Clarification of Homework

Final Presentation, January 9th

The final presentation, to be given on January 9th, will be to report on your experiences in exploring the scholarly and professional potential of several social networking services that I introduced to you during our last class in December. You’ll have a maximum of 7 minutes for your presentation.

Social networking sites can be used by students of foreign languages to increase opportunities for interaction with native speakers [see “Social networking for language learners: Creating meaningful output with Web 2.0 tools” by Robert Chartrand and “Online Tools for Language Teaching” by Jeong-Bae Son]. They can also be used by researchers or instructors to network and facilitate collaboration with colleagues [see “Teacher professional identity development with social networking technologies: learning reform through blogging” by  Luehmann & Tinelli].  In addition, language samples used in social networking platforms can be studied and analyzed as corpora [see “The Linguistics of Social Networking: A Study of Writing Conventions on Facebook” by Carmen Pérez-Sabater].

Here is a list of some of the social networking sites that I introduced to you:

example sites: Steven Pinker, Morten Hunke, Joseph Dias

example sites: Peter Robinson’s page & Joseph Dias’ page

  • Path (for communicating in small groups of people who know each other; similar to Facebook but “it’s so personal, you don’t have a profile”).

example site: JALT Lifelong Language Learning Facebook Page

example site: Joseph Dias’ “bookmarks”

Useful reference for using Twitter in ESL: Using Twitter as an ESL resource
There are some Twitter feeds that are useful to follow: Linguist List is one example.
Another one is a Twitter group of linguists: linguistics Twibe
Twitter and other social networking services can also be used to study language and language change As explained in this interesting BBC article

example blog on “Whaling” created by Dias to demonstrate to students how to properly paraphrase, quote, and cite sources.

  • Linkedin (You can put your CV online, colleagues can “endorse” you, and someone might offer you a job. You won’t really be able to see the potential for this service until you join and begin using it. You will only be able to see the profiles of those who you are “connected” to. You can join professional groups and use the service as a sort of BBS, asking questions to experts in various fields.)
  • lang-8 (suggested by Nobumitsu): Users write something in the target language and native speakers provide corrections.

Other applications or services that are useful and can be used for collaboration among teachers and students:

At the end of our last class I was mistaken about something that I told you. I said that a good venue for publishing casual ESL-related papers online was a journal called “TESOL Online.” In fact, it’s called the “Internet TESOL Journal” and, unfortunately, it ceased to publish new issues in 2010. I would like to suggest that you try to submit your reviews of ESL-related podcasts for possible publication in the JALT Lifelong Language Learning newsletter. They are always looking for articles to publish.

Finally, a 400-500 word reflection paper on your understanding of professional development and how it was influenced by this Kiso Enshu is due on the 20th of January. You should send it to me by email AND put a hard copy of it in the box on my office (15-1015) door by January 20th.

Homework for Wednesday, December 12th

I was very pleased with the fine presentations that were given last week on the podcasts that you selected to monitor and write about in a journal. On 12/12/12 (WOW! What an auspicious day for a class!) we will hear presentations by the remaining four students:

  1. Emiko Kitajima
  2. Nobumitsu Nishida
  3. Haruka Wada
  4. Tomohiro Kato

The previous speakers told us about these podcasts:

  • American English Pronunciation
  • The Public Speaker
  • ESL Teacher Talk
  • All Things ESL
  • ESL, etc.
  • Candlelight Stories
  • Art of Public Speaking

I mentioned that iTunes is not the only place where you can find useful podcasts. iTunes is one of several “aggregators” that serve as  repositories for podcasts. Another popular one is called Podomatic. You can find Podomatic podcasts on language courses by going here: .

There are many other podcasts that are connected to blogs which you can find just by doing a google search, using such terms as “podcast” and “interpreting,” for example. Strangely, iTunes does not host any podcasts connected to interpreting, as far as Anna and I can tell, but a casual Web search turns up many interesting possibilities, such as this one that features brief interviews with translators and interpreters at… .

At the end of our class on 12/5, I gave you the latest assignment. It is to write a review of a podcast (or more than one podcast) as if you were writing one for a language teaching, linguistics, or some other sort of professional journal. I distributed examples of well-written reviews in our class and I left copies of them for Tomohiro in the box on my office’s door.

Do a casual genre analysis of the example book reviews that I gave you by underlining the following:

  • language used when making opening remarks about the book
  • expression of the purpose of the book
  • statement(s) describing how the book is organized
  • description of content / predicates that are varied to avoid monotony
  • praise of the positive aspects of the book
  • (constructive) criticism of the negative aspects of the book
  • language used in making concluding remarks

When writing your review, make use of vocabulary and phrases that you encountered when doing your informal genre analysis.

Homework for Wednesday, November 28th

I hope your preparations for your presentations on December 8th went smoothly. Don’t be too nervous about it. Here’s a reminder about what you need to prepare for this coming Wednesday.

Part 1: In our previous class, I demonstrated some podcasts for teachers and learners of English. I told you that you should “subscribe” to, at least, one podcast for teachers and one for learners. And, over the next few weeks, you should keep a journal about your podcast monitoring. In your podcast journal entries, you should…

  • Describe the title of the Podcast and its purpose.
  • Give the title of the particular podcasts (i.e., episodes) you’re focusing on for the week.
  • Describe the episode(s) and what you learned from them.
  • From the perspective of a teacher or learner, evaluate the quality of the content, delivery, and usefulness.
  • If you are currently teaching, try to apply something you learned from a podcast into a lesson plan.

[If your area is linguistics, pragmatics, or interpretation you may choose podcasts in these areas.]

For your reference, you can find a huge list of podcasts on educational technology at this site:

Here’s an example of a podcast for students: Splendid Speaking
You can sign up to a newsletter that offers transcripts of the podcasts at…

Here is one that is promoted to be for both learners and teachers of English:
The Mega Minute! (Hotch Potch English)

Part 2: Also, in our previous class, we discussed “observation” and we compared the features we noticed about the lessons shown in the YouTube videos that I introduced to you. You all cooperated to produce detailed observations of the lessons using the observation sheets that I provided.

For the latest homework, you should code the observational data using categories that you think help us understand better what’s happening in these classrooms. One of the purposes of coding is to try to SEE better and to understand what we, as teachers, can learn from the observed  context so that we might apply the more effective aspects of it to our own teaching context.

You should do your coding independently from the other members in your group, and I will ask each group to come up to the front of the room to describe the system of coding that they came up with and why they decided to adopt that system. Check out this recent article about John Fanselow’s approach (and emphasis on) observation–co-written by me and several of my colleagues. Also, I prepared THIS ARTICLE  for you from John Fanselow’s 1992 book about observation, Contrasting Conversations. Try out some of the activities in the chapter so that you can get a clearer understanding of how to separate the FACTs in what is observed from your judgements.

NOTE: Nobumitsu should pick up his work from the box on my door. It’s been there for a few weeks and will so begin to grow mushrooms.

Homework for Wednesday, November 14th

I think our last class was productive in that we were able to give each other good advice about how to improve our questionnaires. As you could see, it’s one thing to read about how to construct questionnaires in the abstract, but quite another to actually make one of our own. I finished correcting and commenting on your “informed consent forms” and you’ll find them in the box attached to my office door. Please pick yours up and revise it for the next class. In general, our class members understood the essential parts of the document.

PART 1: For our class on November 14th, you should watch the youtube videos which I have assigned to you. They each show an English (or “language arts”) lesson in progress. Use THIS FORM to record your observations of the classes. You will need to photocopy multiple copies of the sheet since just one will be insufficient. [NOTE: Change the last category, “teacher reflections,” to “My reflections.” Try your best to understand the dialog in the videos. I realize that it will be very difficult to understand 100% of it. Each trio of students should divide the videos in equal parts and transcribe their respective parts. Make sure your transcripts are highly detailed as we will use them to practice coding in our next class.

Yu, Tomohiro & Nobumitsu are responsible for this video (African American students):

Haruka, Erina & Emiko are responsible for this video (British class):

Shunsuke, Anna & Mai are responsible for this video (sitting students):

PART 2: Also, read this chapter (Huh? Oh. Aha!) from an upcoming book by Prof. John Fanselow. As the book hasn’t been published yet, be sure not to give the article to anyone else. It’s only for your eyes. It was sent to me by Prof. Fanselow as a “sneak preview.” In addition, read this informative chapter about OBSERVATION. If you have time, you might also check out this recent article about John Fanselow’s approach (and emphasis on) observation–co-written by me and several of my colleagues.

Homework for Wednesday, November 7th

Many thanks for your Halloween spirit in the last class! Here’s what you should prepare for the next class:

PART 1: Imagining that you will carry out a survey or interview such as the one you’re working on, write an informed consent document using mine as a model and referring to the model prepared by the University of Michigan as well. [Note that the University of Michigan’s form is more detailed than what is usually required for research with human subjects in Japan, but it notes many of the important issues that need to be addressed in the informed consent process.]

PART 2: Further revise your questionnaire (or interview) questions in light of the peer feedback that you received from a classmate (and from me in a few cases). Next Wednesday, I will ask all of you to present your revised survey to the entire class for a critique of it.

PART 3: In our last class, I went over the strengths and weaknesses of your letters (or, more accurately, emails) requesting a colleague’s help in peer reviewing your proposals. I color-coded them for comparison purposes and to highlight what was included and what was left out. Take another look at them, but there is no need for you to revise them.

PART 4: Make a free “surveymonkey” account and experiment with it by trying to adapt your survey to an online format (if possible). Send me the link to your survey before our class…no later than 8:00 PM, Tuesday. [You’ll need to get the link by using the “collect” tab in the surveymonkey system; don’t just copy the URL from the URL box at the top of the page because that won’t work.]

Here are some examples of some questionnaires that I prepared to investigate reading classes here at AGU. Through three separate surveys, we asked students, part-time lecturers, and full-time professors for their input. As you create your own online survey, use these as examples. Notice the demographic questions and balance of closed and open questions:

Reading Survey (for students)

Reading Survey (for PT teachers)

Reading Survey (for full-time professors)

OTHER:  I asked all the students who used PPT for their presentations to provide me with their PPT document so that I could make them available to others in the class. So far, only Yu and Erina have done so. Here is Yu’s brilliant PPT on vignette questions and here is Erina’s attractive PPT on piloting and pre-testing questions. Finally, here is Shunsuke’s excellent PPT on closed questions.

Here are links to surveymonkey surveys prepared by members of our class:

It was great to see Emiko and Yukie Masui at Okawa Sensei’s presentation in Kanda at the ETJ Conference that I told you all about. Did anyone else attend? It was a wonderful conference! Many enthusiastic presenters and participants were in attendance, including such “big name” speakers such as John Fanselow and Carolyn Graham.

Yu gave a great presentation on vignette questions and she shared the PPT on that topic with us. Erina has shared the PPT of her wonderful talk on piloting and pre-testing. Shunsuke’s fine PPT on CLOSED QUESTIONS is also available.

Homework for Halloween

PART 1: Dress in a costume.

Just Kidding! But, feel free to do so if you wish.

PART 2: Various Announements

  1. The Chip & Dale mystery was solved. It seems that Yu had been very speedy in handing in the peer review of Shunsuke’s proposal. I put it in a different envelope from the others as I received Yu’s a few days before everyone else’s. Anyway, Shunsuke can now find the peer-reviewed copy of his paper in the box on my door…complete with Yu’s “Chip & Dale” post-its.
  2. Emiko and Haruka will also be able to find their papers in the box on my door. [I hope you’re doing better now, Haruka.]
  3. For our next class, be sure to write a revised version of your proposal taking into account the comments that were made by your classmates and myself. Also, if the guidelines of the “call for papers” asked for biographical data or a short summary of the abstract for publication in the conference handbook, please hand in those as well. You should hand in the revision along with the previous version of your paper…the one covered with post-its and my messy comments.
  4. I asked all students to come up with a research question that could be researched through the administration of a questionnaire. In addition, I would like you to come up with an outline for that questionnaire. Try to include a combination of open-ended and closed questions in it. Also, consider precisely who will be the target of the questionnaire. Finally, prepare a draft version of a polite request for subjects to respond to your questionnaire.
  5. In our next class we will hear from the following students who still haven’t given their presentations on “asking questions”:

Haruka Wada & Anna Inaba: pp. 146 – 147 What is coding? Coding open questions

Yu Kobayashi: pp. 158 – 159 Vignette questions

Erina Iwai: pp. 159 – 160 Piloting & pre-testing questions plus pp. 160 – 161 Using existing questions

Homework for Wednesday, October 24th


You were asked to write a kind, formal request for help in reviewing your conference proposal. The request was to be sent, by email, to a classmate with whom I paired you, with a CC to me.

Anna with Tomohiro
Erina with Nobumitsu
Emiko with Haruka
Shunsuke with Yu & Mai

One important thing I forgot to mention is that it is essential that you attach the “call for papers” (that gives detailed instructions about what’s needed in your proposal), to the proposal itself. This is necessary for your classmate who is reviewing your paper and for me (Dias). Otherwise, it will be impossible to know whether your proposal conforms to the guidelines and requirements set by the conference organizers. So, definitely be sure to pass on the instructions to your classmate and to me (attach it to the proposal itself!).

Next, you were to write a review of your classmate’s proposal using the rubric that was given to you and the instructions for “writing an informal review.” You were asked to review your classmate’s proposal using post-it notes as much as possible rather than writing directly on the paper.

Finally, you were to pass on the reviewed proposals to Dias by putting them in the box attached to his office door (15-1015)–across the hall from Takeuchi Sensei’s office–no later than Monday, October 22nd.


Here is the reading for our class on 10/24: asking questions PDF, from the book Social Research Methods, 2nd Edition, by Alan Bryman, OUP.

I have broken up the chapter so that various members of the class can present parts of it to the class, while also providing us with examples of their own and an evaluation of the content. We will conduct the class as a workshop that we’ll be jointly conducted by all the members of the class, so, each student is encouraged to have his/her classmates try out the techniques and suggestions covered in the chapter. Here are the parts I will assign to you:

Tomohiro Kato: pp. 145 – 148 Open Questions (not the parts on “coding” that’s in the boxes)

Haruka Wada & Anna Inaba: pp. 146 – 147 What is coding? Coding open questions

Shunsuke Morikawa: pp. 148 – 150 Closed questions

Nobumitsu Nishida & Emiko Kitajima: pp. 150 – 151 Types of questions

Mai Tsukahara: pp. 152 – 157 Rules for designing questions

Yu Kobayashi: pp. 158 – 159 Vignette questions

Erina Iwai: pp. 159 – 160 Piloting & pre-testing questions plus pp. 160 – 161 Using existing questions

Homework for Wednesday, October 17th


Almost half of the students in the class gave their presentations about the professional organization (focused on teaching, linguistics or pragmatics) that they researched. The remaining five students will conduct their presentations on Oct. 17th: Mai, Yu, Emiko, Erina and Anna.

Please keep your audience in mind. I asked you to imagine that you were an official representative for the organization and you were visiting our class to promote the work of the organization and to try to recruit members. Therefore, your presentation should not be simply a collection of “facts” about the group, but a plea for participation and the promotion of what is most interesting, and potentially useful, about it. Only Nobumitsu seemed to remember the purpose of the presentation, although his PPT slides were a bit too “information dense” and he covered details that might be irrelevant to people considering membership.

Although I gave you a list of questions to research, it doesn’t mean that you need to cover the answers to ALL of them in your presentation in a systematic way. Use the information that’s necessary for the purpose. That’s the main point of this task: selecting from a large body of information what’s necessary and what isn’t and making appropriate use of it for the purpose at hand. Please confine your presentation to no more than seven minutes.


I looked at all of your outlines for conference proposals in our last class and gave you my blessing for fleshing them out and preparing formal proposals that follow the “call for papers” guidelines of your selected conference. By the next class, you should print out the guidelines and your proposal to hand in. The proposal should include everything that the “call for papers” requests, which may include a summarized version of your abstract for the conference program and biographical information.

Something that concerned me when I was looking at your plans for proposals was evidence I saw of the “recycling” of work that you had already submitted for other purposes. This class will take a process writing approach to the improvement of your written work. If you hand in writing that has already been worked over and perfected, it is unlikely that your writing skills will be enhanced. So, in subsequent assignments, please hand in original work that you have not “re-purposed” for our class. [Perhaps I should be happy because checking “recycled” work would be less laborious for me, but I want to put first priority on the improvement of your writing.]

During our next class, before you hand in your proposal to me, we will give each other some peer feedback using a rubric that was prepared by TESOL for judging proposals. I know that the rubric is not completely applicable to proposals for presentations at linguistics or pragmatics conferences, but we will use the parts that are relevant.

Here’s the rubric: (you’ll need to scroll down to find it). It might help you to write a better proposal if you look at the rubric before you begin writing it.


Last time, I only picked up the table of contents of English for Academic Correspondence and Socializing from Mai and Emiko. Would the others please give me theirs, with recommendations about what they would like to study in this class, on Oct. 17th?

Dias’ note to himself: Bring a copy of the rubric for everyone. Create a feedback form for those who will do the vetting. Further clarify the next assignment on the use of questions.

Homework for Wednesday, October 10th

Choose a professional organization (not just a conference!) and inform Dias which organization you chose by Friday, October 5th. No one should choose the same organization; first come, first served. If two or more people select the same organization, Dias will ask those who were not the first to inform him, to make a different selection. Just for your information, these are the selections that have been made so far:

  1. Mai Tsukahara: [JACET–Japan Association of College English Teachers]
  2. Erina Iwai: [The Japanese Association Of Sociolinguistic Sciences (社会言語科学会)]
  3. Shunsuke Morikawa: [JASTEC–Japan Association for the Study of Teaching English to Children]
  4. Nobumitsu Nishida: [IPrA–The International Pragmatics Association]
  5. Haruka Wada: [ELEC–The English Language Education Council, Inc.]
  6. Emiko Kitajima: [SIETAR–Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research]
  7. Tomohiro Kato: [English Linguistic Society of Japan (日本英語学会)]
  8. Yu Kobayashi: [JES–It’s not the The Japan Endocrine Society or The Japan Epilepsy Society, but I’m not sure what it stands for.]
  9. Anna Inaba: [JAITS (日本通訳翻訳学会:The Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies)]

Each student will have to introduce his/ her chosen organization to the class in a presentation. Imagine that you are a formal representative from the organization who has come to AGU in order to recruit new members. Therefore, your presentation should show the organization in its best light. Presentations should be no more than 7 minutes each–including Q & A. In addition to answering all the questions about it (listed below), you may make an emotional appeal by showing what is so exceptional about the organization using testimonials or examples of what the organization has done for individuals involved in it, such as the woman in this YouTube video who speaks about her first-time involvement in a TESOL conference in the U.S.:

The following questions will help you to EXPLAIN about the organization you chose. Research and prepare to introduce the organization to class. [Please note that Dias added a few more questions.]

  • What does the organization specialize in?
  • How does one become a member?
  • When and where are its conferences or meetings held?
  • How can you become an officer and what roles do the officers have?
  • What are the organization’s accomplishments to date?
  • Can you find any testimonials given by members of the organization? If so, show some of them.
  • What affiliations does the group have with other organizations?
  • What publications, if any, does the group produce?
  • Does the group have any professional development opportunities, other than conferences?
  • Does the organization help with job hunting? If so, how?
  • Is the organization involved in any social justice or volunteer activities?
  • How do the members of the group keep in touch with each other (for example, do they have a mailing list, Facebook page or Twitter feed)?
  • What do you think about this group and can you see yourself as a member?

Find an INTERNATIONAL academic or teaching conference that deals with a topic that interests you. The conference need not be one which is associated with the organization you selected in Part 1 of the homework. Make sure that the conference has an open “call for papers,” which means that the deadline for submitting proposals has not passed. The best way to find such a conference is by using the conference search page on The Linguist List: . At the top of that page, I would strongly advise you to click in the circle for “Calls” (NOT “Calls & Conferences”) and “Current” (not “All”); select your linguistic field, or the closest category to it, at the bottom of the page (“Applied Linguistics” for language teaching-related conferences).

You can see an example of a “call for papers” for an upcoming conference in Thailand by going here: .

You should read the “call for papers” connected to your chosen conference carefully and, by next Wednesday, try to come up with a plan for a presentation you would like to give at the conference. At this point, the plan should include:

  • a tentative title
  • a thesis statement
  • an outline of what you would want to cover in the presentation

Also, please print out the “call for papers” and bring it to class so that we can put them on the OHC and compare them.

Special thanks to Shunsuke Morikawa who considerately summarized the  homework and sent it to me (Dias) along with the email addresses of most of his classmates, making it possible to get in touch with those of you who had not sent me their contact details yet. That kind of comradery and cooperation is much appreciated.

1 Response to Clarification of Homework

  1. Jodias says:

    I just received the good news this morning that my proposal to present at the TESOL conference in Dallas, Texas next March was accepted, after a few years of rejections. Here’s what an acceptance notice looks like:

    Dear Joseph,

    Congratulations! Your proposal, number 256998, titled, “Student-created intercultural simulations,” has been accepted for the TESOL 2013 ( convention program, held on 20-23 March 2013 in Dallas, Texas USA. Being accepted is quite an accomplishment; the acceptance rate was only 26%. Your proposal was among the best of the best.

    We invite you to attend the convention and present your session on 3/21/2013 at 12:30 PM in room 512 at the Convention Center. If you have co-presenters, please notify them as soon as possible. To ensure that your presentation is of the highest professional quality, please read the following information carefully. It will tell you what to do next.

    Your Session in the Program Book

    You will have until 5 pm EST, Wednesday, 31 October 2012, to make any necessary changes to the presenters, title, or abstract for your session. Any changes at this point should be minor and should not change the scope of your session. The information you provide will appear in the convention Program Book.

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