2015 JALT Membership Survey: Trends, Issues, and Solutions

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Fred Carruth, Shinshu University; Melodie Cook, University of Niigata Prefecture; Kent Hatashita, Senri Kinran University; Noriko Mori, Otemae University; Marian Wang, Kobe University

The Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers, whose purpose is to improve and promote the teaching and learning of languages in Japan. The avowed purpose of JALT’s chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) is to serve their membership to those ends, but the attitudes, wants, and needs of this membership have been understood only anecdotally. This qualitative study is an initial attempt at surveying members, giving them the opportunity to discourse freely about JALT. Although the main finding is that 95% of respondents are in JALT for professional reasons, of considerably more interest is the increased understanding of the great breadth of member’s professional interests, their opinions about JALT, and the wide variety of personal concerns, such as gender issues and Japanese participation. Recommendations are given regarding possible ways JALT members, as well as the organization itself, could address such issues.