (fluency first and whole language issues)

TESLCA-L (computer-assisted language learning

TESLEC-L (electronic communications)

TESLJB-L (world-wide jobs and employment issues)

TESP-L   (teachers of English for specific purposes)

[I demonstrated in class how to join these groups.]

Other groups include:

SLART-L is the forum for Second Language Acquisition Research and/or Teaching. The forum is devoted to issues pertaining to 2nd/foreign language.

The Linguist List offers linguistics-related mailing lists, including ones that deal with philology.

Apart from JACET and JALT, in Japan there’s another, relatively new, language teaching organization called “English Teachers in Japan.” They have some very active Yahoo Group mailing lists. You can consider these as alternatives to the others that I suggested to you.

Click HERE for directions for how to use the ETJ e-mail discussion group (it has more than 5000 members). And, click HERE for directions for how to use the ETJ-ACTIVITIES e-mail discussion group (it specializes in ideas for classroom activities).

I also distributed the abstracts, guidelines for proposals, and sample rubric to you. Please use a modified version of the rubric to judge the acceptability of the proposals, particularly in light of the guidelines. Proposals that diverge too much from the stated guidelines, generally, don’t have much chance of acceptance. Write some notes on each proposal that explain the reasons for your judgements.

Finally, as I would like you to see the potential for social networking in enhancing your professional life, I prepared a FaceBook Community page that is especially for the members of our class. Please check it out and feel free to participate on it. You can do so without becoming either my “friend” or the “friend” of any of the other members of this class, so it won’t be an invasion of your privacy.


For our June 10th class, I asked you to search for an actual, upcoming language teaching conference, anywhere in the world, that has an open “call for papers” (i.e., proposals for presentations to be given at the conference are now being accepted). You should follow the guidelines given at the conference site for submitting proposals in the proper format. Usually, proposals are made up of personal details (which may include a short bio), a presentation title, an abstract, and a brief blurb about your talk that will be included in the conference handbook. The guidelines for proposals differ depending on which conference the proposal is intended for.

You can see an extensive list of upcoming conferences at this site:

Here’s the PPT from the TESOL Conference site that explains, in great detail, how to submit a fantastic proposal. [Ruriko asked me to make this file available to you.]


Part of professional development involves taking advantage of events in the community to increase our knowledge of our field. I would like to suggest that in place of our class, on June 17th, we attend the following event together. Hopefully, you’ve all registered for the event using the link below:


In the unlikely event that you haven’t registered yet, click on the link for 申し込み方法 (at https://business.form-mailer.jp/fms/e327c33d6599 ) and register.


Joseph Dias

対象 小・中・高、大の英語の教師、英語教育研究者、大学で英語教育を学んでいる学生
時間 19:00 ~ 20:30 (開場18:30)
地域 関東・甲信越
会場 東京アメリカンセンター・ホール (http://japan2.usembassy.gov./j/amc/tamcj-map.html)
住所 東京都港区赤坂1-1-14 NOF溜池ビル8階
通訳 日英同時通訳あり
定員 100名
申し込 https://business.form-mailer.jp/fms/e327c33d6599

東京アメリカンセンターでは、在ジャカルタ米国大使館勤務の英語普及事務局広報部長、ジョージ・ショルツ氏を迎えて上記講演会を開催いたします。 ショルツ氏は、現在はジャカルタに勤務しておりますが、それ以前にエジプト、アフリカ、マレーシアに同職を勤めています。南イリノイ大学から英語第二言語教育学修士号を取得しているショルツ氏は、英語教育に関して幅広い知識と経験を持ち、現在ではインターネットを活用した通信教育と教材作成に力をそそいでいます。具体的なケースや教育法など日本の皆様と意見交換の場となりますよう、多くの方のご参加をお願いいたします。


On June 3rd, in addition to preparing your suggestions for the teacher whose class you “observed,” you will give a presentation to the class about a professional organization that I will assign to each of you. Give the presentation as if you are a representative of the organization who has come to Aoyama Gakuin University to promote it. You will tell us the advantages of joining the organization and how it can help us individually and professionally.

In the course of the presentation, you should tell us about who the members are, membership benefits, the method of becoming a member, how the group uses mailing lists or social media to connect with its members, its affiliations, its publications, a bit about the history of the organization, and the conferences it hosts, etc.

Morihito “Marco” Imai — American Philological Association < http://apaclassics.org/ >

Tatsunori Otsubo — Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Inc. < http://www.tesol.org/ >

Ruriko Tsuji — The Association for Japan Exchange and Teaching < http://ajet.net/ >

Ayano Sakurai — The Japan Association of College English Teachers < http://www.jacet.org/ > &

The Japan Association for Language Education & Technology < http://www.j-let.org/ >

Yumi Kuzuoka — The Japan Association of Language Teaching < http://jalt.org >

Yohko Suzuki — International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Langauge < http://www.iatefl.org/ >

Maimi Hamada — European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning < http://www.eurocall-languages.org/ >

For our June 10th class, you should find an organization for language teachers (or philology, in the case of Marco) that has an upcoming conference with a “call for papers” which is still open. You will be required to come up with a proposal for giving a presentation at a conference and go through the steps of submitting the proposal by 1) filling out the proposal form, 2) coming up with a title for your presentation, 3) writing a summary/ abstract for it, etc. [It won’t be necessary for you to actually submit the proposal to the conference organizers, but you’ll have to submit it to me and show it to your classmates for critiquing. Consider developing an assignment you completed for one of your classes, or a graduation thesis, into an idea for the conference presentation. Generally, you’ll be able to choose the kind of format for your presentation: paper, poster, workshop, forum, etc. I’ll explain the various formats in our next class.

You can use this site to search for an organization which might have a conference with an active “call for papers”:



For our class on May 27th, you should watch the yahoo videos which I have assigned to you. They each show an English (or “language arts”) lesson in progress. Use the papers I gave you to record your observations of the classes. You may need to photocopy the sheet if two were insufficient.  Try your best to understand the dialog in the videos. I realize that it will be very difficult to understand 100% of it.

Morihito “Marco” Imai & Ruriko Tsuji are responsible for this video:

Ayano Sakurai, Yumi Kuzuoka & Maimi Hamada are responsible for this video:

Tatsunori Otsubo & Yohko Suzuki are responsible for this video:

Also, read this chapter (Huh? Oh. Aha!) from an upcoming book by Prof. John Fanselow. As the book hasn’t been published yet, be sure not to give the article to anyone else. It’s only for your eyes. It was sent to me a few weeks ago by Prof. Fanselow as a “sneak preview.” In addition, read the previous reading I sent to you on OBSERVATION.


For our class on May 13th, read pages 142-147 of the chapter “Analyzing Data,” from the book:
Darlington, Y., & Scott, D. (2002). Qualitative research in practice: stories from the field. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Pay particular attention to the part of the chapter on the topic of “coding.”

On the 13th we’ll practice how to do coding with some actual data. Yohko will bring some of her data from her study on the pragmatics of apologies. I’ll  bring some of mine from a research project which surveyed two reading courses for freshmen and sophomores at AGU.

I’m also uploading chapters, from the same book, on OBSERVATION and ETHICS. You should read the chapter on observation for our May 20th class. Also, for that class, you should make a plan for observing the setting for which you made the questionnaire in our next class. Imagine that you will do a study using triangulated methods (both questionnaires and observation). You will try to find out, using observation, something that you couldn’t know from your questionnaire. Make a plan for 1) who you’ll observe, 2) how you’ll do it (as a participant observer or just as an observer, for example), 3) what you’ll focus on in your observations, 4) how you’ll record your observations, 5) how you’ll process/ analyze your observational data.

As for the chapter on Ethics, I’m planning on dealing with that topic on May 27th, so you’ll need to read it by then.

In our May 6th class, I mentioned that we would practice trying to code some questionnaire responses on May 13th. Some of the responses we’ll work with will be from Yohko’s survey and some other data will come from a survey about reading that we did here in our English Department.

Before our  class on the 13th, please take a look at the survey. Of course, you don’t have to fill it out! You’ll find it at:

Reading Survey

I’ve made some of the results of that survey available to you online at:


PASSWORD: spinach

In our next class, we’ll try to code the replies to the question:
If you were to teach a reading course, how would you teach it?
(It’s question #7.) Click on “Show replies” to get an idea of the sort of responses the students made to that question. You don’t have to do any coding for homework. I’m just sending this to you so that you’ll get a preview of the “data” which we’ll be looking at in class.

Here are the two readings for our class on 4/29: asking questions PDFself-completion questionnaires PDF .

Just click on the files to download them.

Since Ayano and Tatsunori were absent for our April 29th class, they sent their work to me directly. I’ll make it available to everyone below:

Ayano’s document summarizes Postmodern Interviewing & the research article she chose.

Tatsunori’s document summarizes Group Interviewing & the research article he chose.

Marco sent me the summary of his part about structured interviewing.

Here’s Yumi’s part on Framing & interpreting interviews.

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