Celebrating Changes and Innovation in Language Education
Presenting the 2018 Plenary Speaker
Professor Makoto Ikeda
Title CLIL for challenges and changes in English language education in Japan
Abstract ELT (English language teaching) in Japan has a long history of disappointing social expectations for preparing good English communicators. The culprits might be linguistic distance (English is very different from Japanese), social environment (English is rarely used in everyday life) and teaching methodology (English is mainly taught for entrance examinations). Although CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) cannot address all these challenges in learning English in Japan, it does offer some solutions and beyond as a holistic educational approach. In this talk, I will first discuss how CLIL is conceptually and theoretically different from the existing language-focused methodologies (e.g. the grammar translation method, audiolingualism, Communicative Language Teaching), share sample CLIL tasks designed to complement conventional language activities, and then present actual changes CLIL has brought into the classroom, taking the CLIL maths programme at a primary school in Sendai as a case study. What I would argue as a conclusion is that CLIL is not just intended for language skills, which students are expected to learn for future possible use, but rather for soft skills (i.e. general purpose competences), which they are required to acquire in the ongoing rapidly changing globalised world.
Bio MAKOTO IKEDA is a professor in English philology and English language education in the Department of English Literature at Sophia University, where he is currently serving as head of department. He received his MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from King’s College London and his PhD in English Philology from Sophia University. He has written various CLIL methodology books and articles for practitioners and researchers in Japan and delivered numerous invited lectures, seminars and workshops for Japanese, Asian and European audiences. His recent publications include co-authored CLIL: New challenges in foreign language education at Sophia University (Vols, 1-3) (Sophia University Press, 2011-2016) and co-authored Introduction to historical sociolinguistics (Taishukan-shoten, 2015). He guest-edited the special issue of The International CLIL Research Journal focusing on CLIL in Japan (2013), and is currently working on research about the precise nature of integration in CLIL, particularly how grammatical and lexical items are unconsciously acquired while students are consciously engaged in content learning.