Extended Projects in the EFL Classroom Using a Student-Generated Chikan Survey to Illustrate Effective Student Motivation in a Student Centered EFL Class Clay Bussinger Tokiwa University, Japan Claybuss@tokiwa.ac.jp Claybussinger@hotmail.com
Background to the Project: CHIKAN and STUDENTS • Tokyo subways and commuter trains are notorious for chikan, or sexual molesters. • Many students are victims of such abuse. • Some students could not get credit for their classes, due to such abuse. • Such a topic is a major concern for some students. • Students in my class were very motivated to conduct research in English on this topic.
Step 1: Choosing the Project • “A replacement to or a supportive infusion of more student centered learning to certain single approach based syllabi.” • D. Nunan • Meaningful, student centered content is paramount • Drawing on needs of the students • Flexibility is a key • Communication is a key
Step 1: Choosing the Project: Chikan • “ Utilizing more authentic experiences and materials as well as principles of constructivism compared to top down teaching”Nunan • Very careful selection of a project which intimately concerns all class members ensures active participation and high student motivation. • Through class discussion, the problem of Chikan was deemed to be the problem most in need of a solution.
Step 2: Focusing the Project • “More of a sense of personal and active accomplishment including developing a greater sense of language ownership”Nunan • Active participation of the class members is important in deciding the focus of the project. • Teacher can offer many options, such as letter writing to newspaper, contact government officials, and so forth. • One option offered was developing a questionnaire. • Students eagerly chose to follow this plan.
Step 3: Developing the Project • “More of a sense of personal and active accomplishment including developing a greater sense of language ownership”Nunan • Once the project is focused on the questionnaire, students draw on their own personal experience for writing of the questions. • Each student has valuable input through their shared experience of riding the public transportation in Tokyo daily. • Although not every student had been a victim of chikan, most had some experience. In one class for example, 50% of the male students were either victims or had been falsely accused of being a chikan. • One female student said she was a victim almost daily.
Step 4: Completing the Project • “Making specific lesson goals more evident through movement towards and/or success of task completion.”Nunan • Once the task is clearly defined, and individual roles assigned, each class period has a clear structure, and a definite purpose. • Students almost automatically take on appropriate tasks, interviewing, answering questions, taking notes, inputting questions, questionnaire layout, editing of questions, vocabulary checking, copying questionnaires. • The class length is clearly defined, so students worked out their entire schedule of tasks, knowing when each tasks must be defined, developed and completed. • The questionnaire was developed, distributed, processed, and publicized over the course of the 12 week course.
Aftermath: Results of the Project • “Important and ongoing assessment and "washback" to both teacher and learner.”Nunan • When the tasks were all completed and the project came to a successful conclusion, students (and teacher) felt a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. • Many participants who had been the victims of chikan on Tokyo subways, expressed great feelings of relief and empowerment at the completion of this task. • The communicative ability of the students in the class, increased immeasurably, through the completion of myriad complicated tasks in the target language.
Aftermath:Long Term Consequences • Having students engage in an authentic and important project will have lasting and meaningful results. • Some students in the projects changed their majors as a result. One student is now studying Psychology, focusing on Victimology at Tokyo University. • One student (the student whose completed questionnaire is featured in this display) chose her career in Journalism, a field where she hopes to publicize the problem, and how others can engage in solving it. • A follow-up project involving university students in Tokyo was initiated by the teacher, and included other professors, including an ESL teacher and various professors of Victimology. • A PhD student in Victimology is currently writing his dissertation based on this student project, and the follow-up project. • The follow-up project has been expanded to include pther countries: Korea, Indonesia, India and China. • The high school students who initiated the original project have a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and pride in their work. They can easily see that English is an important working language, not simply exercises in grammar, reading, listening and speaking.
T-shirts A cursory look around as one travels around Tokyo quickly reveals a big problem. Chikan In Tokyo Figures Signs
Having the focus on the students from the outset will enable the teacher to discover topics that matter to them Police report on a convicted chikan - brought to class by my student
Okinawa Police Poster Anti-Chikan http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.police.pref.okinawa.jp/seian/chikangazou/chikan6.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.police.pref.okinawa.jp/seian/higainiawanaitameni.htm&h=274&w=275&sz=23&hl=en&start=242&sig2=OxogohM5YAKYaxefyGvQRA&tbnid=mE0JqZVjIKgnLM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=114&ei=6Em9Rr52g96BA9mn_IYI&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchikan%26start%3D240%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN
Tokyo subway: Chikan, beware • http://www.fromjapanwithlove.info/?p=601
Signs in Tokyo • http://russ0502.myweb.hinet.net/chikan.gif
Signs warning of Chikan • http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.anzen.pref.ibaraki.jp/yoho/img/0701chikan.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.anzen.pref.ibaraki.jp/yoho/bn_0507.htm&h=150&w=150&sz=9&hl=en&start=1&sig2=QMBz5CbHsGDpas6bBDiU4g&tbnid=u87PQjdN1aKVYM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=96&ei=llG9RtTXO4bWgAOSo6GnCA&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2Bsite:www.anzen.pref.ibaraki.jp%2Bchikan%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den
T-shirt: no Chikans! • http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/front/jl_bewareofperverts.jpg
Nunan,David “Important Tasks of English Education: Asia-wide and Beyond.” Asia EFL Journal. Volume 7. Issue 3. http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/September_05_dn.php