Inhibitors to foreign language learning can evolve from learning expectations and how language policies are incorporated within the curriculum. First this presentation will address the importance of understanding how learning expectations of both the instructor and students is of importance in a situation where instructors and students grew out of different learning paradigms. This influences how students and instructors each interpret their roles within the classroom. Then it will address how policies concerning foreign language learning are often at odds with language learning structures. Currently in Japan the focus of foreign language learning is on students’ development of communicative skills; yet these student face high stake examinations to enter high school and university which focus on grammar translation skills. The result is that until they reach university, most students have been exposed to teaching methods that promote the memorization of correct responses. This is the very antithesis of the development of conversation skills. Understanding past learning experiences enables instructors to promote the development of conversation skills amongst students their current learning situation. This presentation addresses how through using art, and not a textbook, students can develop their conversation skills. Through voicing their ideas of the meaning of selected pieces of art students co-create a story about the art with their classmates. Together students must negotiate for meaning and comprehend other’s ideas and thus students are challenge to reflect upon both their own language use and that of their partners while developing their conversation proficiency.
Elizabeth Yoshikawa, Naruto University of Education, Japan
Stream: Learning Strategies
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