Category Archives: Workshops

JALT 2012 Featured Speaker Workshop Preview

I was very lucky to be selected as a Featured Speaker at this years Japan Association for Langauge Teaching International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning at ACT City, Hamamatsu. My workshop is titled “Writing for your readers: Tools and approaches” and is really aimed at teachers who want to write graded readers for their own classes or for publication. I will especially focus on vocabulary and cohesion as elements of readability. The workshop will include some personal experiences (including failures–learn from my mistakes, please), useful websites, and some actual writing practice. For more background, please see my article from The Language Teacher.

I have two ungraded texts that I plan to use during the workshop. They are short, but so is our time in Hamamatsu. Ninety minutes will go by quickly. If you are planning on attending my workshop, please take a minute to download the two texts to adapt. Just two pages of A4, including notes and instructions, so it isn’t overwhelming. Of course, I will have plenty of printed handouts at the conference, but if you get a head start by at least reading the original texts, you’ll enjoy the workshop much more.

I’ll be watching this post for comments if you have any questions. If you are really adventurous, you might even consider posting your own adaptations here before Sunday. It would be great to get the discussion started early.

Thanks, and see you in Hamamatsu!

Do you dare drink from the Cup of Death?

Here is a little teaser for one of my upcoming presentations at the JALT2012 conference. This is a commercial presentation sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education Asia. They are publishing the new series of Choose Your Own Adventure graded readers that I have been working on. Marcos Benevides is the series editor and he asked me to contribute 4 of the 30 titles in the series. (Disclaimer: The Cup of Death is actually Mark Firth’s book, but I’m using it for this workshop because it is set in Japan.)

Update: At risk of giving people no reason to come to my presentation, here is my handout.

It’s quite helpful if people know the story background ahead of time, but we’ll have sample copies of the book to give away. If my narration grates on your nerves, you can read the beginning of the book yourself quite quickly at the conference. Hope to see you there.

Interactive reading to deepen learner engagement

Saturday, 13 October 2012 6:10-7:10pm Room MR37

Abstract: Stories should invite learners to make the characters and the language their own. This presentation will provide participants with practical ways for learners to interact with graded readers in and out of the classroom. Based on experience as a classroom teacher, program coordinator, and materials writer, the presenter will share some pitfalls best avoided along with plenty of example activities to support readers interacting with their reading on both a textual and a narrative level.

I’m presenting at Okayama JALT, tomorrow, Saturday 7 July 2012

It’s a little short notice, but I’ll be presenting at Okayama JALT this Saturday.  See their website for more details, but I’ll be on from 3pm to 5pm. I understand there is likely to be an excursion to a nearby izakaya with lots of character (and many characters) afterwards.

I’ll be doing a workshop in a computer room taking participants through several of the tools available on Tom Cobb’s website Compleat Lexical Tutor. In particular, we will work tbrought tools that I’ve found most useful for research, analyzing text, and preparing teaching materials. Participants will get hands-on with Vocabulary Profilers, Range, and Lex-Tex Compare. We’ll analyze some graded readers and look at other texts as well.

Here is a roadmap to the major stops we’ll make along the way.

And, here is an outline of the workshop outline.

I’ll hope for some good weather on Tanabata too.