ART in Kyoto – Creative Ideas for the Language Classroom: 19 May, 2024 online 13:00 – 16:30

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The JALT Kyoto Chapter and ART SIG explore visual art and creativity in language teaching, with online presentations by:

Thomas EntwistleUsing A.I. generated images to challenge students’ views of what constitutes ‘real’ art
Alec McAulayCreative writing: Generating ideas
Mimi Masson & Shawna CarrollArtful connections: Bridging language and identity through arts-based activities
Scott SustenanceThe art of vocabulary acquisition
Pharo SokOver the mountain and through the valley (folds): Making origami and communities in the EFL classroom
Craig MertensRevisions of materials and tasks in a CLIL art-appreciation course for EFL students

Zoom ID: 858 4997 6971

Passcode: 075768

13:10 – Thomas Entwistle

Using A.I. Generated Images to Challenge Students’ Views of What Constitutes ‘Real’ Art.

AI generated "The Electrician"

In today’s digital age, A.I. generated images are presenting a unique challenge to traditional notions of authenticity in art. For example, many in the television and movie industry are becoming increasingly worried about the looming threat of A.I. on their livelihoods. On the other hand, other creatives, like the Berlin-based German artist Boris Eldegsen, believe that artificial intelligence is not in fact going to sideline human artists. Eldegsen caused an uproar in 2023 by winning the prestigious Sony World Photography competition with his image ‘The Electrician’ (left). It was this controversy which inspired the lesson which is the topic of this interactive presentation. I will detail how A.I. generated images were used to challenge a group of Royal College of Art pre-sessional students’ preconceived notions of what constitutes ‘real’ art. By comparing AI-generated visuals with human-created art, we cultivated critical thinking and prompted discussions on the core elements of creativity, authorship, and artistic expression.

Thomas Entwistle (MA TESOL / Cambridge DELTA) is an EAP teacher working for the British Council at Nagoya University of Foreign studies. Thomas also remotely teaches students at the Royal College of Art, London. His current interests are phonology and fostering autonomous learning. He is currently conducting research into study abroad and transformative learning.

13:40 – Alec McAulay

Creative Writing: Generating Ideas

Good writing starts with good ideas. However, generating ideas isn’t automatic. In a one-semester course where students are asked to produce an original story, a large part of the course can be eaten away waiting for students to come up with story ideas. One way to fast-track the process is to have students adapt news stories for use in their own writing. The presenter will demonstrate how he uses stories from the news to allow university students to generate ‘original’ story ideas that they can then develop into screenplays for short films or feature-length films. The examples used come from a Screenwriting course, but the lesson plan can be adapted to any creative writing classroom. The session will begin with a description of the technique used, followed by some examples from the past. Participants will then be challenged to work in groups in breakout rooms to adapt a news story into a compelling story premise. The breakout room discussions will centre on key concepts in storytelling such as conflict, character motivation, and creating active questions. By undertaking this discussion, participants will be better able to facilitate similar story-focussed discussions among students in their own classrooms.

Alec McAulay is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, but has lived in Japan since 1989. He teaches creative writing and EFL at Yokohama National University. His short films have screened and won awards at various international film festivals. He also writes children’s books and is Assistant Regional Advisor in SCBWI Japan.

14:15 – Mimi Masson & Shawna Carroll

Artful Connections: Bridging Language and Identity Through Arts-based Activities

In this presentation, we draw from data collected via arts-based research (ABR) collection tools for second language teachers to express their ideologies as plurilingual language educators and reflect on their practice. After describing the tools (Venn diagrams, drawings, poems, collages and identity texts), all developed from previous arts-based research initiatives, we provide concrete examples of the unique insights afforded into the participants’ sense-making processes throughout the project. Ultimately, ABR approaches revealed the complexity and nuance in teacher professional identity development, and a need for developing socio-emotional links to their sense of self, important for English language learners in and out of training. As such, with the audience, we will discuss how these tools have been used and could be further adapted for EFL teachers in Japan and their students across primary, secondary and higher education contexts.

As a speaker of English, French, Japanese, Spanish and rudimentary Anishinaabemowin, Mimi Masson translated her passion for languages into a career in second language teaching. She has worked in Japan and Canada across K-12 and higher education contexts. Mimi’s research focuses on language teacher identity development via anti-oppressive and antiracist education.

Shawna Carroll is a passionate teacher educator who has taught in K-12 environments in Canada, before moving into Faculty of Education departments in both Japan and Canada. Her teaching and research focus on anti-oppressive praxis, with a focus on critical representation and deep critical reflection of power hierarchies of social identities.

14:45 – Scott Sustenance

The Art of Vocabulary Acquisition

The Keyword Method (Atkinson, 1975) is a two-stage mnemonic technique for remembering vocabulary. It involves connecting an image of a keyword, a word that sounds like the to-be-learned (TBL) word, with an image of a translation of the TBL word. Originally, these images remained in the mind of the student, but advances in technology have made it possible for students to easily transform their ideas into modal ensembles that explicitly show the interaction between sound, text, and image. This presentation will explain how Google Docs, Instagram, and an image manipulation app called Pic Collage were combined to create an image-filled online collaborative learning environment in a digital classroom (Sustenance, 2019). Approaches for incorporating the Keyword Method into traditional classroom environments will also be discussed. Finally, participants will be introduced to a free online archive of 675 Digital-Keyword- Method images for 350 English words that can be incorporated into classes to create an environment of linguistic play.

Scott Sustenance is a lecturer at Muroran Institute of Technology. He has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Griffith University, Australia, and his research is focused on the use of the mnemonic Keyword Method for remembering L2 vocabulary.

15:20 – Pharo Sok

Over the Mountain and Through the Valley (Folds): Making Origami and Communities in the EFL Classroom

In a study I conducted with Japanese university students and their language learning careers, many participants bemoaned the lack of fun and peer work in their junior high and high school English classes. In response, I introduced an origami-based activity into university communicative English courses to engage students’ creativity and promote community in the classroom. Learners participated in a weekly activity that included choosing art materials, solo writing about recent experiences and feelings, folding origami paper in small groups, and sharing their thoughts with classmates. In this exploratory study, art helped to facilitate English communication, a sense of belonging among peers, and invoke a feeling of nostalgia in students.

Pharo Sok is currently an English lecturer at Kyushu Sangyo University. His research interests include discourse analysis with a particular focus on meaning-making in individual and collective narratives, as well as integrating creativity into the EFL classroom.

15:50 – Craig Mertens

Revisions of Materials and Tasks in a CLIL Art Appreciation Course for EFL Students

This presentation focuses on a revision of materials and tasks in a CLIL Art Appreciation course for Japanese EFL students. First, the presenter will introduce a brief history of his English courses with art as its content. These experiences range from adapting an Art History course to an Art Appreciation course focusing on identifying fundamentals and using thinking routines with 2D visuals from Western cultures. In a description of the current Art Appreciation course, the presenter will promote reasons for deciding art as content, list skills and knowledge students can achieve and practice, and show a sample lesson that features examples of student output. Following that, student and teacher feedback will be shared, along with the teacher’s reasoning to revise certain tasks for a revised version of the course. Finally, a 2024 version of the course will be proposed with new materials and tasks. At the end of the presentation, challenges of using materials and completing tasks for EFL students with various abilities will be addressed and possible ways to alter the course to fit different needs will be discussed.

Craig Mertens has taught EFL courses for over 15 years at several universities in Japan. His current interests include building course materials with Adobe Illustrator and teaching English and Art Appreciation using CLIL methodology. He has a BA in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S.Ed in TESOL from Temple University. He also has participated and held art exhibitions in cafes and galleries throughout Osaka, Japan.