Show & Tell presentation
Playful Talk: Utilising Flipgrid monologues for developing creative and collaborative thinking in ESL learners in Japan
The presentation will explain a preliminary study that tested the efficacy of playful talk (Wegerif, 2005) for the development of higher-order thinking and reasoning skills in a group of freshmen university students enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes oral communication course. Participants recorded a series of eight monologues onto an asynchronous online platform (Flipgrid) in response to initial prompts by the instructor, over the course of one semester. Created in a space-apart from the classroom, (where the voice of the teacher is generally overarching -especially in the Japanese educational context from which the participants in this study have come), and requiring the content to be based on self-reflection, the recordings show the creative emergence of individual approaches to the shared tasks, as well as hinting towards a developing sense of group-directed collaborative thinking. Although not mandated by the instructor, participants engaged with the recordings made by their classmates, evidence of which was seen during separate real-time in-class discussions about academic topics that were seemingly thematically-distant from the content of playful talk. The post-semester reflections of the participants on the use of this online platform and the relevance it held for their own learning will also be a feature of the presentation. Attention has been given to the importance of creative response for the development of higher order thinking skills (for example, see Resnick, 1987) but less attention has been directed to designing a place for playful talk itself within an English for Academic Purposes syllabus or for the role of playful talk for the development of thinking and reasoning skills in second language learning university students.