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Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum Akemi Morioka In collaboration with Judi Franz University of California, Irvine.

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Presentation on theme: "Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum Akemi Morioka In collaboration with Judi Franz University of California, Irvine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum Akemi Morioka In collaboration with Judi Franz University of California, Irvine

2 2 Overview of the Presentation Background Pedagogical Groundings Practice of Videoconferencing (Fall2002-Spring2008) Survey in Spring 2008 Integration into Curriculum in Fall 2008 Content Assessment and Grades Findings from the Survey & Observations Discussion

3 3 Background How can we language instructors provide students with…? First-hand information on culture Opportunity for authentic communication How can we help students…? Build a community of learners Become autonomous learners Be motivated One of the solutions=videoconference???

4 4 Pedagogical Groundings The role of CALL in sociocognitive frameworks is to provide alternative contexts for social interaction and to facilitate access existing discourse communities and the creation of new ones (Kern &Warschauer, 2000). Computer-assisted classroom discussion, compared to face-to-face discussion, has been shown to feature more equal and democratic participation (Warschauer, 1997).

5 55 Mechanics of Videoconferencing Participants on Japan side: students who are enrolled in Shimizu-senseis English class Fall 2002- Winter 2003: with Namerikawa High School in Toyama Prefecture Spring 2003- Winter 2009: with Toyama College of Foreign Languages Spring 2009- Present: with Toyama National College of Maritime Technology Number of participants ranged between 20 and 33 Participants at UCI Students who are enrolled in 1st-Year through 4th year Japanese classes, but primarily 2nd-Year students (voluntary participation for extra credit) Number of participants ranged between 20 and 35

6 6 Thursday 5:00pm (Daylight Savings Time) Friday 9:00 am (No Time Change) Mechanics of Videoconferencing

7 7 Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued) Where? Both take place at a language lab

8 8 Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued) How? Use Skype for individual interaction iMacs using built-in iSight cameras in Irvine PCs running Windows XP and external web cams in Toyama Both sides make 25-30 generic accounts. E.g. uci01-- tcfl01 Matching is random. Additional interaction via online message board

9 9 One-on-one communication (Japan side)

10 10 Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued) How? Use Polycom for group discussion Group discussion at UCI

11 11 Group Discussion through PolyCom The U.S. side Screen shot of the U.S. side viewed in Japan

12 12 Content of the Discussion Teaching Materials (Spring 2002-Spring 2008): Materials/activities were developed basically by Shimizu-sensei based on his curriculum. Sample Activities: New Years traditions, a new school year in Japan, education system, how to treat others, blood type It was uploaded on individual computers for the students, which included links to graphics and short movies. The same content on a hard copy was provided for group discussion. The activities required the students not only to seek information but also to express ones own opinion on the topic.

13 13 Content of the Discussion (continued) Languages: The Japanese learners at UCI spoke mostly in Japanese, and the English learners in Japan spoke mostly in English. However, frequent code-switching between Japanese and English was observed.

14 14 Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results Q1:Was the topic appropriate? Q2:Was the material on the web useful?

15 15 Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results Q3:Did you like the one-on-one communication? Q4:Did you like the group discussion?

16 16 Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results Q7: Your Japanese enhanced? Q8: Your understanding of J culture enhanced?

17 17 Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results Comments Split opinion on one-on-one conversation vs. group discussion I feel more comfortable when I speak one-on- one. Group discussion is much easier to communicate through, while it is more difficult with one-on-one. Handout makes communication hard because it becomes more like reading and less like a real conversation. I was able to help them with their English, while they helped me with my Japanese. It allowed practice with Japanese that I knew, and also it exposed me to many new words and kanji symbols for the first time. Having a Japanese student help you practice reading, and even asking questions or having a conversation with was a great experience culturally and personally. Complaints about connection difficulty

18 18 Experiment: Integration to Curriculum In Fall 2008, JVC was integrated into the 2nd- Year Japanese curriculum for the 5:00 pm section only. 4 sections of 2nd Year Japanese were offered in Fall 2008. Met 5 days (50 minutes each day) a week. 4 sections were taught by three different instructors. All 4 sections used the same textbook (Chapters 1-3 in Yookoso! Vol 2) and took the same midterm and final exams. Concern expressed by the instructor Can I really afford to spend on the entire class time (50 minutes) on JVC every Thursday? How can I include the JVC activity in the assessment of the students during and at the end of the term?

19 19 Experiment: Integration to Curriculum (continued) Teaching materials used for these meetings were developed by the Japanese instructor at UCI based on the topic covered in the textbook. Since there were only 24 students on the Japan side, as opposed to 28 here at UCI, 24 students spoke one-on-one through Skype on the desk top computer, and the rest participated in a group discussion seated in front of a TV.

20 20 One-to-one communication (U.S. side)

21 21 Content of the Discussion Material Prepared by the instructor at UCI based on her teaching curriculum. Over-arching Theme: Journey/Travel Topic 1: Images of Japan, Nature and Geography Topic 1 Topic 2: Things to do in Japan Topic 2 Topic 3: Staying in Japan Living Accommodations Topic 3 Topic 4: Cultural Difference Enryo - hesitation/reservation due to consideration for others Topic 4 Topic 5: President Obama Topic 5 Language: UCI students used Japanese and Japanese students in Japan used English a majority of the time. (They code-switched quite often as well.)

22 22 Assessment and Grades % Midter m Exam Final Exam Listening (multiple choice Qs) Reading (multiple choice Qs) Speaking (instructors evaluation) Writing (instructors evaluation Listening (multiple choice Qs) Reading (multiple choice Qs) Speaking (instructors evaluation) Writing (instructors evaluation 9:00 class 78.6%91.6%79%87.3%79.2%81%91%92.3% 11:00 class 75.6%93.6%82%91.3%77.7% 94%94.3% 3:00 class 79.2%90.4%81.7%86%83.5%79.2%88.1%85.8% 5:00 class 78.2%94.2%79.7%92%82.5%80.2%95.3%88% Weekly quizzes included a question about the content covered during the JVC meetings.

23 23 Comments from UCI Students When we were first told that we would have to participate in JVC meetings, I was rather intimidated and nervous since I lacked confidence in my Japanese. But when we finally started and I saw a friendly, smiling face from the other side of the camera, I felt immediately reassured. Talking to everyone these last couple of weeks has been incredibly fun and being able to meet and make new friends has made me very happy.

24 24 Comments from UCI Students (continued) I think that the JVC Conferences have been very valuable to my learning Japanese. This is because I am getting a "genuine" experience of sorts by speaking to native Japanese speakers in their own country. I was very surprised and amazed at how good at English they are! It was also good to have them help me on my own Japanese when I didn't know how to express something. I also think it's lots of fun learning about the Japanese people on a personal level by talking to them one-on-one and getting to now them and what they enjoy in life. Overall, it is a very good experience and I am glad that I have been able to be a part of it so far!

25 25 Comments from UCI Students (continued) I think JVC is a very helpful exercise for us. We learn vocab and grammar in the classroom, but we lack in practicing these words and phrases in conversation. That is where JVC steps in and allows us to really practice and use all that we have learned with a native speaker. We discuss interesting topics with our partner, and we both get to learn different perspectives about each other. JVC

26 26 Comments from UCI Students (continued) The first time I did JVC, I was kind of nervous if not irritated,especially because I feel that my Japanese speaking is not very good compared to my class mates. However, as time went on, I began to get used to initiate a conversation in Japanese and enjoy it overtime. Although learning and being competent in the language is still a long way to go, and I am sure I will run into more obstacles; nonetheless, I will continue to do so with confidence. JVC has provided such kind of confidence to me. In addition, JVC also provides a 1 hour "escape" from the ordinary Irvine life style that I am living in everyday. I was able to get a glimpse of the Japanese life style that my conversation partners have.

27 27 Comments from UCI Students (continued) the the jvc meetings are very good. …sometimes there are pauses during the conversation, when we should be talking about the topic we were assigned. sometimes our conversation goes off topic and we don't have time to ask our questions. it would be good if they initiated questions for us to answer as well.i usually am the one to ask questions first about something about our topic.when i ask questions they are good to answer in english, and they are helpful in answering my questions. i have many questions about japan, so I am glad to have their help.i think the one-to-one conversations work well for our learning.

28 28 Comments from UCI Students (continued) Ive found JVC to be very interesting and fun. It's an interactive and different way for us to learn to communicate with people who speak the language we're trying to learn. We also get a sense that we are helping them out, as well. I feel like everyone benefits from it. Having a targeting (sic) discussion also helps us to learn more about each others culture, and we can therefore lose any stereotypes we may have about one another. Also, we get to learn to be patient with one another. If my partner stumbles in English, we can work together to find the right word. And if I stumble in Japanese (which is more likely), we can find a meeting ground to discover what it was I was going to say. All in all, JVC is a very innovative way to make learning about Japanese culture and language really stick in ones mind.

29 29 Comments from UCI Students (continued) I really enjoy JVC and I feel that it is helping me speak quickly in Japanese. I think one of the most important things is to converse in Japanese quickly and without translating from English. I also enjoy meeting new people and listening to what they have to say about the topics we've had. Lastly JVC also helps the TCFL students speak English. I think JVC is awesome!

30 30 Comments from UCI Students (continued) I really enjoy the JVC meeting sessions. I took AP Japanese in high school, and the listening prompts were always make pretend chats with Japanese students via prerecorded messages. Those were static and pretty mechanical. But the JVC meetings are the real thing: it enriches my learning of Japanese by letting me speak to real Japanese speakers.Meeting people in Japanese is also an amazing experience because I get to learn about people my age in Japan. It's my first time interacting with Japanese students, so it is very helpful and fun.

31 31 Comments from UCI Students (continued) JVC JVC meetings are a great way to enhance our speaking abilities! The people we Speak to are always friendly and sociable, so its not difficult to get along. It really tests our knowledge of the Japanese language and is similar to a simulation of what might happen if we were to tour Japan and had to get through with whatever we know at that point. Its intimidating though because the students there are extremely skilled in the English language, but it encourages us to get better and to study more. Personally, the sessions go on a little too long and learning in class seems like it should be more of a priority, but theyre fun nevertheless.

32 32 Findings from Comments Only one negative comment among 28 students Obtaining first-hand information Experiencing authentic conversation as opposed to schemed conversation. Feeling a sense of self-efficacy Building friendship and a community of learners Having increased motivation for learning culture and language Learning to initiate conversation (a first step for autonomous learning?)

33 33 Findings from Observation Almost no absentees Smiles on faces during the entire session Many students exchanging e-mail addresses Praising partners English Looking confident when talking in English Asking the partner (not the instructor) how do you say this in Japanese or looking up the words in the dictionary Rephrasing or using gestures in order to get the message cross One-on-one communication prompted some formerly shy students to participate and be more outgoing Chat about the Japanese students among UCI classmates Communication among the classmates facilitated by chatting about the videoconference Talking something completely different from the assigned topic

34 34 Discussion Role of Technology in the Language classroom … new technologies do not only serve the new teaching/learning paradigms, they also help shape the new paradigms. …A pedagogy of networked computers must therefore take a broad view, examining not only the role of information technology in language learning but also the role of language learning in an information technology society (Kern and Warschauer, 2000).

35 35 Discussion (continued) Rethinking Language Learning Language learners are not just communicators and problem-solvers, but whole persons with hearts, bodies, and minds, with memories, fantasies, but embodied experiences, emotional resonances, and moral imaginings. (Kramsch, 2006: 251) Our argument=Examine not only the role of culture in language learning but also the role of language learning in the culture and environment that we live. Integrating this videoconference into language classes on a regular basis

36 36 Discussion (continued) Considerations: Differences between US and Japan Language level of students on both ends Number of students on each side Time zones (morning vs. evening) Time change in the middle of Quarter Technical issues: how to troubleshoot, having tech support on both sides, set up generic accounts with easy login/passwords Cost

37 37 References Kern, R. & Warschauer, M. (2000). Theory and practice of network-based language teaching. In Warschauer, M. & Kern, R. (Eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and Practice. Cambridge Warschauer, M. (1999). Electronic literacies - Language, culture, and power in online education. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

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