Monday, April 07, 2008

My recent life and future directions in research

One of the reasons I neglected in writing in my blog almost entirely from October to March was that I had been involved in 2 big projects related to English activities in elementary schools. One project was a "Regional Elementary School English Activity" support project in which we collaborated with elementary schools to make an English textbook as well as an accompanying website. The other project was Cross Cultural Understanding Using Picture Books (CCUP). Both projects were very rewarding and I learned a great deal about elementary school English education, something I previously did not know much about. However, I got a little burnt out from the enormous amount of paper work and other administrative tasks that accompany being involved in large scale projects and for a while my brain became mush. For a month or so after the majority of my administrative work ended I went through the motions at work and lost most of my intellectual curiosity. I also started to reflect on what happiness is but kept most of my thoughts to myself and produced one measly post on the subject. Cleaning out my office and the approaching spring season, has seemed to energize me. I am reading more, exercising more, playing more and starting to become more productive at work. This year I will continue to research using English picture books in elementary schools. I have just finished the final edits on a paper for the JALT 2008 proceedings about selecting and using English picture books. This year my research will deal with the following:
1) The challenges teachers face in using English picture books and how teachers address these challenges
2) The potential for using English picture books as a means of training elementary school teachers on English teaching methodologies
3) The potential for using English picture books to meet the learning goals of the new Monkasho English education reforms

Actually, there is so much I want to learn and so much I want to do. I would like to learn more about the programming language C#2005, I want to dive into calculus as I shied away from it in high school and college, I want to learn more about factor analysis, I want to learn more about assessing young learners, I want to research more on task based language learning, I want to improve on my serve in tennis, I want to bicycle to Hokkaido again or around shikoku, I want to redesign the curriculum for all my classes, I want to spend more time in coffee shops reading, I want to learn to cook something other than pasta, I want to move some place warm, etc..... According to Jim Fannin in S.C.O.R.E for Life, "champions" accomplish one goal at a time. Like a lion seeking its prey, they focus on that one objective until they are chomping the life out of it. Hmm... Focus, Jimbo, focus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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You will find useful research articles, teaching materials and tests in ESL.