Many second or foreign language learners will say that they are motivated to learn the target language. However, not all of these individuals will actually take the necessary steps to successfully learn and/or acquire the target language. In this presentation, the budding topic of “Learning Engagement” was introduced to highlight the relationship between motivation, engagement and successful language learning outcomes. Results of a mixed-methods research project involving Japanese university students learning English were reviewed together with a discussion of classroom climate, teacher characteristics and instructional practices that were found to influence levels of classroom and task engagement. This workshop-style presentation challenged participants to co-construct a list of best practices for their language classrooms. The presenter also shared a set of resources for further exploring the theory and practice of learner engagement.
Brent A. Jones has taught English for Specific Purposes in Hawaii, Japan and other parts of Asia since 1987. He was the coordinator of the Business English program in the Economics Department at Kobe Gakuin University from 2005 – 2009. He is currently the Director of Language Programs at Konan University, Hirao School of Management, where since 2009 he has helped develop a content and language integrated (CLIL) program. From April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 he was a Visiting Professor at the Peter Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. The short list of his research interests includes L2 learning motivation and engagement, instructional technology, instructional design, CLIL, curriculum and materials development, genre approaches to second language reading and writing, and extensive reading.