WELCOME TO LIBERLIT
We believe literature to be an essential element of the English curriculum in Japan, and its vital future presence must be ensured and defended. By ‘literature’, we mean authentic texts that use language in creative and careful ways to tell stories, convey impressions, express original opinions, pose critical questions and demand more than simplistic, pragmatic responses. Those texts could include poetry, novels, plays, movies, songs, TV series, or thoughtful authentic writings on culture, society, or history. Teaching literature always means teaching much more than just language. Liberlit will address attitudes and approaches to ‘literary’ texts in English.
We lament the ongoing ‘dumbing down’ and ‘infantilisation’ of English education in Japan and the consequent marginalization of literature in the curriculum at all levels. Our conviction is that literature offers learners access to the kinds of creative, critical, and non- complacent views of the world that Japanese students sorely need and indeed, in many cases, crave. Literature has the power to engage and motivate second-language learners; its potential for multiple interpretations develops the minds of students who often believe that every question has but one answer, and the authenticity of literary texts respects them as intellectually maturing adults. Eye-opening materials and mind-widening methods should be an integral part of the education process at all levels, but are essential at university level before students go forth to live among the complexities of the ‘real’ world.
Liberlit will explore the idea that it is unkind and disingenuous to deprive students of the marvelously varied, meaningful, and challenging content that only great works of literature and thoughtful authentic writings on culture can offer. We will also investigate and expound techniques, methods, and ways that literary texts can foreground the roots of education, liberate English language into maturely creative uses and instigate a freer, bolder expression of original opinions. With your participation, we hope Liberlit will open up an active and collaborative community of thought, reflection, inquiry and discussion. We hope to make Liberlit an ongoing forum in which we can establish how, where, and why literature should rightly figure in Japan’s English curriculum.
Paul Hullah & Michael Pronko
Room A = 1302 (Main Building, 3rd floor) Room B = 1303 (Main Building 3rd Floor) Room C = 1304 (Main Building, 3rd floor) Room D = 1305 (Main Building 3rd Floor)
TIME What’s Going On?
On-site registration. Meet your fellow attendees.
Room A: Words of Welcome and Introductory Remarks
(Paul Hullah & Michael Pronko)
Parallel Session 1
Room A: English-Language Literature in Tertiary Education in Japan: Some Student and Teacher Feedback (Susan Burton)
Room B: Gaps and Connections: Towards a Literary Meta-Pedagogy
Room C: Consideration of the Literary Texts from the Three Viewpoints: Heightening Students’ Motivations to Read, Enhancing their Cultures and Improving their English Proficiencies.
Parallel Session 2
Room A: Teaching Langston Hughes (Hugh Nicoll)
Room B: Harry Potter and an ESL textbook (Chutatip Yumitani) Room C: Connect four: ‘Think-Read-Think-Discuss’: How to Bring ‘Literature’ Alive in the University EFL Class (Simon Bibby)
Room D: Smartened-Up Literature: Can the Graphic Novel Take Comic Books to Literary Heights? (Sean Chidlow)
PLENARY TALK PLENARY TALK
Room 1301: Reading Classic Novels in Language Classrooms
13:05-13:35 LUNCH BREAK
a nice chance to mingle more and chat.
Room A = 1302 (Main Building, 3rd floor) Room B = 1303 (Main Building 3rd Floor) Room C = 1304 (Main Building, 3rd floor) Room D = 1305 (Main Building 3rd Floor)
TIME What’s Going On?
Parallel Session 3
Room A: Teaching Poetry in an EFL Classroom (Pei-Chin Lin) Room B: Teaching Global Literature in English (Iain Lambert)
Room C: Highlighting Culture in Literature through the Culture-Clash Paradigm (Scott Bean)
Parallel Session 4
Room A: A Full Year Course in Poetry for Learners at All Levels
(John Rippey )
Room B: Reading Cultural Texts: From Theory to Praxis
(Barnaby Ralph Nao Yonemoto, Shoko Doi & Yuka Takahashi) Room C: A Frakin’ Good Tale: Using Battlestar Galactica to Teach Academic Discussion in an EAP Program at a Japanese University
Room D: Reading Non-Literary Texts in a Literary Way: A Critical Stylistic Perspective (Masayuki Teranishi)
Parallel Session 5
Room A: Using Drama to Connect Students to Literature
Room B: Teaching Poetry with Debate (Fuyuhiko Sekido)
Room C: Poetry Writing in a Foreign Language: Perceptions of Japanese EFL Students (Atsushi Iida)
Room D: Critical Discourse Analysis and Multimodal (Visual) Discourse Analysis of the Topic of Landmines in Japanese High School English Textbooks (Kota Yoshizawa)
Parallel Session 6
Room A: Using a Novel to Facilitate Critical Thinking
Room B: Applying a Critical Lens to Literary Texts: Employing Mediated Critical Theory Materials to Encourage Multiple Readings of Literature.
Room C: Replacing TPP with PPPP: Poetry Passion Pedagogy Politics!
Room D: Selecting Japanese Literature in English Translation to Use: Yukio Mishima’s ‘Swaddling Clothes’ (Cheena Fujioka)
Room A: ‘Lightning’ Discussion, Any Other Business, Concluding Remarks
(Michael Pronko & Paul Hullah)
18:00… CONFERENCE ENDS: PARTY TIME!
Details of post-conference party venue on page 20.
PARALLEL SESSION 1 (10.15-11.05)
1A. English-Language Literature in Tertiary Education in Japan: Some Student and Teacher Feedback
Presenter: Susan Burton, Bunkyo Gakuin University (Session chaired by A. Iida)
Abstract: This presentation will cover the results of research undertaken for my forthcoming chapter on teaching Anglophone literature in Japan. For this, I carried out a small-scale survey amongst students at several universities across Japan to find out how they feel about English-language literature, what they read, how they read, and how they feel about literature classes. I also interviewed several Japanese and western teachers of English Communication and of literature classes to find out why they do/or do not teach literature, how they feel about teaching Anglophone literature in Japan, and what kind of literature they themselves enjoy. Using both lecturers’ and students’ own words, I aim to give overview from the other side of the desk, one that may help educators in the creation of their own English-language literature curriculum.
Biographical Data: Dr Susan Karen Burton is Associate Professor at Bunkyo Gakuin University in Tokyo, where she specialises in oral history, life writing, and third culture studies. A social historian with a specialization in oral history, she has lived and worked in Japan for 14 years. She is co-author of two Japanese-language publications 映画でわかるイギリス文化入門, (Introduction to British Cultural Studies through Movies, Itakura, Burton, Onohara (Shohakusha, 2007), and 映画でわかるアメリカ文化入門, (Introduction to American Cultural Studies through Movies, Okumura, Burton, Itakura (Shohakusha, 2007). She is also an occasional contributor to Times Higher Education, UK.
1B. Gaps and Connections: Towards a Literary Meta-Pedagogy Presenter: Myles Chilton, Nihon University
(Session chaired by F. Shiobara)
Abstract: ‘Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted’, the narrator of
E. M. Forster’s novel Howards End tells us. More to the point, he is telling us that ‘only connect’ is central to Margaret Schlegel’s way of thinking, that it is ‘the whole of her sermon’; moreover, it is what she wants to make her husband, the practical Henry Wilcox, understand. Margaret muses that it would not be a difficult message to deliver; it could be sent by ‘quiet indications’ that would ‘span their lives with beauty’. Alas, she fails. She realizes that Henry ‘simply did not notice things’, which Henry obliquely registers when he proudly tells Margaret that his motto is ‘Concentrate’. Literature faculty can identify with Margaret Schlegel: connecting our literary passion with the prose of student concerns offers a lesson in the limits of passion, revealing gaps between the pleasure of reading and the work of analysis, and ultimately, between passion and intellectualism. Using Howards End as an allegorical guide, my talk will extrapolate to the classroom the novel’s exploration of these gaps. On one hand, the novel argues that bridging the gaps may be impossible: Leonard Bast, the poor young man who strives for ‘culture’ by reading everything he can, is killed by a falling bookcase after being struck by the sternly materialist Charles Wilcox. In our classrooms while we help our Leonard-like students we must also recognize our Wilcox-like students’ resistance to literature by harmonizing its pleasures with the pragmatic work of understanding a text. The novel’s concluding symbolic gesture – the birth of Leonard and Helen Schlegel’s baby – suggests that literary enchantment can be produced when ‘prosaic’ textual work encourages what Shelley in A Defence of Poetry calls the ‘unapprehended relations of things’. My talk will then explore this potential through the literary pedagogical work of Robert Scholes and Wayne Booth, who argue that developing textual ability leads students to ‘notice things’ in systematic and formalized frameworks, as well as in unexpected moments of critical engagement.
Biographical Data: Research interests: spaces and places in contemporary prose fiction, particularly cities; teaching literature; relationships between historiography and literature; globalization, world literature, and the idea of studying and teaching English as a comparative literature. Teaching: undergraduates: modern and contemporary Anglophone literature, comparative literature, academic writing; graduate students: modern and contemporary Anglophone literature, textual studies. BA U of Toronto (English), MA U of Chicago (Humanities), PhD U of Chicago (History of Culture, diss: representations of global cities in contemporary world literature).
1C. Consideration of the Literary Texts from the Three Viewpoints: Heightening Students’ Motivations to Read, Enhancing their Cultures and Improving their English Proficiencies
Presenter: Koji Morinaga, Doshisha University, Ritsumeikan University (Session chaired by M. Teranishi)
Abstract: The reliable criterion for judging whether reading materials are good or bad, in my opinion, is how effective reading materials are in heightening students’ motivations to read, enhancing their cultures and improving their English proficiencies. In my presentation, I will report and discuss the extent of the effectiveness of the above three determinants of reading materials. First I’ll introduce the questionnaire research date of 1,134 participants of two universities and a college examining students’ preference for novels. Second I’ll explain the result of the questionnaire research date concerning enhancing their cultures which I have carried out in the three classrooms where I use the literary materials of ‘Cultivating the ability to read English correctly by parsing choice passages from modern classics’ and ‘English through Literature’ Finally I’ll show you the date of Nation’s Vocabulary Levels Test, Standard Grammar Test of the7th f version, C-test administered in the 1st class and the last class to measure the rise and fall of the students’ English proficiency.
Biographical Data: Koji Morinaga teaches English as a part-time lecturer at Doshisha, Doshisha Women’s College and Ritsumeikan Universities. He obtained Master of Arts for his master thesis, ‘Wordsworth’s Imagination and Nature’ from Doshisha University. He also obtained Master of Language Education and Information Science for his master thesis, ‘A Method of Teaching Present Perfect Tense Utilizing a Visual Image’ from Ritsumeikan University. His present interest is in methods of teaching grammar and close reading, learning strategies, vocabulary learning and teaching English through movies. His recent oral presentations are ‘An Attempt to have students familiar with English modern classics’ and ‘Practice to improve students’ English presentation skills utilizing an English film’. His recent papers are ‘The Necessity of Establishing Intensive Reading Classes in University English Curricula: an Attempt to Teach Intensive Reading at compulsory and elective classes’ and ‘An Examination of Relationship between Use of Learning Strategies, and Reading or Listening Comprehension Abilities Based on the Research Data of Strategy Inventory for Language Learning By Oxford’. Contact: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
PARALLEL SESSION 2 (11.15-12.05)
2A. Teaching Langston Hughes
Presenter: Hugh Nicoll, Miyazaki Municipal University (Session chaired by P. McCoy)
Abstract: ‘Teaching Langston Hughes’ will explore how the teaching of Langston Hughes’ works can stimulate the natural curiosity of learners and empower them to develop their capacity for interdisciplinary content-based approaches to language learning. It will explore the use of Langston Hughes’s poems and short stories in a university American Studies seminar and with independent adult learners. More specifically, it will focus on the ways in which Hughes’s texts open up possibilities for moving beyond and behind the texts themselves to creative possibilities for engagement with language and with a number of perennial themes in American literature and cultural studies. I will first discuss ways in which the poems, in particular, provide access to learner engagement with vocabulary, listening, speaking, and pronunciation practice activities using a blend of analog and digital support materials. I will also explore ways in which this initial focus on language and language learning tasks can help raise learner awareness of the aesthetic dimension of literary texts while simultaneously supporting the development of learner awareness of the social and historical dimensions of the composition and reception of Hughes’s texts. Finally, I will discuss learner responses to the texts, support materials, and learning activities.
Biographical Data: Hugh Nicoll currently teaches EFL composition classes and American Studies at Miyazaki Municipal University. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, and raised in Maine and Washington, D. C., Nicoll has been teaching in Japan since April 1983. He studied at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He was a mountaineering instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and worked as a woodcutter and forest fire fighter in Washington State. He has been active in JALT for over seventeen years, and is interested in poetry, poetics, learner autonomy, and interdisciplinary approaches to the arts of teaching and learning.
2B. Harry Potter and an ESL Textbook
Presenter: Chutatip Yumitani, Tohoku Fukushi University, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University
(Session chaired by B. Ralph)
Abstract: Non-English major Japanese students taking English classes at universities in Japan are interested in improving their speaking and listening skills. However, a standard ESL textbook does not provide enough vocabulary for them to develop real fluency. They need to acquire more words in context and only through reading can that be achieved. Extensive reading is an ideal way to go if the university has a campus-wide extensive reading program. If not, adopting one book for the whole class to read is the only option and only a very good novel that can trigger and sustain students’ interest throughout can serve the purpose. The paper describes courses at a Japanese university where an ESL textbook is used along with an authentic novel. How students and teachers overcome the challenges of reading and teaching authentic materials and how students benefit from the interplay between the two sources of input are discussed.
Biographical data: Chutatip Yumitani received B.A (English and French) and M.A. (English) from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, and M.A. (Formal/computational Linguistics) and Ph.D. (Linguistics/First Language Acquisition) from University of Kansas, U.S.A. She has taught at universities in Thailand and at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu. She’s currently teaching at Tohoku Fukushi University and Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University in Sendai.
2C. Connect Four: ‘Think-Read-Think-Discuss’: How to Bring ‘Literature’ Alive in the University EFL Class
Presenter: Simon Bibby, Kwansei Gakuin University (Session chaired by P. Hullah)
Abstract: ‘To become a capable reader of literature is a twofold ability: to generalize from the given text(s) to other texts; and to generalise beyond, to the reader’s own life and position in society, and to society as a whole’ (Brumfit, 1985). Is this achievable with L2 students? Yes, it certainly is. Within this talk the presenter details the creation and implementation of a recent university EFL content literature course. An overview of literature in language teaching is first provided: seeking a definition for ‘literature’ and ‘literary language’, and offering a set of suggested criteria for choosing suitable literature for the EFL classroom. The differing models of literature usage are discussed, before clearly situating this teacher’s Dystopia course within the ‘personal growth’ model. A recently completed course, Studies of society: Dystopian literature and cinema, recently completed in its third iteration, is then discussed in detail, including consideration of planning, curriculum, course materials, assessment, examples of student work, and student feedback. The presentation will likely be of interest to seasoned practitioners looking for some new ideas, and newcomers seeking to introduce literature in their classrooms.
Biographical Data: Simon Bibby originally qualified as a high school teacher, and later gained an MA in Educational Technology and TESOL from the University of Manchester. He is currently a PhD Applied Linguistics candidate at the University of Swansea, Wales, UK, in their renowned Vocabulary Acquisition Research Group. His PhD research focuses on ‘gamification’ of vocabulary learning, and more generally applying gaming mechanics to hopefully revolutionize education, which he argues to be broken in its current state. Regarding literature, Simon started up the JALT Literature in Language Teaching SIG in 2011 to encourage the use of literature in the language classroom. He has taught Animal Farm and Studies of Society: Dystopian Cinema and Literature courses numerous times in the last few years, mainly as a vehicle for improving students’ critical thinking, notably seeking to improve their skepticism. Outside of academia, Simon is a chess master, was Japan national champion in 2003, has won every major competition in Japan at least once, and led the Japan national team at the world team championships in Calvia, Spain, 2004, all before his children arrived, and charmingly but noisily distracted him. He works at The Language Center, Kwansei Gakuin University. He can be contacted at
2D. Smartened-Up Literature: Can The Graphic Novel Take Comic Books To Literary Heights?
Presenter: Sean Michael Chidlow, Oita National University (Session chaired by P. Judge)
Abstract: When I was eight years old, I participated in the reading program of my hometown library. I received a gold-star certificate for reading over twenty books, but I will never forget the frown on the librarian’s face as she scanned the titles on my list, made up of picture books. I felt she was telling me that I had cheated the system. As an adult, I have progressed to spending national grant money on comic books. I wonder if I am still cheating the system. Are comic books a legitimate subject of academic research? Are they a worthy form of literature? Will they ever be accepted into the canon? In a sense, this paper is a progress report on my ongoing grant research, which is to establish an English literature and film database for Japanese medical students. I will discuss the use of comic books, focusing on the genre known as the graphic novel, in both L1 and L2 education. I will introduce a cross-section of graphic novels and exhibit vibrant artwork to keep attendees entertained. I will also discuss the methods and results of a course I taught to fourth-year medical students with a reading list composed of graphic novels.
Biographical Data: Sean Michael Chidlow teaches English in the Faculty of Medicine at Oita National University. In particular, he is interested in the medical humanities, a multidisciplinary field that examines the role of literature and film study within a science- based curriculum. Currently, he is working on a national grant project to build the first ever EFL medical humanities database.
And then, something for everyone…
PLENARY TALK FROM INVITED GUEST SPEAKER
Reading Classic Novels in Language Classrooms
(Professor of Education,
The Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo)
Abstract: One of the tendencies in English language teaching (ELT) that have been widely observed in Japan as well as elsewhere in the world since the 1970s, when communicative language teaching emerged and began to supplant traditional grammar- and reading- based language teaching, is the decline, varying in degree and extent, of literature as a teaching resource. Whereas this global tendency is generally attributed to the shift of focus in ELT from reading to oral communication,
the peculiarly precipitous downfall of literature in Japanese language classrooms can only be explained with reference to the specific context of ELT in Japan where various misunderstandings concerning literary materials are entangled with technical and pedagogical problems that teachers face in using literary works, many of which are substantially structured and linguistically challenging to students, within the restrictions of their classrooms. In my presentation, I would focus on those technical and pedagogical problems and suggest some ways to solve them by demonstrating, using passages from Jane Eyre (1847) and Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) and clips from their film adaptations, how literary texts and relevant audio- visual materials put together make a versatile package of materials for teaching language and literature as an organic whole.
Biographical data: Yoshifumi Saito, born in 1958, is Professor of Education at the University of Tokyo. He received MAs from the University of Tokyo and Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Primarily a stylistician, he has been working extensively on a wide range of fields including literary theory, translation, and language education. Some of his publications include Eigo no Saho [The Art of English] (The University of Tokyo Press, 2000), Eigo Tatsujin Retsuden [Stories of the Japanese Masters of English] (Chuokoron-shinsha, 2000), Nihonjin to Eigo [The Japanese and the English Language] (Kenkyu-sha, 2007), and ‘Translation in English Language Teaching in Japan’ (Komaba Journal of English Education, Vol. 3, 2012: 27-36).
PARALLEL SESSION 3 (13.35-14.25)
3A. Teaching Poetry in an EFL Classroom
Presenter: Pei-Chin Lin, National Kaoshiung Normal University (Taiwan) (Session chaired by P. Hullah)
Abstract: When it comes to the question of teaching poetry in an EFL classroom, many people might first react and consider what is special about teaching poetry? Although there have always been assumptions that poetry is impractical and may differ from the more usual or standard forms of English usage, some justifications must be made in the teaching of poetry in an EFL classroom. There are valid and convincing reasons when using poetry with the language learner. Poetry deserves study as much as other types of English do since it is the type of English which touches our personal feelings most closely. It is a feeling as important in a foreign language as it is in our own language. Furthermore, there is also good reason to look upon poetry as another variety or type of language use. When using poetry in the classroom, we find in it a basis for expanding the student’s language awareness and interpretative abilities. It seems to language learners and sometimes even to the teachers that they are often misinformed about the idea of what makes great poetry, and thus mistakenly assume that learning to appreciate poetry is beyond their ability. Poetry is neither unfashionable nor difficult, or even irrelevant to the ‘needs’ of the language learners. It is a way of improving language knowledge and developing understanding towards ourselves and others. In this paper, some justifications on teaching English poetry in an EFL classroom will be clarified. Considering the teaching of English poetry, the selection of materials and teaching methods and objectives are also taken into consideration. A lesson plan on teaching poetry to EFL students is also demonstrated in the paper. The purpose here is to add to the students’ enjoyment of an English poetry text and bring a fresh sense of life to language.
Biographical Data: My name is Pei-chin Lin. I am from Taiwan. I received my Ph.D. from National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan in 2011. My specialties are Asian- American literature, English literature, postmodern literature, feminism, language teaching and literature teaching. I enjoy reading literary works, traveling and learning new languages. I could speak English, German, Japanese, and have passed Level 4 of the Japanese-language Proficiency Test. I taught English at a college and found it a satisfying job for both teaching and researching. Later, I took the public elementary school teacher’s test and became an elementary school teacher. I have been teaching English in elementary school for ten years and have written learning materials for the school’s International English Village. I am now also working as an administrator at the Student Affairs Division. Besides teaching, I also taught students to explore the world and took eight of my students to the 2008 Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention in Fukuoka, Japan. I love teaching and currently also enjoy doing independent research.
3B. Teaching Global Literature in English
Presenter: Iain Lambert, Kyorin University (Session chaired by S. Burton)
Abstract: Japanese learners of English are rarely exposed to literature from outside the established canon, let alone from the Expanding Circle countries. Nevertheless there is a place for such texts in the classroom, not least as a means to develop knowledge of how English is used in the real world. This paper describes the issues involved in designing, implementing and assessing a one-semester literature-based course in World Englishes at a Japanese university. The focus of the lessons was on works either written in, or making use of, non-standard Englishes, including dialects, pidgins and texts that displayed hybrid forms of language, either through mixing of codes or imaginative word formation. Pedagogical goals included improving students’ ability to process unfamiliar vocabulary, raising awareness of varieties of English, and developing skills in appreciating literary texts which could be transferred to students’ own work. As the majority of students were encountering the idea of World Englishes for the first time, and were also unused to dealing with literary passages, the course began with a questionnaire to promote discussion of basic concepts or beliefs about language and literature. Texts were selected to display typical features of varieties of English from Australia/New Zealand, West Africa, Scotland, the Caribbean, SE Asia, Vanuatu, Japan and North America. Throughout the course students were encouraged to reflect on their own individual backgrounds as users of a variety of English, and post-course feedback gives cause for optimism that there could be an improvement in the perception of non-Inner circle varieties of English in Japan in the future.
Biographical Data: Iain Lambert is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyorin University, Tokyo. His primary fields of interest in terms of research are in World Englishes and postcolonial literature, in particular the use of non-standard forms and the status of Pidgins in literature. Recent publications include ‘Engaging learner creativity through non-standard language in Literature’ in Matsuda & Suwannamai (eds), Teaching English as an international language: Principles and Practices (Multilingual Matters, 2012) and ‘This is not sarcasm believe me yours sincerely: James Kelman Ken Saro-Wiwa and Amos Tutuola’, in Gardiner, MacDonald, O’Gallacher (eds) Scottish Literature and Postcolonial Literature: Comparative Texts and Critical Perspectives (Edinburgh University Press, 2011).
3C. Highlighting Culture in Literature through the Culture-Clash Paradigm Presenter: Scott Bean, Kansai Gaidai University
(Session chaired by K. Yoshizawa)
Abstract: Any study of literature will reveal elements of culture. These elements may be in the form of ‘visible culture,’ such as customs, food, or music, or ‘invisible culture,’ exemplified by beliefs, values, or common knowledge. So when a university course is designed to focus on both culture and literature, the choice of materials is vast. For such a course in a new program at Kansai Gaidai University, the presenter decided to narrow the focus by selecting materials based on the theme of the ‘culture clash.’ In the classic paradigm, characters from different cultures come into conflict, thus highlighting the contrast in their cultural values. However, an alternative version of cultural conflict appears when a character questions the society to which he or she belongs. Such a clash of values underscores the idea that cultures are composed of individuals who may not all agree with each other. The presenter will illustrate how students were challenged to consider the ‘culture clash’ as a theme in the texts ultimately selected for the course, which include The Giver, The Pearl, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Fear and Trembling, and Farewell to Manzanar.
Biographical Data: Scott Bean is an associate professor in the College of International Professional Development at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka Prefecture. He currently teaches courses that focus on listening and speaking, reading and writing, and literature and culture. He has also worked as the Intensive English Program coordinator in the Language Center at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. His academic interests include literature and drama in language teaching, English-only classroom policies, and teacher immediacy.
PARALLEL SESSION 4 (14.35-15.25)
4A. A Full Year Course in Poetry for Learners at All Levels
Presenter: John Rippey, St. Margaret’s Junior College (Rikkyo Jogakuin Tankidaigaku) (Session chaired by J. Joritz-Nakagawa)
Abstract: This presentation will introduce a syllabus along with materials, learning activities, and evaluation for a year-long course in English language poetry. The version of the course presented targets low-intermediate (TOEIC score of roughly 350 and higher) learners. Students in the course interact with poetry receptively and productively, intensively and extensively, critically and creatively, through all four skills. Learners interactively engage poetry through a variety of activities, ranging from reading to discussion, listening, memorization and recitation, written exposition, original poetry writing, peer feedback on original poetry, translation, oral reading, presentation, and publication. The goals of the course include better knowledge of poetry itself, stronger reception and production of English poetic device, and increased experience in creative language use. Course evaluations and reflections by students indicate that they obtain a sense of their development in knowledge and ability and corresponding motivation for subsequent study. A poetry course can be framed within curricula as a program of study in literature, culture, or as one example of content-based learning. The course can be adjusted and adapted to learners of different levels.
Biographical Data: John Rippey is an associate professor at St. Margaret’s Junior College (Rikkyo Jogakuin Tankidaigaku) in Tokyo. He has taught English poetry for many years to EFL learners in Japan. His research interests include the use of literature in foreign language learning and the creative writing process.
4B. Reading Cultural Texts: From Theory to Praxis
Presenters: Barnaby Ralph, Nao Yonemoto, Shoko Doi, Yuka Takahashi, Tokyo Joshi Daigaku
(Session chaired by M. Pronko)
Abstract: For tertiary students of Literature, centralizing the text within a research structure is often a relatively straightforward process, although it does sometimes present certain challenges. Defining a ‘text’ within the context of Cultural Studies is, however, almost always a difficult thing to do. Teaching it is even harder, as one has to deal with the conflict between assumptions and a workable, academically viable approach. This paper considers how the concept of ‘text’ can be approached via a theoretical framework and looks at some ways to deal with this that are compatible with the aims and objectives of a Department of Literature. Alongside theoretical reflections and a broader contextualization of central issues, the work of three students who have just submitted graduation theses in Cultural Studies will form the backbone of this discussion. Each thesis marries theory and primary source material in an interesting way to produce an argument that offers a persuasive reading of text, be it externalized filmic defence mechanisms, orientalist American postwar media images or the gun as ‘id machine’.
Biographical Data: Dr. Barnaby Ralph is an Associate Professor in the Department of Literature and Culture in English at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, teaching Cultural Studies. He is widely – if somewhat eclectically – published and is a frequent presenter at international conferences, including traveling to both Morocco and New Zealand in the past year. His research interests range from eighteenth-century rhetorical aesthetics and music through to modern cultural authenticity and the progress of the sign in Baudrillardian terms. He is also very fond of the ducks in his local park and often goes to talk to them when he is working on a difficult paper.
Shoko Doi is a senior student in the Department of Literature and Culture in English at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, specializing in Cultural Studies. Her graduation thesis is entitled ‘Violent Otherness: Depictions of Japanese Identity in Postwar America’ and dealt with representations of Japan in popular men’s magazine illustrations. In 2011, she was the first prize winner of the TWCU Shakespeare essay competition, writing on the twin themes of gender and tragedy in Much Ado About Nothing. Additionally, Ms. Doi has been involved in a number of extracurricular activities related to her studies, including undertaking an internship at the Afghanistan Embassy in Tokyo.
Yuka Takahashi is a graduating student in the Department of Literature and Culture in English at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, undertaking work in Cultural Studies. Her graduation thesis is called ‘Discourse and Danger in Modern America: Guns and the Repetition of Violence in Hollywood’. It is a study of the use of guns as signifiers for a number of contemporary trends in US society, including the idea of an ‘id machine’. As well as pursuing her undergraduate degree at TWCU, Ms. Takahashi spent a year in Orange County, California as a student at Orange Coast College and undertook an internship at Design Penguin to support Japanese students studying abroad.
Nao Yonemoto is a 4th grade student at the undergraduate level at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, in the Department of Literature and Culture in English. The title of her graduation thesis is ‘Projective Identification and Discoursic Identities’, which reflected on a series of psychological mechanisms within the narrative space of film, with particular reference to the work of Polanski. In addition, Ms. Yonemoto was one of the 8 finalists in the 2012 IMF Essay Contest in Japan, held jointly by the IMF, the Ministry of Finance of Japan and the Bank of Japan. She participated in a series of international meetings, sessions and CSO programs as an IMF Asia Youth Fellow, conferencing with other delegates in order to discuss world economic problems.
4C. A Frakin’ Good Tale: Using Battlestar Galactica to Teach Academic Discussion in an EAP Program at a Japanese University
Presenter: Patrick Judge, Kwansei Gakuen University (Session chaired by C. Yumitani)
Abstract: The presenter is an instructor in a policy studies program at a university in Japan, teaching a course called ‘Galactica – Using Drama to Explore Issues of Policy, Philosophy, and Society’. Students make verbal arguments, take a point of view and explain their reasoning. Course goals are to enhance debate & discussion skills, improve university- level reading and listening, and continue their acquisition of academic vocabulary in context. Using the power of an exciting drama, the presenter has observed L2 students engaged in vibrant discussions on serious contemporary topics such as: torture, gender roles, ‘just war’ theory, and the limits of democracy in times of crises. Debates that were as expressive and academically rigorous as anything the presenter has witnessed with native English speaking university students. The presenter will explore how innate love of storytelling motivates students to continue improving in an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) elective. The presenter will also focus on why this particular drama, as a meta- modernist epic, so strongly appeals to students and is therefore an ideal vehicle for teaching academic discussion.
Biographical Data: Patrick B. Judge is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics at Temple University Japan. He currently teaches at several universities in the Kansai, where he has been a long-time resident. His research interests include learner identities, motivation, storytelling as a pedagogical approach to teaching EFL/ESL, and intensive use of media in the classroom. Email: email@example.com
4D. Reading Non-Literary Texts in a Literary Way: A Critical Stylistic Perspective Presenter: Masayuki Teranishi, University of Hyogo
(Session chaired by S. Chidlow)
Abstract: For the study of English literature in Japan, one of the major concerns is the situation in which the use of literary texts may be on the verge of disappearance: they are not so much dealt with in English language education as it used to be. Under this circumstance, how best to teach English through literature has been one of the hottest issues in the academic circles of English Literature. In this interdisciplinary study, what concerns scholars and teachers most has been how to use literary texts in their classroom or how to make literary texts survive there. On the other hand, the importance and the applicability of skills acquired through the reading of literature have been neglected, particularly by those who specialize in English education. In this presentation I shall argue that regardless of genre, reading and analyzing a text in a ‘literary way’ is the practice indispensable for EFL students. There are at least two kinds of skills in reading that are to be taught through literature necessarily in a better way. Firstly, the skill to appreciate the aesthetic value, or artistic one, of texts principally attributed to literary and stylistic devices. Secondly, the competence for critical reading is required to be developed: it is important for the learner to read the text and then to attempt to infer the social and historical context that encourages the author to write in a particular way. The case will cover the rage from the attempt to do so with the written text up to the one with what is not written. On the latter, it can be applicable when thought of what the author possibly would render unexpressed by his or her specific and deliberate choice done based upon the author’s creative purpose. (See also Eagleton (1996); Fairclough (2001); Picken (2007).) These kinds of ‘literary’ readings can be applied for the interpretation of non-literary texts as well. In this presentation, therefore, I shall examine how important such literary reading skills are, and at the same time how effective and useful they are, in interpretation, appreciation and teaching of non-literary texts by means of a stylistic analysis of professional comic dialogue and a newsmagazine article as examples. Throughout the textual analysis and discussion I shall argue that sensitivity towards literary devices and critical thinking ability can and should be practiced through both literary and non-literary texts.
Biographical Data: Masayuki Teranishi is an associate professor at the School of Human Science and Environment, the University of Hyogo, Japan. His recent publications include ‘A stylistic analysis of Herzog: a mode of ‘Postmodern Polyphony’’(Language and Literature 16 (1), 2007), Polyphony in Fiction: A Stylistic Analysis of Middlemarch, Nostromo, and Herzog (Peter Lang, 2008), Britain Today: Old Certainties, New Contradictions (Cengage Learning, 2009, coauthored with Paul Hullah), Rock UK: A Cultural History of Popular Music in Britain (Cengage Learning, 2012, coauthored with Paul Hullah), and ‘The role of stylistics in Japan: A pedagogical perspective’ (Language and Literature 21 (2), 2012, coauthored with Aiko Saito, Kiyo Sakamoto and Masako Nasu). He is a founding member of The Japan Association of International Liberal Arts (JAILA) and has been the director since its foundation.
PARALLEL SESSION 5 (15.35-16.25)
5A: Using Drama to Connect Students to Literature
Presenter: Frances Shiobara, Kwansei Gakuin University (Session chaired by K. Morinaga)
Abstract: This presentation will introduce a literature course incorporating various drama activities as an aid to deepen students understanding of authentic English short stories. Most literature classes focus on comprehension questions, discussions and vocabulary explanation to help students gain a deeper understanding of the literature. This presentation will explain how including drama activities will encourage students to engage with the text more deeply. It will show that by including drama techniques in the literature classroom, students are motivated to reread and understand the text by themselves, rather than being purely led by the teacher. It will include practical suggestions of how to use drama, such as, mime, puppet shows, ad-lib drama and role-play in any reading or literature class. It will also include practical demonstrations of the activities. The presentation will conclude by outlining how to set up a class, and how to assess students. All activities have been used very successfully with university students in Japan in a variety of courses. By the end of the presentation participants should come away with ideas to incorporate in their classes as well as ideas to develop new courses.
Biographical Data: Frances Shiobara has been living and teaching in Japan since 1989. She has been a lecturer at Kwansei Gakuin University for sixteen years. She also teaches library skills to bilingual children at Senri International School Special Programs. She has a masters degree from Temple University. Her main areas of interest are: Literature in ESL, Extensive Reading, Motivation, and recently using Pechakucha presentations in the language classroom. She has taught a wide variety of classes including numerous reading and literature classes.
5B: Teaching Poetry with Debate
Presenter: Fuyuhiko Sekido, Yamano College of Aesthetics (Session chaired by M. Chilton)
Abstract: This presentation will introduce one novel way to use poetry in the classroom. The distinctive point of this class is not just teaching poetry in an orthodox way like grammar-translation, but also using debate. This seminar is actually conducted in Rikkyo University by Prof. Shinji Watanabe for 3rd and 4th year English and American majors. They debate in class as to whether a particular poem is a masterpiece or not in the class. The presenter will introduce and examine the management of this class, its contents and Watanabe’s philosophy of teaching from an educational point of view. An actual demonstration of a debate about a poem may be included.
Biographical Data: Fuyuhiko Sekido has been teaching English in Japan for more than 10 years, the last 5 years at universities. Now he is an Assistant Professor at Yamano College of Aesthetics. He completed his MA in American literature at Meiji Gakuin University in March 2000. Mr. Sekido has been a part-time teacher at Rikkyo University since April 2006. His recent research interests include the effective use of literature in English education and practical methods for the language classroom.
5C: Poetry Writing in a Foreign Language: Perceptions of Japanese EFL Students Presenter: Atsushi Iida, Gunma University
(Session chaired by J. Rippey)
Abstract: The aim of this presentation is to discuss the value of poetry writing in a foreign language by investigating perceptions of Japanese EFL college students regarding writing Japanese poetry, haiku in English. The presenter will first address the issue and use of literature in second language (L2) education. Then, he will report on an empirical study of writing haiku as a tool for L2 literacy practice. The purpose of the current study was to identify perceptions, attitudes, and emotions of Japanese students concerning writing haiku in a foreign language. The study was designed as qualitative research to investigate the participants’ reflections on the task of writing haikus for six weeks in an EFL college writing course. The data collected were their journal entries, self-reflection forms and the transcriptions of interview, and they were analyzed using the coding system. The results of this study revealed that writing haiku in the target language was a challenging but valuable task for L2 learning (e.g., acquiring new vocabulary, developing repertoires in English, gaining) among the EFL students. Lastly, the presenter will provide practical guidelines for using poetry in the Japanese EFL classroom reflecting on the results of the current study.
Biographical Data: Atsushi Iida is Assistant Professor in the University Education Center at Gunma University, where he has taught first-year and second-year English courses (e.g., English for General Purposes, English for Specific Purposes). He was awarded his Ph.D. (English/Composition and TESOL) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, USA in May, 2011. His research interest includes second language (L2) writing, creative writing, haiku composition, literature use in L2 education, ESP, and learner autonomy in language education.
5D: Critical Discourse Analysis and Multimodal (Visual) Discourse Analysis of the Topic of Landmines in Japanese High School English Textbooks
Presenter: Kota Yoshizawa, Meiji Gakuin University (Session chaired by N. Addison)
Abstract: Today’s high school textbooks contain not only revised language, but also pictures. Also, information about sensitive content, such as politics or war, is often presented in a way that distorts the facts. In fact, Van Dijk (2008) asserts that there are the educational discourses with ‘biased’ views, as well as media, in texts. The present research of Japanese high school English textbooks has found that there were certain topics that were popular in Japanese high-school English textbooks, including the topic of landmines. Moreover, most today’s text consists of languages with pictures. This presentation will introduce how teachers and students can analyze languages and pictures in ‘biased’ textbooks from the sociolinguistic views, what is called, Critical Discourse Analysis and Multimodal Discourse Analysis.
Biographical Data: Kota Yoshizawa has just completed his Masters Degree last March, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate at Meiji Gakuin University. . His fields of study are Critical Discourse Analysis and (Critical) Multimodal Discourse Analysis.
PARALLEL SESSION 6 (16.35-17.25)
6A: Using a Novel to Facilitate Critical Thinking
Presenter: Patrick McCoy, Meiji University (Session chaired by F. Sekido)
Abstract: This paper will discuss how to use a novel to develop and facilitate critical thinking in a literature class for English second language learners. This will include a discussion of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and how these different levels of thinking can be scaffolded in a course through quizzes, discussion questions, and student presentations with examples from Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea, and George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Furthermore, there will be a discussion of Elaine Showalter’s list of critical skills derived from the benefits of literature and how they are demonstrated in the final stages of Bloom’s levels of thinking.
Biographical Data: Patrick McCoy is an Associate Professor of English in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University. He is originally from Washington state in the US. He studied English Literature as an undergraduate at the University of Washington and later got his secondary teaching certificate and Masters degree in Education at Western Washington University. He has been teaching in Japan for 15 years and at the university level for the last 12 years. His research interests include methodology, writing, authentic materials, and developing and teaching content-based courses that use film and literature. He is a member of the Literature in Language Teaching (LiLT) and Teachers Helping Teachers (THT) SIGs in JALT.
6B: Applying a Critical Lens to Literary Texts: Employing Mediated Critical Theory Materials to Encourage Multiple Readings of Literature.
Presenter: Neil Matthew Addison, Meiji Gakuin, Bunkyo Gakuin, Reitaku University (Session chaired by S. Bibby)
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the methods employed in the teaching of English literature in university reading classes in Japan, and argues that cultural background and theme in literature is often mistakenly glossed over in favour of an approach which posits more importance on achieving immediate utilitarian needs such as vocabulary acquisition. However, many English literary texts are suffused with cultural values, which, if left unpacked, can create student comprehension problems, whilst literature also contains complex or ambiguous themes which can be read in multiple ways. Therefore, this study pursues the argument that for students to attain a deeper, more rounded appreciation of English literature, literary and cultural competence is also highly important. The study outlines course design undertaken in the 2012 academic year in which theoretical criticism such as Reader Response, Marxism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis and Post Colonialism was taught to intermediate level students through a mediated approach which encompassed the employment of authentic texts, tailored vocabulary based handouts, and videos. Students were then encouraged to apply these critical lenses to both authentic texts and graded readers, whilst the paper concludes with an examination of the effectiveness of this approach through an analysis of post course research data.
Biographical Data: Neil Addison was born in Bournemouth, England, and read English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He graduated with a first class Masters in Linguistics from Southampton University, his thesis focusing on a diachronic and synchronic study of the relationship between the English language, ideology and hegemony. Now vocationally based at three universities in the Kanto region of Japan, his teaching interests centre on fostering a critical approach towards studying literature, cultural history and contemporary media related content, whilst his classroom practice involves the development of specific blended materials that explicate authentic content. His research interests include varied publications on cultural stereotyping and ideology in ELT textbooks, designing student resource weblogs to facilitate blended learning, the affect of the closing of the frontier on 20th century American literature, the city as stage and protagonist in Dickens` novels, and on the cultural challenges involved in teaching English literature to EFL students. He has previously presented on the subject of scaffolding a critical thinking approach towards current media related content.
6C: Replacing TPP with PPPP: Poetry Passion Pedagogy Politics!
Presenter: Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, JALT Literature in Language Teaching SIG Publicity Chair
(Session chaired by S. Bean)
Abstract: In this age of global capitalism, TOEIC, lackluster Hollywood movies, online porn, militarism, patriarchy, and plastic surgery, poetry is needed more than ever to fill the spiritual vacuum. Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, a linguist, poet, feminist and educator for over 25 years, will briefly describe courses she has designed and taught comprising introductions to American, British and American, and comparative (including Japanese) poetry at the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as explain how she has used poetry in undergraduate courses such as Gender and Society, American History, and EFL. Materials, learner-centered teaching techniques, and syllabi will be discussed/showcased/demonstrated. Student reaction data will also be included.
Biographical Data: Jane Joritz-Nakagawa has lived in Japan since 1989. Most recently she worked as Associate Professor at Aichi University of Education, where she taught courses in American and British poetry, comparative poetry, pedagogy, gender, and American history. In addition to being an educator, she is a widely published poet who recently completed her eighth poetry book. She currently lives in Shizuoka city. Email is welcome at
6D: Selecting Japanese Literature in English Translation to Use: Yukio Mishima’s ‘Swaddling Clothes’
Presenter: Cheena Fujioka, University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, Kobe (Session chaired by I. Lambert)
Abstract: This presentation will be on the use of modern Japanese literature, translated into English, for teaching EFL at the university level. For this purpose, an English version of Mishima’s short story, ‘Swaddling Clothes’ was selected because Mishima is one of the few Japanese writers whose work is internationally recognized as Japanese literature. Here, among literature, using a translated version of Japanese literature is recommended for teaching Japanese EFL students. This is because compared to Western classical or modern literature that has typically been used in the Japanese EFL classrooms, literature from their own culture would be easier to understand the characters, the setting, and the plot for sharing the same cultural background as L2 learners. Consequently, students’ anxiety level in learning L2 will be significantly reduced and grasping meaning in the L2 will be enhanced. The literary text of ‘Swaddling Clothes’ describes the cultural clash between Japanese traditional values and westernization in postwar Japan. For that purpose, contrasts and symbolism are used throughout the story. The story also contains Mishima’s political critique of postwar society in Japan as well as his warning to the Japanese. Lastly, the actual teaching procedure using several activities and the feedback from the students are presented.
Biographical Data: I’m an associate professor of English at the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences in Kobe. Prior to this position, I worked at several universities including Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Konan University and Kansai University as a part-time instructor for 11 years. Prior to my teaching career in Japan, I spent 10 years in the state of Washington. I received my B. A. at Central Washington University where I earned the Washington state teaching certificate as the first Japanese student. I received a M. Ed. in TESL from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. I taught Japanese and ESL at a public high school in the suburbs of Seattle for 5 years before coming back to Japan in 1999. My research interests include empathy, literature-based approach, and peace education.
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