Basic Research and Ethical Inquiry for EFL Students: Implementation and Reflection


Ethical inquiry and reasoning are essential types of critical thinking. Developing and understanding research skills are necessary components of a university education. This presentation will detail the rationale, design, implementation, and instructor reflection of an integrated research skills, ethical inquiry, and essay writing unit in an undergraduate, low to low-intermediate proficiency, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) university course in Japan. The rationale will be discussed in terms of why ethics and research skills should be introduced, even with lower proficiency students, and why ethics and research skills may be an effective language learning combination for EFL students. The design will be discussed in terms of unit planning and intended outcomes, as well as how to structure the introduction of ethics in an appropriate fashion that does not tell students what to think, but rather allows space for students to use their own powers of reasoning. The implementation will be discussed in terms of classroom and pedagogical choices that make the unit accessible and meaningful for students. The instructor reflection will be discussed in terms of perceived outcomes, feedback, challenges, and ideas for future units. Overall, the presentation will describe a flexible student research unit that provides opportunities for meaningful target language use and can be modified for a wide variety of teaching and learning contexts.

Author Information
Michael Houston Brown, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2019
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon