Sessions / Global Issues in Language Education

Plurilingualism in Japan: What are we talking about? #1297

Sat, May 15, 15:30-15:55 JST | Zoom 4

“Concepts travel, and it is better to know that they travel” (Morin, 1990). This presentation seeks to clarify the present dialogue on the concept of plurilingualism, a keyword of this PanSIG conference. Within the discourse of resistance to neoliberal trends in applied linguistics and language education (Kubota, 2014), plurilingualism has also been labelled as a European ideology complicit with neoliberalism (Flores, 2013; Garcia & Otheguy, 2020). Plurilingual education, however, is practiced in contexts around the globe, including Japan. In each new context, the travelling concept takes on new meanings. Through examination of the aforementioned critique, and the Japanese translation of plurilingualism, which contains the potentially unfortunate suffix (-主義), suggestive of ideologies, this presentation aims to delineate the term plurilingualism, which has come to refer to multilingual phenomena, individual competence, and ideology (Coste et al., 2009), but also a theoretical lens (Marshall & Moore, 2018) and a pedagogical stance (Moore et al, 2020). In the Japanese context specifically, interpretations of plurilingualism (e.g., Oyama, 2016) will be examined, before using examples of plurilingual education in Japanese school practice to discuss how plurilingual approaches can help learners and teachers develop their competencies through critical and reflexive engagement with languages.

#BLM in Fragile White Classroom #1362

Sat, May 15, 16:00-16:45 JST | Zoom 11

How can stories, delivered through movies or words attract students and support the development of a more nuanced understanding of the world? This poster presentation focuses on a personal “critical incident” between a white British teacher and Japanese students. The presenter describes how her personal reading encounters with YA authors like Angie Thomas, Alex Wheatle and Brittney Morris, led to a new perspective on racism. With this new perspective she noticed how the Japanese students’ interpretations of the information in their old text book sounded as if they were expressing a racist point of view, even though the textbook author’s intention was to highlight social injustice in the USA. Was that due to their low language level or to stereotypical thinking about race, or both? Disentangling the linguistic aspects from the attitudinal aspect was difficult and uncomfortable. However, as JBP Gerald (2020) suggests “uncomfortable conversations” should not always be avoided. Hearing JBP Gerald’s lecture at Kyoto JALT in 2020 encouraged this teacher to show part of the movie “The Hate You Give” to the class. Discussing the ethical issues raised by the movie produced deeper reflections from students. It is hoped that after attending this presentation fellow educators will be inspired to read and teach more literature and movies by Black authors and directors.

GILE SIG Forum #1227

Sun, May 16, 10:30-12:00 JST | Zoom 4

Based on your experiences, what can we global educators do to support/welcome you better into the field and what can we do pedagogically to 'normalize' your presence in classrooms to our students?" This is a 90 min. forum of three multicultural, global educators sharing their experiences in the field and then ask for their thoughts on how global educators can meaningfully promote multi/plurilingualism and diversity. It will highlight their experiences in the field as well as in the classroom and use those to inform a discussion on suggestions for both supporting academics and classroom practice that can normalize their presence in ELT.

Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education, and Active Learning #1357

Sun, May 16, 13:45-14:30 JST | Zoom 4

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UNDP of interest to educators aim to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long education opportunities for all” with “equal access for all women”. Development programs that focus on women’s participation in education describe the development of active learning. Building intrinsically motivated participation in society is seen as both the critical path towards a goal of sustainable development and the goal itself. A desired outcome, mirrored in an education path of highly participatory, active learning, would seem to make sense. It is worth looking to see if there are indicators that support the assumption. This article presents a survey of University English language students taking part in active learning classes in EAP (English for Academic Purposes, Dept. of Int’l English). Through a focus on gender issues, the appreciation students have for participatory classes was discovered. The survey confirmed active learning inclusivity and gave a corpus of feedback describing a shared preference for group-work classes that cited the value of building skills of critical reasoning, self-expression and comparing opinions, or, as one student expressed it, “not just input but output” in class, over and above exclusively listening to a teacher.

Teaching about Esperanto for Linguistic Awareness #1296

Sun, May 16, 14:30-15:15 JST | Zoom 4

English language educators often emphasize the role of English as a global language to their learners. However, most EFL students know little or nothing about another global language – Esperanto. Esperanto is a unique artificial language created to promote cross-cultural communication, international understanding, global citizenship and world peace. It was invented in the year 1887 by Ludwig Zamenhof as a simplified, neutral language designed to foster communication between people of different backgrounds. At present, there are National Esperanto Associations in 70 countries and up to 2 million Esperanto speakers worldwide. This session will argue that teaching EFL students about Esperanto, its history and ideals can promote linguistic awareness, foster critical thinking about language and inspire students with the potential that languages have for promoting peace. The presenter will introduce activities from a college EFL teaching unit he designed that has students learn about the origins of Esperanto, study Zamenhof’s humanitarian ideals, learn about the global community of Esperanto speakers, try out the Esperanto language and discuss issues of language, peace, power and equality. Participants will be provided with a rich variety of handouts, bibliographies and resources for teaching about Esperanto.