Pedagogy

I am passionate about best-practice in language pedagogy (teaching methods).

My recent textbook (in Japanese) outlines an approach to language learning that I call “A Performance Approach” whose main features are:

  • rapid attainment of language skills
  • emphasis on speaking and listening and on widely useful language content
  • authenticity to the relevant culture(s)
  • extensive use of teamwork, media, drama and learner feedback in the classroom

See my full list of publications for links to “A Performance Approach” and further academic papers and books on language pedagogy, and my Centre of Excellence for Teaching Languages project on the Performance Approach.

Use of drama

Learner-created drama is a wonderful way of bringing learner-centred and teamwork-focused creativity into the language curriculum.

(Above) A keynote presentation at the Using Drama in Language Learning Workshop at SOAS University of London on 13 November 2009. It describes the use of drama to increase learners’ language outcomes, the process of creating drama pieces in the classroom, and how the process helps learners develop a variety of language and cultural skills.

Drama is one part of a Performance Approach, in which learners collaborate intensively in the multicultural classroom. Video also plays a role in developing and documenting these performances – see the example below.

(Above) At Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japanese students perform their self-written drama. These are all second year students of Chinese as a second language. Note: the students have given permission for this video to appear, but they wish to remain anonymous.