Developing an Informal Tandem Learning Scheme for Young Researchers and Academics


The constant change in technologies and organizations today require higher education institutions to adapt just as quickly to the new situations. This is especially important for teachers in second language classrooms, as they try to prepare students for this changing world. In the EFL context in which this research took place, students were unable to find research partners to practice higher-level English in a more authentic environment. As such, a Tandem Learning (TL) approach was proposed. TL is recognized as an effective approach in improving the quality of the learning environment as ideally, the knowledge learned has intrinsic value to the learner and it can also be transferred to various real-world contexts. This longitudinal research project aimed to develop an informal TL environment in which students could freely practice research skills with students in other parts of Japan through video conferencing. The first step was to conduct a curriculum analysis to identify if the underlying principles were embedded within the curriculum and teaching practices. A Curriculum Analysis Framework was developed to address three areas: (1) Policy: The overall curricular vision, mission and directives; (2) Practice: Explicit and indirect approaches teachers use in the classroom; and (3) Process: The learning environment from the perspective of the learner. Following this, the TL program was able to begin. The Curriculum Analysis Framework will be presented along with pedagogical implications of implementing a TL approach in other EFL learning contexts.

Author Information
Tanya McCarthy, Kyoto University, Japan
Matthew Armstrong, Kyushu University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2019
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the ACE2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon