English Teaching Resources

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This page contains information about classes Andrew Komasinski has taught related to English-language education at universities in Japan.

Even before COVID-19 situation started to cause major problems for in-person education, I had started working on ways to use technology in the classroom (and now outside of the classroom).

This puts my work in the vicinity of CALL. In my case, I mean Computer-Assisted Language Learning. The CALL system can never replace well-designed pedagogy. What it can do, however, is take over automatable components by accelerating grading through batch grading, reusable feedback, and database-driven aggregation.

Separately technologies like flipped classes can help students to learn at their own pace by adjusting the speed of lectures and replaying parts of lectures that were difficult. This combined with aggressive question-getting teaching makes for a highly effective flipped classroom.

Courses Taught

Philosophy & Ethics
Philosophical Ethics(4x)
Philosophy of Human Nature(4x)
Introduction to the Humanities: Plato and Aristotle(0.5x)
International Understanding: Descartes and Locke(1x)
Environmental Ethics(0.25x)
Academic English
Presentations, Publications, and Ethics in Research(1x)
Academic Reading(1x)
Presentation(6x)
English Literature
A Christmas Carol(1x)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Moral Imagination)(2x)
English Education
Education and Technology(2x)
Intercultural Understanding(2x)
English Communication(5x)
Teaching Methodologies for English-mediated Instruction(6x)
Business Writing(5x)

Ongoing Projects

With Stephanie Midori Komashin, I have been researching motivation in language learning and how track it. This utilizies the LMS we developed to correlate student participation with student self-reported data on their perception of a class using a Likert scale. Our results found only a very small correlation between student pre-class indications and student participation in the classes themselves.
Moving to Database-Driven Mobile-CALL
I am working on a research paper building on my presentation at JALTCALL and the feedback I received there about the advantages of moving from off the shelf Mobile-CALT (such as Google Forms) to more robust Mobile-CALL. I look at several limitations posed by Mobile-CALT and how Mobile-CALL resolves these problems.
Building on the success I had using cell phones in the classroom with off the shelf technology, I've expanded and started to develop my own LMS (Learning Management Software). It's a PHP-MySQL platform designed for use with an IPad for in class management and all modern smartphones for homework, tests, surveys, and quizzes.
This project is still in the beta phase, but I've used it to manage most of my classes while teaching at Hokkaido University of Education.
This has involved at least 60 different classes averaging forty students per class and two instructors.
Flipped Classroom Critical Thinking
As part of my current teaching, I work with students who are non-native speakers of English. At the same time, as a philosopher by profession, I do not want tomake my classes mere English classes. As a solution, I have started to use a flipped lecture style for this class. What that means is that my lectures are freely available on youtube. Students watch them as homework. I start each class with questions and a quiz. Then we work on more advanced problems that build on the knowledge in class. (I welcome comments and suggestions for how to do this better).
The video part of this work is available for use on youtube. The in-class exercises are being revised each semester to more effectively teach critical thinking concepts.

Completed Projects

The title is a bit of a misnomer, but my goal here is to show how to do quizzes and other homework assignments using cellphones. No trees get killed. There's no need to manually collect things.
This project produced both a regional higher education presentation and a peer-reviewed publication in JALT's OnCue Journal