Of MEXT’s three pillars of active learning (Proactive, Collaborative and Deep Learning), one that can be especially challenging in terms of classroom management is collaborative learning. Providing opportunities for meaningful collaboration can be made even more challenging with the introduction of new modes of learning, especially personal digital devices. How do teachers ensure that collaborative work does not devolve into individual work when students are using their devices? How can tasks be designed so as to ensure equal participation? And importantly, how do we ensure there are ample opportunities for oral production in the target language? This presentation explores some techniques for addressing these issues. The presenter will model several activities that can be used with digital devices and discuss ways they can be used to maximize meaningful collaboration in the classroom.
Gordon Myskow holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from University of Birmingham and a Masters in TESOL from Columbia University. His current research is in ESP and CLIL, especially the teaching of history to second-language learners. He is an advisor to the United Nations Association Test of English in Japan.
In my welcome message for this event one year ago, I wrote somewhat anxiously that the ongoing impact of COVID19 had forced us to reexamine the nature of the classroom itself. A year later, after observing firsthand the relentless creativity of my colleagues and fellow teachers, I feel a renewed sense of optimism. I am grateful to add my voice to the many others at the English Summer Seminar exploring opportunities for positive changes in our classrooms.