Nicholas J. Wilson

ALT Training Online

Nicholas started his professional career in Italy in 2012 teaching adults after completing the Cambridge CELTA course in Edinburgh, Scotland. He began working with young learners in 2014 after receiving his MA in English Literature. Since 2016 he has been teaching at numerous elementary schools as an ELT in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. He also co-manages the ALT Training Online website for ALTs in Japan. His command of five different languages has sparked his passion towards comparative literature research. You can find him playing around with his 1970’s Asahi Pentax film camera.


Fostering Students’ ICT Skills Through English

Due to COVID-19, attention toward ICT in teaching has grown exponentially. In Japan, the MEXT-funded GIGA School Project (Global and Innovation Gateway for All) has funded schools to supply every student with personal digital devices in order to promote continuous learning inside and outside of the classroom and to prepare children for Society 5.0 (Cabinet Office, 2017). As full funding was only made available to schools who implemented the project in the 2020 school year (MEXT, 2019), many have rushed implementation, leaving teachers, especially in elementary schools, without clear strategies on how to effectively use these new tools in the classroom to foster students’ digital skills. This presentation will explore how practitioners can make the most of these rapid changes to improve the quality of foreign language education, from the perspective of proactive, interactive, and authentic learning. In particular, it will cover new activities, highlight differences with more “analog” lessons, and point out challenges students might face. Specifically, learning suites like Google for Education, Microsoft Education, and Apple for Teachers, and how they might be implemented to foster communication and presentation skills through collaborative tasks will be covered. Implications should be of interest to practicing teachers, ALTs, and researchers.