The Effects of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training on Participants’ Teaching
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleThe Effects of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training on Participants’ Teaching
MetadataShow full item record
Embedded YouTube Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3rA94TFH28
PURPOSE OF MY PROJECT
The aim of this study is to clarify how the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training could affect participants’ teaching. As a graduate of the teacher training course, I observed and analyzed my teaching demonstration that I did during the course. I also observed my current teaching at Beginning Japanese courses at University of Southern Indiana to analyze how my teaching style has changed and/or maintained the principles that I learned through the teaching training over. I am going to interview 7 participants who took part in the same teacher training course as trainee teachers in 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis to see what principles of the teacher training institute they have maintained or not maintained in their workplace. The result of my project will become valuable recourse to see the effectiveness of the course of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training and to find areas that should be improved.
The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute
The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute is a full-time intensive program which are held each summer at Washington University in St. Louis (ALLEX Foundation, n.d.). The course has mainly three goals. The first goal is “to instill an understanding of developments in language teaching (particularly Japanese language teaching,) that view language as meaning-making activity that involves reflective performance (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”. The second goal is “to give ample opportunities in practice teaching with abundant constructive feedback (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”. The last goal is “to prepare participants to assume responsibility for an elementary language program at an American institution (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.)”.
The seven participants and I completed the two-month program in August 2018, as preparation for a teaching assignment at different schools in the U.S. The seven-week summer teacher training program was taught by master university instructors and experts in Japanese pedagogy. The summer program emphasized the teaching of Japanese specifically to native-English speakers, an important perspective rarely studied by language teachers trained in Asia where most language students are from nearby Asian countries and have very different language backgrounds from students in the American university classroom (ALLEX Foundation, n.d.).
TOPICS COVERED IN The WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute
The curriculum of the full-time-intensive summer program included a lecture component (covering such topics as the basic principles of effective Japanese language pedagogy, classroom teaching techniques, the linguistic analysis of Japanese, and language testing); an observation component (during which participants observe and analyze actual Japanese language classes taught by master instructors); and a demonstration component (during which participants teach actual Japanese class sessions, which are videotaped and later critiqued by program faculty members) (AELLEX Foundation, n.d.).
There were mainly two unique characteristics in the Beginning Japanese program they offered to Japanese language learners.
The focus of the course was to train students to function successfully in the Japanese culture, using Japanese as your primary language. The program focused on teaching them how to present themselves in a way that is comfortable for Japanese people. The course aimed to help students to develop skills in Japanese to cross ethnic, cultural, ideological and national boundaries and to gain an understanding of Japanese interpersonal behavior and related thought patterns. The students were expected to build a basic Japanese language proficiency but also demonstrate a level of cultural understanding suitable for correct performance of assigned tasks in Japanese (e.g. how to appropriately make a request).
The other unique feature the program had was the class format. There were two types of class. ACT classes are conducted entirely in Japanese, which means no English was allowed. In ACT classes students perform in Japanese, utilizing knowledge and skills they learned at home. Students’ performance will be graded hourly and feedback as to how to further improve your performance will be provided by the instructors on a regular basis. On the other hand, FACT classes were usually held twice a week and support your performance in ACT classes. FACT classes are conducted primarily in English to discuss mechanics of the course, connections between sentence patterns and cultural interactional strategies, strategies for communicating in Japanese, and other components of the learning materials. There are frequent quizzes in FACT classes.
- What principles of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training Institute have the graduates maintained in different educational institutions where they work?
- What principles of the WUSTL-ALLEX Japanese Teacher Training did the participants have to change or adjust in order to meet their students’ needs or schools’ policies?
- How are the trainee teachers now feeling about the teacher training course? What areas they think should be improved or appreciate.
- Review ALLEX Philosophy and principles.
- Analyze my teaching demonstration which was videotaped in the WUSTL-ALLEX course. (five times in total)
- Analyze my current teaching which was also videotaped in JPN102 Beginning Japanese Spring 2020. (seven times in total)
- Interview seven graduates from the WUSTL-ALLEX course to analyze their teaching.
- Collect data.
- Conclusion including suggesting what areas of the teacher training course should be appreciated and what areas should be improved for the program’s development.
ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). Curriculum. Retrieved February 2020, from ALLEX Founation: https://www.allex.org/teacher-training/curriculum/
ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). ALLEX Foundation. Retrieved Feburuary 2020, from ALLXT Foundation: https://www.allex.org
ALLEX Foundation. (n.d.). ALLEX Foundation. Retrieved February 2020, from ALLEX Program Overview: https://www.allex.org/programs/
Banni, E., Ikeda, Y., Ohno, Y., Shinagawa, C., & Takashiki, K. (2011). GENKI ? An Integrated Course In Elementary Japanese Seond Edition (Vol. 1). Chiyodaku, Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Times, Ltd.
Matthew , C. B., & Warnick, P. J. (2006). Performed culture : an approach to East Asian language pedagogy. Columbus, Ohio, USA: The Ohio State University Press.