What We in Japan Can Learn from the Language Education Experiences of the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain
Martin Parsons (阪南大学)
Basque is the oldest living language in Europe, with no known relative languages. It is spoken in a single small region in Spain and France. Basque became a co-official language in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) in Spain in 1978. Various models of education were used to revive and normalise Basque. In recent years, CLIL approaches to English language education have also been instrumental in improving outcomes. Linguistic and cultural similarities between Japan and the BAC suggest that this may represent a valuable example for Japanese educators and policy makers to explore when considering English language education policy and practice.
The Impacts of Using Sports-Related Reading Materials in a High-School Sports-Course
One of the pressing issues for many English teachers is how to effectively conduct English lessons in schools where the main focus of the school is not on achieving a high academic status but rather on learning something related to students’ future professions, such as commerce, industry and sports. In the presentation, the presenter’s teaching practice at a Japanese high school sports course was presented. Instead of using a university entrance examination-oriented reading textbook, the presenter created and conducted each lesson using self-made sports-related reading materials. From the comments in the post-teaching questionnaire, students’ motivational changes and their positive attitude toward English learning with sports-related materials were found. Students commented very positively saying they learned not only English but also the subject matter, which motivated them to engage in each lesson. For a further improvement in teaching, the presenter pointed out some issues such as class management, performance-based assessment, adjusting the level of teaching materials. Although there are still some challenges, the presenter strongly hopes that this type of teaching practice ultimately contributes to the creation of English classrooms in which sports-major students can discover the joy of learning English and broaden their own potentials through their English learning.