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Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum


Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum Akemi Morioka In collaboration with Judi Franz University of California, Irvine Overview of the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture Curriculum

Videoconference for Japanese Language and Culture
  • Akemi Morioka
  • In collaboration with Judi Franz
  • University of California, Irvine

Overview of the Presentation
  • Background
  • Pedagogical Groundings
  • Practice of Videoconferencing (Fall2002-Spring2008
  • Survey in Spring 2008
  • Integration into Curriculum in Fall 2008
  • Content
  • Assessment and Grades
  • Findings from the Survey Observations
  • Discussion

  • How can we language instructors provide students
  • First-hand information on culture
  • Opportunity for authentic communication
  • How can we help students?
  • Build a community of learners
  • Become autonomous learners
  • Be motivated
  • One of the solutionsvideoconference???

Pedagogical Groundings
  • The role of CALL in sociocognitive frameworks is
    to provide alternative contexts for social
    interaction and to facilitate access existing
    discourse communities and the creation of new
    ones (Kern Warschauer, 2000).
  • Computer-assisted classroom discussion, compared
    to face-to-face discussion, has been shown to
    feature more equal and democratic participation
    (Warschauer, 1997).

Mechanics of Videoconferencing
  • Participants on Japan side students who are
    enrolled in Shimizu-senseis English class
  • Fall 2002- Winter 2003 with Namerikawa High
    School in Toyama Prefecture
  • Spring 2003- Winter 2009 with Toyama College of
    Foreign Languages
  • Spring 2009- Present with Toyama National
    College of Maritime Technology
  • Number of participants ranged between 20 and 33
  • Participants at UCI
  • Students who are enrolled in 1st-Year through
    4th year Japanese classes, but primarily 2nd-Year
    students (voluntary participation for extra
  • Number of participants ranged between 20 and 35


Mechanics of Videoconferencing
Thursday 500pm (Daylight Savings Time)
Friday 900 am (No Time Change)
Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued)
  • Where?
  • Both take place at a language lab

Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued)
  • How?
  • Use Skype for individual interaction
  • iMacs using built-in iSight cameras in Irvine
  • PCs running Windows XP and external web cams in
  • Both sides make 25-30 generic accounts. E.g.
    uci01-- tcfl01
  • Matching is random.
  • Additional interaction via online message board

One-on-one communication (Japan side)
Mechanics of Videoconferencing (continued)
  • How?
  • Use Polycom for group discussion

Group discussion at UCI
Group Discussion through PolyCom
Screen shot of the U.S. side viewed in Japan
The U.S. side
Content of the Discussion
  • Teaching Materials (Spring 2002-Spring 2008)
  • Materials/activities were developed basically by
    Shimizu-sensei based on his curriculum.
  • Sample Activities New Years traditions, a new
    school year in Japan, education system, how to
    treat others, blood type
  • It was uploaded on individual computers for the
    students, which included links to graphics and
    short movies.
  • The same content on a hard copy was provided for
    group discussion.
  • The activities required the students not only to
    seek information but also to express ones own
    opinion on the topic.

Content of the Discussion (continued)
  • Languages
  • The Japanese learners at UCI spoke mostly in
    Japanese, and the English learners in Japan spoke
    mostly in English. However, frequent
    code-switching between Japanese and English was

Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results Q1Was the
topic appropriate? Q2Was the material on the web
Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results
Q3Did you like the one-on-one communication?
Q4Did you like the group
Student Survey (Spring 2008) Results
Q7 Your Japanese enhanced? Q8 Your
understanding of J culture
Student Survey (Spring 2008) ResultsComments
  • Split opinion on one-on-one conversation vs.
    group discussion
  • I feel more comfortable when I speak one-on- one.
  • Group discussion is much easier to communicate
    through, while it is more difficult with
  • Handout makes communication hard because it
    becomes more like reading and less like a real
  • I was able to help them with their English, while
    they helped me with my Japanese. It allowed
    practice with Japanese that I knew, and also it
    exposed me to many new words and kanji symbols
    for the first time.
  • Having a Japanese student help you practice
    reading, and even asking questions or having a
    conversation with was a great experience
    culturally and personally.
  • Complaints about connection difficulty

ExperimentIntegration to Curriculum
  • In Fall 2008, JVC was integrated into the 2nd-
    Year Japanese curriculum for the 500 pm section
  • 4 sections of 2nd Year Japanese were offered
    in Fall 2008.
  • Met 5 days (50 minutes each day) a week.
  • 4 sections were taught by three different
  • All 4 sections used the same textbook
    (Chapters 1-3 in
  • Yookoso! Vol 2) and took the
    same midterm and final exams.
  • Concern expressed by the instructor
  • Can I really afford to spend on the entire class
    time (50 minutes) on JVC every Thursday?
  • How can I include the JVC activity in the
    assessment of the students during and at the end
    of the term?

ExperimentIntegration to Curriculum (continued)
  • Teaching materials used for these meetings were
    developed by the Japanese instructor at UCI based
    on the topic covered in the textbook.
  • Since there were only 24 students on the Japan
    side, as opposed to 28 here at UCI, 24 students
    spoke one-on-one through Skype on the desk top
    computer, and the rest participated in a group
    discussion seated in front of a TV.

One-to-one communication (U.S. side)
Content of the Discussion
  • Material
  • Prepared by the instructor at UCI based on her
    teaching curriculum.
  • Over-arching Theme Journey/Travel
  • Topic 1 Images of Japan, Nature and Geography
  • Topic 2 Things to do in Japan
  • Topic 3 Staying in Japan -Living Accommodations
  • Topic 4 Cultural Difference Enryo -
    hesitation/reservation due to consideration for
  • Topic 5 President Obama
  • Language
  • UCI students used Japanese and Japanese students
    in Japan used English a majority of the time.
    (They code-switched quite often as well.)

Assessment and Grades()
Midterm Exam Final Exam
Listening (multiple choice Qs) Reading (multiple choice Qs) Speaking (instructors evaluation) Writing (instructors evaluation) Listening (multiple choice Qs) Reading (multiple choice Qs) Speaking (instructors evaluation) Writing (instructors evaluation)
900class 78.6 91.6 79 87.3 79.2 81 91 92.3
1100class 75.6 93.6 82 91.3 77.7 77.7 94 94.3
300class 79.2 90.4 81.7 86 83.5 79.2 88.1 85.8
500class 78.2 94.2 79.7 92 82.5 80.2 95.3 88
  • Weekly quizzes included a question about the
    content covered during the JVC meetings.

Comments from UCI Students
  • When we were first told that we would have to
    participate in JVC meetings, I was rather
    intimidated and nervous since I lacked confidence
    in my Japanese. But when we finally started and I
    saw a friendly, smiling face from the other side
    of the camera, I felt immediately reassured.
    Talking to everyone these last couple of weeks
    has been incredibly fun and being able to meet
    and make new friends has made me very happy.

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • I think that the JVC Conferences have been very
    valuable to my learning Japanese. This is because
    I am getting a "genuine" experience of sorts by
    speaking to native Japanese speakers in their own
    country. I was very surprised and amazed at how
    good at English they are! It was also good to
    have them help me on my own Japanese when I
    didn't know how to express something. I also
    think it's lots of fun learning about the
    Japanese people on a personal level by talking to
    them one-on-one and getting to now them and what
    they enjoy in life. Overall, it is a very good
    experience and I am glad that I have been able to
    be a part of it so far!

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • I think JVC is a very helpful exercise for us.
    We learn vocab and grammar in the classroom, but
    we lack in practicing these words and phrases in
    conversation. That is where JVC steps in and
    allows us to really practice and use all that we
    have learned with a native speaker. We discuss
    interesting topics with our partner, and we both
    get to learn different perspectives about each
    other. ???????????????????????????!

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • The first time I did JVC, I was kind of nervous
    if not irritated,especially because I feel that
    my Japanese speaking is not very good compared to
    my class mates. However, as time went on, I began
    to get used to initiate a conversation in
    Japanese and enjoy it overtime. Although learning
    and being competent in the language is still a
    long way to go, and I am sure I will run into
    more obstacles nonetheless, I will continue to
    do so with confidence. JVC has provided such kind
    of confidence to me. In addition, JVC also
    provides a 1 hour "escape" from the ordinary
    Irvine life style that I am living in everyday. I
    was able to get a glimpse of the Japanese life
    style that my conversation partners have.

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • the the jvc meetings are very good. sometimes
    there are pauses during the conversation, when we
    should be talking about the topic we were
    assigned. sometimes our conversation goes off
    topic and we don't have time to ask our
    questions. it would be good if they initiated
    questions for us to answer as well.i usually am
    the one to ask questions first about something
    about our topic.when i ask questions they are
    good to answer in english, and they are helpful
    in answering my questions. i have many questions
    about japan, so I am glad to have their help.i
    think the one-to-one conversations work well for
    our learning.

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • Ive found JVC to be very interesting and fun.
    It's an interactive and different way for us to
    learn to communicate with people who speak the
    language we're trying to learn. We also get a
    sense that we are helping them out, as well. I
    feel like everyone benefits from it. Having a
    targeting (sic) discussion also helps us to learn
    more about each others culture, and we can
    therefore lose any stereotypes we may have about
    one another. Also, we get to learn to be patient
    with one another. If my partner stumbles in
    English, we can work together to find the right
    word. And if I stumble in Japanese (which is more
    likely), we can find a meeting ground to discover
    what it was I was going to say. All in all, JVC
    is a very innovative way to make learning about
    Japanese culture and language really stick in
    ones mind.

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • I really enjoy JVC and I feel that it is helping
    me speak quickly in Japanese. I think one of the
    most important things is to converse in Japanese
    quickly and without translating from English. I
    also enjoy meeting new people and listening to
    what they have to say about the topics we've had.
    Lastly JVC also helps the TCFL students speak
    English. I think JVC is awesome!

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • I really enjoy the JVC meeting sessions. I took
    AP Japanese in high school, and the listening
    prompts were always make pretend chats with
    Japanese students via prerecorded messages. Those
    were static and pretty mechanical. But the JVC
    meetings are the real thing it enriches my
    learning of Japanese by letting me speak to real
    Japanese speakers.Meeting people in Japanese is
    also an amazing experience because I get to learn
    about people my age in Japan. It's my first time
    interacting with Japanese students, so it is very
    helpful and fun.

Comments from UCI Students (continued)
  • JVC JVC meetings are a great way to enhance our
    speaking abilities! The people we Speak to are
    always friendly and sociable, so its not
    difficult to get along. It really tests our
    knowledge of the Japanese language and is similar
    to a simulation of what might happen if we were
    to tour Japan and had to get through with
    whatever we know at that point. Its intimidating
    though because the students there are extremely
    skilled in the English language, but it
    encourages us to get better and to study more.
    Personally, the sessions go on a little too long
    and learning in class seems like it should be
    more of a priority, but theyre fun nevertheless.

Findings from Comments
  • Only one negative comment among 28 students
  • Obtaining first-hand information
  • Experiencing authentic conversation as opposed to
    schemed conversation.
  • Feeling a sense of self-efficacy
  • Building friendship and a community of learners
  • Having increased motivation for learning culture
    and language
  • Learning to initiate conversation (a first step
    for autonomous learning?)

Findings from Observation
  • Almost no absentees
  • Smiles on faces during the entire session
  • Many students exchanging e-mail addresses
  • Praising partners English
  • Looking confident when talking in English
  • Asking the partner (not the instructor) how do
    you say this in Japanese or looking up the words
    in the dictionary
  • Rephrasing or using gestures in order to get the
    message cross
  • One-on-one communication prompted some formerly
    shy students to participate and be more outgoing
  • Chat about the Japanese students among UCI
  • Communication among the classmates facilitated by
    chatting about the videoconference
  • Talking something completely different from the
    assigned topic

  • Role of Technology in the Language classroom
  • new technologies do not only serve the new
    teaching/learning paradigms, they also help shape
    the new paradigms. A pedagogy of networked
    computers must therefore take a broad view,
    examining not only the role of information
    technology in language learning but also the role
    of language learning in an information technology
    society (Kern and Warschauer, 2000).

  • Rethinking Language Learning
  • Language learners are not just communicators and
    problem-solvers, but whole persons with hearts,
    bodies, and minds, with memories, fantasies, but
    embodied experiences, emotional resonances, and
    moral imaginings. (Kramsch, 2006 251)
  • ? Our argumentExamine not only the role of
    culture in language learning but also the role of
    language learning in the culture and environment
    that we live.
  • Integrating this videoconference into language
    classes on a regular basis

  • Considerations
  • Differences between US and Japan
  • Language level of students on both ends
  • Number of students on each side
  • Time zones (morning vs. evening)
  • Time change in the middle of Quarter
  • Technical issues how to troubleshoot, having
    tech support on both sides, set up generic
    accounts with easy login/passwords
  • Cost

  • Kern, R. Warschauer, M. (2000). Theory and
    practice of network-based language teaching. In
    Warschauer, M. Kern, R. (Eds.), Network-based
    language teaching Concepts and Practice.
  • Warschauer, M. (1999). Electronic literacies -
    Language, culture, and power in online education.
    Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.