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James York (Cheapshot)
Publications

Cheapshot

Mastermind & Teacher

cheapshot_profile

Kotoba Miners started as a research project for the head teacher: me, James York.

I am currently studying for an EdD in Education with the University of Leicester (link) where my research is about online learning and particularly the appropriation of virtual worlds as language learning domains.

When not working on this project, I teach English full-time at Tokyo Denki University as an assistant professor. A part of my job is to teach a weekly seminar class involving this project. I teach English to my Japanese students using the server, so you will have the opportunity to interact once a week (if not more) with these students in game.

More About Me

Married, two kids, home-owner, and permanent resident of Japan.

  • Year born: 1983
  • Time in Japan: Since 2005
  • JLPT Level: 1
  • Hobbies: Make music as Cheapshot, organise Japan’s biggest chiptune event: Square Sounds Tokyo, and play taiko in a local group with my family.

Personal anecdote on experiential learning

When I first came to Japan, and still knew little of the language I was left in charge of a friends 3 year old daughter for a few minutes. She was playing with her dolls speaking all sorts of stuff that I had no idea about. I nodded and played along, trying to bluff my way through the encounter until she turned to me, handed me a large handkerchief and said ‘tsutsunde!’ Oh boy, was I in trouble. I had no idea what this was.

She repeated it: “Tsutsunde!!”

This time taking the handkerchief from me and wrapping it loosely around her dolly. I got it! She wanted me to wrap the dolly up in with the handkerchief like a blanket. Completing this action she seemed satisfied and I came away with a new word.

Upon consulting my dictionary and other resources afterwards, I learned three new things.

  1. The verb “to wrap” 包む/つつむ/tsutsumu
  2. The TE-form conjugation of verbs,
  3. How the TE-form alone can be used to express an informal request.

 

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Publications

2011 JALT CALL

Reasons for using YouTube in the classroom

link

Abstract

Recent statistical data regarding YouTube reveals two important factors that may be utilized by language teachers. This paper initially outlines several theoretical considerations for the use of video in such contexts before developing an argument regarding the value of this data and appeal of YouTube in language learning contexts. Following this, the paper gives an overview of the exploitable statistical data on YouTube, which is presented with a focus on the possible motivational, affective and cognitive influences implied. Subsequently, the second half of the paper is dedicated to introducing practical YouTube-based activities that teachers may use or modify to suit their individual teaching contexts.

2012 Modern English Teacher

English Quest: Implementing game mechanics in a university EFL classroom

link

2013 JALT CALL

Comics, crowdsourcing and up-votes: EFL on the front page of the Internet

link

Abstract

The social-media news website “Reddit” boasts a huge readership with over 35 million unique visitors for December 2011 alone. Content is generated by users, who submit links from other websites to the various sub-forums. Users also have the ability to comment on links, providing the means for a community to be developed. Both content and comments can be promoted or demoted based on a voting system. This paper focuses on the creation of a sub-forum on Reddit for the purpose of submitting the work of EFL learners, the notion being that other Reddit users, primarily native English speakers, may be crowd-sourced in order to provide feedback, comments, or corrections for students to read, and provide grounds for cross-cultural communication. Firstly we provide a detailed overview of what Reddit is. Following this, we introduce a particular type of comic that has an enormous popularity on Reddit: rage comics. Literature regarding electronic literacy, the use of comics in language learning, and computer-mediated communication is then covered. We then detail the methodology used to introduce, create and submit such comics with our learners. Lastly, we share the results of a questionnaire designed to reveal student perceptions of the project, and discuss possible considerations for future implementations.

2013 Outside the Box

Unfair Advantage: Insight into Attitudes towards Diversity at an English Conversation Competition in Japan

link

Abstract

This paper analyzes the attitudes towards the inclusion of students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a local English speaking competition. The information was procured via a questionnaire answered by student participants and English teachers in order to better understand the resentment towards diversity. This paper concludes with analysis and suggestions regarding improvements to the competition and the inclusion of all students, regardless of their background.

2013 Outside the Box

Unfair Advantage: Insight into Attitudes towards Diversity at an English Conversation Competition in Japan

link

Abstract

This paper analyzes the attitudes towards the inclusion of students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a local English speaking competition. The information was procured via a questionnaire answered by student participants and English teachers in order to better understand the resentment towards diversity. This paper concludes with analysis and suggestions regarding improvements to the competition and the inclusion of all students, regardless of their background.