Sessions / Location Name: Room #1

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Collaborating to Create Strong Relationships and Better Instructors #2538

Kazumi Kato, Wendy M. Gough

Sun, Dec 5, 14:00-14:45 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: Room #1

Team-teaching and collaboration on lessons and activities is fairly common between Japanese and foreign colleagues at the junior high and high school level in Japan. However, it is less common at the tertiary level. Working together on projects and course planning can prove beneficial on several levels for both Japanese and foreign university instructors though. While working together at Tokai University’s campus of Marine Science and Technology, the presenters held an English Cafe and developed community outreach projects for students. They also designed and team-taught an English communication class, and created unique activities to help students learn to speak English more naturally. Their collaboration was beneficial on several levels. They exchanged their expertise and taught each other about various aspects of applied linguistics, pragmatics, teaching practices, and technological skills. Collaborating also helped them improve their English and Japanese language skills and become more confident in their professional identities.

This presentation will discuss some of the activities the presenters collaborated on together and how this collaboration benefitted them professionally. It will also give advice about ways to develop good relationships between Japanese and foreign colleagues, which will also result in positive learning experiences for students.

Positive Psychology and Teacher Wellbeing #2541

Mary Nobuoka

Sun, Dec 5, 15:00-15:45 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: Room #1

Teaching can sometimes be a stressful and demanding profession, but it is also inspiring and energizing. How can teachers stay in the inspiring and energizing zone more often? In the past three decades, psychologists have started focusing on the thinking and behaviors that promote wellbeing (Seligman, 2011). This talk will help teachers become more aware of their beliefs, understand the basics of positive psychology and give techniques and interventions to help build wellbeing. The group activities presented in the presentation will also serve as ideas for teachers to engage students when teaching online with Zoom and for face-to-face classroom activities.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Part-time University English Teacher Wellness in Japan #2542

Wendy M. Gough, Chiyuki Yanase, Colin Skeates, Bill Snyder

Sun, Dec 5, 16:00-17:00 Asia/Tokyo | LOCATION: Room #1

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Japanese universities were faced with shifting from face-to-face classes to emergency remote teaching (ERT) for the 2020 academic year on short notice. This sudden shift to ERT revealed how generally unprepared university administrations, students, and teachers were for holding online classes. Part-time English instructors were especially affected because they tend to work at multiple institutions, teach large numbers of classes, and receive less institutional support than full-time instructors. To understand how ERT affected these teachers, the presenters conducted a year-long research project that investigated part-time university English teacher emotional wellbeing. Each week the participants completed the International Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule--Short Form (IPANAS--SF) (Thompson, 2007) and wrote reflections on their feelings and emotions. Teaching is an emotion- laden profession at the best of times, and negative emotions might arise from, “unexpected changes, language-related concerns, less supportive leadership, excessive workload, others’, and one’s own expectations” (Gkonou, Dewaele, & King, 2020, p. 3).

In this plenary talk, the researchers will discuss the project, and how the above-mentioned factors contributed to negative emotions; mental and physical issues; anxiety; and stress related to occupational and personal factors while teaching online during the first year of the pandemic. We will then shift to a discussion of ways to promote wellness and resilience when adverse situations occur in our teaching environment, and conclude with presenting ideas about how institutions can be more supportive of part-time instructors in terms of clear communication, material support, and professional development opportunities.