Community Outreach and Autonomous Learning

Page No.: 
Wendy M. Gough, Tokai University; Kazumi Kato, Tokai University

Reference Data:

Gough, W. M., & Kato, K. (2016). Community outreach and autonomous learning. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

Community outreach projects promote autonomous learning, critical thinking, and practical language skills by enabling learners to interact with English in specific, nonscripted situations. They help students develop sociocultural competence in English as they learn about the local community and create volunteer projects to respond to community needs. Community outreach projects also foster positive bonds between the university and the local community. The Active Tokai Local Ambassadors (ATLAS) student group at Tokai University’s Shimizu campus created a successful community outreach project to help with interpreting for luxury liner passengers coming into Shimizu Port. We discuss the ATLAS community outreach project, its benefits for the students, and how the project motivated them to study English.