30 years ago, Dinsmore (1985) documented the phenomenon of silence in the Japanese EFL classroom. It can be argued that this problem still persists today. This presentation will explore instances of silence in the Japanese classroom, provide an overview of the Dinsmore paper, and introduce the audience to a number of strategies that can help break the silence and get students engaging in meaningful communication. Audience members will be asked to try out a number of tried and tested speaking games and also be encouraged to share their ideas for getting students talking to one another in the L2.
Andy Boon is an associate professor in the faculty of humanities at Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo. He has been teaching in Japan for over 17 years and holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Aston University, UK. He has been an active member of JALT since 2004, has presented at numerous conferences, and has published several articles on teacher development, motivation, and methodology. He is also co-author of Inspire; a 3-level listening and speaking coursebook (Cengage Learning, 2013-14).