July: Designing supplemental materials to study American culture through literature

Philip L. McCasland

Title: Designing supplemental materials to study American culture through literature

Date: Saturday, July 27

Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Place: Yugakusha

Room: Kenshushitsu 1

Summary: Creating engaging, authentic, quality classroom materials completely from scratch proves challenging for today’s busy teachers. However, adapting and supplementing materials from an already established textbook or classic piece of literature may be a more reasonable expectation. By adapting an existing textbook a teacher can provide a host of additional resources and exercises, thus giving students many more avenues for fluency and skill improvement. In this workshop I will begin by providing several principles of materials design and ask the participants to describe what they consider appropriate materials for their teaching contexts. I will then demonstrate how supplemental materials can be gathered and designed according to the needs of students.  In this section I will demonstrate the steps taken to develop these materials, including some low-tech, non-computer ones.  Finally, I will ask the participants to brainstorm and outline several possible designs that may be appropriate for their own classroom use.  Several examples that will be used include Akimoto & Hamada’sAmerican Justice in Focus with John Grisham’s, The Rain Maker; John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men; and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Bio: Philip has been teaching in tertiary education in Japan for fifteen years, and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Fukushima University.  His current projects include designing and implementing annual overseas business internships and research on linguistic analysis of advertising and marketing.

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