The JALT Vocabulary SIG

The JALT Vocabulary SIG

Founded in 2011, the JALT Vocabulary Special Interest Group (Vocab SIG) provides a forum for focused research and discussion related to vocabulary acquisition. We offer both teachers and researchers a place to connect regarding how learners improve vocabulary knowledge, how to test their knowledge, and how these theoretical aspects connect to classroom practice.


The SIG produces three publications a year: a biannual bulletin and a yearly symposium proceedings. The full symposium proceedings are available in the online journal Vocabulary Learning and Instruction (VLI) <>. The journal also publishes longer articles based on empirical research in the field of vocabulary.

Our biannual publication is called the Vocabulary Education and Research Bulletin (VERB) which can be downloaded from our website ( Our latest issue includes an article by Stuart McLean and Brandon Kramer about a bilingual version of the New Vocabulary Levels Test and one by Philip Riccobono showing different usages of corpus linguistics in the classroom. Also included is a book review by Tomoko Ishii of Working Memory in Second Language Acquisition and Processing (Wen, Mota, & McNeill, 2015), with a focus on how it can be of use to vocabulary researchers. The next issue will come out in spring 2017, with the deadline for submissions on January 16, 2017. See the Publications page on our website for more information.


The Vocab SIG holds several events each year including an annual Vocabulary Symposium and a Vocabulary Colloquium. This year we held our Symposium at the Vocab@Tokyo 2016 conference at Mejii Gakuin University in Tokyo. This was a continuation on the very successful Vocab@VIC conference held in 2013, and was the biggest conference dealing with the subject of vocabulary to come to Japan. Featured speakers included such worldwide experts in the field as Tess Fitzpatrick, Tom Cobb, Batia Laufer, Paul Nation, Diane Schmitt, Norbert Schmitt, and Yukio Tono. There were over 100 individual sessions including poster presentations over a three-day period. The conference was well attended and generated a lot of new research and discussion—we were happy the SIG could be a sponsor. Look for our conference proceedings in the latest issue of the VLI Journal for papers from the event.

We also participate each year in the JALT PanSIG conference and have a SIG Forum at the JALT International conference where SIG members present their current research and teaching ideas as poster sessions.


Since 2015 the Vocabulary SIG Grants Committee has awarded both research and conference grants. Up to three grants of either 50,000 or 100,000 yen are available to SIG members. These grants encourage new research in the field of vocabulary and help the recipients pay for conference costs and disseminate their research.

We hope you will consider joining the Vocabulary SIG and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

JALT Vocabulary SIG info

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Publications:  biannual bulletin VERB and conference proceedings in VLI Journal