Mr. Nicholas Musty
|Name of the Institute
||Kwansei Gakuin University
|Position within Institute
|Field of Expertise
Nicholas Musty is a lecturer in Teaching English as a Foreign Language based in Japan, where he has been working as an instructor since 2006. Nicholas convenes his own courses, and his students have been involved in a number of projects including research projects, which involve the compiling of a questionnaire and the disclosure of its results in both report and presentation form, video production, model United Nations and corporate problem solving.
In terms of research, Nicholas has a number of interests. He has published and presented on the subject of gender, with a survey of attitudes to gender representation in Japan among students, and an analysis of an EFL textbook for indications of gender bias. Recently, he has developed an interest in critical thinking, an area often thought to be lacking in Japan when compared with western countries. Nicholas’ research indicates that Japanese students have undertaken some instruction in critical thinking but lack confidence and need support in this area. Nicholas has developed syllabi to support students with improving in this area. In addition, Nicholas has collaborated on a paper in the psychological field, analysing responses to moral dilemmas according to whether they are presented in the first or additional language, while adding a third dimension, first language with mistakes, designed to offer a similar cognitive load to the effect of using a second language. Nicholas and his collaborator are currently working on how to develop this theme and put together a second stage of the project.
In addition, Nicholas volunteers as a senior adviser at two annual events for students in Japan. One is a large English-language model United Nations, which in 2018 welcomed almost 400 students of twenty-seven nationalities to a three day event. Nicholas is involved in the journalism section, in which he advises student journalists in the production of videos which report on the conference proceedings. The other event is a corporate problem solving conference, attended by directors of three large Japanese companies who introduce a problem faced by their company. Students of mixed nationality work in groups of around ten, with the aim of discussing solutions to these problems, which they present to the company directors at the end of the second day. Both events present a wealth of opportunities for research, and Nicholas is currently working on two papers related to the model United Nations event, one concerned with student journalist attitudes to technology, and one about participant opportunities to develop thinking skills as described by Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom et al., 1956).
Nicholas graduated from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2015 with an MA in Teaching English as a Second and Foreign Language. Nicholas’ dissertation explored the possibilities of developing a system of education for adults in Japan, a group which currently spends a good deal of money on enrolling in language classes at private institutions, but is generally overlooked by the government.