Challenging prevailing presuppositions in English course systems in Japanese colleges where students often learn the language through instructor-led activities conducted within ethnically homogeneous classrooms, this paper argues the benefits of using TV conference systems that enable students to interact with those of other Asian nations in real time. Participants are encouraged to further language competence and confidence through the completion of an assigned project such as presenting an activity appealing to their counterparts. Students are asked to create slide files, to read and write reflections on the materials of their counterparts, and to exchange views through the conference system. To complete the project, students need to invest their knowledge of grammar, lexicography, and persuasive skills to make themselves understood. Throughout the process of these activities, members should collaboratively interact with each other in mutual respect, drawing upon their diverse resources to develop fledgling ideas and opinions into shared critical understanding. Learners can thereby awaken and develop skills in communicative tactics, problem solving, and decision making as a competent member of a cross-cultural community. While presenting their topics and exchanging views through an interlanguage, the participants may acquire (as language users rather than language learners) hands-on experience of linguistic affordance. The roles of teachers here are akin to those in the weak form of TBLL, as instructors of pronunciation and grammar, and also as presentation coaches to foster development of the students’ performance, without impinging upon the participants’ sense of self accomplishment.
Universities are facing increasing demands to handle dropouts. Although signs of this are frequently ascertained in interviews, it is difficult to interview many students within a short period. To this end, various efforts are underway to predict the dropping out of students. In this study, we hypothesize that signs of dropping out manifest as emotional changes in the student, which, in turn, result in changes in the student’s writing. Based on this hypothesis, we used Deep Learning and Decision Tree to forecast results. We used these results and the emotional forecasting results as learning data. The results of the experiment showed that while no changes were seen in the accuracy of forecasts, the proposed method could improve the number of early detections of dropout signs. These showed the effectiveness of estimating emotional forecasting results. Further, actual operation cases can be divided into cases in which the proposed method is suitable and ones where the conventional method is suitable, depending on the number of interviews that can be implemented.
The authors have developed REX, a web application for facilitating English reading study, for non-native speakers of English. REX has a function that personalizes their individual readability equations based on their study logs and that predicts the ease or difficulty of the texts provided. For a parameter of such equations, the rate of difficult words, which does not appear in the specified vocabulary list, is often used, as in some of the well-known readability formulas. On the other hand, we believe that the use of a static vocabulary list to produce its rate does not contribute to personalization, because each learner has different vocabularies. This triggered the authors to incorporate a new function to let learners click their unknown words while they are reading texts, and further predict the status of known/unknown of the unclicked words. In this study, the practicality of the rates of difficult words is examined, which is computed from subjects' unknown word-lists in experiments.
We have long been successful in enhancing reading efficiency by using a CALL software with dynamic chunking display in the actual university language classes. But in the age of cloud computing, we need to develop the software into a web application. So we began to use a web system which displays a movie as well as text and sound simultaneously in chunks. In this paper, we will explain this system and how it has been used in the actual practices in some classes. And then, after such tentative uses, we will overview how it is improved now. Eventually, we come to think what the possibilities and challenges are in this web system.
Programming subjects are often compulsory in information-systems-related courses at universities, and because there are many course participants, in addition to faculty members, student assistants (SAs) provide learning support for programming exercises. In the department to which the authors belong, a team teaching approach has been adopted for delivering the programming course involving multiple faculty members and SAs; the approach centers around the solving of programming assignments. It is extremely important for the faculty members and SAs to share a common understanding of the instruction content. In this study, we focus on a programming course framework that centers on solving programming assignments. We observe the features of the instruction content by assignment using the appearance frequency of words and conduct co-occurring network analysis using the comments stored on the assignment submission system used for the course. Thus, we demonstrate the possibility of course support for faculty members and SAs and learning support for students.
In Japanese elementary school music education, students practice both singing and playing musical instruments. In many elementary schools, guidance on playing a recorder is provided from the third grade. With practice, students are able to read the score and play the recorder efficiently. Currently, many systems supporting recorder-performance practice exist. For example, various systems are devised wherein a student can understand the required fingering by watching a video. However, the systems do not provide support for the rhythm of the notes. While playing musical instruments, grasping the pitch as well as the rhythm of notes is indispensable. Therefore, in this research, we developed a system equipped with rhythm practice. Further, improvement in the performance skills with respect to a specific musical piece was verified by performance tests before and after the system use, and a survey on system awareness of the students was conducted. On the basis of verification results, we confirmed that practicing a specific song on the recorder using this system can improve the performance technique for that song. In addition, it was found that the rehearsal of the recorder using this system tended to be higher for students' learning motivation than the conventional recorder practice.