Teacher Development SIG


Greetings TLT reader! In this column, we will provide an overview of our group, in order to familiarize you with our activities, and hopefully inspire you to get involved with our SIG.   

Our Focus

First formed in 1993, the TD SIG has a dedicated following of approximately 150 members. As the name of our group suggests, our SIG is committed to helping ourselves and our peers to become more effective language teachers in order to better serve learners. As such, our varied interests include continuing professional development, teacher research, and reflective practice. We understand that all JALT’s SIGs are concerned with helping members develop as professionals too, so we therefore believe that one of our main aims is to provide a space for networking and collaboration with other groups and specialisms. Our membership is diverse, and our events attract a range of different teachers, from junior high school to college and university educators. Our SIG offers opportunities for different teachers to come together, for careful and critical reflections and explorations of their practice, with a view to developing as professionals.

Our Programs

Our SIG organizes and cosponsors various activities throughout the year. Our biggest event is the annual Teacher Journeys conference held in June at different venues throughout Japan. This year’s conference was held at Sojo University in Kumamoto. We also coordinate forums annually at both the PanSIG, and the JALT International conference.  At the 2019 JALT international conference, we will be cohosting a PechaKucha style forum with the CUE SIG. Additionally, TD also hosts various workshops related to Teacher Development throughout the year. Finally, TD encourages its members to organize local reflective practice sessions. Members interested in organizing events are encouraged to contact the SIG directly. We strive to help connect with our members through the various events held throughout the year, and are also open to non-TD SIG members.

Our Publications

TD SIG has published Explorations in Teacher Development (ETD), a journal for teachers, by teachers, for around 25 years. Our journal is currently published twice yearly and includes peer-reviewed narrative and action research articles and reflective explorations of practice by teachers. Submissions include papers from presentations given at our forum at the JALT national conference and from our annual Teacher Journeys conference. The journal also includes non-peer reviewed sections, with less formal teacher reflections, such as accounts of a typical or an extraordinary incident; or reflections on career paths and the decisions involved in them, and conference reports. SIG Members receive the journal in PDF format as part of their SIG membership, with back issues made available on our website to all shortly after. I invite you to explore our archive to see the full range of what ETD includes.

Our Publicity

We keep an active online presence through our monthly newsletters, Facebook and Twitter posts, and our YouTube channel. Our newsletter is distributed via email to all our SIG members and it comprises detailed information on upcoming SIG events, reports of past workshops and events, JALT activities, TESOL conferences throughout Asia, special member requests, and more. On Facebook and Twitter, information is shared in a more bite-sized format. We also use these sites to interface directly with our members and those interested in our group. Our YouTube channel is our most recent addition, and currently hosts recordings of featured speakers’ presentations from our Teacher Identities and Emotions workshop earlier this year, with plans to add more content soon. On our website, visitors can learn more about our various SIG activities, and find links to all our social media and event pages.

We would love to welcome you as a member (or an officer) of our SIG, see you at future events, or receive an article or presentation proposal from you. We’re a flexible group, open to new ideas and potential collaborations. Feel free to get in contact with us for more information.

Our Contact Information: