May 19th, 2012 - The "SHARP-Do" and "Book Buddies" projects: Two stories of grant-funded work by foreign language teachers.

posted May 23, 2012, 6:03 AM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:26 AM ]
Marcus Springer, Chris Tebbe

This presentation, will explore 2 Suruga Grant funded projects initiated by foreign language teachers. The first project, the Shizuoka Action Research and Professional Development Organization (SHARP-DŌ), was a research-based organization for foreign and Japanese teachers in Shizuoka. It was founded by Christopher Tebbe and Marcus Springer with a goal of providing teachers practical ideas for the classroom and encourage greater communication/collaboration between Japanese and foreign teachers. The seminars, held between March 2011 and April 2012, were facilitated by either Tebbe, Springer or university professors and covered a range of topics such as action research, error correction, and extensive writing. Following each meeting, attending teachers had an opportunity to share lesson plan ideas as well as ask for and receive guidance on their lessons.

The second project, called Book Buddies and scheduled for the 2012 academic year, was founded by Amanda Dove and Marcus Springer. It seeks to encourage literacy and multicultural awareness for bilingual children, ages 6-9, in Kakegawa city. This will be done through group readings of graded readers and expansion activities that take advantage of the cultural points highlighted in the stories.

Marcus Springer first came to Japan for a short stint in 1999 as an eikaiwa teacher. After returning to the U.S.A. and completing his MA in Bicultural Bilingual Studies - English as a Second Language, Marcus returned to Japan through the JET Programme and taught at Futamata High School in Tenryu for 2 years.  He now works at the Shizuoka Ken General Education Center supporting the Teachers' Consultants in providing in-service training for prefectural teachers at all levels.  Since 2008, Marcus has facilitated workshops and presented to various groups on topics including action research, the purpose of education in Japan, teaching reading strategies, student motivation, scaffolding, and student assessment.  He has been a member the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies action research group since 2009.  In 2011, he co-founded the Shizuoka Action Research and Professional Development Organization (SHARP-DO).  In 2012, he co-founded the Adventures in Books and Cultures Club (ABC Club).

Chris Tebbe began his career in language instruction by teaching German to university students and earning an MA in German from the University of Cincinnati. Since then he has taught English in Austria, served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in the People's Republic of China, and worked as a fourth-grade ESL teacher in a New York City public elementary school. While in New York City, he also earned an MA in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University. Mr. Tebbe arrived in Japan in 2007 and worked as a JET Programme ALT in two high schools in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. He is currently the Prefectural Advisor for JET Programme ALTs in Shizuoka prefecture. He has also co-founded SHARP-DO (SHizuoka Action Research and Professional Development Organization) in order to help ALTs and JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English) improve their teaching skills. Furthermore, Chris served as the Co-ordinator of the JALT Junior and Senior High School Special Interest Group (JSHS SIG) from 2009 to 2011.

May 19, 2012