Measuring Student Speaking Time During EFL Conversation Sessions at a Self-Access Center
Abstract: Unless specifically in a language-focused major, most university students in Japan have few opportunities to practice speaking English. Language Learning Spaces (LLS) can provide this opportunity to motivated students. The authors’ university offers an LLS called Connections Café where students can volunteer to practice speaking in English in small groups with facilitators from various countries. As student participation has increased in recent years, individuals in sessions have less opportunities to speak. However, the actual amount of speaking done by the participants in the sessions is unknown to the managers of Connections Café. This project set out to create a tool to provide facilitators and managers with this information. This paper describes the first phase of the project delineating the process used to record and analyze the amount of speaking time done by participants. In the five sessions examined, the facilitator speaking time ranged from 30% to 67%. Facilitator responses to learning about this data is also presented. It is hoped that, armed with this information, facilitators can reflect upon and, when needed, modify their activities to ensure student needs are being met.