Language Teaching Tomorrow – Track 4

The author is a student who worked as a host for Language Teaching Tomorrow 2019 international week.

The track 4 gathered plenty of people to talk over and discuss over the topics and issues given by the presentations and workshops. Through out the day the crowd changed as fresh faces showed up to see different presentations.

The day got kicked off by Fumiko Inoue, Ina Tjandrakesuma and Jing Cai from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences who gave a presentation on “Project-based Learning in Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese Language Education”. The presentation gave good insight about what kind of language education should be taught for people who are thinking about working in Asia in their near future. The gist of the presentation centered around the idea that perhaps the best way to prepare someone for working abroad is to teach them valid communication skills rather than focusing too much on the correct use of language and grammar rules. Since if you can handle the casual communication with a languange you have good changes of acquiring an internship or a job. While this presentation focused on the Asian job markets, the idea can certainly be used for other countries as well. The presentation ended with a little crowd involvement with matters concerning the current state of the language teaching as well as different methods used to promote it.

Jing Cai talking about International Business in Asia

The second presentation was given by Tanja Psonder from Austria’s FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences. The topic of the presentation was “Comics as a New Genre in Academic Communication”. This was an interesting take on how to use visualization as a tool in education. The presenter Tanja had devised this idea to help teach her architecture graduates, but surely it could be used for other fields as well. When using both non-fictional comics as well as written word the message could be passed on more clearer and this is what I personally gathered from the presentation which was delightfully delivered by Tanja.

Tanja Psonder beginning her presentation

The third event of the day was presented by TAMK’s own Henri Annala who held a round-table discussion on “KIVAKO Project – Developing Nationwide Learning Paths for Languages”. The project in question covers all Finland’s higher education institutions and is aimed at enhancing the education of other languages than Finnish, Swedish and English. The goal of the project is to start utilizing modern tools in language education, this means creating apps for smart phones and using the already existing software in the internet to do tandem learning. After Henri explained the KIVAKO project the room was “unleashed” to discuss the many aspects about the project and also to give examples if they had similar kind of projects going on in their own countries. The room was filled with conversations and good feedback was given to Henri’s questions, all in all it fare to say that this roundtabe discussion was a success and a joy to follow.

Henri Annala interacting with the crowd

The last presentation of the day was given by TAMK’s Marianna Leikomaa and Henri Annala and it was about “International Course Collaboration – Introducing New Partners”. The presentation focused on how to find new partner universities for different courses. Since Henri and Marianna had to find new partner for one of their courses themselves in the past year in a quite short notice, they had a keen insight on this topic and spoke about their personal experience. This presentation tackled some of the ups and downs that one might have when collaborating with outside partners during an online course. The presentation was concluded with questions and feedback and I’m certain that all the interested parties got a good undestanding about how to proceed if they happen to be faced with a similar problem like Henri and Marianna.

All in all the day was very interesting to say the least, it was very intriguing to see language professionals from different places to exhange their ideas and opinions.

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