at GLoCALL 2021
Prof. Dr. Thomas Robb Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan
Thomas Robb, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, is Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Sangyo University. He is a long-time user of CALL and the Internet, and has created a number of websites and applications for Extensive Reading, student projects, interactive learning and professional exchange. One site for extensive reading, mreader.org has over 100,000 student users in 40+ countries. He has been President of JALT, served on the Board of Directors of International TESOL, and is the past president PacCALL. He is Chair of Extensive Reading Foundation, the editor of TESL-EJ, the first online journal for ELT, and the founder of the annual GLoCALL conference.
With the advent of the pandemic, classroom-based teachers have been forced online but are still teaching in the same way, with a high percentage of "teacher talk" but with too little "on task" practice time. Dr. Paul Nation, of the University of Victoria at Wellington has proposed a model the "Four Strands" model which suggests that for any aspect of language learning, be it reading, writing, listening or speaking, 4 kinds of foci are needed, 1) "Meaning focused input", 2) "Meaning focused output", 3) "Fluency Practice" and 4) "Language Focused Learning". He asserts that each skill that is to be learnt should include 25% of each kind of activity. Sadly, for any kind of language instruction, both on-class or online, the "Language Focused Learning" aspect often comprises most of the activities. This is traditional "study" while the other three strands comprise practice. In other words, we are feeding them knowledge but providing them with few opportunities to practice what they are studying. This workshop will examine some common technology-based activities that the teacher might assign for each skill and how they might work as a practice activity rather than one that is purely for language-focused learning.