Talking about Artworks in English in Art Museums for Improving Japanese University Students’ English Communication Skills and Beyond
This paper presents an action research conducted with three university freshman students to examine possibilities of using art as topics in conversations modelling participant-driven museum talks for improving their English communication ability. The students visited art museums in Tokyo and talked about artworks together by sharing impressions, thoughts, and opinions with each other in informal conversations in English facilitated by the author as a facilitator. After the collected data was analysed qualitatively, the following prominent themes arose: the participants engaged in communication in English with peers actively in a fun way, improved their vocabulary, developed ideas by listening to the others, and expanded their perspectives by building up on the others’. The findings imply that talking about original artworks in English in art museums enhances participants’ communication in English as well as collaborative learning and meaning-making that will prepares them for their future careers and experiences. This point is discussed in relation to the five C goals advocated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
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