July 13th, 2008 - Students’ Voices on Learning a Foreign Language: Open Forum

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:01 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:50 AM ]

Students’ Voices on Learning a Foreign Language: Open Forum

On July 13, 2008 from 1:30-4:30pm Hamamatsu JALT had a very dynamic and open discussion, centering on students' views of learning a foreign language. Twelve people attended, six students and six teachers. This was the first time we tried having students themselves as the main presenters, ranging from beginners to more advanced learners.

The students who presented were from Japan, Brazil, Sweden and Australia. They discussed their experiences learning either English or Japanese as a foreign language. Most students said that mere memorization in secondary school was not very helpful for their learning. They also mentioned that study which focusses only on tests tends to move too fast, and their abilities to understand and communicate don't keep up! Many said that using television, music, videos, etc. were helpful and enjoyable ways too learn. At the same time, they also felt that having a good understanding of grammar, not only of the target language, but of their own language, was also important. Everyone had a chance to speak, so people left the meeting satisfied that they had both learned something and been able to share their own experiences.

Reported by Dan Frost

July, 2008