10. Dr. Diane Pecorari (Sweden)
11. Dr. Ali H. Al-Hoorie (Saudi Arabia)
1. Dr. Aya Matsuda
(Japan & USA)
Section 1 - Greeting (00:00 - 00:26)
A: Our interviewee today is Dr. Aya Matsuda, Associate Professor from the Department of English at Arizona State University. Good day.
B: Well, thank you for having me.
A: Well, it's very nice to speak to you. As I mentioned, in the email that I sent you, yours is work that I cite in almost every one of my papers, and it's something that inspired me to get into the area of World Englishes.
B: Thank you.
Section 2 - Introduction / Background (00:26 - 01:40)
I'm originally from Japan, from Tokyo area. I first came to the United States when I was in high school, the late 80s. And High School exchange programs were really popular. So I came to Wisconsin and lived with a dairy farming family for two years.
After that, I started college here and then went back to Japan to finish, I came back to The States again, to work on my graduate studies and I've lived in the US since then. When I first came to the States, as a grad, when I came back as a graduate student, my plan was to get a master's degree in TESOL and go back to Japan and teach English in middle school, that's that was the age group I wanted to work with, the things happened and I decided to stay here for a PhD. And that's where I was introduced to the idea of World Englishes. I found it fascinating. And I decided to I decided I wanted to pursue further for dissertation and beyond.
Section 3 - Research (01:40 - 04:15)
When I first started sharing some of the ideas, which I now call teaching English as an international language, some people, some of the reactions were like, Oh, so this is about being politically correct, or, oh, yeah, you're, you're a nice person. So you don't want to offend anyone by saying your English is wrong. Um, and I felt like some people responded well, but only because they saw some parallelism or compatibility between what they thought I was promoting to these ideas, and their way of thinking or ideology that really embraces diversity and promotes respect for differences, etc.
And yes, those are great values, I share that as well. And I can see that compatibility too. But I came in from more pragmatic, practical perspective, which is that, for example, in Japan, Ministry of Education, or many private language schools promote English thing that you have to know English because it's a global language, or, you know, if you know, English it opens, that it's English is the key to the, the new world and you can access this new international global resources that you cannot access without English.
But yet, once you going to the classroom, at least, I started talking about this, the focus was almost exclusively on United States and American English, or British, UK, English. But if these students learn English, and if they really go out to international world, that would include more than US and UK, and they might go out there and they think, oh, what is happening, I've never heard of these different kinds of Englishes and I'm not ready to talk to these people, then I thought that there's a disconnect between the way we are selling the language and the way we are preparing our learners. And we are doing disservice to our learners by not exposing them to the whole set of the reality of the English speaking world. So I came from that perspective.
Section 4 - Plans / Future (04:15 - 07:35)
I think globalization is something that is promoted, or not necessarily promoted, but talk about at higher education, like in universities, colleges, perhaps globally, I, I must say, I'm not familiar with situations in all countries or even many countries, I, my view is pretty limited to Asia and North America. So I hesitate a little bit to talk about other contexts as well. But I think globalization is something that many governments see as the important because they see themselves as part of this globalized world, whether we are talking about politics or economy or what not. So definitely, I think it will be part of the talk, and how different universities market themselves how maybe grants are distributed and so forth, the the globalization is going to be a big part. I understand that.
Some universities, many universities in Europe, for example, there's a strong push toward English medium instruction, because students in EU can freely move around and attend universities in other countries. I think that happens a lot in Asia, too. I know that some University in Japan have colleges or programs within the university where all courses are offered in English. So I think that is that is happening already. And if more people are interested in zag, there's sort of like a greater motivation to learn English. With perhaps a very clear, specific purpose, you know, English for academic purpose to get higher ed level education.
At the same time, though, I'm a little concerned about if the direction is to push English as a mini of them instruction, that concerns me a little bit, because I think it is a student's right to receive good quality education in their first language. And it comes to a situation where you have to know English to access good education, then that is going to create or reinforce a further source socio-economic divide in the society, because people who come from, you know, wealthier backgrounds tend to have better access to better English education. Also, I think certain knowledge will be lost if knowledge-making is not done in that language. So I would hope that university also pushes toward education and doing research in local languages, other than English, and in academia, for example, value those research and publications as much as they value publication in English,
Section 5 - Ideas about Englishes (07:35 - 08:51)
There might be situation where you need to well, you may prefer to sound like a native speaker. And I understand I probably want to critique that. Such a society where you get judged based on how you sound but I think that's a socio linguistic reality of any language in any society. And I can understand that depending on the goal, that's the direction you want to strive for.
I don't and probably because I think of these goals as contextually defined things I don't think that they will be one variety that will work in all an any situation. Um, that's, that's another reason that I'm skeptical of the idea of one international standard. are international variety of English, you know, to think that there is one or that it's worthwhile to try to create one? And it's probably not very desirable to try to create one because then, of course, the question, some people's English will be privileged and others in the process and it will create another hierarchy, which I don't think very productive.
Section 6 - Goodbye (08:51 - 09:00)
A: Thank you very much for your time. And I hope we have a chance to speak again in the future.
B: Yes, I hope so too. I really enjoyed our conversation today.
2. Dr. Seiko Harumi
(Japan & UK)
Section 1 - Greeting
A: My guest today is Dr. Seiko Harumi. How are you?
B: I'm okay. Hello, Jonathan.
Section 2 - Introduction / Background
I went to a university in Nagasaki. And also then afterwards, I started working as a teacher at Junior High School in Nagasaki. So, Nagasaki is really the place I really started my career. And I came to London to do a master's degree. And at the Institute of Education. So I was sort of inspired by students at junior high school, I had lots of questions about the teaching methods. And but I didn't have a chance to study about it in Japan. So I decided to go to UK and to study more. After I did a Masters, it's actually only one year here in UK. So I wanted to go back to teaching. And so I went back. But then after two years, I came back to UK to do PhD, because the first of all, the one-year for masters was very short, and I still wanted to explore the topic of silence for the Ph.D. And so I came back.
Section 3 - Research Motivation
My supervisor was Dr. Guy Cook, I don't know, Professor Guy Cook, I don't know, he he already retired. But at the time, when I did PhD, or MA, he was at the Institute of Education, he is an expert for discourse analysis. So he he was interested in this sort of classroom interaction, but he wasn't the sort of sort of expert for the silence itself. But he gave me a lot of a lot of, and the sort of inspiration for my writing. And the so it's not because of the teacher, but I think it's just because of my topic.
And the reason why I was interested in this topic was the I think it's, I think a two p..., two group of people inspired me at first is a students and I myself as a Japanese English teacher, I come across this problem very often. So I do know because you teach in Japan, you as you said, this issue is a sort of widespread and still sort of some way it'sgoing on. And the other group is the ALT teachers, assistant language English teacher in Japan, because I did a lot of team teaching with them, and I often heard they moan, they moan that it's so difficult to break the wall of the silence. When you ask questions, there is no answer, and you don't know what to do. And then as a Japanese person, I could sense what students are feeling and thinking, but I couldn't explain weel, So, that's why I wanted to find out the reason why this is happening in the Japanese classroom.
Section 4 - Research Findings
Yeah, I did the similar survey in the other classes, and I got my class, I now teach Japanese language to the students here. And then I think it depends on the levels of the proficiency, I think the beginners and I think linguistic problems can be a 60%, around 60%, 70%. And the source of the problem, not speaking. But all obviously, it's related to psychological problems. So I think if you look into the, the correlation with both links, the problem psychological problems, it might be more interesting. Yeah. So I think our show data, the answer, that the reason behind it, it's more complicated than you see from the data. that's why you need, you need to have a sort of data from different sources and and to try to find out. I think, in reality, even you asked the reason for being silent. I think, you know, that person cannot be hundred percent sure. What so they are thinking, so I think you you need to be careful about how to sort of make a generalization. And but I think in that sense, I think the multiple data collection is very important, I think.
Section 5 - Future Work
In the past, I wasn't very interested in the government policy how to how the curriculum is implemented. I didn't see the clear link between the curriculum and also the classroom teaching practices. But now I started thinking it has a big impact. And the long time ago, it reminds me of the episode when I went to sort of the Kensyoukai in Japan for the teacher things, teachers, and you know that in a really big space, like the Taikukan and, and a teacher, yes, yeah. That teacher was sort of a teaching and to about 30 students, and the everybody was watching, and students are wearing a microphone. And then the, the teacher was teaching, but obviously, they rehearsed beforehand, I think, because not many students and didn't make any mistakes. And of course, there are some but of course, this situation is also very odd. And after it's finished at the question and answer time, one ALT teacher asked, actually asked whether they did rehearsed because there wasn't any mistakes, made not not so much mistakes. And so I felt this question is really the the oddity of the Japanese classrooms, because then the, you know, the aim for this kind of training is to learn from each other. But I think they everything was sort of a setup beforehand. So that sort of the surficial, artificial, a sort of the the sort of strategy from the government, you know, which is affected, which affected the classroom teaching, even the training sessions was really striking. I think in nature. I think government policy hasn't changed very much, even the things and you know, it's the sort of the new communicative approach and the CEFR and that a lot of ideas coming in. But actual, the practices hasn't actually changed very much, to me.
Section 6 - Writing and speaking
Well, I did for me and I am using it at work but still it's I'm not a native speaker. So I of course have a problem with the the language but still, I think I feel if I tried to communicate ideas written in the article and I think I find it very, very rewarding to do the reading. And so I think it depends what your interests are. I think I feel that, you know, doing research on silence is a bit like a hobby for me. It's like, it's just something you like it. And I think when I, read this article this morning, I just thought about what I was thinking that time. And I think I just simply was very interested in this topic. So it's just that it's motivates in that way.
Well, because I have to teach Japanese, Japanese to students here. I have to brush up but I think I'm sure there are aspects, which is deteriorating, like a kanji writing, and I teach kanji sometimes. But I think when you're asked to write it on the board, I think sometimes you're not sure how you start the strokes. I think, of course, I have to study. Well prepare beforehand. Yeah. But it's interesting, just the, the, I think teaching Japanese to the students from non Japanese students. I don't see this exactly same problem with silence of silence with these group of students. So I think the silence in Japan is a sort of something very special.
Section 7 - Goodbye
A: Thank you for coming on the podcast and good luck with with the toilet paper and and everything in England.
B: Okay, thank you very much. Same to you. Bye.
3. Luisa Zeilhofer (Germany)
Section 1: Greeting
A: Joining us today is Louisa Zeilhofer, who is a Junior associate professor from the University of Kyoto. How are you doing today Luisa?
B: Oh, great. Thank you so much, Chris, for having me here.
Section 2: Introduction / Background
I fell in love with Japanese culture when I was about 14, 15 and started to learn Japanese. So it was completely self study with books and CDs, the you know, the old school way. And back then it was not easy to get access to videos or other resources. In this sense, the internet nowadays is such a paradise for language learners. And at the time, unfortunately, I was somehow trapped in the German education system, where the path is already decided at the age of 10. And my school was Realschule and a real school in English, you can say, like the name says it's targeted for real jobs like bank accountants, nurses, civil servants, and so on. So the academic world was completely out of reach. But after graduation, I went to vocational school and ran to be a foreign language correspondent for French and English, actually. But I couldn't give up my dream to study Japanese at university. So that's why I decided to go back to high school. And there is a special high school system for people, you know, for the real people who have their certificate in vocational training. But the problem was that these are extremely restricted, and you are only allowed to choose your own area. So in my case, foreign language correspondent was classified as economy, you know, economy area, and I'm a person who is interested in almost everything, but not in economy stuff. So I hate this stuff.
I wanted to change to another discipline, biology and science. But the German system is very strict. So to be allowed to attend, I had to do an additional year was teaching in tractor driving, welding, and even chainsaw training, several several injuries included, it can tell you, oh my goodness, but in a certain way, but in a certain way, I benefited from the whole extra school time, because in the meantime, I was in Japan for short chunk Japanese language course. And the teachers were so great, so devoted to the teaching. So that was when I felt that I want to be a teacher too.
Section 3: Research
Research has shown that meditation exercises can improve learning in different ways. However, can meditation also improve the learning of a foreign language? That was the big question. So until now, there are there were only a few studies, which looked on the combination of language learning and mindfulness, and not even one in a Japanese setting. There were all in with I think in target language where was English so implementing meditation exercises in a foreign language setting in Japan with German is a completely new thing.
So to fill this research gap, I started to let my students meditate. And this article shows actually a partial study of 75 students. But actually, there are more until now there are 300, I think, 300 students until now, and they were absolute. In this study, in my article, they were absolute beginners, and I let them meditate for a whole year. So over the, over the period of two semesters. The participants were divided into three classes with the same teacher, me, and the same textbook, and the two classes meditated every time in before class, or in the beginning of the class. Two times a week, one class did a guided meditation, they listened to a three-minute audio recording with Japanese meditation instructions. And the second class did accounting breath meditation, the students counted from 10 to one in their head, and concentrated on their breath. And the third class was the comparison group and had no meditation exercises.
And I wanted to test if the meditation exercises had an effect on the language learning. So I did six language tests with grammar, vocabulary listening. So yeah, you can say the standard, the standard language test over the over the year, and to measure the mindfulness level of the student and the effect questionnaires was used at the beginning and the end of the first semester.
Section 4: Mindfulness
Mindfulness, happiness, they are connected together. And mindfulness is the living about in the present moment. It's to be right here, right in that field. Now, actually, I have the comparison, the zoom lens. So a zoom lens can zoom out and zoom in, like you can switch your state of mind, you can have a larger perspective on what is taking place. So be mindfully aware of the whole situation. Or you can zoom in and focus on situational details. So focused attention. So I think, and this is the blueberry muffin, right? I think it's, it's really like to not watch TV while you're eating the blueberry muffin or reading something or thinking about anything, just eating the blueberry muffin, is actually pretty difficult for most of us nowadays.
I really recommend to try anything. First, the what's a feeling good for oneself, because some people love guided meditations and other hate them. Just, they don't want to hear anything, just meditate. So maybe try a guided meditation, go to YouTube, try 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or one hour if you if you want to really do that, and and try different speakers, because everyone has a different meditation guiding style. And you have to like the voice. And when I go into my classes, I try to take at least 20 seconds, also when I'm little bit late, but I try to take 20 seconds. And just okay, this is my this is my class, these students, they come to my mind, and I try to be the nicest person in the room. Yeah. This is always my, my motto. And then we have the meditation for three minutes. So actually, I meditate with them. So it's pretty good for me.
Section 5: Future work
Lately for my Chinese studies, I love to listen to Chinese guided meditations. I enjoy it because I can't learn and relax at the same time. And that's really great. Because it's slow, and it's repetitive, repetitive, and soothing. And you can really learn and train your listening skills. And I think Chinese is really beautiful, and can relax really good, really great
For my work, actually, meditation research has shown so many benefits, like lower blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, relieving depression, and so on. Actually, there's so much research out there. Now, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by myself. But for me personally, I mostly benefit from relaxing and the help with overthinking, though, it showed me that I cannot control my thoughts. And even my next thought is not under my control. So I can take a step back and just observe the present moment. And that is really, really helpful for my job as well.
Section 6: Goodbye
A: Thank you for your time today, Lisa, and I wish you the best of luck in your future work.
B: Thank you. Thank you so much, Chris, for having me here. And I wish you all the best and a mindful life.
4. Dr. Shaun O'Dwyer (Australia)
Section 1: Greeting
A: Joining us today is Shaun O'Dwyer, who is an associate professor from Kyushu University. And the book we're going to be talking about is his work, Confucianism's Prospects: A Reassessment. Hello, Shaun.
B: Hello, and thank you for the introduction.
A: And how you doing today?
B: Pretty good, as as well as anyone else, I guess.
Section 2: Background
Q: "Have you always been a university-based academic?"
For a long time, I was as the Chinese would call it "A Wandering Scholar", a bit of an itinerant scholar. For a good many years, I was actually out of the university system working in the English language teaching sector, the the eikaiwa sector, as well as exactly and doing ALT jobs. But I'll mention this: about 20 years ago, I dropped out while I completed my Ph.D., and actually came to Japan and became a NOVA teacher. And in that year, I wrote and had published three academic papers. And I was out of the university system at that time, and it just came down to setting time aside and making sure I worked on stuff. And also, the fact that I was a humanities scholar meant that all I needed was a laptop an internet connection and some books. I think that also makes it easier if you're in the humanities, you don't need that much. So I think part of it is is motivation, and then maintaining some kind of connection with networks of other scholars. So at that time, I was involved in a few online discussion lists, which allowed me to connect with scholars and share my ideas with them. So I think it's certainly doable. For a number of years I was out of academia, or at least not only just teaching full time, part-time sometimes, but I was still maintaining some some published output. So my advice is to kind of struggling perhaps, if they're not sort or tenured, or if they're sort of halfway in halfway out of the academic world, is to keep it up and maintain some sort of connection by correspondence with them, scholars working in their field.
Section 3: Interest in Confucianism
Q: "What interested you in the topic of Confucianism in Asia?"
Well, my interest in this kind of topic sort of started off about just over 20 years ago, I suppose. And at the time, I kind of went in for what I now regard as a rather naive notion that East Asian societies have a sort of deep and enduring Confucian heritage culture, which strongly influences their sort of social and cultural life. And that this, this sort of factors into what kind of political system is or systems are appropriate for their for their way of life. And so there are various proposals being around about what kind of political system is compatible with, you know, so-called Confucian heritage cultures. And I was sort of a part of this discussion or debates about 20 years ago and published a few papers about it. But in the intervening years, I've sort of come to reassess and think well, you know, look, you know, East Asia is a really highly diverse region of, you know, over one point, about 1.7 billion people living in very, very different societies. Some of them highly autocratic, of course, and some of them are state-of-the-art liberal democracies, which you know, in the current pandemic, are producing some really high-quality statecraft responses to the pandemic. And it just seems to me that this notion of a sort of shared confusion, heritage culture, still having effect today and how people sort of live their lives and how they, you know, do politics, it just seems to be not not a very good idea, not a very workable idea, a bit of a pie-in-the-sky idea, I suppose. So, my book is a kind of response to my own thinking 20 years ago, and also to the kinds of, you know, sort of political and moral and philosophical works, which are being produced without assumption in mind that there is a steep, enduring confusion, heritage culture, which still has influence or if it is stopped, stopped having influence because of modernization and industrialization, that it It should somehow be restored. And I take issue with both of those assumptions.
Section 4: Historical stories of Confucian rulers
Q: "What are some interesting events from Confucian state history?"
So in the Mensius there, there's a scene where one of Mensius's students highlights a passage in the in the sort of legends of that King Shun where he, he is partial to one of his, one of his brothers. And his brother is a really horrible person, he ends up giving him a kind of a sinecure in a faraway province. And Mensius's students is what's with this this is kind of partiality. He's, you know, King Shun's brother is a bastard. So what's he doing and rewarding him and sending him off to a province where he's going to inflict his you know, his tyranny on the people are possibly whereas the Shun actually harshly punished some other ministers who had no family relation to him so not exactly filial relation, but a kind of familial relation which which some critics of Confucianism know at the time was saying introduces bias into rulership.
It's almost becomes a black humor. There's a scene where the the brother and the father conspired to set fire to Shun when he's when he's in a barn. It does. It does sort of build up you think, you know, isn't it time to run away or leave but no, he shows his devotion to his father and quietly accepts and tolerates the the plots by family against him. And that's one of the reasons why he's rewarded with the sort of the rulership and the end.
Q: "So, could Confucian rulers do whatever they wanted?"
It's hinted sometimes more than hinted, while there's a thing called the Mandate of Heaven, for if a ruler is tyrannical, then yeah, the fact that he falls, is overthrown, is a sign that he didn't deserve to be there in the first place. So that gives a bit of a bit of wriggle room for ministers to sort of sort of hint to the ruler, who, you know, if you do really bad stuff, you could end up being treated like a criminal, you know, getting 'The Chop', which is what Mensius actually says one of the dialogues, he doesn't actually say that ministers have a right to overthrow a ruler, but he does say, "Well, you know, it's gonna it could happen to you, you know." So that's the theory that in that ministers could overthrow rulers who are tyrannical and that's the the ruler being overthrown as a sign that Heaven had withdrawn consent to the ruler of being there, which in a way is a pretty radical doctrine for the time. But in practice of course, in dynastic China once Confucianism became the the kind of, you know, the state doctrinal, the states of ritual order as well, that kind of thinking was very much held in check, for obvious reasons, but there were from time to time in formal sort of practices and institutions whereby ministers could remonstrate lecture, even scold the ruler, and they could get away with it. It was assumed that was part of their job, but it wasn't, it was a pretty dangerous thing to do. You could get your head lopped off. So there's a quite a famous story from the reign of the Hongwu Emperor in the in the early Ming Dynasty. Usually he was actually the ruler who founded the Ming Dynasty, and he murdered quite a lot of ministers, quite a lot of scholars. Finally, one Confucian scholar had had enough. So he he decided he'd go and visit the Emperor and really scold him. And he took the trouble to bring his coffin with him to the remonstrant session. So you can imagine, as we're having his coffin wielded by some attendants when he sat in front, the Emperor and told him, I'm going to tell you off, and the Emperor was apparently so impressed with his bravery that he let him live.
Section 6: Future plans
Q: "Having completed this project, what are you doing next?"
Well, the next step is an edited book collection on Confucianism in modern Japan, which I'm editing for the Japan imprints documents, sorry, the Japan document inprints, and yeah, I've sort of a third of the way through that. So so far, I've got contributions from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, British, Romanian, Indonesian, and Taiwanese scholars. And that sort of spans the period we've been talking about in this in this podcast from the late 19th century through to the 21st century. So yeah, that's looking very interesting in the moment. So just in the quite early process of peer reviewing contributions. So yeah, that will be the next stage, I guess, looking at a kind of a history of ideas perspective on the development of modern academic as well as politicized Confucianism, in the in the Japanese, and also the the regional context affected by Japan during the 20th century.
Section 7: Goodbye.
A: Thank you very much for your time today, Shaun, and I wish you the best of luck in all your work.
B: Okay, thank you very much and the same to you, Chris
5. Dr. Gabrielle Decamous (France)
Section 1 - Greetings (00:00 - 00:11)
A: Today's interviewee is Dr. Gabrielle Decamous from the faculty of languages and cultures at Kyushu University. How are you today, Gabrielle?
B: I'm fine. Thank you. How are you?
A: I'm very well.
Section 2 - Background / Introduction (00:11 - 02:31)
I've worked in many museums, and also did academic research. The museum's I've worked for were the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Guggenheim, as well, essentially in New York, but also in Bilbao, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. And then I did my Ph.D. in the United Kingdom at Goldsmiths college. And then I ended up in Fukuoka, somehow. When I was at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, I came across a book, somebody pointed to me brought it to my attention, it was an exhibition catalog about a group of Italian artists called the Nucleai, which means the nuclear, and the group itself was really cold that way, and their goal was to depict in painting the nuclear age, so that it was some sort of some sort of drippings and and exploding forms all over the canvas. And the group was very active, and also included some French members such as Yves Klein. So I was shocked by this, I was surprised by why this group is forgotten. And also, everything about the nuclear age was forgotten. And at the time, I was interested in to the connection between art and science. And everybody was talking about biotechnology. It was the trend at the time. And I thought that among these kind of very contemporary things, because it was very high tech. I thought that the connection between art and science should involve some kind of artistic historical connection as well, not just the contemporary, the new new. And then after this, when I started researching the more I started kind of scratching or digging on on the on the surface, the more things came up from the cold war from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, from Chernobyl and Fukushima happened. My my archive went to like, a lot bigger than expected. But that's the that's the origin was the Peggy Guggenheim collection.
Section 3 - Censorship and Fukushima (02:31 - 04:56)
Yes. So Fukushima, I write about this in my book as well, censorship in Fukushima. I mean, there's not a title of the book but a part in the book. In fact, contrary, even to Chernobyl, we had the opposite effect of like cover. At first. There was like a saturation of information, because of social media and Twitter and people will were kind of sharing information, sometimes without checking information. And there was like an overload or saturation, and that people people were at a loss, I think so I think the cover-up would have been impossible at that time. However, there was a different form of let's say, yes, I guess I could say censorship as well. But what I find very interesting is that today, we don't talk about it anymore. The problem is still there, there is no solution as of yet lack for channel, and it's gonna take time, and there's still an exclusion zone, but it has become very quiet in the media. So I think whether it was a strategy by the Shinzo Abe government or not, or he was like, self-censorship, censorship from the media. Gradually, we went from like saturation to absolutely nothing. And now, I think that with the virus, we have even less, and also at the same time, what I was questioning also, the question I was asking me in my book was also that now that there is this this nuclear disaster happening, and and I can really say that there's been like, an overwhelming number of artworks that were done, not just by Japanese artists, but by artists all over the world about Fukushima, then this create another kind of layer of information putting it in the shadow of former ones, the ones about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ones about Oceania. So they it's it's troubling, I think that by wanting to talk about is the subject, we are putting in the shadow other traumas of nuclear traumas, as well.
Section 4 - Censorship after Nagasaki (04:56 - 07:35)
"Did censorship occur after Hiroshima and Nagasaki?"
That is something that was very surprising for me to learn is that so many words were were censored in the book, I wrote about this in greater details, but that's sometimes the sensor she was very loose as things would go through the cracks. And sometimes he would be very strict. I think there was also a lot of self censorship on the part of the Japanese artists also because in the 1930s, there was this case of communist writer who got beaten down by the police to death, he was killed by the police for being for having his freedom of speech. So I think there was a lot of this but for all Yoko what is very surprising is that they have censored a part of her book, an entire chapter, which is did was dedicated to hope site Scientific Reports. And when they broadcasted on radio broadcast about censorship, and the atomic bomb, was that only scientific information would circulate. So it is really strange. And she writes about it herself. That's the one she met with the censorship officers. They were, it was completely surreal that everything went the opposite way, but that she finally managed to publish even if it was partial, they cut off one one chapter. Some some artists like her, pushed and succeeded in publishing things, but there were a few and when the censorship was lifted, and I think this speaks volumes, as well: when the censorship was finally lifting in 1952, even one or two years before it was loose, it started to get really loose. So many so many works. were published and and images, not just literature or poetry or songs, it was also pictures, I mean photography that were circulated. And what I find very surprising as well is that when I started digging into this archive, which is there, in in Japan, in the atom bomb Museum in Hiroshima, Nagasaki widen in the open, and is that these images are still not circulating in the West. And I was very surprised by that. So I would say that even though the censorship was lifted, the effect is lasting.
Section 5 - The history and problem of uranium mining (07:35 - 08:46)
"Let's think about other problems: where does the uranium for nuclear energy come from?"
It comes from the mines. And the mines also are very polluting. And there is an entire history of uranium mining, which is completely in the dark as well. And that's where I think censorship is also very good at to keep this this one's in the dock. Iranian mining, there is an A History of uranium mining. If you think about the first times, uranium was was digged, it was at the time of mercury. So it was in the Czech Republic. It was there was only one mine and then there was another one in the Belgian Congo. So here we stepped on to colonization, as well. And now we know the safety for the workers. But at the time we didn't. And so for decades and decades of Iranian mining's, not only the resources were emptied by colonial powers, when there were on the African continent, in particular, the French mining Niger, in Madagascar, and then there was the American mines in, in native Indian territories in the US and Canada.
Section 6 - (08:46 - 09:42)
The planning for me is just that I thought, because I did my PhD on to the topic, I thought I had enough material. And when I reached Japan, I realized that there's a lot more. And then when I managed to gather enough information or send it to the publisher, and in the making, I came across so much more, so much more. And I couldn't see the end. I think at the time, when I started the book, I was under pressure to publish and to put things outside for my academic career. So I went into a I did it a little bit in a rush. But today, if I could write again, another book, I would just take the time to really gather all the information and then start from there. Instead of just being in emergency all the time over there.
Section 7 - Goodbye (09:42 - 09:51)
A: Thank you very much for your time, and I wish you the best of luck in your future works.
B: Thank you for having me and for the nice questions.
6. Lisa Hunsberger (Carribean)
Section 1 - Greetings
A: Today's guest is Lisa Hunsberger, lecturer of English at the renowned Kishu sango University.
B: Thank you so much, Jonathan. I'm really very happy to be here.
Section 2 - Background
You have elementary school, then junior high school here in Japan, and then senior high school. And in the US at middle school. There we go. Right. In Jamaica, we do not have Middle School, you just have elementary school, we say primary primary school, then it's high school, and you start high school at age 11 their boats. And you start there all the way up to age 16. And we follow kind of a British system. And so there's an extra two years where we do what we call a levels, advanced level courses. And then those two years are optional. take you up to age 18, and then University thereafter. What made you interested in language learning? Well, my family's kind of a language family. Yeah, my mom did her her undergraduate degree in I think it was Spanish major and German minor. Oh, on my on, she did Spanish up to her master's. And she also lived in Spain for a while. So my family is kind of big on languages. Did you specialize in language in your was in secondary school? Seven to 12? Seven grades, because Australia is great seven to 12. But it sounds like yours is a little different. So I think it is seven a we say first form, so but it does follow from grade six to grade seven. So yes, grade seven, probably up to grade 11. I believe 11 or 12. And yes, so I chose Spanish in high school. But I'll be very honest, I I kind of coasted on by because my mom and my aunt, whenever we went to visit my aunt's my aunt to always speak to my mom in Spanish whenever they wanted to see something without me knowing what they were saying. And so to figure out what they were saying I was a very diligent student at first and was learning Spanish and just so I can figure out what they were talking about. And then once I knew what they were saying, and they no longer could have their secret language and my presence, I totally lost interest in Spanish which you know much the heartbreak of my family. I lost interest in Spanish, but when I went to university, I picked up friendship, not by choice. I was actually off on my my academic credits by like Three points, three credits. And an academic advisor was like, Hey, why don't you try French? And I'm like, French? Are you kidding me? I didn't say out loud. But I was thinking, are you kidding me? Like, this language is so difficult. Nothing is spelled the way it's pronounced like I don't want to do French but I, I didn't have any other option that was as interesting to me. And so I picked up French and I had beginner French every morning for two semesters from 8am till 10am. Wow. two semesters of French. And I remember I was so mad. I walked into the first class and I was like, Oh, I cannot believe I'm here. And then in walks my French teacher, she just sashayed into the class pulls you to Lamond, on the first day, and she was so happy and bubbly and energetic and excited to teach us this language. And I was so impressed with her that it completely melted. Jonathan I completely melted, melted.
Section 3 -
I will never forget, there was one community that was only accessible by boats. And the children, the school children, they would come to this main area for school, and then jump in their canoes, and paddle home. That's so cool. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. And just going into the communities and recording the language was was very, a very unique experience, because this was a language that hadn't been documented as much as lacanau had been. And so just to even start was challenging, because one of the best ways to get speakers to speak naturally about their language is to have them tell a story.
And while they're telling the story, they're seeing all these different things. And then you say, Okay, well, can you explain to me what the story was about? And then they tell you the meaning of the story in English, so of course, they're bilingual. And when they're explaining the meaning in English, you hear keywords. JACK, okay. This was a story about a man who went to the forest I'm like, Okay, how do you say Manny in your language? How do you see go in your language? How do you see a forest in your language? And then if they say went to the forest, and I have to say, I have to ask, okay, how do you say is going, went, will be going, and I get all of the variations within one particular word, then saw the conjugations for verbs. So that was part of what made it really challenging it was having to, you know, basically start with all of this knowledge and then kind of, you know, analyze it down to the nitty-gritty to get all the details. So before it got really, really difficult
Section 4 -
I did attend presentations. And sometimes I think, oh, man, there's just so much to read on the slide. I wish I could see everything, but the presenters and seeing everything and, you know, using that as the guidelines of the guidelines for the things that I have, even in the article as well, that's the biggest mistake just too much text on, it just happens Oh, it's amazing. If you, you know, I read your stuff, and I and I've seen some of your presentations. But just to be honest, if you go on YouTube, and you say like top three tips for making a good presentation, number one, too much text on a slide.
It's like that's the number one mistake that everyone advocates for and you just continue, I went to this presentation, I'm not going to say where a couple years ago. And there were so much text on the slide, it was like I was reading a paper, I can read the paper I don't need, I didn't come here to read the paper, like I came here to listen to you. And then you need to put some visuals or something. It hurts my eyes, it's too far away. It's distracting. And then I'm frustrated because I can't read it. It's really not a good look for presentation to have too much text on a slide.
It's why I always say it's important for presenters to remember that the presenter is really the main person that the audience member came to hear from, or to understand me, you know, to understand what is happening with this particular people, I find that the presenters are sometimes so wrapped up in wanting to get the audience all of this information or even just not knowing where to start off with making the slides. That is a copy and paste that happening. That happens. And so the from the presenters perspective, the presentation becomes presenter centered, as opposed to audience-centered, it's not digestible for the audience
Section 5 -
Now, that part was the linguist, the linguist in me, having watched all of these TV shows, and also knowing that there are so many Jamaicans who don't realize that we have so many of us are bilingual, and we don't even realize it. We just say English and bad English, but it's really English and the Jamaican language, it's not that bad, bad English. Oh, bad. Okay, that's why. Okay, bad English. Okay, and it's not bad English. It's a different language entirely. It has its own grammatical system. And I started making the videos because I had watched Marvel's Luke Cage. I have I'm a superhero nerd. I watched Marvel's Luke Cage. And oh my gosh, it was real but to make it was so bad cringy for every Jamaican out there, it was so crazy. And what you find happening is that Jamaicans will hear it and it's cringe worthy, but they don't know why. Ah, so you were explaining that I was explaining that as it's being so this is this is ungrammatical because we don't conjugate we don't, we don't Mark tense in Jamaican like this. This is how English marks tense. In Jamaica, we mark tense like this, or this word, we don't Mark plurality like this, instead of Jamaican remark clarity like this. So that was really where that started. And then it was, well, if I'm going to talk about the grammar, why not talk about the writing system, and why not talk about this or that. So I do hope to make more videos. It's just a time. That's a challenge. Because they do take it takes out, it takes a while to sit down and think of the concept. Same of what back when I was first starting out with the presentation design, to sit, sit down and think of the concept, write out a script, then record it, then go in and edit it myself. Like all of that is it's quite the undertaking.
Section 6 - Goodbye
Lisa, thank you so much for coming on Lawson citations. Thank you so much, Jonathan. I really had a great time.
7. Dr. Ana Sofia Hofmeyr (Portugal)
Section 1 - Greetings
A: Joining us today is Ana Sophia Hofmeyr, who is a lecturer at Kansai University. How are you doing today, Ana?
B: I'm doing great. Chris, thank you so much for having me.
I wanted to look at how initiatives in domestic campus were fostering interculturally competent students. So really, my main question it was, does internationalization at home? So these initiatives on domestic campuses have the potential to generate intercultural competence in domestic students? And if they do, what are the circumstances for its production?
I wanted to look at the concepts specifically in higher education because it's, you know, the concept is also linked to industry. And it's mostly about creating a global workforce. But I really wanted to see how universities were perceiving this idea of global gene size. So I started by looking at promotional and policy documents that were being published by these 37 universities and by the government, and what skills and attitudes and knowledge they said that they would foster in their students. And then after looking at that, I had a bit of, I guess, a clearer picture of what they meant by global genes I by global human resources. I did frame it, sorry, I did frame it in comparison with more of a Western model of intercultural competence, just to compare and to see what Japan had, that was not being mentioned in the case of the United States in the UK, and kind of the specificities of the Japanese case.
I was looking at how programs at his domestic campuses could develop intercultural competence and specifically, I was looking at extra curricular programs because quite a lot of research has been done on EMI, for example, English as a medium of instruction programs. So I wanted to look at other programs that are more CO curricular extracurricular. And so what I expected to see really was that these people programs would directly impact intercultural competence in domestic students participation in these programs. So I was I was thinking that students who enrolled in these programs would develop intercultural competence directly. And but what happened was that it was not a direct relation. So students, prior experiences or experiences prior to enrolling in university had more influence than what actually happened on campus. So for example, students who spent time abroad prior to enrolling at university, students who are more interculturally motivated as soon as they enrolled, and also gender impacted students confidence in their intercultural competence. So I'm not talking about actual, intercultural competence, but their confidence in their intercultural competence levels. And in turn this confidence impacted their engagement with the campus. So if they felt more confident in their intercultural skills, they were more likely to enroll in extra curricular programs with an intercultural focus, they were more likely to engage with international students outside of these programs, and they were more likely to engage with the multicultural campus in general.
Well, if you're, if you're talking about at the higher education level, I really think that, you know, in terms, so actually, students attitudes towards intercultural contact were fairly high. Students showed curiosity shouldn't show openness. And there's really a lot saying, there's a lot of literature and a lot of in the news, you see it in Japan as well, that there's this inward looking use in Japan, which is not necessarily the case, students seem to want to interact with national students. I think if I had the budget, rather than motivation, I'd really focus on increasing student's understanding of other cultures, their intercultural knowledge and skills, other than language skills, because I think most of the budget does go to foreign language skills at the moment. But the reason why there was such a gap between intercultural motivation, and what students actually did was that students had almost no confidence in their knowledge about other cultures and in their skills to be able to communicate with other cultures. So actually, if I had the money, that's that's where I would invest it, I guess.
to give listeners a bit of background, I started my PhD as I started my new job. I started the new job at the same time, which in retrospect, was a very risky and challenging thing to do. I had to manage new classes, and new environment, and a whole new research project at the same time. I'm a lecturer so I teach 10 classes a week, that involves a lot of preparation, I have some other duties as well. In addition to that, I got pregnant during my PhD. And I got pregnant, I already have a daughter. So this was my second child. And so I had to manage a pregnancy eventually to small children with my new job and a PhD. Honestly, for people who are thinking of doing a PhD, you'll need to reconsider my approach, I think. So I did my PhD in three years. And I think honestly, despite everything with the Coronavirus, if I hadn't had to stay at home for a whole year, I wouldn't have finished it in three years, it would have taken me an extra year, I saved time that I could use on my PhD on commuting time, on time between zoom classes on being able to switch quickly between classes and PhD work while I was at home. For the rest of the time. It was a big challenge. And it involves a lot of preparation and time management skills. I would say you really need to be able to compartmentalize, I had my teaching days and I had my research days, and no teaching work was done on my research days. And no research was done on my teaching days. And that really helped getting the work done. If you if you wake up in the morning of a research day and you think well I'm just going to have a quick look at my email. See if any students said anything. If there's any homework, oh, you'll never get to your research. You start answering emails. You get lost in the email to remember there's something else you need to do for your classes. Suddenly it's lunchtime. For me mornings are more productive. So then by the afternoon I was just tired. I couldn't do my research. What really worked for me was to separate those and then leave evenings open as much as possible. Now, I have to say that towards the end of my PhD, this was just not possible. And for quite a few months, I worked every night. But, you know, especially when I was pregnant, I was out by 6pm. That was it, I was very tired. My son is gigantic. So, and I'm very small. So. But it's hard, it's hard. And it really took, I guess, a very supportive husband, that, you know, looked after the children, and especially for the interviews I had. So these two universities that I analyzed, they were not, you know, physically close to me, I had to travel for the interview. So, um, that involves taking my husband and my daughter and my newborn son, who was at the time, about a month and a half to two months to the interviews, and my husband looked after the baby while I did the interviews. And so you know, you need the support, you need the support from people around you, you need the time management, and then you need to give yourself a break.
I have one article that is in the final stage of the publication review process. And that's the one about the concept of global human resources in Japan and what that means in higher education. Yeah, that's almost done. Then I have two more articles that I would like to publish with my results. But I'm going to leave that for the end of January or February. for submission wins classes are finished. I'm just aiming for big international journals. You know me I'm, you know, I'm fairly ambitious and I tend to aim for the club. Just right before I started my PhD, I had conducted this study with almost 400 students I wanted to publish. And so I found the biggest international journal in my field. And I decided this is where I'm going to submit it. And I thought, let's start from the top. And if they reject me, I get some good feedback. And I'll go to the next level. But they didn't reject me. They said, the quality is not at the level, we expect, you know. And looking back at it, I hadn't even started my PhD. So I'm not surprised. They said that, but they weren't interested in my findings. And they weren't interested in that gap of the research that I was looking at. So it took me two years, but I finally managed to get my article published there. So really, I'm just looking to publish in international journals. And especially in my field, I'm looking at internationalization at home.
A: Thank you for sharing your time with us today, and good luck in the future.
B: Thank you very much for having me.
8. Dr. Christina Gkonou (Greece)
Section 1 - Greetings
A: Today's guest is Dr. Christina Gkonou, associate professor in TESL, and masters in TESOL, program director in the department of language and linguistics at the University of Essex. Dr. Gkonou. How are you?
B: I'm very well, thank you. How are you?
A: I'm doing quite well, thank you for agreeing to do the interview at this time
Section 2 - Background
I, I started, I actually started as a language teacher, so I was teaching students. And, and that was not as part of any of the courses I'm teaching on at the moment. But that was, and these were students by English language learners. So they were learning English as a foreign language or a second language, really. So this is how I started. But alongside that, I was also doing my PhD. And I was interested in research. And in researching the topic I was focusing on at the time, which was language learner anxiety. And I was going to conferences, and I could see how much I would enjoy academic discussions and being with other researchers, and listening to their ideas about my research their comments and feedback. I felt I learned a lot from that. And I think this is how I became more interested in, in working in an institution in a research based post, which is what I am, which is what I'm doing now. So my position at the moment combines teaching and research. But I would say it's more research focused, or maybe the evening. I'm doing some teaching, but there are lots of expectations from me and colleagues who are in the same position to do do research, and publish and go to conferences and stuff. And so this is how I became interested in academia. Teaching is something that they have, but they have always enjoyed they think, and I find it very relaxing as well. And, of course, face to face teaching is something that I enjoy a lot more than online teaching, because I think nothing can replace the interaction among people. But unfortunately, we don't have another option at the moment. And so and then your other question about which group I prefer, I don't really mind to be honest with you. But working with practicing teachers at the MA level, which is most of what I do, and excites me the most, I think, and I do something to two undergraduate students, which, which is fine. And I like that too. Because of the dynamics in the class. They're very different from my MA classes, but working with the MA students who are practicing teachers, and apart from the psychology module, I do teaching practice with them, and lesson planning and classroom management and research skills. And I like this combination of topics and the fact that they are here and they are receiving training to become English language teachers. Most of them go back home and the way they work is language, the English language teachers in their home country. So it's Really, it's different. It's different types of groups. I do I enjoy both. But I think I prefer practicing teachers working with teachers.
So program here as six is both for inexperienced or less experienced teachers, but also for experienced teachers. And what we do is in the second term, we have two pathways, and the teachers or the teachers follow, let's say the pathway that is for them according to the teaching experience that they already have. But in the first term, they are all together in the same class. And in the same group, they take the same modules. And I can sometimes understand who knows something quite well and who doesn't and needs more support. And I haven't been challenged openly in class as part of this role, because we use a system here in which the course director myself in this case, meets the students and talks to them and explains things to them. So I think that by making clear, we're making everything clear right from the start. And it is very helpful. But I remember being challenged. In the past when I was working as an English language teacher here, and perhaps a critical incident for me when I was challenged by a student in class about my age. And, and you know, things like that, not necessarily the way I was thinking, you know, so perhaps for me, that was a critical incident. So that was something that I was thinking about, and after the class and maybe a few days after the class. But in terms of you know, having more experienced teachers in the class and challenging me, I think I've learned how to handle that. So maybe through all these little tabs, the one to one meetings, and by giving some good answers in class during the lesson. And the thing is that so far, the people that have more experienced than our own our meds or course are the ones that are usually silent and appreciate what we do.
Yeah. And we felt that it was important to clarify the difference between emotions and feelings, because as we say, and on this page, before the extract that you have just read out, we actually say that those people and then to use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably, or they see them as synonyms, maybe they're words that have exactly the same meaning. But that's not right. And maybe in everyday speech, when we do not, when we do not discuss emotions within this particular context of psychology, but let's say we talk with a friend about how we felt about something, maybe within this informal context, we can use these words interchangeably, but when we are talking about approaches to understanding emotions, and researching emotions, and so on, which is the focus of this book. We need to make sure that we understand the difference between emotions and feelings. And yeah, emotions are things we can see that is why we say physical manifestations. Okay, I know that some people might contest that. They might say that, well, some of us are very good at hiding our emotions or we know how to do that. So you can't always see how you can't always see our emotion. I know that people will contest that But in order to understand the difference between the two, we can say that emotions are physical manifestations of how we feel. And this is why they lead or this is how they lead to feelings. So they are different.
what I have learned throughout the years is how to best manage my time. I think I was doing that. Okay. And anyway, but I can tell that I'm doing much better now. And I have learned, I have learned how to manage time how to prioritize tasks, and also how much time I should devote to each task. So I'm not sure if everybody can do that, because they might be handling tasks that are more demanding than what I have a moment. But I try to evaluate in advance how much time I should devote something, depending on its nature, depending on how important it is, how it relates to and so on. And so that was one thing I have learned. And the other thing that I have learned is that, at the beginning, when I am joined the department in this research position, I was trying to do everything at the same time to stay online until late to to answer all the emails, maybe spend some time during the weekend to finish something. But I have learned to be more relaxed now. And understand that things can also wait. So you don't always have to finish something. And you know when this makes you stressed and this takes away time that you might want to spend with your family, etc. So again, this is something that I have learned, which I think is very closely linked to what I mentioned earlier time management. And you learn as you go along to complete tasks quicker and to be more efficient. And I think this is something you learned through experience.
A: Thank you again for coming on the show and best of luck with your teaching and research this term and your
B: Thank you.
9. Dr. Nobuyuki Hino (Japan)
Section 1 - Greeting
A: Joining us today is Dr. Nobuyuki Hino, who is a professor of language and culture at Osaka University. Very nice to make your acquaintance professor.
B: Well, thank you. Thank you, Dr. Haswell, or Chris sensei. I'm glad to be here. And I feel really honored to be on your program. Thank you.
Let's see. Well, it goes back to exactly 50 years ago. 1970. It's the year that the Beatles disbanded. Are you from the UK? Right? Yes, I am. Great. Yeah. Great music band from your country. Yeah. So what happened in 1970. So that is about the disbanding of The Beatles, and also, the book by Kenny hiromasa. Clay lomasa is a pioneer Japanese simultaneous interpreter, and also a cultural anthropologist. And he wrote a book in 1978 on Hannah's kata, the English title is English works for you. So he wrote it in Japanese, and he discussed it, what he discussed there was the, what he called a guano, that's a baker. That's, he later translated it, like, the Anglo-Americanization of English. So it so he argued that the Anglo American ization of English is occurring. And also he talked about the diversification of English varieties of English. So, and on top of that, he claimed that, well, Japanese English should be valuable as a means of communicating or representing Japanese values, or East Asian values. Okay, so I was just a junior high school student, I was 12 at that time, so I didn't understand what he was talking about, but I intuitively felt something must be there do something important. Later in senior high school, I encountered another book, this time by a book by is a guitar cow. And in that 1975 book, he discussed his concept of English. English is also my international English, the Anglo Americanized English for international communication. Okay. And Suzuki taco also argued that Japanese English should be valued for expressing Japanese cultural Japanese values, or international means of communication for Japanese people. And so those two books had a great impact on me, although first I didn't understand what they were really talking about. By the way, interestingly, those two books became bestsellers in Japan. See, this is very, something very interesting about Japan. Already in the 1970s, the general public was exposed to the idea of English as an international language.
My belief is the research should not be for research his own sake. Okay. Research has social responsibility. And for our area of English language teaching or ELT, it should have pedagogical benefit. It should go do to students, or teachers, I really take it for granted that our research should have some some practical benefit for students and teachers. And in some way, actually, when I say practical benefit, I also include spiritual benefit. So if I may say this, because I mentioned the Beatles, Beatles just a few minutes earlier, my ultimate goal is to increase love and peace to me. So our research and our teaching should increase love and peace in this world, ultimately. So for that, for that call for that to go towards that goal, or our research should have some, well, pedagogical benefits on the way.
So first of all, well, we should be careful about any categorization. Okay, not only nation-state framework, once we categorize something we could have, unless we are very careful, we could have well stereotyping and labeling and even othering. Right? So there's that danger without the inherent danger of any categorization. There, especially the nation state framework. Well, Japan has a very negative history about English language teaching from that viewpoint. Look at the English language textbooks. During World War Two in Japan, textbooks were limited in those days in wartime. And then America was in Britain was still still out there were English textbooks, well, but the content was the content was they try to exclude Anglo American culture. And they try to hold the superiority of Japanese culture, though, so that was an ethnocentric textbook, although it was English for Japanese values. Okay, in a sense, in a sense, because they expressed the replaced American English, British names with the Japanese names like a Hanako, and things like that. And content was like, we pray for the brave Japanese soldiers. So in a way, it's a represent representation of Japanese values. But but the but it's not AI. And as far as I'm concerned, this is not AI of textbook because he has to be based on the Balanced View of cultures. So prejudice against other cultures is the farthest away from AI in that way, so nationally, is really worked negatively against Ei L. On the other hand, as we as we have been talking about nationalism in the outer circle, you mentioned or post colonial environment, was a driving force really driving force for standing up for the local English says, it's really a double edged sword
Firstly, we shouldn't be worried too, too worried about testing, right? Because testing is, in a way about results. And we should be more concerned with teaching first, and then testing. So if we say because testing is difficult, we should not do this. That's the other way around. We can okay. So, yeah, well, anyway, I do respect testing experts, they are doing a wonderful job. And because testing today is a really specialized area, I often refrain from commenting on testing because because there are real experts on that, but, but if I may comment on this a little think of the yes testing of Ei L is a well complicated one or complex one, but it should be possible, what is required is the widening of the scope, diversification of standards, but it should not be really impossible. For example, a while about testing, for receptive skills, tasks involving varieties of English can be given such as listening comprehension questions on conversations between say, Chinese English and Brazilian English talking about Greek culture or something like that, okay. And in in that case, scopes of exams are widened really, with respect to linguistic and cultural aspects, the basically the same methods of testing should be applicable, they can be used in my understanding, as in conventional testing in American and British English. And for productive skills, which concern MJ model of Japanese English that you mentioned, what criteria also needs to be liberalized to allow for diversity? So for example, in writing in testing, writing, a Japanese style of text organization may be accepted in writing in AI, oh, this kind of thing will make the job of examiners much more complex, but it's not impossible. Okay, that's how I see it. And if I may add one more thing. I think probably the most difficult part is to test the communication skills, interactive skills in Ei L. Really, that's the key for English as a lingua franca, especially if How can you measure Their communication strategies, what we've been doing that is subjective way. How can we do that more objectively? That's really a task we may be faced with. Let me add one more thing. I think we are familiar with that a can a can first grade test step test.
I think we should continue with what we are doing now. Where we should publish more on the teaching of Ei, l and elf and where the English is. The thing is traditionally, wording these scholars and also Ei of scholars were more interested in theoretical aspects and pedagogical practice, in a wider scale began just maybe a decade ago or so something like that. Rather recent, although it's really in full bloom now. Oh, well, anyway, so we should continue with this pedagogical application of Ei L and the world englishes l to actual classroom. We should write reports and give presentations or not pedagogical practice and share with other teachers. And we should develop materials in Ei, l, and many other things. We should do what we can do and we should continue to what's the end of my interviews, I tried to ask people, particularly people in a in a more senior position as yourself, I mean, monitoring graduate students, supervising people doing postdoctoral, postdoctoral people doing doctoral degrees, what advice do you have for students generally, to do these, for example, am infused by your, by your calls, but keep moving forward, keep doing what we're doing, and that that motivates me in my work, but in the work of your students, how do you advise them to keep up their motivation to do the research to produce the papers and you know, to achieve their goals?
A: Thank you very much for your time today.
B: Well, thank you, Chris.
A: My pleasure.
10. Dr. Diane Pecorari (Sweden)
Section 1 - Greetings
A: Joining us today is Dr. Diana Pecorari, who is a professor of English at City University of Hong Kong. How're you doing today down?
B: Any? Well, thank you.
Section 2 -
In Sweden, there is a very strong level of knowledge of proficiency in English. That's quite that's an important factor that underpins the the prevalence and the growth of EMI in Sweden, a sort of societal belief that every everybody, by virtue of having done compulsory education ought to have proficiency in English to do pretty pretty much anything that's required in English and therefore, attending university or teaching University classes. Those things are no exception. But English is very much a foreign language and in Sweden, a very strong one. Hong Kong of course has a long history as English as a colonial language.
The expectation of proficiency in English isn't as universal. There are obviously very many people with very strong English language skills, but others without it, and this is to a great degree linked to medium of instruction at school. However, almost all of Hong Kong's universities are exclusively English medium. So, in Sweden students go to university from a base of having attained a very high level of proficiency in English, and then can choose between attending university in English, or individual courses in English or in Swedish. In Hong Kong, the choice to attend university in Chinese or with Chinese as needed of instruction is almost non existent. Not quite, but almost. But people reach universities having gone to English medium schools or Chinese medium schools, or some blend thereof.
Section 3 -
I think it's a real concern. It's and it's a concern at two levels right? At the societal level, there's, there's reason for concern. There are very many people who are concerned that EMI may result in domain loss. This is a very big issue in in the Nordics. Sweden is the most populous Nordic country with just 10 million people. So then you look at Norway with something like three or three and a half million people, Denmark a little bit larger than Norway that it's smaller than Sweden. The the number of people who speak Scandinavian languages is very, very small. And that's one of the reasons that EMI has the toll that it has in the Nordics. So there has for many years been a concern that about about donemus. academics have to conduct their academic activities in English textbooks are published in English, there are some textbooks published in the Nordic languages, but quite a lot of textbooks are in English, either English textbooks are adopted, or sometimes local academics write their textbooks in English, for for the sake of you know that that greater international accessibility research course is exclusively published in English, at least, if it's going to be published in high impact journals and so on. His teaching moves to be more and more in English, there's a real concern among many people, that Swedish or the other Scandinavian languages will just cease to have an academic domain. So that's one area of concern. The other is at the individual level, that EMI might lead to something that's sort of akin to subtractive bilingualism. You know, gorgeo famously said academic discourse is nobody's mother tongue. So you've gone to school in your local language your whole life, you're a professional, one user of the local language, and then you get to university. And even if you attend university, in your Elwen, you become a language learner again, because you're learning that new foreign language, you're learning academic discourse. If you get to university, and you're attending classes and reading textbooks in English, then you're learning academic discourse in English and not in your first language. So you're training to be a midwife, or you're training to be a veterinarian, and you're reading in your textbooks and learning in your clinical practices about mastitis. And then you have to talk to a Cantonese speaking dairy farmer, about the health of dairy herd. How have you learned? How have you learned to say, mastitis in Cantonese, and using the word that real people use rather than the word the textbooks use? So at the end of the digital level, there's also I think, a real reason to ask whether EMI is crowding out other languages.
Section 4 -
I don't think it's primarily a balance of power question is, if I'm interpreting you correctly, I don't think for example, that the situation is that administrators love EMI and teachers hate it. I think that they probably either like it or don't like it for different reasons. I think administrators like EMI because it makes it very simple to tick the internationalisation box to fill up seats in classrooms. I think that that teachers have attitudes that are are closer to the classroom and teaching and learning the teachers who like him, I like it because they they believe in incident lock position, or because they believe that internationalization is important for the personal development of their students for enriching the classroom. So if there if there's any kind of balance of power divided, I would suspect that it's more to do with academic disciplines, rather than to do with with levels of the university. I think the differences we see across those levels are more about why you think EMI might be good or might be bad. The the second part of your question is, is a very interesting one. And I suspect, at one level, that in terms of editorial policy, there's very little that we need to do to ensure a critical and balanced perspective on EMI because of my experience, and it is perhaps somewhat paradoxical. The people in a university who are most concerned about English and its potential negative consequences are precisely English linguists, so I would be very surprised if We received a significant number of submissions to the journal that lowered EMI to the skies, or the take an uncritically positive perspective on it. But certainly our our intention, and our mission is to bring a great breath to the EMI question and to elicit in a wide range of perspectives on it.
Section 5 -
Here as in many places, the use of the r1 is very much frowned upon. One of the questions on our teaching evaluations that has to be asked every class is my teacher used English as the exclusive medium of instruction? And if the answer to that is anything other than Yes, the teacher is in trouble. And, and yet, even even at a big university like city you so in, in a very competitive environment, my University City University of Hong Kong, is ranked in the top 50 universities in the world by by the QoS rankings. So we are very competitive, we're able to attract the very best students, there is a widespread recognition that students are not able to do everything in English, so wandered on wandered down the hallway, and eavesdrop outside the classroom. And yes, you'll hear explanations being given in Chinese, you'll hear definitions or translations being given in Chinese. Now, as a linguist, I hear that and I think, well, translanguaging. Excellent. We need more of this, but university administrators would say no, no, we need less of this. And I, you know, I've spoken about my own university, because I'm familiar with it. But I don't think you'd find anything different. At the other Hong Kong universities, and if you look at sub degree institutions, if you look at your two year colleges granting associate's degrees, you'd find even more of it.
Section 6 -
This this past year has thrown up massive challenges, I guess what I have been trying to do myself, so maybe it's what I would advise others to do is roll with the punches. We can't get on airplanes and go to conferences as easily as we could. On the other hand, we've all become adept at using zoom. So my my co author, Hans, mom's Jim and I were scheduled a year ago to start around a vocabulary testing, we're really keen to find out how well prepared for the English medium environment, people in our respective contexts are. And one way we were going to set about answering that question was by testing their their academic vocabulary knowledge. Well, it's been 12 months now. And we're not able to get people into a physical room and give them vocabulary tests. So what we've what we've done is, you know, retrench put those plans on hold, and said about writing up some of the data that we've already gathered, that we've been a little bit too busy to, to write up because we've been getting on planes and flying off to conferences. So the only survival strategy I know is you don't roll with the punches, gather the advantages in these strange circumstances and knock them for the worse.
Section 7 - Goodbye
A: I wish you the very best of luck with all of your work, Professor, and thank you very much for your time today.
B: Thank you so much. Thank you for the invitation. It's been a great pleasure.
11. Dr. Ali H. Al-Hoorie (Saudi Arabia)
A: Today's guest is Dr. Ali Al Horry, a linguist, an academic researcher of note from Saudi Arabia. Dr. Ali Al Horry, welcome to Lawson citations.
B: Hello, thank you for inviting me.
as an MA student, that was one of the options available. I was, you know, in a hurry. And there was no particular reasons I had offers from I think three other three universities in total. So I decided to go to ethics and it was okay. I didn't have that much experience to be selective at that point. I see. And how soon after, did you start your PhD? That is a funny story. You know, I first after reading some of Zoltan Dornier's books, I sent him an email asking him whether it is possible to be his PhD student. So he replied to me the other day saying sorry, I, I have too many students. I cannot take more students I need, you know, at least three more years before I have a vacancy. Whoa. One year afterwards, I sent him a reply saying so is there any updates waiting for one year? This time, I don't think he had applied to me. I don't remember a reply from him to the second email. The following year, I sent him another email also in the reply to the first email saying have been waiting for now almost three years. Is there any vacancy? So he did did reply to me this time saying, you know, like, okay, so you have been waiting all this time. Send me a document showing why you are strong enough to study at Nottingham. Whoa. So it was like a challenge to me. And now at this time, I wasn't just sitting you know, you know, watching YouTube and TV, I was doing research. I was reading his but his books and his articles because I was really interested in this subject. So I wrote him a long document saying what books of his I read the papers I read and showed him a paper that I wrote on my own and collected my own data from my institution saying this is the paper that I did during the time I was waiting for you.
Because I have to read in English all the time. I just I wish I could just read something for fun in Arabic, or like, how did you because I feel like I really struggle, I really struggle with that, like, I almost feel guilty if I watch a movie in English, because also, oh, I need to get better at my Japanese, I'm constantly worried about getting better at Japanese, because it's just not good enough. You know, learning a language is really incremental. You know, according to some estimates, you need like seven or eight years of constant immersion and exposure to the language before you can become fluent. So it you know, doing some practice for a couple of days or a couple of weeks is not going to have a noticeable impact. There might be an impact, but it's so subtle, that you don't experience it, or you don't feel it, and then you become discouraged. And you know, I've been trying, I've been reading novels, and but nothing has changed. But actually, there is a change, but you may not notice it in the short term. So it's just a matter of practice. It's, you know, I The way I see language learning, it's a skill, you develop it, just like you develop your football skills, or your swimming skills, or in your case, your music skills. Right? It just needs practice. And with more practice, you know, practice makes perfect. That's actually the secret recipe that everybody knows.
time management is very important. You know, if you want to be an academic, a professional, academic, you know, it's no different than being a professional football player. For example, imagine how much and the football player is going to put into training every day, you know, it's just it will become a lifestyle. You cannot, you know, just over the weekend will lead you know, have a paper half a paper for half an hour or something and consider yourself a professional academic, you know, it's a lifestyle, you have to change your lifestyle into this job. It's becomes, you know, second nature. So what I do, I, you know, I hold myself accountable. I downloaded an app that I have a mobile phone app, an iPhone app that I have been using for like, I think 10 years now, it's called is a diary called day one. Okay? So every day, I add a new entry, and say how many hours I studied on that day.
And I set myself a minimum of three hours. And, and if I reach that goal, I give myself a star. If not, I don't get a star. And, and over time, I see the ratio of the star entries versus the non start entries. So it's like a competition with myself. So, you know, I might, I might, you know, say, you know, two hours and a half, I push myself you know, just have half an hour more I have a goal to reach, you know. So there is a goal that you know, you are trying to reach. So at the beginning, I didn't set three hours. This is changes from time to time when I was doing my PhD, I had more free time. So I set myself a higher goal, then when I'm busy, I set myself a lower goal. So this changes it, you know, can be different from one person to another. But I follow up with this diary and make sure that I hold myself accountable.
if you pick a paper, the authors might happen to be deceased. Does this mean that that's it, we give up, you know, the authors are diseased, so forget about it. Now, it shouldn't be like this, the paper should be an independent document, that there is a method a method section, there is an instrument section, there is a data analysis section. And this should be detailed, and you just go and allows you more or less to replicate this study. In many cases, this is not enough. The information in the in the paper is not enough, this is a problem. But you know, this happens. So we did this study, and, and then I was at AAA IRL conference. And it was in the United States after we did this study, and we pre registered it. And I met the editor of language learning, Pawel, and I told him that, you know, I took him aside and said, you know, we you publish the paper, in language learning by our supervisor, and we have a replication of it. Since you publish the published the first paper, would you consider a replication of it? He said, Yeah, why not? You know, we published the first paper, we would consider the second in our application of it. And then we told him that it's pre registered, and that piqued his interest. Because, you know, pre register studies have, you know, like this kind of, you know, prestige, to pre registration, because, you know, you promise, basically, pre registration means you promised the readers that you will do the analysis in a pre specified way. I love this. And, yes, and yes, so he liked the idea. And then after we wrote up the paper, we submitted it, there were five reviewers, plus the two editors, handling the paper, and we received loads of feedback. Helpful, very helpful feedback. You know, without this feedback, the paper wouldn't have been like this. If you compare the final version published in the paper and the journal with the first draft that we wrote, completely different, you know, the level, but we took the feedback seriously.
you can always play around with the model, you can play, you know, add things here and there, add paths look at something called the modification indices that the software, because the software usually asks you tells you that if you add this link between this variable and that variable, it will improve the fit. So you add that link, and then you redo the analysis and look at the results. And then the modification indices will say, if you also add this link from this variable to that variable, it will improve the model fit. And so you add these based on ad hoc calculations by the software, there's no theory behind them. You can imagine a theory post hoc, but that's no longer confirmatory now. So one of the points that we argue in the paper and we saw people arguing the same is that you should not delete nonsignificant links from your model, you have this model beforehand, you say that these three variables will predict this variable, and then in turn, this variable will predict the other variable, and test the data and present it presented as it is we want to see the results as a second step, then you can play around with the model. That's okay. People will know that this is the results of the confirmatory step. And this is the results of the exploratory step.
Thank you for for taking on this endeavor and being a good role model for other researchers. So and thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for inviting me