1. Kate Elwood（早稲田大学）
"Student-generated discussion questions and CLIL"
In my presentation, I shared the results of research I conducted regarding student-generated discussion questions. In two advanced-level Media English classes, students were asked to create two discussion questions each week related to an assigned section of a business podcast. After using these questions as the basis for small-group discussions, students also submitted homework reflecting on which discussion questions provoked the deepest engagement among the classmates in their group and what they thought the reasons these questions engendered the most active participation were.
Analysis of the data yielded four main findings: 1) Different topics lead to different types of generated questions; 2) Frequencies of generated questions and questions evaluated for engagement post-discussion differ, particularly for analysis and problem-solving questions, which were noted as effective in engagement post-discussion despite having been relatively less frequent types in the pre-discussion question generation; 3) Different opinions, interesting examples and opinions, and a sense of discovery were most often considered as the reasons that the evaluated questions contributed to engagement in the discussion; and 4) Many students have clear tendencies in evaluating engagement.
2. Curtis Revis（徳山工業高等専門学校）
"Critical Thinking in English: a CLIL Course to Increase Student
Engagement in Learning"
In a 2017 survey of almost 500 students at the National Institute of Technology, Tokuyama College, participants indicated that while they understood English was important to their lives, they perceived little actual connection between English as a foreign language and their present school lives or careers after school. In response to this, a new course, informed by CLIL methodologies, was started titled “Critical Thinking in English” to change student perceptions of the English they learn at school as being both relevant and authentic. To measure the effectiveness of the course in reaching these goals, student responses to a survey conducted after Critical Thinking in English (2021) and English Conversation (2022) were given. Almost 200 students responded to these identical surveys. The two courses were similar in number of students, ages, educational backgrounds, and exposure to English, but differed in materials and expressed learning goals. EC (2022) used a professionally produced textbook and audio-visual materials, while CTE-CLIL (2021) used handouts produced by the teacher. The expressed learning goals for CTE-CLIL were to use English as a foreign language tool to help students improve their critical thinking skills; in EC, this was to improve the students’ English conversation skills. For clarity’s sake, the results of the survey were divided into five categories: Teacher Performance and Class Materials, Perceived Effectiveness of Education, Perceived Authenticity or Value, Perceived Interest and Confidence in English, and Perceived Critical Thinking Awareness. CTE-CLIL outperformed EC In all categories except Teacher Performance and Class Materials, with the largest differences between the two courses were in Perceived Critical Thinking Awareness (21% in favor of CTE-CLIL) and Perceived Educational Effectiveness (around 15% in favor of CTE-CLIL). Furthermore, and surprisingly, students rated CTE-CLIL as more effective at increasing their interest in and confidence using English as a foreign language despite EC’s learning goal being to improve the students’ English conversation skills. Based on these results, it is in the opinion of the teacher and researcher that Critical Thinking in English convinced the students that this school subject was both relevant and authentic. This may have been because the students felt they were doing something with the English they were learning, and because they could see a use for the subject content beyond the classroom, which is something they may not have perceived in the English Conversation course. In short, the CLIL methods in Critical Thinking in English were successful at increasing student engagement in learning.