22 December 2022 at 6:54:11 am
Naruto University of Education
Suzanne Kamata is an American who has been living and teaching EFL in Japan at various levels for over thirty years. She currently teaches core English subjects and academic writing at Naruto University of Education. She is also the Coordinator of the Literature in Language Teaching Special Interest Group of the Japan Association for Language Teaching. In addition to academic papers on creative writing in the EFL classroom, she has edited three anthologies, and published three books for emerging readers, as well as several novels, a memoir, and a short story collection, The Beautiful One Has Come (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing. Her short stories sometimes incorporate Japanese folklore.
Creating Mash-up Stories in the EFL Classroom
mash-up, creative writing, storytelling, EFL, folktales
The New Japanese Course of Study set forth by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology calls for the implementation of the Active Learning methodology in English and other foreign language classes, including interactive discussions among students, debates, and presentations. This is intended to counter the tendency of Japanese language teachers to reply upon the “grammar and translation” method and foster deeper learning among students who may have relied upon rote memorization to succeed at school. While the guidelines advocate for integrated linguistic activities, they do not emphasize creativity. Creative writing, however, offers opportunities for students to develop communicative skills, increase vocabulary, and is often highly motivating. Creative writing and storytelling need not be confined to solo writing on paper or screen, however. As a group activity, storytelling can help students cultivate many of the skills set forth as goals by governmental guidelines, including a familiarity with technological devices.
This session will introduce an assignment in creating multimodal mash-up stories which was carried out in General Education Communicative English classes at a Japanese university. Students were divided into small groups and asked to combine a well-known Japanese story or tale with a Western fairy or folktale, and then present it in the manner of their choosing. For example, members were allowed to act out the stories, present them as kamishibai, or PowerPoint presentations, or create videos, among other methods. The instructor will show that although students may be unfamiliar with writing short stories in English, with sufficient scaffolding, they are capable of combining familiar texts in meaningful and original ways, while developing an understanding of story structure. The activity also allows students to collaborate, employ critical thinking skills, and capitalize on the individual strengths of group members. Furthermore, students are given the opportunity to make comparisons between cultures and express their creativity.
I would need overheard projection to show PowerPoint slides.