Supplementing Reading Materials for Secondary Textbook Lessons

Iwate JALT will have a meeting on April 20, 2014 at AIINA in Morioka. We will be hosting a talk by Peter J.Collins from the Foreign Language Center at Tokai University. The title of the talk will be, “Supplementing Reading Materials for Secondary Textbook Lessons.”

Location: AIINA, ROOM 602
Date April 20, 2014
Time: From 1:30pm – 4:30pm(13:30-16:30)
Cost: Free for JALT members. ¥1000 for non-members. ¥500
for full-time students.
Contact: phone/fax: 019-663-3132


**Scroll down for Japanese abstract

To help senior high students battle textbook passages on global warming, insect
communication, or the importance of cross-cultural understanding, we traditionally
arm them with vocabulary lists, choral readings, and other pre-reading routines. We
then wade into Part 1 of the lesson, counting on the yakudoku approach to “guarantee”
comprehension of the contents and the writer’s message. Later, once we’ve translated the
last line of Part 3, we shift into the post-reading phase, evaluating students’ memory of the
contents and their ability to reproduce the target grammar structures.
This sequence, while time-honored, leaves much to be desired. For one thing, it
overlooks students’ need for more authentic while-reading experiences. For another, it
leaves us entirely dependent on the textbook reading passages for understanding – and
enjoyment – of the historical, scientific, social, and cultural topics introduced. Broader
contexts and key information are often lacking in these passages, however, resulting in
spotty comprehension and low reader interest, for both teachers and students.
In this session, we’ll explore one way to enrich students’ reading experience:
introducing supplementary reading materials. By analyzing a textbook lesson in terms of
its reading purpose, its organization, and its message, we can plan and create readings
which 1) deepen and/or broaden student understanding of the textbook contents and 2)
recycle target language in new contexts in order to help students 3) identify and organize
key information with a communication goal in mind. Sample readings, created by Japanese
secondary teachers and accompanied by self-study worksheets, will be shared. Participants
are encouraged to bring textbooks they are currently using – Junior 1-3, Communication
English 1-2, or Reading – as we will have time to analyze specific lessons and brainstorm
ways to supplement them with extra readings.

Speaker Bio:

After teaching English at secondary schools in Kenya, Taiwan, and Mexico, Peter received his MA in TEFL at the School for International Training in Vermont. He came to Japan in 1995, and in 2004 joined Tokai University’s Higher Research Institute of Educational Development (RIED), which supported and advised JTEs and ALTs at junior and senior high schools around the country. He has contributed to three MEXT-approved textbooks: empathy Oral Communication I and Magic Hat English I and II, and One World English for junior high. This month, Peter started at Tokai University’s Foreign Language Center. His research interests include teacher collegiality, learner autonomy and ways to extend textbook lessons communicatively.




About jasohill

Teacher in Japan and landscape photographer.
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