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Practice of 'personalised writing' activities in Japanese beginners classes

Roddis, Kiyo and Uno, Hiroko 2017. Practice of 'personalised writing' activities in Japanese beginners classes. BATJ Journal 18 , pp. 4-11.

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In extra-curricular language courses, one of tasks is to carry out teaching within a limited lesson time whilst considering the balance between four skills. Accommodating learners’ desire to express themselves in the target language and offering a sense of fulfilment that they can actually do it are key to maintaining motivation for learning. This paper presents innovative teaching practice that reaped the benefit of overcoming these challenges by introducing Kana learning and writing activities in class from ab-initio stage. The practice is based on educational philosophy and methodological approaches by Professor Emeritus Yoshikazu Kawaguchi from Waseda University, Japan. More holistic learning was achieved through active use of specifically designed Kana charts, and connecting Kana learning with pronunciation, vocabulary and phrases. With the objective of achieving learner-oriented lessons, content was ‘personalised’ while active participation from learners was encouraged. Regular ‘personalised’ writing activities provided opportunity for learners to express themselves and reflect on their own learning, which contributed to maintaining motivation for learning and proactive act of expression. Multiple unexpected benefits were observed as it enabled individual support whilst writing, also students’ written work can be used for speaking, listening and reading practice. The practice and outcome implied the effectiveness of Kana learning from ab-initio stage, and incorporating writing activities as part of diverse and meaningful communication practice can enrich learning experience significantly.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Language other than English: Japanese
Publisher: BATJ
ISSN: 2398-953X
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 13:18

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