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Latest word from Shun, 18 Oct 2002
I've been busy with my fall term classes that I failed to inform my friends of moving to a new url. I left a redirecting page at the old url but apparently it is not working. My New Domain Address: http://www.netlearne.com/ie2002/index.html
I am beginning to believe traveling around the world on the Internet is an ideal and authentic environment into which to take my students out of the fish bowl.
Shun continues to get his Bunkyo girls out of the 'fishbowl' and into the big ocean of real language speakers:
"I'm still trying to find teachers who might want to help my students to talk to "big fishes" in the open seas. As I've organized my syllabus for Internet English 2002, starting in mid-April, with every other week meetings at Tapped In. On May 7, one of the two classes enjoyed being briefed on Tapped In by BJ and KeikoS. Christina and her students and Rachel met us on May 21. Another class in their first English cybertalk experience, discussed sushi that DavidW likes to prepare and eat. Rachel will return for a discussion she will lead on June 4. (I'm finding having intermediate students on synchro CMC sessions requires the teacher to be busy supporting the scaffolding off-line and the guest teacher could do a better job of e-moderating.) We need someone to meet on June 18 and 25. I would appreciate any member help for the last two sessions of this semester.
Shun wrote a perspective for the March 2002 Tapped In Newsletter. The
newsletter is online here:
 Member Perspective: Shunichiro Ito
Shunichiro Ito, known as Shun or ShunI, teaches business communications and Internet English at Bunkyo Womens College, Tokyo, Japan. His current interest is further refining his syllabus for his EFL course based on web exploration projects and computer mediated communication activities. In the long term, he wants to show to EFL teachers in Japan how Internet and CMC resources may be used to provide excellent learning facilities otherwise unavailable in classroom environment.
Sometime ago I wrote an email in response to a request from a certain foundation. The foundation was asking what I actually do using technology in my EFL classes of Japanese college girls. In return for my cooperation, the director sent me a video titled, "Learn and Live" promoting use of technology in education. I learned then what the George Lucas Educational Foundation was doing for teachers. Kids in the video all had their eyes gleaming with interest.
For awhile I had been trying to find teachers or groups of students to meet with my students at TAPPED IN for discussion. Our class hours were so different that I had found none. Then BJ Berquist's suggestion to meet with the WebHeads discussion group led to a breakthrough. For the first time in their life, the girls were interactively communicating online with Vance Stevens in Abu Dhabi, UAR, and Dan Bilitz in Wisconsin.
Read all of Shun's Perspective online at
How the exchanges mentioned above got started:
Shunichiro-Ito is a teacher in Japan with a class of young Japanese ladies he would like to put in contact with the world on three Tuesdays in January, the 8th, 15th, and 22nd, at the following times: 5:10-6:30 a.m.GMT (a class with 12 girls who may form 6 pairs) and 6:40-8:00 a.m. GMT (another class with four girls). Vance is about to announce at his workplace <http://www.mli.ac.ae> that an opportunity exists to try out this medium on these days. In addition, Webheads have responded to Shunichiro's requests as follows:
BJB contacted Vance on Yahoo Messenger on Dec 8, 2001
bj_berquist: good day!
bj_berquist: I was talking to Shun yesterday. He is desperately looking for someone or a group to talk with his Japanese students...
bj_berquist: but I don't think he understands that webheads is a great > resource for locating these people
bj_berquist: He wants to find a contact that would be in his time zone and doesn't particularly want to talk with teachers. His girls are very shy. Any suggestions?
bj_berquist: You are obviously multitasking If you have any ideas, email me or Shun or let me know tomorrow during the webheads discussion.
bj_berquist: (Shun is not into chaos navigation)
Yahoo! Messenger: bj_berquist has logged out. (12/8/01 at 2:42 PM)
Vance sent an email to Webheads, same day
Hi BJ, and everyone,
Sorry I wasn't in when you buzzed (I was multitasking in another building)
I remember ShunL from our November 4 chat, mainly because I'm working on the logs now. You can see what I've got so far at the url below, but they're not finished yet. (That's right, there's MORE!! though there's a lot there already)
OK, it looks like Shun would like a class of students near his time zone to talk with his class of Japanese girls. Can any webheads help?
So maybe Shun will be at Tapped In tomorrow? If so, we'll see him there.
Rachel wrote, Dec 12, 2001
My class would like to have online activity with your class.
Pls contact me by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vance wrote, Dec 12, 2001
Please let us know if you hook up with Shun's class and how it works out.
If you want to use our chat sites you are welcome to.
BJB, can you forward this to Shun?
Shunichiro wrote, Dec 14, 2001
1. Our current classes meet as below. So this is for January 8, 15, 22 only.
Class with 12 girls (may form 6 pairs), meets 14:10-15:30 JST (05:10-06:30 GMT or 09:10-10:30 Abu Dhabi?)
Another class with four girls meets 15:40-17:00 JST (06:40-08:00 GMT or 10:40-12:00 Abu Dhabi?)
For three remaining class hours I would be happy if we can meet our overseas friends at least once, and up to three times. Desired duration of a snychro comm session: any portion of above class hours, perhaps between 30 to 60 minutes.
2. New classes will start late in April through July and Sept. through Jan. They are scheduled at 09:00-10:20 JST (0:00-1:20 GMT or 4:00-5:20 Abu Dhabi?) and at 10:30-11:50 (1:30 -2:50 GMT or 5:30-6:50 Abu Dhabi?)
For new classes I hope to have synchro sessions something like every other week or once every 3 or 4 weeks. Desired duration would depend on how often we can meet.
My girls are registered at Tapped In and have been to my office and SAC. They enjoyed scavenger hunting in the campus yard. They have never met any one there to talk to and try out their English however. But they would feel at home there, I'm sure.
I took a peek in Webheads at Tapped In one Sunday. Sue, to whom I talked to while discussing my problems with BJ, writes almost perfect English. So if Webheads members are all like her, my girls are certainly far below their proficiency level.
Thank you, Vance, for your help.
Vance wrote, Dec 14, 2001
I suggest that you join the Webheads group by sending blank email to email@example.com Once you are on the list, then you could write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and propose that list members meet you and your students at Tapped In at the times convenient to you.
Susanne writes Dec 15, 2001
Welcome to our new members Shun (short for sensei Shunichiro Ito-san) from Japan and Mary from China ... Shun, we have met in Tapped In several times and I know your young women EFL are very shy; I really hope you will find some useful supporters to meet them and make them open their tight lips here in Webheads! As they already feel comfortable with Tapped In, I guess they will enjoy meeting some people there. I have bookmarked your schedule and might be ready to show up as a helpdesk and conversation partner. (By the way, I agree with the idea of planning a second session during the week to support the not so technical skilled Webheads?)
Greetings from Susanne in Denmark
Shunito writes Dec 21, 2001
Thank you for your mail of Dec. 19. I had to cut two classes on Tuesday but managed somehow other two classes on Thursday, the last classes before New Year vacation. Whew!
You are talking about subjects. But don't we have to see if we agree on time to meet? I have a very bad requirements. As I told Vance I'm not a full time teacher and as such have no control over class hours or able to have students meet out of the class. And the class hours are
I may be asking for too much with these tight constraints. So please do not hesitate to say no.
As to the topics, I find your suggestion of "Weekend" is very good. The first session might be just introducing each other and talk about what we do in class or after school, etc., getting to know each other. Topic 2. would be fine. But I'm not sure if "Racism" will catch the fancy of my students. To me they appear to be unaware of such a thing existing in this world. What I fear is they remain silent while your students keep talking. I'm afraid younger Japanese are becoming even more provincial than their fathers and mothers.
I feel motivation is very important in getting them out to express themselves in unfamiliar language. So it is important the topics refelct their interest. What are the things in which young people in Taiwan and Japan share their interest? Music, movies, school life? Can you think of any others?
Dan contacted Vance on Yahoo, Dec 25, 2001 (my time, Christmas eve his)
dan_bilitz: Hello, Vance. Do you have time for a question about Shun and his class?
vance_stevens: hi, sure
dan_bilitz: I understand he wants to have people communicate with his studentes for 3 Tuesdays in Jan. Is that right?
vance_stevens: so I understand
dan_bilitz: Is he looking for English speaking students for his class?
vance_stevens: yes (I'm in and out of my office) - carry on ...
dan_bilitz: I cannot find the times in the TI transcript. Do you recall them?
vance_stevens: yes, 14:00 to 17:00 JST
vance_stevens: I think that's 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. GMT
dan_bilitz: OK, thanks. I'll check to see what that is in GMT.
vance_stevens: (do you know your time in relation to GMT?)
dan_bilitz: I'm GMT - 6 hours
vance_stevens: uh oh
vance_stevens: so we're talking 11 pm to 2 a.m.
vance_stevens: nice try though
dan_bilitz: Well, it's not impossible. I'm not teaching until the 21st.
vance_stevens: if it's just you, and you're willing, that would be great
dan_bilitz: I'm concerned that no one would be availabel, and that it would discourage Shun.
vance_stevens: Shun's times are fixed so I think if he got ANYbody he'd be encouraged
vance_stevens: also, keep in mind that Webheads are not all in US time zones
dan_bilitz: I think I will email Shun for more details about what he's expecting.
vance_stevens: For me, for example, that's around this time, an hour from now I think (scratch scratch)
vance_stevens: only problem for me is I'm at work, and can't devote the time BUT I might be able to get some students involved
vance_stevens: by devote the time, I mean I can't sit at my desk for 3 hours and converse with students but I could participate as I'm chatting now
vance_stevens: What we need is two people, yourself and Shun for example, to agree to be on hand and moderate, and then invite other webeads to participate as they are able
vance_stevens: So if you'll contact Shun and then agree between yourselves how to announce the even to Webheads that would be great.
dan_bilitz: I'm sure I can help on Jan. 8 and 15. It's the 21st that's a problem.
dan_bilitz: 22nd, I mean.
vance_stevens: And in the longer term, another issue is whether to have an additional session of webheads another day during the week with no chaos browsing, just simple text chat, maybe using the Palace, which Michael and Maggi are interested in getting off the ground, but so far not to the extent of actually hanging the bell on the cat
dan_bilitz: I had gotten wind of that, but haven't seen anything concrete yet.
dan_bilitz: Thanks for all the info, Vance. I better hit the sack. Have a great week.
vance_stevens: merry christmas
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