Toru's TESOL Life

My Reflective Thought on TESOL-related Lecture,Books,and Articles. Also, Useful Information Links. This blog stops posting new articles now. My current blog is as follows. This blog is mainly on thought about my teaching days and private life.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I recently have three interviews.

One is from my classmate who write some reports to journals on English learning, second is from company related TOEIC company, and final is from a write writing reports to STEP(Eiken).

Through those experiences, i could have chances to reflect my self. Interactions is really meaningful for not only offering some information to them, but also specify and systematize what i am now thinking.

Through lifes in this grad school,

1) i could increase my pockets from which i elicit approaches and methods based on different students' needs.

2) i could expand networks with various people related English education, like teachers in university level, conversation school, publishing company, whether or not they are native or non-native.

3) i could gain basic skills of how i do research in classroom and one school level. When i have a problem in classroom, i would analyze more deeply than before and take some steps base on data i got.

All three are not perfect one, but would be in the middle of development, but they are what i got during my two years in Tokyo.
Anyway, i would like to thank them to give a chance of reflexing my experience, learning, and teaching.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Get a feeling for a language!

The lecturer, Dr.C, in the class of Applied Linguistcs speaks and writes a lot about how we quickly can acquire our target languages. He researches it from the perspectives of pragmatics and psychology, and neuro-science. Though i had never though about the topic deeply, and i am no knowledge of the three perspectives, what he speaks and writes is really intriguing!

He said what learners grasp is not the traditional four skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), but a sort of language feeling. He seems to try a way for leanrers to get that feeling where they can easily in a mood of the world where the target languages are dinamically used. Moreover, once they get a feeling, it is likely to occur a transfer from the one mode like reading to other mode like listening.

I remembered my experience as a learner of my target language, English. I practiced speaking when i was in a conversational school, and i felt i was really motivated to learn English, because i could get a feeling of the language, in restrospect. I practiced speaking skill, but at the same time, I passed along the way to get close and close to a kind of core of English, which are surrounded by the four skills.

He writes about various cases of people who can speak other languages they hardly use in their daily lives, like people whose both brain hemispheres are the same size(most of people has larger left-brain than right one according to Dr.C), those who can seem to recall and speak other languages they almost never uses, believed by some as raincarneted soul, and those who can "use" other-self speaking other languages they never use, to handle severe situation, called dissociative identity disorder(DID), also called Tajujinkaku in Japan. Though the his research seems to scratch the surrounding, and core has not yet been clear, his articles, comments, and lecture give me lots of insight, and make me think seriously about how i should change my perspectives of English learning and teaching.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Your Pronounciation

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

North Central
The West
The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I found an interesting cite above from my mixi friend. His blog is actually intelligent, and also fun!!
It is for examining your own accent in U.S. The cite judge in what part you are from. If you are not from U.S. Do not worry. I am not from U.S neither. The cite tell you what kind of English pronounciation you have acquired until now. Check it out!!

Please copy and paste the cite address above into address entry box.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Relationships between TESOL and other field

I attended open hour of TUJ distinguied lecture on Statistics. His lecture was intriguing, but did not explain much about the Rasch model, new approach useful to assess learner's performance. I expected to hear something about Rasch model, or how we applied the insight into teaching and testing phase, but he did not explain about it. It was natural because it is just open hour to stimulate and motivate audience who were not so interested in testing.

Actually i thought it is good to attend after open hour if the lecture is suitable for me, but what he says was too broad. At the same time, what he write on his book is not so directly applicable to language testing. So i gave up staying after open hour, and decided to read some parts of his books by myself.

But i could not keep on my motivation to read throughout the book, because his example is not language education. Thanks to insight of Stats, TESOL field have evolved a lot, stats field itself are really deep and wide! I understood what i shoud aim is not deeping my knowledge itself, but gaining insight about how i incorporate these stats knowlege into my teaching and testing phase.
The famous professro at Kansai area says, we should investigate validity not reliability, as langauge teachers and testers. That is true, i think. I found out my limitation of deepen my insight about reliability during this book, and understand what i should do, examining validity.

But anyway, i found something about the relationships of TESOL and other field, for example, subject of english is related to subject of Japanese about what we should teach and help students learn, and subject of english is related to subject of math about how we should assess students cognitive level. The former is around validity, and the latter is around reliability. Well i know i cannot express what i want to say, but it is okay at least for now.

OK, there are four month left until i restart teaching! I have two things i want to do until then.

1. Preparation for Graduation test, to go over what i learnerd at TUJ, which is useful to increase my number of pockets containing variou methods, approaches, techniques and theories i would use after restart teaching.

2. There are two researches. i want to examine and write. After taking the graduation test, i will focus on writing the two papers based on the researches.

3. I attend one more class about vocabulary. it is useful as teacher and researcher, 'cause lexicon would be a core area from prepheral one for language learning field, i guess.


Saturday, November 11, 2006


For the first time in my life, test implemented during a course or a class shoud be CRT. NRT is mainly implemented even during a course or a class in most of high school i guess. At TUJ, there are various tests i have taken. Though many program related to TESOL are focusing on thesis not test, TUJ gives students many chances to take tests, partly because it expect students to be a teacher or practioner with broader knowledge on TESOL, rather than be a researcher or a scholar, i guess.

Three types of CRT at TUJ are impressive for me.

First one is Dr.A's tests made up of definition section and essey section. definition and essey question requres us to memorize TESOL terminology, and summarize students' own opinion based on the terminology. Through these tests, i have made a sort of funcation of knowlege about TESOL.

Second one is Dr.J's multiple choice tests. The class do not ask us to produce English at all. It asks us to understand the concept taught at the class, and show students already understand that. So his choice of the way of testing is reasonable.

Final one is Dr.C's essey tests. His questions is not the same as the questions showen in Study guide. It is contrastive with Dr.A's test where his questions is roughly the same as study sheet he passed out before the test. His question on the test questions not only about our knowledge about TESOL but also how the incorporate them into our perspective. So the basic knowlege is perhaps useful to write essesy on the test, but it cannot directly applied into our production.
But i guess his essey tests is most close to COMP that we have to take for our graduation. Though his test looks complicated, it questions and try to assess our underlying insight sinking beneath our surfice on TESOL field.

Through the test at TUJ, i have studied again about the content what i had learned before the test. The three type of tests successfully occued positive washback. Moreover, tests using our writing ability effectively made me deepen our insight. Though writing test is difficult to have high reliability, it seems to succeed in rising validity.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

3 more credits

My mother and sister came to Tokyo on business, so i went to Shinagawa to meet them. It made me refreshed again. Shinagawa is one of my favorite places in Tokyo, as it has lots of diverse climate from various people around world. It is totally different from where i am now living. I cannot believe both is in Tokyo!

By the way, I need 3 more classes for graduation after i take graduation examination at the grad school. Really famous professor will be here to give a regular lecture. Though i am interested in his lecture, and what he will teach (on vocabulary), i will have to go back to Hokkaido by the end of march. And the lecture will last until April... I hope to spend my last month, March, for preparing next school year when i restart teaching after the sort of subbatical two years. So i am thinking of collecting credit from three lecture series.

But it is hard to collect 3 credits from three different classes as well as take one 3-credit-regular course. Especially, the first one i will take on research method sounds really hard for me, gueesing from the course description. but it seems intersting too, because it seems usefull for my future, and i won't get a chance to gain that kind of research skill after i go back to Hokkaido. And the two classess, builingualism, and reflective practice, respectively, also sounds intruguing for me, 'cause both are just what i have got interested in recently for various reasons.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


I went to JALT for the first time on 3rd and 4th November. it was really good experience for me. The objective to go to JALT was following.

1. know how it is to present what they learn and research in biggest association in Japan related to English education, JALT.

2. learn more about field of testing.

3. get some hints to reaserch based on classroom, when i restart teaching at high school.

4. know with each other who knows with on line but not in real world to expand my network.

1. what and how they presente pretty much depend on individual presenters. i understand what is important is at first send what i will research to some associations, and let them know i am here.

2. i could not visit not so many presentation as i had expected. but vocalburaly research using Rasch analysis, comparison of percentage of use of L1 and L2 in classrooms, and comparing the attitude toward reading tasks are interesting. before visiting such presentations, i though we had to present concrete and practical data and implication from the researches, but i understand, what is important is just let participants know what they researched and get feedback from them, and it does not matter much about what kind of stats they used, though too humble one won't be accepted.

3. one type i would be able to do is comparing two classes, one with some methods or approaches i use, and the other one without them. another one is researching one grade students' data of tests or grades and make them related to some other valuables. About former one, i would like to compare the two reading classes, and about the latter one, i would like to examine about relationships about test or grade scores and motivation.

4. i was able to make an acqauintance with two people. i know themon line, but i had not met them. They were really wonderful, and stimulated mine. They were so refective about their own career, that i learned it essential for me. I hope to keep in touch with them to expland our network. and i could let one presenter know me. He is also high school teacher in Hokkaido. He presented really interesting topic. Because i will join association in hokkaido when i restart teaching, to let him know me was meaningful for me.

I really like the JALT's climate. they look international, peacefull, and energetic. Though i have participated in secondary level association, but it mainly focuses on practicality. i don't mean to say they are bad, they were meanigful for me, but i felt i would like to participate a little bit more theory-oriented, rationale-based one. I felt theory and practice are mixed with good balance in JALT. i will come next year.