Monday, 13 September 2010

Shinshu JALT presents - West Tokyo JALT

Chicken or fish?
Nothing like a free lunch to encourage people to turn up to a meeting. The good food of Baden Baden was only served after the Shinshu JALT Chapter's AGM had been concluded. Most posts were re-elected as proposed and seconded, with the exception of Program Chair which is likely to rotate around members able to make their connections work for one offs.

We were joined for lunch by a travelling quartet of West Tokyo JALTalites, who in the afternoon conducted three workshops as chicken or fish settled nicely.

Peter Ross asked for problems teachers face with writing classes, and soon had a board-full. If you have a writing class you'd probably come up with same/similar issues. Recognise any?

Visible topics - invisible writing: Peter Ross
His Y100 shop special Invisible Writing pack (when was the last time you came across carbon paper?) were distributed and attendees asked to write on any one of randomly suggested topics. Writing atop a plastic envelope, you do not see what you've written - the carbon paper below a top blank sheet instead imprints a bottom sheet. Then we were asked to do a 'seen' writing task for the same amount of time (ninety seconds), on a new topic, repeating the process for one more invisible and visible. A quick word count revealed for most that in both cases word count was up. Generally feeling that 'mistakes' were no longer something we could do much about & that fluency of production improved (albeit untidily). Point being that this is an excellent way to improve continuity, train of though - mentally and mechanically focusing the writer on the job ahead. Would you want to produce a final draft in this way? Unlikely. Will this get students to produce more rough work/brainstorm themselves into gear/larger first draft. Very likely.

Tadashi Ishida told us about his PEACE work (People's Educational and Cultural Exchange) and his various experiences enabling foreign visitors to Tokyo to try various aspects of Japanese culture (for free), such as Kimono, Shamisen, Tea Ceremony & Calligraphy.
Is this the ladies?

David Boon and Eric Skier then managed not to clear the room of local participants, bringing home the reality of hosting next year's PAN-SIG conference in Matsumoto. Has Mark Brierley bitten off more than Shinshu can chew? There looked to be about four jobs per person present, all of which are going to take a lot of time and this (and other) spaces.

Tana showed us a nice Thai restaurant near Parco which did not light the afterburners as Thai food often can, before seconds in El Sol and karaoke. So, a working Sunday. Thanks to the Tokyo team for caring & sharing; think their experience and guidance will be vital if next May's event is going to be as good as we want it to be...