Pan SIG 2017, Expand Your Interests, will be held May 19-21 at Akita International University (AIU) in Akita City, Akita Prefecture, Japan. PanSIG is an annual conference organized by the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of JALT.   The conference brings together leading scholars and practitioners in language education from Japan, Asia, and throughout the world.

In addition to sponsoring Paul Hula as a featured speaker and holding a Literature in Language Teaching Forum, LiLT SIG members will be giving a number of literature related presentations.  If you are planning to attend the conference, and have time, we hope you can find the time to attend any of the LiLT related presentations/events listed below:

Stop The World, Start The Words: How Poetry Can Help

Paul Hullah, sponsored by the LiLT SIG

Saturday, 20 May 2017, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm, room B-103

Language has many registers. The more registers L2 learners can comfortably inhabit, the better. Poetic language — judiciously selected, lovingly pruned — is one such register. Depriving learners of access to it limits their expressive potential. They may not use it in everyday situations, but to have it in their locker as an option renders them more linguistically empowered. By explaining how best to incorporate ‘literature’ into classroom learning and outlining several benefits, I want to demonstrate that poetry is an inspiring tonic for jaded students and bleary educators, replete with special desirable qualities that a worthwhile curriculum should contain and explore.

Literature in Language Teaching SIG Forum

T. McIlroy (6), P. Hullah (1), G. McNabb (5), Q. H. Aoki (2), S. Bibby (4), and A. Iida (3)

Sunday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Room D-103

In this forum, we will have a selection of presenters talking together about issues of interest to the SIG and anyone teaching with literature.

  1. Paul Hullah – Forum Chair
  2. Quenby Hoffman Aoki – Revisiting literature as authentic content: Encouraging reader response in Japanese universities
  3. Atsushi Iida – Poetry and Japanese L2 learners
  4. Simon Bibby – Literature and language teaching: Reviewing the major textbooks.
  5. Gregg McNabb – to talk about the LiLT SIG Journal
  6. Tara McIlroy – The Literature in Language Teaching SIG’s current position and future

Multimodality And “The Song”: Exploiting Popular Song In The University Classroom

Presenter and affiliation: R. J. Walker, Reitaku University, Japan

Saturday, 12:30pm – 1:00pm, room B-103

In EFL courses, songs are usually chosen for their lexical content. However, by taking a multimodal approach, new ways of seeing the use of songs in the classroom can be discovered. Teaching of songs can begin with any mode – textual, aural, linguistic, spatial, or visual – and this presentation shows different ways to exploit them in the classroom. Material is used from the teaching, student response, and evaluation of songs in a university course, and includes reflections on a song by Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan, one which deepened student understanding of culture, literature and race.

Teaching Language with Local Culture from Literature

Presenter and affiliation: C. N. Silva, Tohoku University, Japan

Saturday, 12:00pm – 12:30, Room B-102

This work refers to the use of the local culture for teaching language. Firstly, we describe how this topic was presented in THT workshops: supporting theories (social construction, intercultural competence), and classroom practice. Then, we suggest working with cultural aspects from literary works by Bangladeshi writers. We combine three models for teaching literature in the language class (Carter and Long, 1991): the cultural model, which provides a background revealing social and historical circumstances; the language-based model, which focuses on language structures in a wider linguistic context; and the personal growth model, which encourages learners to interact with the text.

Exploring the Teaching Practicum Experience Through L2 Poetry Writing

Presenter and affiliation: A. Iida, Gunma University, Japan

Saturday, 3:15pm – 3:45pm, Room D-105

Second language poetry writing can be used to explore personal or professional life histories. This poetic inquiry explores a Japanese pre-service teacher’s experience of English language teaching by analyzing five English poems regarding her secondary school teaching practicum. The collection of poetry presented her multiple identities as a student-teacher and a professional teacher. This study also revealed her emotional responses to the teaching practicum experience: struggle in providing “better” lessons; competition to become a “better” teacher; dilemma between what she wanted what she had to do; happiness to work with her pupils; and anxiety to work as an in-service teacher.

In Support of Poetry in the EFL Classroom, Poster Session 2

Presenter and affiliation: J. Solomon, Hirosaki University, Japan

Sunday, 2:30pm – 3:15pm

This poster presents a case for the usefulness of incorporating poetry in Content and Language Integrated Learning EFL classrooms, based on recent pedagogical research. I argue that there is a potential for educational benefit for students when literature — particularly poetry — is taught early in Japanese university students’ education, in helping them transition from cram-school learning to thoughtful, critical, academic engagement with texts. When taught as a performative genre, poetry quickly unfolds into a multimodal exercise; it promotes creativity and close reading of non-traditional linguistic elements (rhythm, register, etc); and the process of interpretation lends itself to increased tolerance of ambiguity.