Language Codes: Helping teachers decode the "L" in JALT

Michael Phillips
Saturday, 8 June 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

This presentation will be divided into three short interrelated sociolinguistic workshops consisting of presenter directed and participant centred "mini-sessions". The initial discussion point will centre on a definition and understanding of what language codes both embody and represent, and also what it actually means to "know" a language. The next stage will explore the related concepts of personal idiolects and the expression of language identity, and examine how such elements can either consciously or unconsciously affect theoretical understandings and influence teaching practices [such as in the case of markedness]. The third session will lead into a final open forum opportunity by exploring more specific in-class diglossic issues, and challenge participant notions of correctness, acceptability, and accommodation. For each of these sessions, participants will be asked to work collaboratively to both consider and explore the related issues (in small groups), and to also present a summarised version of their groups' collaboration to the forum.

Michael Phillips graduated with an honours degree in environmental sciences. He came to Japan as part of the JET Programme in July 2001, and has since taught at kindergarten, primary, junior-high, high-school, junior college, community centres, eikaiwa, and business schools. He holds both a Graduate Certificate (TSL) and a Masters of Education (TESOL), and is currently the treasurer of JALT Kitakyushu, and also works as a lecturer at Ritsumeikan APU in Beppu City, Oita.