The unseen face of JALT – Part 2

Cynthia Keith, National Vice President


In the last report I focused on the administrative committees of JALT, briefly explaining the workings of the Chapter and SIG Boards, the JALT Central Office, the Board of Directors, and the National JALT Executive Board. Please go back and hunt it down! In this issue you will read about the Audit Committee, Publications Board, Conference Committee, Business Committee, and the International and Domestic Affairs Committees.

Self-supported, we are always looking for those who have an interest in rolling up their sleeves and helping out at all levels of the organization to ensure that the balance between “long-term memory” and “fresh outlook and expansion” is kept.

  • The Audit Committee

The JALT Audit committee has gone through many revisions since our NPO beginnings and is currently being revitalized. Their job being to guide our organization and ensure that we are compliant with NPO law, constant review is necessary.

The SIG and Chapter Examining body, led by the Director of Treasury and Chapter and SIG Treasurer Liaisons, annually look at the accounting and spending practices of all Chapters and SIGs within the organization and provide them with feedback and instructions on how to properly write up their accounts. It is, I believe, a very long process, but one which makes us a stronger organization. If you have an interest in accounting practices, then volunteering to work with this group of people would be a good place to start.

  • The Publications Board (see the list inside the front cover of this issue of TLT)

This group is focused on the production of our two main publications— The Language Teacher and JALT Journal. Like all major publications, there are deadlines, proofing of articles and columns, translation, advertising, etc… The pressure on this team of volunteers to get the news into our hands by the print deadline is tremendous and incredibly they do most of their work online! However, the bottleneck is at the proofreader level. Details for how to volunteer can be found at <>.

If the national publications seem a bit daunting at first, how about cutting your teeth on some of our Chapter or SIG publications? There are many opportunities where you can become more involved in the publishing side of JALT ... What interests you?

  • The Conference Committee

Volunteers are always needed to help pull our conference together each year. Most of the preparatory work for this year’s conference has already been done but there are still many areas where you can help out! Each year whilst we participate in the conference, going to plenary presentations, enjoying workshop or poster sessions, browsing books in the EME, or attending any of the many social aspects of the conference, there is a team of volunteers working behind the scenes like little shoemaker elves making sure that the lights go on, that the equipment is there, that it works, that the speakers are where they should be, that your bags and coats are safe, that our VIPs are being taken care of, that our Associate Members in the EME are happy, and that the traffic flow is not backing up anywhere. There are people hurrying around putting up signs, directing student volunteers, packing conference bags, cleaning up our open spaces, copying and getting the handouts ready, sitting in various SIG booths to explain what we as an organization do... The Publicity team is out and about getting valuable photographs and comments from participants for use in publicity for the following year. There is more ... much more! Lots to do and so few hands to do it all. Why don’t you join us?

  • The Business Committee

This committee is made up of the Conference Business Manager, the Business Manager, the Director of Program, the Vice President, the JCO AM Liaison, and the Committee Chair. Those with a keen sense of business are always welcome to become involved and to help increase the returns from JALT’s “for profit” business opportunities.

  • The International Affairs Committee collaborates and nurtures our relationships with our overseas affiliates, partners, and other international organizations. You can find out more about the important liaison work they do here: <>.
  • The Domestic Affairs Committees, as the name suggests, looks at improving and nurturing our relationships with other Japan-based organizations. Several important domestic partnerships have been signed this year and the committee is working continuously to improve our standing as one of the largest teaching associations in Japan.

Best wishes!

Cynthia Keith, National Vice President

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