Sessions / Zoom C

Writing classes in a Google environment: synchronous feedback and other features #80

Sat, Jun 6, 10:00-11:10 JST | Zoom C

This workshop will focus on how to conduct face to face and/or online writing classes using Google Applications for Education (GAFE). It will begin by briefly comparing and contrasting available options for educators with (a) independent Gmail accounts, (b) those with Google School affiliation, and (c) other alternatives. Next, I will demonstrate synchronous and near-immediate feedback features that are possible using GAFE. Following that, there will be a brief overview of the Google environment as it pertains to writing classes (Classroom, Folders, sharing). Next, various add-ons that support writing via Google Docs will be discussed (Draftback, Doctopus, Goobric). Subsequently, rubric design and peer evaluation options will be demonstrated. Finally, enrollment procedures via a Google School Administrator’s console and alternatives for independent account holders will be demonstrated and discussed. By the end of this workshop, participants should have a good grasp of how to implement and use GAFE for face to face and/or online writing classes.

Challenges and risks of the use of NLP summary applications in EFL reading and writing #45

Sat, Jun 6, 11:20-11:50 JST | Zoom C

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in education are on the rise and have received a lot of attention in the last couple of years. Natural Language Processing (NLP) in AI technologies is closely related to our field of foreign language teaching and learning. NLP in AI development has recently reached such a level that there are available a few applications that can analyze a huge number of call center text threads and phone calls for labeling and sorting by moods and style. Another challenging NLP development is online services that can produce summary reports on web passages and newspaper articles on the internet in a minute or so. Naturally, it is anticipated that EFL learners may blindly depend on such summarization applications for reading assignments, as they do with machine translation applications for writing assignments. EFL teachers should start thinking about how to incorporate such challenging developments in AI and NLP, rather than ignoring such trends. This paper demonstrates one summarization application called “SummarizeBot” and to discuss the merits and possible risks in EFL teaching of reading and writing. A holistic evaluation will be presented as to the quality of the gathered collection of summary reports both in English and Japanese. Join us to discuss how such summary services can be used in teaching reading and writing skills in EFL settings.

Comparing handwriting vs. smartphone tapping speed #11

Sat, Jun 6, 16:00-16:30 JST | Zoom C

One key factor that is often overlooked when designing writing tasks is the composition medium. Precursor research has suggested that Japanese EFL students write significantly less when composing on smartphones as opposed to on paper (p < .001, d = .54). The current study sought to follow up on those findings by investigating the hypothesis that input speed/proficiency was a possible factor in the lower production rate on mobile devices. Paper- and smartphone-based transcription speeds of either Japanese or English text were analyzed for N = 144 Japanese university students. Results indicated that when transcribing in their L1, participants showed some variation but were generally faster on smartphone (n = 74, p < .001, d = .66). However, when transcribing English, 100% of participants were slower on their phones than on paper, with group means significantly different to a very large effect size (n = 70, p < .001, d = 2.4). Many participants were also observed physically and verbally indicating exhaustion after transcribing the L2 on their phones. It appears that smartphone input in English required a higher level of exertion/cognitive resources than handwriting does, though this did not seem to be a factor in the participants’ native language. This study contributes the first known empirical analysis of writing vs. tapping speed among language learners to the field of mobile-assisted language learning (MALL). Attendees will hear discussion of pedagogical implications, as well as strategies and apps which may be useful in increasing students’ tapping acuity.

The best podcasts for English learners in Japan #50

Sat, Jun 6, 17:20-17:50 JST | Zoom C

Do Japanese university students enjoy listening to podcasts to improve their English skills? How effective are podcasts for learning English? How do teachers in Japan utilize English-learning podcasts? What are the most popular podcasts for language learners?

First, this poster will cite research which has concluded that, theoretically, podcasts seem to be effective tools for improving English as a Foreign Language (EFL) skills. Also, the presenter will explain about numerous recent longitudinal studies which have concluded that the use of podcasts has led to improvements in certain EFL skills. However, research will also be cited which shows that students have mixed emotions about using their free time to study English via podcasts. Then, five of the most widespread approaches to using podcasts in the language class will be delineated.

Finally, in the most important part of this poster, the presenter will give several short lists of “the best podcasts for students of English in Japan.” Of course, all students have different English abilities, different goals, and different likes. Thus, several lists are provided. The lists were all compiled earlier this year, after researching about 100 English-learning podcast sites, after taking various pedagogical principles into account, and after surveying about 80 university students.

For almost 15 years, the presenter has conducted research on using podcasts in EFL classes, especially in Japan. He is the main producer of “Hiroshima University’s English Podcast,” which is thought to have thousands of listeners each week.

CALL & Learner Development Forum: Learning transformations with Schoology, online workbooks, and Google Suites #73

Sun, Jun 7, 10:00-11:10 JST | Zoom C

The Learner Development SIG Forum at JALTCALL 2020 is an interactive event featuring Learning Transformations, CALL approaches that are changing the way teachers and learners are focused on learner development. The aim of this forum is to critically explore the practical experiences of both learners and teachers in CALL. This LD Forum consists of 3 presentations. First, Ivan Lombardi will present some of the affordances and challenges of going paperless using the Schoology LMS. In particular, the presentation will focus on transformations in speaking activities, assignment submissions, and online readings. Next, Blair Barr will critically compare two publisher-developed online workbooks with a self-developed workbook using a combination of the Manaba LMS and Google tools. In particular, he will outline the advantages of taking control over the workbook development and how students benefited from this approach. Finally, Rachelle Meilleur and Michael Barr focus on autonomy, and identify changes they have witnessed as they have begun the process of implementing activities based on Google Suites. After the presentations, time will be provided for reflection and discussion on key discoveries. At the end of the forum, short written reflections will then be collected to initiate a shared reflective piece for the Learner Development SIG’s newsletter, Learning Learning.

Developing a language learning system that appropriates the affordances of VR #29

Sun, Jun 7, 11:20-11:50 JST | Zoom C

This presentation concerns the current iteration of a VR system designed to promote speaking skills as participants carry out collaborative tasks. In a former study, a simpler system was used to explore the effect of modality on learners’ foreign language anxiety (FLA) where results suggested that participants anxiety was statistically significantly lower in the VR environment compared to video-chat. However, of three key affordances—presence, interactivity, and autonomy—the previous system only focused on presence. The current system also features an interactive component and was used in a comparative study against the previous (presence-only) system. The research question was: does more-fully utilizing the affordances of VR lower or increase students’ FLA?

In a counterbalanced design, 30 participants (15 pairs) completed a spot-the-difference task in two different VR domains: interactive-VR and non-interactive-VR. Results of a post-experimental questionnaire suggested that there was no difference in participants’ FLA for the two domains. However, a significant difference was found in terms of ease of communication and enjoyment which favoured the interactive-VR mode. Additionally, compared to predictions that the interactive task would be more cognitively demanding, it was considered simpler than the non-interactive task by the participants. This suggests that using more of the affordances of VR by increasing interactivity further may make the embodied experience more life-like and therefore increase opportunities for learning.

This presentation introduces the system, pedagogical implications, and future research directions.

How Kahoot! and Duolingo help Japanese EFL Learners with limited proficiency #69

Sun, Jun 7, 13:40-14:10 JST | Zoom C

This presentation showcases how to best use two already well-known platforms for game-based learning--Kahoot! and Duolingo--in an EFL classroom, with a focus on benefits for Japanese university students with limited English proficiency. These false beginners may be different in their vocabulary size/depth and understanding of grammar, but they are typically weak in spoken English (due to lack of basic oral/aural training) and unwilling to speak up or do speaking practice in class. Kahoot! works great to bring excitement to the whole class and even shy or quiet students end up being more responsive to what is going on (making some noise, thinking out loud, asking/teaching each other, etc), which helps to maximize pair or group work. Question types are limited but a wide variety of uses are available, from a quick vocabulary review to an introduction to a new topic or concepts, and its new student-paced game mode (Challenge) has added more possibilities. Duolingo can help (false) beginners to train their oral/aural skills while internalizing grammar through spaced repetition. Though sometimes example sentences are unusual and repeating simple sentence patterns may be too boring, advice from the teacher works well to remind them that they need basic oral/aural practice to refine their phonological representations, which can help students to change their ways of learning English. Occasional or regular Kahoot! quizzes and weekly Duolingo assignments via Duolingo for School are quick and easy additions but the impact can be huge.

Adobe Spark Video: A fun storytelling tool to share ideas, improve skills, and engage students #17

Sun, Jun 7, 15:20-15:50 JST | Zoom C

As communicative language teachers, we always look for new ways and new tools to encourage students to improve their communication skills and to share their knowledge and ideas with others. Adobe Spark Video is a free content creation tool which can empower students to tell their own stories. Its ease of use frees up valuable class time so that more time is available for learning and communicating together. In this workshop I will briefly talk about what Spark Video is and why it is so different from all the other popular presentation or video tools currently available such as Powerpoint, Canva, Prezi, etc. After looking at some of the beneficial educational and design principles inherent in the application, I will discuss some my own teaching and research experiences of using Spark Video as a student presentation tool and what impact it has had on my own teaching and on my students’ learning. Finally, I will demonstrate and share different ways teachers can incorporate this content creative tool into their classroom to make student thinking visible, to build students’ language and communication skills, and to help students tell their own stories and ideas in fun and creative ways. After completing this workshop, you will be able to teach your students how to use Adobe Spark Video to demonstrate what they have learned, to share their stories, and to enhance their language skills, and you will learn practical steps and techniques to make storytelling and presentations fun and easy to do.

How to make online videos engaging for language learners #18

Sun, Jun 7, 16:00-16:30 JST | Zoom C

Open non-formal online courses hosted by commercial platforms are becoming increasingly popular as a self-paced option for learners across the globe. The numbers of students enrolled on these kinds of courses are significant and rapidly growing. For example, the Udemy course provider states that, as of October 2019, it has over 30 million students learning on 50,000 courses. These figures suggest that this type of online learning is popular; however, the attrition rates for such courses, similar to other online options such as MOOCs, can be high. In this show-and-tell presentation two teacher-researchers analyse their experience of creating instructional videos for online language courses. Videos are the main components of such courses and if they can be made as engaging as possible the chances of retaining students will be higher. The presenters collected data from an online survey and follow-up interviews with 19 English language learners from several countries including Japan, China and Hungary. Participants were shown short clips from six popular YouTube language teachers and asked to rate how effective they were. Results suggest various ways in which videos can be made more engaging. While the participants judged videos from a number of different criteria, which reflected their personal preferences and learning goals, there are some commonalities in style and quality that they expect to see in instructional videos. Although the data and analysis are focused on open non-formal online courses the findings and discussion are of relevance to other forms of online instruction and multimedia learning.