The recent changes to the Japanese Ministry of Education English Course of Study and English requirements of the Japanese University Entrance Exam system have shifted the focus of the teaching and learning of English in Japanese high schools away from reading and listening towards writing extended texts in English. These changes have brought enormous workload challenges to busy Japanese high school English teachers who were already struggling to create the time to provide individual feedback for their students. To meet these challenges, this paper considers the feasibility of introducing virtual writing centres into Japanese high schools to provide support for high school teachers tasked with teaching L2 writing and provide a resource for Japanese students of English to receive feedback on their English writing. In this presentation, the impact of Japanese Ministry of Education policy documents regarding the teaching of writing in high schools will be briefly explained. Then, the role virtual writing centres could play in Japanese high schools and the English curriculum will be discussed. The presenter will consider how a student staffed virtual writing centre model could address the challenges outlined above and illustrate how the pedagogical affordances of video conferencing technologies such as Zoom dramatically increases social presence and learner engagement online, especially in one-to-one writing centre tutorial settings.
Chris Harwood, Sophia University, Japan
Stream: Educational policy
This paper is part of the ECE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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