Sunday, May 27, 2007

Upcoming presentation in Nagoya

JALT CUE Conference in Nagoya
The JALT CUE SIG Conference (Japan Association of Language Teachers, College and University Educators Special Interest Group) will be held in Nagoya on June 23 and 24. The theme is "Promoting Lifelong Learning" and it will be held at Sugiyama Jogakuen University.

I've recently learned that my presentation proposal "Beyond Journaling: Informal Writing for Critical Thinking". I'm planning to talk about informal writing assignments and how they can be used to promote critical thinking skills, to actively engage students with course material, and to offer opportunities for improvement in the four skill areas.

I think informal writing assignments are great because they allow students to focus on their ideas and connections to course material. Plus, I think as more and more students blog, they are writing "informally". If you've used informal writing assignments in the ESL/EFL class, please leave me a comment about your experience!


Charles Nelson said...

I have my students blog on topics they're interested in. Sort of like the intensive-extensive approach to reading, I figure that although students must learn formal aspects of writing, as in "intensive" essays, they also need to be able to write without worrying about those aspects, too.

Mary H said...

Thanks, Charles. I think the type of project you describe is really a great way to get students interested and involved in an area of study that interests them.

After visiting your blog, Explorations in Learning, I noticed that you had posts about various topics, such as the teacher's role and the use of PowerPoint and lectures--very interesting!

I think that informal writing assignments can be used to break up a lecture, involve students, and get feedback on their learning. For example, in a lecture class, ask students to do a quick write on the lecture's main points so far, or to write questions about the lecture material that they would like to ask the teacher.

In the field of EFL/ESL, most classrooms don't have a big lecture component; however, many of our students are preparing for university classrooms where they will most likely encounter lecture. By exposing them to informal writing, I hope some students will use it on their own in the future as a tool to sharpen their understanding and to think critically about course material. Becoming an independent learner is important!

Claudia Ceraso said...


I would really like to learn more about that presentation on informal writing assignments. Hope you post the slides/audio o comments here in your blog.

Look forward to it.


Mary H said...

Hi Claudia,
I would be happy to share the presentation and related materials after the conference! Plus, it will be a good opportunity for me to try out Slideshare!

Larry Ferlazzo said...

Thanks for your nice comment on my Learning with Computers post. I hope you find those grammar links helpful.

I look forward to reading future posts on your blog.

I'd also definitely recomment Charles Nelson's blog, especially his posts on error correction.

Mary H said...

Hi Larry,
You're welcome! I really enjoyed your post at the Learning with Computers blog, and also the great links you have shared from your own blog as well! We will definitely have to keep reading each other's blogs, then!!

aschwar said...


I have only now just discovered your blog (through Facebook) and I was curious about the presentation you gave in Nagoya. I know this was several months ago, but do you still have the slides from this presentation?