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JACET ESP SIG Kanto (January 11th, 2020 Meeting)

JACET ESP SIG Kanto (January Meeting)
Date: January 11, 2020 (Sat) 15:0017:00
Venue: Room 15501 (5th Floor), Goucher Memorial Building No. 15, Aoyama Gakuin University
Please find the link for the location:

15:00~16:00 PROGRAM INNOVATIONS: International Communication for Scientists and Engineers

Associate Professor Charles E. Robertson and Professor David W. Reedy, Aoyama Gakuin University


This presentation details how a college of science and engineering of a major private university in Tokyo attempted to incorporate major changes to its English curriculum that had been in place for over 20 years. Six years into the reformed program, the presenters will illustrate an array of improvements in a department not well-known for its commitment to English education, specifically: implementation of a comprehensive freshmen orientation, integration of a department-wide e-learning system, class streaming based on a standardized test, administration of pre-tests and post-tests, operation of credit-bearing study abroad programs, application of a strict EMI policy, and a CEFR-based curriculum utilizing an EGP to EAP to ESP strategy. The increased promotion of English education has contributed to changes in student attitudes and performance as well as the calibre of incoming freshmen. Students are now aware that English is a crucial element of their tertiary education and that resources are available to assist them to improve their English language skills, including English for science and engineering. The presenters believe that these students now strive for an identity as global scientists and engineers and that the new curriculum, which promotes ESP, has increased learner motivation and autonomy.

Keywords: ESP, curriculum development, English for Science and Technology, learner motivation, autonomy


Charles E. Robertson is an associate professor at the College of Science and Engineering at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan.  His research interests include: Second-Language (L2) writing theory and practice, English for Science and Technology (EST), English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). robertson@aoyamagakuin.jp

David W. Reedy is a professor at the College of Science and Engineering at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan. Currently, deputy director of the International Center of Aoyama Gakuin University. Research areas include language policy, effective study abroad programs, computer-assisted language learning, and learner autonomy. dreedy@aoyamagakuin.jp

16:10~17:00 Business Meeting:
SIG officers meetings. Other members are also welcome.

JACET ESP SIG Kanto (October Meeting 2019/10/19)

Dear all JACET ESP SIG Kanto members,

It is with great pleasure that I make the announcement of our October meeting on Oct 19, (Saturday, 15:00-17:00), 2019. We have invited two speakers, Rich Bailey of Tokai University and Robert Gommerman of Chuo University. They will present their research on ESP for graduate students of engineering and EMI program for business majors respectively. I am sure their presentations will benefit our members who are interested in not only an ESP-oriented approach but also EMI education linking ESP with the content of students’ disciplines. Please come to join this event and invite your colleagues and friends.

The details of the talk are as follows:

JACET ESP SIG Kanto (October Meeting)
Date: Oct 19, 2019 (Sat) 15:00 ~17:00
Venue: Room 602, East 1 Building, University of Electro-Communications (電気通信大学)

(UEC Tokyo, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo, 182-8585/東京都調布市調布ヶ丘 1-5-1)

 15:00~15:30
Presentation 1
ESP for Engineering Graduate Students at Tokai University Rich Bailey, Tokai University (Shonan Campus)


In response to the Tokai University Engineering department’s concerns regarding the English levels of their graduate students, two semester-long (14 weeks, once-a-week) ESP courses were created: Technical English for Engineers (TEfE) [required] and English Presentation for Engineers (EPfE) [elective]. While the original unified TEfE syllabus has been phased out in favor of teacher-selected textbooks and a new TOEIC focus, EPfE has evolved over time, especially to meet the needs of different student levels and an increase in international students. The presenter will explain the various curricular aspects of TEfE/EPfE courses including syllabus design, the use of supplemental materials, pedagogical activities, and successes and challenges of the implementation of the courses.

Keywords: ESP, English for Engineering Majors, English for Graduate Students, ,

Bio of Presenter

Rich Bailey has been teaching ESP courses through the International Education Center at Tokai for

Please find the link for the location:
http://www.uec.ac.jp/eng/about/access/ (in English); http://www.uec.ac.jp/about/profile/access/ (in Japanese)

six years. He has taught in Japan for more than ten years and has also taught in the U.S., Fiji, and Kazakhstan. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1991, he obtained his master’s degree in TESOL at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio in 1995.

 15:30~15:40 Break

 15:40~16:10
Presentation 2
An analysis of preliminary student performance data in an EMI program for economics and business management majors: Are we overstating the importance of prior English proficiency?
Robert Gommerman, Chuo University

In the last few years, several universities in Japan have opened departments with courses and entire programs instructed exclusively in English. As these programs become more popular, it is important to understand the extent to which English proficiency at the onset of studies can predict performance in content classes where instruction, course materials, and support are delivered entirely in English. Data from a newly created business department at a respected Japanese university suggest that prior English ability could not predict performance in two core subjects (Introductory Economics and Business Management). Despite having low English proficiency scores, many students were able to achieve high grades in both subjects, while some students with high proficiency scores did not perform well. While this analysis is still in the exploratory phase, the findings so far could have significant implications for the viability of EMI programs in Japan, and criteria for admission to such programs.

Keywords: EMI, content-based teaching, English proficiency, language performance, Economics and Business Management majors,

Bio of Presenter

Robert Gommerman has been working at universities in the Tokyo area for the last 13 years and currently works as a Specially Appointed Assistant Professor at Chuo University’s newly created faculty of Global Management, a department that operates as an English Medium Instruction (EMI) program. Gommerman plays the central role in coordinating curriculum development and helping to design the program to be one based strongly on data science.

 16:10~17:00 Business Meeting:
SIG officers meetings. Other members are also welcome. Discussion includes review of the 2019 JACET national convention, Chapter Journal of Vol 21, January meeting (with Shinenkai), JAAL-JACET convention in November, Chapter finance, and other research activities.


SIG Chapter Contact: SHI Jie (shi.jie[a]uec.ac.jp) University of Electro-Communications (UEC Tokyo); Shin’ichi Hashimoto (shin.hashimoto[a]tsc.u-tokai.ac.jp), Tokai University; Megumi Nishikawa (egumi- nishikawa[a]tsc.u-tokai.ac.jp), Tokai University

Post JACET ESP Kanto Meeting July 20th, 2019

JACET ESP Kanto had our first summer meeting at the Shibuya Campus of Aoyama Gakuin University. Obari gave a great presentation on A.I. and 21st Century English Skills in language teaching. Afterwards, we had a business meeting and the following meeting dates were tentatively decided. I am listing these below.
  1. Next Meeting-October 19 or 26 2019. The date will be updated shortly.
  2. January 11th, 2020, JACET ESP Kanto Meeting and Shin Nen Kai.

JACET ESP SIG Kanto (July 20, 2019 Meeting)

It is with great pleasure that I make the announcement of our July meeting on July 20 (Saturday), 2019. We have invited Professor Hiroyuko Obari from Aoyama-Gakuen University to give a presentation on his research of integration of CALL in his teaching of worldviews to Japanese university students. I would like to apologize for sending the announcement late but sincerely hope that you would let your colleagues and friends know of this event and invite them to join us. Professor Obari is a famous and versatile researcher in the fields of CALL and EFL education in Japan. I am sure his talk will provide attendees with insightful views on education and pedagogy on both cognitive and practical levels.

The details of the talk are as follows:

JACET ESP SIG Kanto (July Meeting)
Date: Jul 20, 2019 (Sat) 15:00 ~17:00
Venue: Room 15501 (5th Floor), Gaucher Building No. 15, Aoyama-Gakuen University
Please find the link for the location:

15:00~16:00Utilization of AI and ICT in Teaching Worldviews for Effective 21st Century LearningProfessor Hiroyuki Obari, Aoyama-Gakuen University

A constructivist approach to flipped learning inspires students to activate their brains to create new knowledge and to reflect more deeply and consistently on their learning activities where twenty-first century skills with the 8Cs of effective communication are emphasized in the learning process. One of the critical 8Cs is to learn how to coexist with AI. In the present study, two case studies were carried out for the purpose of enabling students to experience weak AI using smart speakers in the L2 learning process. The focus was on evaluating the use of AI speakers such as Google home mini and Amazon echo dot to determine their effectiveness in improving the English skills of native Japanese undergraduate students. The technologies used included Google Home mini, ATR CALL Brix, Facebook, Line, and online materials related to worldview studies. The first empirical study was conducted with a goal of examining the overall effectiveness of the program in improving the TOEIC test scores of a target group of Japanese students. The investigation was carried out from September 2018 to January 2019, targeting 24 third-year undergraduates who were divided into eight groups, four using Google home mini and four using Amazon echo dot.  The participants were required to study their favourite English language programs for four months using AI speakers and to conduct a diary study, sometimes while shooting their studies with a smartphone. Finally, at the end of the training program, students of all eight groups delivered presentations about their research activities using AI speakers with flipped lessons, as well as provided feedback on the study, including its limitations. TOEIC pre- and post-training results (n=24) indicated the training program had assisted the students in improving their overall English proficiency with the help of the AI speakers during the four-month training period, especially their listening comprehension. Additionally, a post-course survey revealed a majority of the participants responded favourably toward the use of AI speakers as a part of their daily life in studying English, and 88% felt its effectiveness had revolutionized their way of learning English. In this presentation, the future use of AI in 21st century learning will be discussed through the results of the target case study.

Keywords: AI, EFL, 21st century skills, Google home mini, Echo dot, TOEIC

Hiroyuki Obari is a professor in the College of Economics at Aoyama Gakuin University. He obtained his M.A. in TESOL from Columbia University and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Tsukuba. He was a visiting academic at the University of Oxford (2007, 2008, 2018, 2019). His research interests include CALL and Educational Technologies

16:00~16:20 Visiting the CALL facilities of Aoyama-Gakuen University

16:20~17:00 Business Meeting:
SIG officers meetings. Other members are also welcome.