Silence at the University of Tokyo

Dr Jim King from the School of Education will be giving a talk to the Tokyo Discourse Group at the University of Tokyo’s Hongo Campus from 18.30 to 20.00 on Thursday 21 April.

The talk will focus on King’s recent research into the extent of language learner silence within Japanese university foreign language classrooms, and considers the multiple, interrelated reasons why so many students in this context are either unable or unwilling to speak in the language they are learning.

Such reticence represents a serious threat to learners’ progress as there now exists a wide body of research showing that interacting in the target language can significantly aid foreign language development. The event will provide a forum for applied linguistics researchers to discuss possible solutions to this issue.

King’s talk follows a period spent at Fukuyama University where he has been working to establish a collaborative research group with members of the university’s Department of Psychology. The group aims to undertake innovative, high quality research which investigates issues related to nonverbal communication and affect, particularly anxiety, occurring within educational contexts.