July 2022: Listening
Event Date: July 2, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Location: Yokohama Youth Center at Kannai Hall and Online
Teaching Listening from the Bottom Up and Top Down
Listening seems to be taught quite often as if it were a skill that automatically transfers from one’s first language to any other being learned. Unfortunately things are not quite so simple. The sound systems of Japanese and other languages, particularly European languages including English, can be very different with sounds that are present in one language being completely absent in the other. Additionally, how discourse is organized can be very different, too, and both these differences contribute to listening difficulties among language learners.
In this talk, ways to facilitate phonology acquisition to make listening easier will be explored. In particular, the ways that visuals can assist learners, possible limitations, how the use of reading and writing to help learners can be productive (or not). Research from my myself and others will be used to illustrate some points, but overall this is an interactive session. Questions are welcomed during the session!
The second part of the session looks at top-down listening, looking at a whole text, and how instructing learners about speaking genres and expectations can assist them in filling the blanks in their listening. The strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, the use of metacognitive strategies (thinking about thinking), and the use of top-down and bottom-up approaches together will be explored.
Marc Jones teaches English at Toyo University in the Department of Global Innovation Studies. He has previously worked in Business English, junior high and high school and teaching young learners. His interests are phonology acquisition, listening, and research methods for classroom teachers.
Special guest speaker
A 6th grade student presents his research: Can video games improve concentration?
Many people have a bad image of video games. The WHO is concerned about video game addiction. Two years ago, Kagawa Prefecture instituted a “one hour a day for games” policy. However, my friends and I can communicate with people all over the world while playing games, and children can learn language, math, history and other things with games. A school principal in Japan found that reading books improved memory more than by playing video games. I decided to investigate the effects of video games and reading in order to think about how to improve education using games.