This presentation reports on a pilot study from a ten-week Japanese university academic skills class conducted in English and held online during COVID19. The study investigated whether using a book club format known as "books in common" for the class would help build community among students and if a more robust post-pilot study is warranted. Due to COVID19, many of the students were in their home countries unable to interact with the general school population. This presentation will discuss the findings of using three books on writing to connect students and provide community through live and on-demand written forum discussions. The class consisted of ten international students at CEFR C1 (advanced) English level and was originally organized to be a fourteen-week project-research class where students would conduct interviews and questionnaires on an inquiry research project to write and present on. The findings were mixed, but supported further investigation with a more robust study.
John Duplice, Sophia University, Japan