Narrative Inquiry in the Language Classroom by Peter Clements

Researchers have developed an extensive toolkit of techniques for tapping into and exploring the narratives that people construct about their lives and the events that are most significant to them. At the same time, storytelling is a universal practice that teachers often draw on to stimulate their students to use language in creative and meaningful ways. In this presentation, my aim is to bring these interests together by discussing some of the ways that I have been using narrative inquiry in the classroom. The first example is narrative frames, where students are given a series of prompts that scaffold the construction of a story about a particular event. These have been used as a potentially more revealing substitute for course evaluations and questionnaires. The second
technique is short story analysis, where students take a brief narrative and analyze the content at three levels of context. This has particularly been used as a means of encouraging reflection among pre- and in-service language teachers.
Although my own use of these narrative activities has focused on teachers in training, I will encourage participants to think about ways that they can apply them with their own students and courses. Time permitting, we will engage in some hands-on practice and discussion related to the two techniques.

Peter Clements has lived in Japan on and off for nearly 30 years and is currently associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Shizuoka University. His research interests center around second language writing, discourse analysis, study abroad, and teacher training.

Date: Saturday October 17 Time: 18:00-20:00 (duration may be less or more depending upon the AGM and internet connectivity).

Place: Online (Zoom)