SIG News - May 2012


New Arrivals!

JALT and TLT are pleased to announce the addition of a new SIG to the organization: Literature in Language Teaching. We would like to extend a warm welcome to the group by listing them at the top of the column for this issue. TLT wishes them success as they develop and grow. For more information on how to join the new SIG, please see the information below.



The Literature in Language Teaching (LILT) SIG recently formed to encourage and promote the use of literature in the language classroom. Appropriately chosen literature provides real content to engage and motivate our language students. The literature itself provides ready-made context for learning that is so often lacking in our EFL situation.

What is literature? How to choose appropriate literature for our students? How to devise appropriate curricula? What activities to use? How to effectively assess student learning? These are some of the questions members discuss and seek to answer in our inaugural SIG publication, The Journal of Literature in Language Teaching.

Future LILT SIG activities include sponsoring literature/language experts to spread the good word of literature use, (co-)sponsoring conferences, working with other groups to promote effective pedagogical practice, and publishing a regular newsletter and an annual journal. The call for journal and newsletter submissions is ongoing.

Perhaps you are considering using literature in the language classroom and would like to discuss how best you may try to do so. Or perhaps you yourself have some ideas to share with your professional peers to improve their language classrooms. You are all very welcome to join the LILT SIG to discuss, learn, and share! If you wish to become actively involved in organising, we are looking for a Treasurer, a Membership Chair, and a Publications Chair. Interested? Contact Coordinator Simon Bibby at <>.



Our group has two main aims. One is to encourage research in the area of bilingualism in Japanese contexts. This is reflected in our peer-reviewed journal, Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism. Our second aim is to support families who are raising bilingual children. Our newsletter, Bilingual Japan contains articles about resources and experiences available to bicultural families. The SIG also works with various chapters to hold local events. The SIG's annual forum and banquet at the national conference provide an opportunity for members to network with other bilingual families. Further information at <>.



The JALT Business English SIG is intended to develop the discipline of teaching English conducive to participation in the world business community. We wish to provide instructors in this field with a means of collaboration and sharing best teaching practices.

JALT Business English SIGは、世界のビジネス界に通用する英語教育の発展を目的に持ち、結成されました。連携体制を組み、最善の教育方法を共有することにより、英語教育に携わるインストラクターの皆様のお手伝いを致します.



Last November at the JALT national conference in Tokyo, we hosted the JALT CALL Forum: Your students use technology every day, do your classes? It explored some of the various ways that educators are using technology in their language teaching. Edo Forsythe shared free online tools for language self study. Steve Henneberrry showed how he uses an iPad in the classroom. Daniel Mills suggested the future of language learning using artificially intelligent 3D games. Douglas Jarrell demonstrated an ER project that he has created for mobile devices. Bill Pellowe introduced an open-source student response system for mobile devices. Oliver Rose talked about merging educational design and game design in a video game for learning kanji. We had a great turnout for the forum and some very positive feedback from attendees.

June will be a hectic month for the CALL SIG. First, we will be hosting our annual conference, JALTCALL 2012, in Nishinomiya from June 1-3. The theme of the conference will be Beyond CALL: Integration, normalisation, or separation? We are pleased to have Dr. Stephen Bax as the keynote speaker and Mr. Lance Knowles and Dr. John Brine as plenary speakers. For more information about the conference, please visit <>. We are looking for venues for upcoming conferences. If you are interested in hosting a future CALL SIG conference at your institution, please contact the SIG Coordinator <>. Also, if you have any suggestions for speakers that you would like to see at future JALT CALL conferences and forums, please contact the Program Chair <>.

In addition to our annual conference, we will be participating in the 11th Annual Pan-SIG Conference on June 16-17 at Hiroshima University. This year, the SIG will be sponsoring one of the plenary speakers – Dr. Thomas Cobb from Université du Québec à Montréal. For more details about PAN-SIG 2012, visit the conference website <>.



All CUE members receive the refereed publication OnCUE Journal (ISSN:1882-0220). 

Submissions for issue 6.3 are due June 1, 2012. Prospective authors should check out our helpful author's template and guidelines at <>. A slide show on basic statistics for SLA educators is available at <>. Details about the OnCUE Journal sections can be found at <>. Our web site also provides useful information about how to use APA formatting and statistics at <>. For more information about CUE SIG news and events, see the CUE website at <>, follow <@jaltcue> on Twitter, or join JALT-CUE on Facebook or Yahoo Groups <>.



We are ALWAYS looking for new input from teachers interested in critical thinking! We invite your ideas about the theory and teaching practices regarding critical thinking. Whether it’s a classroom idea, a reflection, or a full research paper, we hope to hear from you! Think about writing for our quarterly newsletter, CT Scan, or our SIG website today. All submissions are welcome at <>. For more information, visit us at <>.



The JALT Extensive Reading SIG is pleased to announce the Fifth Annual Extensive Reading Seminar Extensive Reading: Research and Practice. Plenary addresses from Dr. S. D. Krashen and Junko Yamanaka. The conference will be on July 1, 2012 at Sugiyama Jogakuen University, Nagoya, Japan. Please follow the website link from the ER SIG page on the JALT website <> for detailed and updated information on the seminar and other related events.



This SIG wants to discuss the CEFR and ELP, and other similar frameworks and their relevance for Japan. There is an emphasis on developing materials to support educators who would like to use these pedagogic tools. The SIG holds periodical seminars focusing on classroom use of the CEFR, among other things. Please refer to <> and <> for more information, including info about the Can do statements in language education in Japan and beyond publication and to download the bilingual Language Portfolio for Japanese University.



GALE works towards building a supportive community of educators and researchers interested in raising awareness and researching how gender plays an integral role in education and professional interaction. We also network and collaborate with other groups to promote pedagogical and professional practices, language teaching materials, and research inclusive of gender and gender-related topics. Ongoing call for papers for the academic journal. Visit our website at <> or contact us for more details. Please email <>for any GALE related inquiries.



GILE aims to promote global awareness, international understanding, and action to solve world problems through content-based language teaching, drawing from fields such as global education, peace education, environmental education, and human rights education. The SIG produces a quarterly newsletter, organizes presentations for local, national, and international conferences, and maintains contacts with groups ranging from Amnesty International to Educators for Social Responsibility to UNESCO. Contact us for a sample newsletter, or for more information about the SIG's work in teaching for a better world. For more information, please visit <> or contact Kip Cates <>.



The 11th Annual Pan SIG Conference will be held on June 16-17, 2012, at Hiroshima University (Higashi-Hiroshima campus). There will be a JSL SIG Forum entitled Looking for the universal teaching method in teaching Japanese and other JSL related presentations. Would you like to join us? Next, researchers, teachers, and learners are invited to contribute your research articles to our publication (JALT Journal of Japanese Language Education). Please visit <> for further information. 6月16日と17日に広島大学東広島キャンパスで第11回PANSIG年次大会が開催されます。日本語教育部会もフォーラムや研究発表などで参加します。会員の皆様と本大会でお会いできるのを楽しみにしております。次に、部会では、現在2013年度発行予定のJALT日本語教育論集の原稿を募集しております。会員の皆さまからの投稿をお待ちしております。詳しくは<>にアクセスするか、以下までご連絡ください。部会代表川手<>.



The School House, the JALT Junior and Senior High School SIG Newsletter, is accepting submissions for its next edition. We are looking for research articles related to EFL theory or pedagogy, technology articles, lesson ideas, conference reviews, and anything else that pertains to teaching English in Japanese junior and senior high schools. If interested, please send any requests to Robert Morel at <>. Our goal is to function as an instigator, focal point, and clearing house for research into secondary foreign language education in Japan. In particular, we aim to encourage junior and senior high EFL teachers to think about their work and to share the results of their efforts with others, in the form of written or oral presentations. We also aim to provide a focus within JALT for discussion of issues directly related to the improvement and development of foreign language education in Japan’s secondary schools.




The Learner Development SIG is a lively, friendly, and growing network with about 180 members around the world who have an interest in exploring and researching practices that help develop autonomous learning and teaching. We are also interested in socio-cultural theory, critical approaches to teaching and learning, group dynamics, literacy development, and other interdisciplinary spaces that teachers and learners may navigate.

We welcome the participation of teachers from diverse teaching contexts (other than university) including elementary school, junior high school, senior high school, distance learning, and language school settings as well as teachers teaching languages other than English. We share a commitment to exploring connections between our experiences as learners and our practices as teachers, and the learners’ experiences inside & outside the classroom.

The SIG offers chances to get connected with other teachers, graduate students and researchers through our twice-yearly newsletterLearning Learning, email and online resources, plus ongoing eBook publication projects. 2011 saw the publication of a third SIG book, Realizing Autonomy: Practice and Reflection in Language Education Contexts (Palgrave Macmillan). We hold regular local area get-togethers in different parts of Japan, focusing on discussion and practitioner research into learner development issues. Come out and meet the community: <>.

In 2012 the SIG will be holding a one-day meeting with JALT Kyoto in April 8, as well as putting on forums at JALTCALL 2012 in Kobe, the Pan-SIG conference in Hiroshima, the Nakasendo conference in Tokyo, and at the JALT2012 conference in October. The LDSIG is also currently involved in the planning and participation of the Junior and Senior High School SIG’s Teacher Development Workshop, to be held in July in Tokyo. For more information about all our events please visit our website <>. 2012 also sees the SIG offering membership grants, subscriptions, research grants and conference grants to foster wider membership and participation in learner development events and publications. For more information, please visit our website <>.


The energy of older learners who wish to lead active lives is reverberating all across Japan. The LLL SIG aims to help these older learners enrich their lives through language learning. The SIG provides resources and information online at <>.



The Materials Writing SIG was established with the purpose of helping members to turn fresh teaching ideas into useful classroom materials. We try to be a mutual assistance network offering information regarding copyright law, sharing practical advice on publishing practices including self-publication, and suggesting ways to create better language learning materials for general consumption or for individual classroom use.



OLE has published OLE NL 61 and 62, and the OLE-at-JALT- 2011 Compendium. NL 61 discusses Chinese LL strategies. OLE 62 contains ample information for the OLE-sponsored JALTCALL and PanSIG 2012, and the JALT 2012 theme in French, Spanish, Chinese, and German for our OLE colleagues. Order free copies from the OLE coordinator at <>. The OLE-at-JALT-2011-Compendium, gratefully hosted by Ehime University, offers of all OLE-related materials from JALT 2012 at <>.



The Pragmatics SIG is currently calling for submissions to the third volume in its Pragmatics Resources series, a collection of pragtivities. Titled Bringing Pragmatics into the Classroom, this book will be a practical collection of lesson plans that incorporate pragmatics concepts into classroom activities. See the SIG website at <> for further details.



PALE’s mission starts from the recognition that language education does not take place in isolation from society and other fields of education. Issues of concern include curriculum design, implementation and maintenance, professional ethics, professional development and evaluation, administrative methodology, leadership dynamics, comparative education, sociological trends in education, employment problems, legal issues, and the demands that societies place on educators. PALE seeks to appraise teachers of research and trends in these issues by organizing conference presentations and through its journal, newsletter, listserv, and website <>.



The Speech, Drama, and Debate SIG has been extremely busy since its first meeting at JALT2011. Check our new website <> to see what we have been doing. (The website is also accessible from the SDD SIG page on the official JALT website.) We prepared our first presentations as a SIG at the Asian Conference of Language Learning this April in Osaka, and have been busy building a good program for the June PanSIG Conference (poster session, a panel discussion, and presentations/workshops on drama, debate, and oral interpretation/readers theatre). We are planning our series of webinars for this summer, and starting to develop a strong program for JALT2012. Call for Papers for Mask & Gavel, the peer reviewed publication of the SIG. See the website for information.



The Study Abroad SIG provides a supportive place for discussing areas of interest regarding study abroad and intercultural training. We welcome submissions for our newsletter, Ryuugaku, and we are looking for new officers to join the team. Visit our new website at <> or contact us at <>.




The JALT Task-Based Learning (TBL) SIG was created for teachers and other professionals who currently use, or are interested in using, task-based approaches in the classroom and focuses in particular on issues related to task-based language teaching and learning in the Asian EFL context. We hope that the SIG will serve as a useful forum for the exchange of practical teaching ideas, theoretical discussion, and academic studies of TBLT issues. Our journal OnTask focuses on both research and theory in the form of feature articles as well as more practical TBLT-informed lesson plans. Potential contributors to OnTask are invited to contact our publications officer, Julian Pigott at <>.

Don’t forget, our international Task-Based Learning and Teaching in Asia conference is being held at Osaka Shoin Women’s University on May 19-20, 2012. The plenary speakers are David Carless from the University of Hong Kong, and Michael Thomas from the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and both are well respected researchers in the field of task-based learning. We hope you can attend as there are two days of presentations and workshops from TBLT theorists around the world! See our website for details: <>.


TED (Teacher Education & Development)

The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. Our activities include retreats, conferences, a library of books available for loan, and an Internet discussion group. TED’s comprehensive newsletter Explorations in Teacher Education welcomes stimulating articles!  

TED will be coordinating with Shizuoka JALT to host a mini-conference entitled EFL Teacher Journeys on June 24, 2012 in Shizuoka city. Featured speakers will be Dr. Patrick Kiernan of Meiji University, and Wilma Luth of Hokkai Gakuen University. You can find out more about the conference and pre-register (at a discount) at <>.

Find out more about TED at <>. You can also stay in touch with us online by becoming a friend of our mascot, Ted Sig, on Facebook, or following him <@tedsig> on Twitter or Google Plus.



The THT workshops in Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan are moving ahead and we are looking for participants! The seventh THT/BELTA program will be held on September 12-14, 2012 in Dhaka, hosted by the Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA) and the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), while the 4th Kyrgyzstan program at Bishkek Humanities University has been tentatively set for September 17-19, 2012. The programs are not limited to SIG members or to those having JALT membership, so feel free to pass this information on to others. If you are interested or would like more information, please email <>, giving your name and the location you are interested.



The TC SIG is for teachers of children of all ages. We publish a bilingual newsletter four times a year with columns by many of the leading teachers in the field. There is an email list for teachers of children who would like to share ideas or questions <>. We are always looking for new ideas and new people to keep the SIG dynamic. With our bilingual newsletter, we particularly want to appeal to Japanese teachers and teachers who team teach. Hope you can join us for one of our upcoming events.





The Testing and Evaluation SIG is concerned with all aspects of testing and evaluating language performance and language programs, and welcomes both experienced teachers and those who are new to this area and wish to learn more about it. Our interests encompass both quantitative and qualitative approaches to language assessment, and include alternatives to traditional testing, such as peer and self-assessment, portfolios, and project evaluation. Shiken, our refereed newsletter, contains a variety of assessment-related articles, including research reports, interviews with prominent authors, book reviews, and instructional columns on statistical analysis, Rasch measurement, and assessment literacy.



The Inaugural JALT Vocabulary SIG Symposium was held at Kyushu Sangyo University (KSU) in Fukuoka on March 3, 2012. This year’s program included a morning session on vocabulary learning, an afternoon session on vocabulary assessment featuring over eight presenters, and 20 poster exhibitions.

The vocabulary learning session began with Andy Barfield’s (Chuo University) exploration of learner autonomy via a single-subject case study. This was followed by examinations of word frequency (Dale Brown, Nanzan University), utterance verbs (speak, talk, say, tell; Yoshiaki Sato, Keio University), and the use of picture drawing and formative instruction for Japanese learners (Charles Anderson, KSU). Discussant Shigenori Tanaka of Keio University wrapped up the morning session with a number of insightful comments and analyses of the presentations.

The afternoon’s vocabulary assessment session included an introduction to Jeffrey Stewart’s (KSU) innovative multiple-choice test of vocabulary knowledge, an examination of the effects of text length on measures of lexical diversity (Rie Koizumi, Tokiwa University), an application of a word associates test to identify dimensions of word knowledge (Aaron Batty, Keio University), and an exploration of the validity of a test of lexical access time (Tatsuo Iso, Reitaku University). The final speaker of the day, discussant Masamichi Mochizuki of Reitaku University, recapped by reminding attendees of the high quality of the day’s presentations.

Indeed, the quality of the presentations and posters, not to mention the level of research presented therein, were uniformly excellent. This event was well organized, well catered, and well attended. Attendees are already looking forward to next year’s symposium.

JALT members with an interest in the teaching and learning of vocabulary should watch this space for future Vocabulary SIG events. The Vocabulary SIG is one of the newest additions to the JALT family, but its future contributions appear to be very promising indeed. Please visit the JALT Vocabulary SIG at <> for links to the symposium proceedings, upcoming events, the Vocabulary Education and Research Bulletin (VERB) online publication website, and their Facebook web page at <>.