REaChing for the stars
Empowering English Language Learners
This is the question posed to fourth year technical college students this week in a role play activity where students will decide whether or not to permit self-driving technology onto the streets of Japan. This activity was introduced as a means to help students get comfortable voicing opinions, arguing points, and acting out a professional meeting with a cross-cultural component. Students first read some adapted news about Google's self-driving car and legislation regarding automated vehicle technology in the United States, and watched the video below. Next, they were given role cards outlining their new roles as members of an important Japanese committee, consisting of people from the Japanese and United States business, technology, government, and civilian sectors. Each candidate is either for or against allowing self-driving technology on the roads of Japan, and must argue their perspective. Each member is also tasked with challenging or responding to another team member. After each member states their case, we will vote. Look back to see what our mock committee thinks about an automated vehicle future!
Also, check out this TedTalk (in less than 6 minutes) where Google's engineer Sebastian Thrun discusses his mission in making the car. Japanese subtitles are available.
We voted today. The majority of students voted for the acceptance of self-driving technology in Japan, in and out of their roles. Please add comments below for why you are for or against self-driving technology.