Dewey (1938) argued that educational activities should begin from the immediate personal and social experience of the learners. He also advised educators to use things within the range of existing experience of students that have the potentiality of presenting new problems which will encourage further experience. As university students in Japan are often passive about expressing themselves and actively being engaged with the class, I developed a class portfolio-making activity named Class Book into which a series of different learning skills are incorporated using students' actual life experiences. In this activity, students make their own biography to share with peers. This case study examined the consequences of the learning based on students' experiences for a particular sophomore English class in a university in Japan. My findings indicate that the participants had active interactions with peers, took responsibility of their own learning, and created a positive learning environment. This case study indicates that students' life experiences are an effective form of learning materials. However, it also suggests that teachers give adequate structured support for students to take advantage of their experiences at the fullest. This presentation will resonate with the conference theme in that it describes how students' life experiences affect their learning in a positive way.
Kaya Kikuchi Munakata, Individual researcher, Iran
The inclusion of new technologies of information and communication has led to different changes in traditional educational paradigms (Bates, 1999). The field of teaching foreign language learning is not an exception and it can be seen in the use of tools for language learning with mobile technology and growth in the use of collaborative tools asynchronous and synchronous communication.
Mediateca-CELE from the Foreign Language Center (CELE) at National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) is a Self-access center (SAC) that allows university learners to study a foreign language at their own pace and according to their needs and learning styles. Learners are free to use all the materials and resources in the SAC, and can also attend counseling sessions and learning to learn training sessions.
In this presentation I will discuss about the implementation of Skype exchanges with native speakers and competent learners of English (TELETANDEM [Telles, 2016) with students from the UNAM Self-Access Center. Secondly, how we combined the tandem methodology with the learning to learn framework in a Self-Access environment. Eventually, I will discuss how these teletandem activities have become a useful tool for learning the target language, improving speaking skills, an approach to the culture of the target language and powerful trigger to the development learner autonomy.
I will conclude with some thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of this type of interaction.
Maria de la Paz Adelia Peña Clavel, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
This study aims to investigate how English as a foreign language is acquired to help Vietnamese teachers and learners of English understand how competence in English develops from the use of language for authentic communicative purposes to the ability to demonstrate academic language in all language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Cummins, 1984).
Vietnamese learners step up the levels of English by first learning how to perform the language for conversation, and then using English for their academic work. The focus of the study is given to a survey of an experimental group and a control group of high intermediate level students of English at a university in Vietnam. The experimental group received the treatment, which is the familiarization of students to more standardized tasks. The settings for language acquisition range from context-embedded situations to context-reduced ones, and the tasks of language performance move from cognitively undemanding activities to cognitively demanding ones along with the timelines for learning social and academic language. The tasks were collected and analyzed to see whether proficient students, though would require contextual support, would need more cognitively demanding tasks.
The results of the study may show that the students in the experimental group perform significantly differently from the ones in the control group, and work out conditions in which EFL Vietnamese learners can acquire basic communication skills and academic language proficiency in terms of receptive and productive skills. Suggestions for the more effective methodology towards EFL Vietnamese learners’ high performance are provided.
Pham Huu Duc, International University-VNU-HCMC, Vietnam.