Innovation in writing: examining dialogues between instructors of English writing and Japanese learners of English

Presented by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison  Language Centre at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Date: Sunday, 27th November 2011

Time: 14:30 – 17:30

Venue: Yumekaze, Nara City (by the entrance to Todaiji in Nara Park:

Cost: Free for JALT members, 500 yen for day members


Presentation description:

If innovation can be defined as a new method or idea, how do learners in the Japanese post-secondary classroom respond to innovations in writing curricula? Likewise, how do instructors develop and implement such innovations? Despite the plethora of studies documenting development of teaching EFL (English as a Foreign Language), there has been little previous research in writing curricula investigated from two different perspectives such as the lived experiences of both learners AND instructors, or how the Japanese EFL writing context, itself, is a unique environment. Although research has tended to highlight oral skills as effective strategies to improve English proficiency in Japan (Ogura, 2009), few studies exist that examine how EFL writing curricula addresses students’ emotional needs (Falout, 2009). This presentation focuses on written dialogues between both Japanese post-secondary English learners and English instructors in the Japanese EFL context, in order to more deeply explore innovative writing pedagogies in the Japanese post-secondary classroom, and the lived experiences of those involved in such innovations. Learn more at:  

About the presenter:

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison has been teaching language, communication, composition, literature and gender/sexuality studies at universities in Asia, Europe and North America since 1997. Having published numerous articles and chapters on topics ranging from second language teaching to writing classroom pedagogies, he specializes in writing across the curriculum and multilingual learner writing pedagogies. Currently teaching for the Language Centre at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, he previously taught in both Japan and the English department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), USA where he also completed his PhD in Composition and TESOL. With a background in mental health counseling and an MA in Education and Human Development/Counseling from The George Washington University, he is an inter-disciplinary instructor-researcher who works at the crossroads of humanities and social sciences to explore how both spoken and written language are shaped by cultures and identities. Learn more at

3 thoughts on “Innovation in writing: examining dialogues between instructors of English writing and Japanese learners of English”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: