Picture books are an important part of early language education, they can be used to teach children about countries and cultures as well as for language learning. This presentation reports on the use of picture books with Asian themes and locations in Japanese young learner (YL) classrooms. Although the Japanese government provides guidelines indicating objectives to deepen YL understandings of languages and cultures through foreign language study, many YLs have not been exposed to the cultures in neighboring countries in Asia. The selected stories not only include universal themes such as friendship, love, and self-awareness, but also the lifestyles of children in Asian countries. In this presentation a group of Asian themed picture books will be analyzed and investigated concerning themes and useful vocabulary. This will be done using picture book categorization charts developed by the lead presenter. These picture books feature in a course designed for the preparation of elementary school English language teachers in Japan and based on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Instruction) approach. CLIL has recently been actively incorporated into young learners’ English education. According to Richards and Rodgers (2014), CLIL fosters the development of language and culture, students’ cognitive processes, classroom interaction, student autonomy and skill development. Audience members will benefit from further discussions of the innovative adaptation of picture books for CLIL focused courses in YL classrooms.The presentation concludes by proposing how to further extend this project through the involvement of university students as well as locally based educators.
Miori Shimada, Anaheim University, United States
Sarah Mason, Takushoku University, Japan
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
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