DANIEL ANDRZEJEWSKI (KWANSEI GAKUIN UNIVERSITY)

IN ANOTHER€™S SHOES: EMPATHY SKILLS IN EFL : INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Following the reflective practice process in my EFL university courses, I was concerned with my students’ apathetic reactions towards exercises where they imagined the feelings and experiences of others. I sought to intentionally address and expand students’ skills in empathy (putting oneself in another’s shoes). Conducting the research in a private Japanese university a weekly interactive journaling assignment was given with 41 students in an intensive English course meeting three times a week. Students read the instructor’s journal entry and write a journal of their own, providing their own thoughts and experiences, guesses about the instructor, as well as questions. Feedback was provided and journals were returned. This paper summarizes the findings of this action research through analysis of student journal samples, student surveys and essays, and the instructor’s research notes. The paper concludes with recommendations for further research and action research for teaching empathy as a part of ELT.

Daniel Andrzejewski has taught EFL in Japan since 2000, and is currently a lecturer at Kwansei Gakuin University. He received his Master's of Education in Social Studies from The Ohio State University and research interests include content-based learning, global citizenship education, and intercultural communication.