The CI-slot approach to controversial issues: The students’ views

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Mark Rebuck, Nagoya University



While using controversial issues (CI) in the language classroom has been widely advocated, some have argued that EFL is being sidetracked for purposes other than language teaching. Taking into account such concerns, the author introduced CI in the form of slots that occupied only a small part of pre-existing communicative lessons. These CI-slots comprised a video followed by disclosure of the teacher’s personal viewpoint. A questionnaire study was conducted to ascertain students’ reactions to two CI-slots, one on the topic of environmental destruction and the other on the dangers of fast food. Results showed that most students responded positively to the slots, in part because the issues they dealt with were considered mijika,or close to their lives. The majority of students also considered their teacher’s disclosure to be appropriate. Implications of the study for the teaching of CI are discussed.