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2010 Meeting Minutes

April 11th, 2010 - Types, Tokens and Patterns: Beginning Corpus Linguistics

posted Jan 15, 2012, 11:07 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 15, 2012, 11:08 PM ]

Types, Tokens and Patterns: Beginning Corpus Linguistics

Matt Smith

In this presentation, Matt showed how easily a computer corpus can help us see patterns in language. Some dictionaries now show the most common patterns that a given word takes on in discourse, based on corpus data, such as the word “decide: V wh-; V to V” with V indicating a verb. So the word “decide” often appears before interrogatives, such as in “decide whether . . .” or before to-infinitives, such as “decide to call . . .”. This information can help both teachers and students see the patterns of how words are used to express meaning. Matt gave the audience a number of examples of concordances (data showing the behavior of a given word) with which we could identify patterns and their implications. He suggested three main sources: The Bank of English, British National Corpus (BNC), and Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) as large, reliable computer sites that can be accessed. The presentation was well prepared, well informed and to the point.

Reported by Dan Frost

March 14th, 2010 - Managing Your Class Online with Moodle: Introduction with Q&A

posted Jan 15, 2012, 11:04 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:41 AM ]

Managing Your Class Online with Moodle: Introduction with Q&A

Kevin Ryan

Moodle - many of us heard of it but few knew exactly what it was or how to use it. Kevin Ryan, an e-learning specialist and lecturer at Showa Woman's University in Tokyo shared a "hands on" demonstration explaining some of the basic procedures involved and fielding questions as the presentation went along. Despite having to hold the presentation in a Japanese tatami room with no internet access, Ryan made Moodle basics clear and easy to understand. Participants learned of the numerous functions contained in Moodle along with some background in it's making. With this presentation under my belt, I am ready to give it a try!

Reported by Jon Dujmovich

March, 2010

February 14th, 2010 - Introducing word roots in discussion classes

posted Jan 15, 2012, 10:46 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:43 AM ]

Introducing word roots in discussion classes

Kevin Demme

Kevin Demme presented a fascinating workshop and look at word roots. Mr.Demme added to the enjoyment of the afternoon by giving an articulate manifestation of his genuine love for the history and pattern of the English language. Teachers acquired an efficient method to add to their toolbox that will give students a few pattern epiphanies instead of having them memorize vocabulary word by word. Participants were given some challenging activities such as creating definitions for esoteric words, then pairs had to figure which among the many created ones was the correct definition supplied by Mr. Demme. We are thankful to Mr. Demme for giving us a reinvigorated appreciation of the logic and rich history of the English language.

Reported by Patrick Hanchar

Feb, 2010

January 17th, 2010 - Teaching the Strategies of Speaking & Teaching Listening to Low-Level Learners

posted Jan 15, 2012, 10:40 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 15, 2012, 10:44 PM ]

Teaching the Strategies of Speaking & Teaching Listening to Low-Level Learners

Alastair Graham­-Marr

PART I: Teaching the Strategies of Speaking: helping students with fluency,
involvement and clarification strategies
All of us use strategies when we speak. We use strategies to confirm or clarify what we're saying
and what we're hearing. We use strategies to show interest, to maintain and develop
conversations. We use strategies that help with fluency. Learners of English in particular use
strategies to compensate for their lack of language. Helping students be aware of and learn to
apply different communication strategies is both motivating and a knowledge they can put to
immediate use.

PART II: Teaching Listening to Low-Level Learners
Teaching listening effectively means teaching both phonology and knowledge of discourse. A
working knowledge of the phonology of natural connected speech, elisions and liaisons, weak
forms and reductions helps students with their 'bottom-up' decoding skills. Developing student
knowledge of discourse, particularly of scripts (those discourses in English that tend to follow a
set pattern) helps them with their 'top-down' predictive skills.

Alastair Graham-Marr
, Masters of Appl. Ling., has been teaching in Japan for over 15 years.
He is currently an Associate Professor at Tokai University in Tokyo and an editor at ABAX
publishing. . He is author of several textbooks including "Communication Spotlight: Speaking
Strategies & Listening Skills", a recently published textbook for Oral Communication classes at
the college level.

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