Departmental Bulletin Paper Failure and play : connecting learners to learning

GRACEY, James  ,  グレイシー, ジェームズ

Failure has the potential to be a powerful asset for learners; however, currently many individuals do not share this understanding. The reason for this in two-fold. First, the majority of learners have developed deep-rooted fears of failure which have caused them to avoid activities they have personally experienced to result in failure. Second, teachers are also not fully aware of the true nature and potential of failure and therefore do noe know how to use it to promote learning in their classroom. For failure to serve in its full potential, these two issues must be addressed and remedied first. This paper details a study in which the author, a university Engilish teacher, addresses them by incorporating an element of "play" in a class of 18 university students, aged 18-20, to improve their English reading and listening comprehension skills. The paper is organized as follows: first the author talks about the nature of failure, focusing on the characteristics of it that promote learning; then the author talks about why learners and teachers are unaware of failure's powerful learning potential; next the author shares the details of his study in which an attempt to address these issues was made; and lastly, the author shares the results of the study and concludes with some ideas about where to take futher reserch.

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