This presentation will provide a recount from the beginning stages of a research project which began in September 2018 until its official conclusion in February 2020 at a mid-sized university in central Japan. The purpose of the project was to encourage students to become more reflective about their speaking performance in class. Effective learning will not be achieved without a degree of reflection(Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 1985; Kato & Mynard, 2016). Self-evaluating and reflecting on speaking abilities in terms of comfort (i.e., feeling relaxed, at ease, not worried about mistakes, feeling safe) and competence (i.e., a feeling of having the ability or tool to do a job) may lead students to become more effective learners. Students were encouraged to think back on their thought processes when speaking English, to understand how those thoughts could have led to the outcomes of their speaking performance (Schön, 1983). The project ran for three semesters and involved three low-level first-year classes of students, whose major language was not English but nonetheless were taking required English courses. The study found that many learners found the process of reflecting beneficial for themselves as language learners. However as many students were not able to reflect to a deep enough level (Fleck & Fitzpatrick, 2010), the author suggests explicit training on reflecting effectively is needed.
Ross Sampson, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan