APVEA 2017 schedule

The second APVEA conference schedule

"Project Ibunka – Pursuing an ideal writing leaning environment for students"

Since 2000, I have been coordinating a web based cross-cultural message exchange project, Project Ibunka. Ibunka means different cultures in Japanese. It aims to provide opportunities of authentic interaction among EFL/ESL learners all over the world. As for our last project, Project Ibunka 2015, 270 students from eight different countries (i.e. Taiwan, Brazil, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Italy, Indonesia, and Japan) have participated in this. I have developed a password-protected on-line bulletin board system which is accessible from everywhere any time. No special technological requirements other than Internet connection and web-browsers would be required. I have also equipped necessary features for administering students’ postings and interaction effectively little by little.

During the three months of project, students discuss three main themes, school life, cultures, and social issues – world peace. Thus, students can gradually shift from light chatting to serious discussion using English as a Lingua Franca. The educational leadership and collaboration of partner teachers is essential in the project. One of the features of Ibunka is the so-called repeater teachers who have been sending their students to the project almost every year.

One of the major goals of organizing the project is to provide my Japanese students authentic writing-for-communication opportunities. Japanese university students, who have finished six years’ English learning, have rarely had much fluency in writing. They have to write more, interact with overseas readers in English, and develop their own ideas by themselves. However, this cannot be achieved without the deliberate consideration of 1) e-moderation for the international collaboration, 2) integration of the online project and the ordinary class-room learning, 3) qualitative and quantitative analysis of the CMC, and 4) lingua franca use of English among language learners.