||Cultivating Learner Autonomy within Groups
グラフストロム, ベンGRAFSTROM, Ben
31 , 2015-03-28 , 秋田大学教育推進総合センター
The Conversation Circle (CC) is the ALL Rooms’ longest consistently organized activity offered to AkitaUniversity students. CCs meet twice weekly and are a time for students interested in learning and/or practicingEnglish to use it as a spoken language, rather than just studying it to pass an exam. Since students may not havemany opportunities to speak English for prolonged periods of time during their day to day routines, CC time isprecious. In the past CCs have been largely unstructured, meaning that many “conversations” were not really“conversations,” but rather just aimless rambling. When topics were decided and conversations were attempted, theywere largely dictated by the ALL Room’s faculty and/or student staff, and not by the participants coming to practiceEnglish, which hardly made for an autonomous learning environment. Starting in the spring semester of the 2014-15 academic year, the ALL Rooms faculty responsible for the CC meetings began making the CCs more participantcenteredwith the hope of making the CCs more popular and more meaningful for participants. The followingpaper describes 1) how ALL Rooms’ faculty and staff began giving CCs more structure to allow for more authentic“conversation” among participants and 2) how selecting and discussing CC topics has become participant-centered.