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Role Playing as a Contrivance

Fanselow, John

As you will see, in my Abstract, I do not discuss the chapter in Perspectives on Secondary School EFL Education but rather the background of the organization that published the book: The Language Institute of Japan because it was this organization that had a much greater impact on me than my chapter had on English teachers in Japan.

In 1962, Masahide Shibusawa founded The Asia Center in Odawara, Japan, which was dedicated to Postwar Japan and the Work of Moral Re-Armament. Mr. Shibusawa and other Japanese in the sixties became interested in the Moral Re-Armament Movement, which had been launched in London in 1938.

From its founding in 1962, The Asia Center promoted student and faculty exchanges between Japan and both other countries in Asia as well as Europe and the United States. Mr. Shibusawa also organized many conferences and symposiums related to both relationships between countries and Moral Re-Armament.

In 1968, The Asia Center established The Language Institute of Japan at the same site. The Board decided that it would be beneficial to hold workshops for Japanese English teachers to improve their English, learn alternative methods and be exposed to the idea of Moral Re-Armament. Japanese classes were also offered.

Because The Asia Center was just a one and one half hour drive from Tokyo and a 45-minute train ride from Yokohama it was a very convenient site. The city of Odawara is a tourist site with views of the Pacific Ocean.

I was invited to a number of the summer one month long workshops for Japanese English teachers in the early nineties. And in 1998 on the 30th anniversary of the LIOJ was invited to write a piece for a book The Language Institute of Japan wanted to publish called Perspectives on Secondary School EFL Education. I titled my chapter “Role Playing as a Contrivance”

I have written about Mr. Shibusawa because it was his influence that led me to offer courses in Peace Education taught by Professor Betty Reardon and workshops on Global Issues in the MA TESOL Program that I established in 1985.

A central theme of all of my teaching has been how small changes can have big effects. The few months that I taught at LIOJ enabled hundreds of teachers in the TC MA Program in Tokyo to learn about Moral Re-Armament and other organizations with similar goals.

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Title
Perspectives on Secondary School EFL Education
Publisher
Language Institute of Japan

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