Ohio Association of Teachers of Japanese Spring Workshop

Message and invitation from OATJ:

OATJ is having its Spring Workshop! It will be free and online again.
We hope you will join us!

2021 Spring Workshop

Saturday, April 10, 2021

11:00 am – 3:00 pm EST 
(Eastern Standard Time)

(10:00 am – 2:00 pm (CDT); 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (MDT); 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (PDT))

(If you cannot join all, you can join anytime!)

Registration:  https://forms.gle/Gf1CWfKSKbgRi9kU8  

via Zoom
(This event is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center. Also thanks to JASCO (Japan-America Society of Central Ohio) for their support!

Takako Aikawa (相川孝子), Ph.D.

Sr. Lecturer, Global Languages
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

A Pathway to New Language Learning Experiences
-Blended Learning, NLP, and AR/VR-

This workshop consists of three parts.  The first part discusses the roles of language teachers in the age of the digital transformation.  As we know, the pandemic has forced a significant transformation in how we teach. We are literally in the age of digital transformation, and the role of technology has become more invaluable than ever before to our teaching.  With such rapid and unanticipated changes, we need to modify our pedagogical strategies accordingly.  But how?  I tackle this question by presenting: (i) strategies and various online modalities for remote learning (Goodell & Kessler, 2020) and (ii) sample learning activities that demonstrate the connection between the theory of learning and its practice. I contend that the adoption of remote instruction into our curriculum has great potential to make our teaching more effective, and that we need to proactively integrate what is called “blended learning” to maximize the strengths of both face-to-face and remote instruction.  

In the second part of the workshop, I discuss how language technology (such as natural language processing (NLP), speech-to-text, machine translation, etc.) can enhance our language instruction.  To this end, I first present a series of NLP-related projects that I conducted over the last several years, so that we can see how language technology relate to language teaching.  Then, I present some useful online NLP tools and walk us through hands-on practice of these tools.

The third part focuses on how emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) can impact language learning.  Recent advancements in AR/VR allow us to create new learning experiences within situated contexts: AR/VR can simulate real life contexts and accordingly, we can create environments where learners are able to use their target language as if they were in the real world.  I argue that the use of AR/VR promotes the idea of playful learning by engaging learners in fun activities and sparking their interests.  To demonstrate how AR/VR can facilitate the implementation of new learning experiences, I present the AR/VR projects that I conducted in collaboration with MIT’s Media lab.

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