JALT2016, New Young Learners Subcommittee Nominee, Chapter/SIG Assessment Schemes

Don’t you carry nothing that might be a load

Come on, ease on down, ease on down the road

­—Diana Ross, The Wiz

The JALT International Conference, like Dorothy and Toto, is easing down the road too! We are moving from Shizuoka, with its green tea and unagi pie, to Nagoya with its miso katsu, and tebasaki, …and its ebi fry, and its oyakudon, and its tenmusu, and its ….

And while foodies will love Nagoya, there is much more going for JALT2016 than just the delicious cuisine. Nagoya is centrally located and easy for many to get to. Once you arrive, WINC Aichi, the center where JALT2016 will be held, is located just five minutes from Nagoya Station. On top of that, there are many hotels in all price ranges nearby as well.

Food. Location. Lodging. All good things, but most importantly, we are putting together a program that will make it worth your while to join us in November, wherever you are based!  

Our theme is Transformation in Language Education, and there are many ways the theme will be examined.

  •  Through our plenaries, featured speaker sessions, forums, and individual sessions, we will be exploring how teachers and learners change.
  • Through our Educational Materials Exposition, we will be learning how materials, textbooks, and other tools have changed, and how those changes transform the language learning experience.
  • And, through attendance at the conference, we can continue conversations about how the educational landscape in Japan has changed in recent years, and what other changes are coming.

JALT2016 will have many of the things that make the JALT International Conference worthwhile—many of the things JALT participants have come to expect: Technology in Teaching Workshops, Featured Speaker Workshops, Special Interest Group Forums, The Job Information Center, The Mind and Body Space, sessions on how to get published, chances to meet old friends and make new ones, and much, much more.

Our plenary speakers will be Anne Burns, Dorothy Zemach, JD Brown, and Annamaria Pinter (JALT Junior). We will be announcing Featured Speakers online by the time this goes to press.

So put November 25–28, 2016 on your calendar, and ease on down the road to JALT2016!

You just stick with us

And we’ll show you how to smile, yeah

Get ‘em up, get ‘em up, ease on down the road

—Diana Ross, The Wiz

Steve Cornwell, Ed.D., Director of Program


JALT Welcomes Renee Sawazaki as Nominee for Chair of the New Young Learners Subcommittee

Bio: Renée’s philosophy of life is living with three P’s. No, not ELT’s familiar “Presentation, Practice, Production,” but rather “Passion, Patience, Perseverance.” She has taught for 25 years in just about every context imaginable, while focusing primarily on providing young learners and their caregivers with access to good books and stories. She reluctantly left teaching youth fulltime in order to pursue other pleasures—writing, workshops, projects, and family life. She currently enjoys working with older learners as an Associate Professor in the English Course of the Faculty of International Social Studies at Kyoai Gakuen University in Maebashi, Gunma. Originally from California, she lived in Kyushu and Kansai from 1991 to 1995, received her Master of Arts in Teaching from the SIT (School for International Training) Graduate Institute in Vermont, and for the past 20 years has lived in Gunma, surrounded by gorgeous mountains and hot springs. 

Renée has experience in almost every officer position in Gunma JALT, and has served in the Teaching Younger Learners and Bilingualism SIGs. She is passionate about bringing teachers of young learners together to share knowledge, ideas, and moral support. Those who are drawn to teaching young learners are generally willing to give their all to educate youth. The demands and conditions of their work, however, often do not lend to them having the time or funds for professional development. Renée would like to see growth in using technology and other creative means to serve these enthusiastic teachers, and hopes that the work done through this committee will have a positive ripple effect on our profession as a whole. 

Statement: In the movie Invictus, the year before the South African Springboks rugby team won the World Cup, Nelson Mandela shared with their coach, “A leader inspires others to do better than they think they can.” This is what I aspire to do as the Chair of the new Young Learners Subcommittee, and I am grateful to all who have worked to make this opportunity possible.


Strategic Planning Meeting Report

The JALT NPO Strategic Planning Meeting was held at JCO in Tokyo on October 31 – November 1, 2015 with all members of the Board of Directors, the JCO Office Manager, the Chapter Representative Liaison, and the SIG Representative Liaison in attendance. The Business Manager and Financial Steering Committee Chair were also included in the meeting via conference call. The agenda included the following:

Review of Strategic Planning Recommendations 2014

  • Recommendations from the 2014 Strategic Planning Meeting are being implemented largely as scheduled. 

Chapter/SIG grant proposals from the Working Group

  • Discussions at the Strategic Planning Meeting focused on a comparison of the individual proposals that had been submitted. Proposal parameters were presented to the EBM-Net so that  all proposals could be easily compared. Revised proposals were sent to the FSC Chair who provided a summary of implications for each. This report and all submitted proposals were provided to the November EBM as discussion points, with a target of reaching a consensus at the February EBM in 2016. 

Chapter/SIG Assessment Schemes

  • In line with changes in membership and Chapter/SIG grant structures, a Chapter/SIG assessment scheme was discussed. Developing this scheme will be discussed in the coming months, focusing on accountability, support for Chapters and SIGs, and ease of reporting. A finalized plan will be presented to the February EBM for consideration.

Themes and Strategies for EBMs

  • Themed EBMs were discussed, with the possibility of the next one being scheduled in June 2016.

Recruiting Appropriate Associate Members

  • Discussions included effective messaging and a timeline for developing a media kit.

Revised/Added Strategic Planning Recommendations 2015

  • No additional recommendations were made at this time.