SIG News - January 2014

13th Annual JALT PanSIG Conference

You are warmly invited to take part in the 13th Annual JALT PanSIG Conference, Sustainability: Making Learning and Teaching Last, to be held in Miyazaki, May 10-11, 2014. The PanSIG conference is held annually by the Special Interest Groups of the Japan Association for Language Teaching.

As in previous years, PanSIG will offer advice and revision opportunities. Mark Brierley (ER SIG) and Alison Stewart (LD SIG) are going to be in charge of the submission and revision process, and the Peer Support Group (PSG), will be helping, with PSG head Loran Edwards acting as assistant review chair. We welcome SIG members who are be willing to help in this process to volunteer by emailing <>.


NEW!!! The Bilingualism SIG monograph Third Culture Kids and Their Families is out! This publication will be of special interest not only to TCK and their parents, but also to families raising their children in three languages. Of course, it also provides parents raising bilingual children with hints and inspiration on their multilingual journey. Edited by Bernadette Luyckx and Ron Murphy, 2013.

The JALT Bilingualism SIG has put together an extensive collection of monographs on various practical topics to do with raising children bilingually, particularly in Japanese contexts. In addition to general information on bilingualism, popular topics include bicultural children with special needs, naming bicultural children, and educational options for bicultural children in Japan or overseas. Whether you are a new parent looking for advice or an educator wondering about how to deal with bilingual children in your class, the wealth of personal experiences in these books will provide you with plenty of directions and perhaps even some answers to your questions. To see more titles, visit our website: <>. 


The JALT Business English SIG seeks to develop the discipline of teaching English, conducive to participation in the world business community. We aim to provide instructors in this field with a means of collaborating 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。 


The JALT CALL Conference is coming up from June 6-8 at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Nagoya. This year's theme is "New Horizons in CALL." The planned keynote speaker will be Regine Hampel, who is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Languages at the Open University. The plenary is yet to be determined. For further details please visit the website at <>. Hope to see you there.


Last year CUE celebrated its 20th anniversary by organizing various professional events from Hokkaido to Kyushu. CUE officers would like to thank each and all of its members for their support and involvement in SIG-related activities. Please feel free to contact us at <> for further information about our events and activities. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon at one of our events!


Please consider writing for a future issue of CT Scan. Full research articles: 1,500-3,000 words, detailing your research related to critical thinking in language education. Articles that connect theory to classroom practice are encouraged. Classroom reflections: 500-2,000 words, detailing classroom activities that have been used to teach or encourage critical thinking among language learners. Commentaries: 500-2,000 words, detailing personal observations meant to provoke discussion within our membership regarding critical thinking in language education. All submissions are welcome at <>. We recommend adhering to JALT Journal style guidelines for your submission. Please refer to <> for guidance.


We welcome you to take part in the 7th Annual Extensive Reading Seminar & 2014 Vocabulary Symposium on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Keisen University, Tokyo. The theme is “Covering the Text: Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.” For the call for papers and other information please check the seminar website: <>. 

The ER SIG also welcomes submissions to our two publications, the ERJ (Extensive Reading in Japan) and the JER (Journal of Extensive Reading). Members receive printed versions of the ERJ twice a year, and both publications are available electronically via our website for free. Please see our website <> for submission guidelines, how to become a member and much more.


This SIG discusses the CEFR, ELP, 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 frameworks. The SIG holds periodical seminars focusing on classroom use of the CEFR, among other things. Please refer to <> and <> for more information, including information about the “FLP SIG Kaken Project”, “Can do statements language education in Japan and beyond” publication and download of the bilingual “Language Portfolio for Japanese University”.

 Upcoming conference: Critical, Constructive Assessment of CEFR on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Chukyo University, Nagoya. The theme is “Principles and practices in the implementation of the CEFR in curricula and classrooms.” Deadline for abstract submission: Thursday, January 16, 2014. Submission requirements: Send a 300-500 word abstract, references, e-mail address, and full name and affiliation of each presenter to <>.


We have an ongoing call for papers for our academic journal, The Journal and Proceedings of the Gender Awareness in Language Education Special Interest Group of JALT (or The GALE Journal). Visit our website at <> or contact us for more details. Please e-mail <> 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 primarily from the fields of 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.” visit <>, our Facebook page or contact Kip Cates <>.



Call for papers: JALT Journal of Japanese Language Education. JSL researchers, teachers, learners are invited to submit articles, research reports, essays, and book reviews. Deadline is March 31, 2014. For the details, please contact Tamayo Hattori <>.  Also, send your JSL articles, reports, and information to the JSL SIG Newsletter. We accept them throughout the year. Please email submissions to Nozomi Takano <>.


The JSHS SIG is now on Facebook! If you are a JSHS SIG member, then come and check out our exclusive group at <>. Whether you want to ask a question, help someone out or just share something, this is the place for junior and senior high school teachers to be. We also have a public page at <> so anyone can have a look, click ‘like’ and our news will be your news! Everybody is welcome!

Show us what you've got! This year’s SIG Forum at the JALT2013 Conference offers 90 minutes of shares from junior/senior high school teachers, for junior/senior high school teachers! With so many shares from people in your field, we can almost guarantee something of interest to everybody. Time will be made at the end of the Forum for participant and presenter group discussion so please join us if you are free. We look forward to seeing you in October!  


The Learner Development SIG is a lively and friendly network of more than 200 members who are interested in exploring and researching practices that help develop autonomous learning and teaching, among other issues to do with learning inside and outside the classroom. We welcome the participation of teachers from diverse teaching contexts, including elementary school, junior high school, senior high school, distance learning, language school, university settings, and teachers teaching languages other than English. 

Following our 20th Anniversary Conference in Tokyo in November last year, we are looking forward to another exciting and productive year in 2014. Upcoming events include local get-togethers in Tokyo, Kansai and Hiroshima, an outreach trip to Tohoku in February/March, and forums at the PanSIG and JALTCALL conferences. On the publication front, in addition to the regular twice-yearly issues of our newsletter, Learning Learning, we have two book projects nearing completion: Learner Development Working Papers and Collaborative Learning in Learner Development. For more information, please visit <>.

学習者ディベロプメント研究部会(LD SIG)は、教室の内外での学びに関するテーマの中でも特にオートノミーのある学習とティーチングを発展させるための実践を探求・研究することに関心のある200 名以上が組織する、活発でフレンドリーな研究部会です。私たちは、多様な教育現場でご活躍の皆様の参加を歓迎しています。小学校、中学校、高校、通信教育、語学学校、大学で指導されている皆様、そして英語以外の言語を教えている教師の皆様も、どうぞご参加ください。

昨年11月に東京で行われた創設20周年記念大会に引き続き、2014年も活発で生産的な一年となることを大変楽しみにしております。まずは、東京、関西、広島での地域別集会、2月か3月に東北へのアウトリーチ旅行、そしてPanSIGやJALTCALL学会でのフォーラムがあります。出版関連では、通常の年二回発行のニュースレターLearning Learningに加え、二冊の本(Learner Development Working PapersとCollaborative Learning in Learner Development)が仕上がりつつあります。詳細は、 <> をご覧ください。


The LLL-SIG invites those teaching languages to young, middle-aged, and older adults to share information through our website <>, newsletter, at various SIG conferences and events (including PanSIG), and at the JALT National Conference, where an annual LLL-SIG forum is held. 

Our Facebook page can be accessed at <>. As of this writing, we have nearly 189 likes and we always welcome more. If you "like" us, you will be able to find out about not only our SIG.’s events, but you can also get tips about lifelong language learning and teaching, and find out about opportunities and events in the community that stretch your capabilities and broaden your horizons, including volunteering possibilities.


Happy New year to all of our members! Thanks for a great 2013. LiLT SIG members engage with literature through film, creative writing, poetry, the short story, classic literature and world literature as well as literature in translation. We welcome interest from those working cultural studies, politics through literature, language learning and applications of literary texts in different contexts.

We are always interested in volunteers to help out with things such as events planning, reading and proofing for our journal and helping the SIG grow. If you are thinking about getting involved we welcome you to contact us!

2014 Conference: September 6-7. We are steadily making plans for our first literature-themed conference to be held at Aichi University, Toyohashi campus with John Roberts as the conference chair. Please consider submitting something to present, attending, or helping promote this first LiLT SIG conference. The deadline for submissions is May 15th.

All important guidelines and information for contributors are available on our website <>. To join the SIG tick Literature in Language Teaching when renewing your SIG membership.


First of all, a deep heartfelt thanks to all who, at the conference, visited our table, attended our forum and workshop at JALT2013. We had a marvelous time meeting old and new faces. Hopefully, we generated more new members and kept the old as interested as ever. Our workshop with Todd Jay Leonard was a relaxed affair on Sunday evening and participants came away knowing a lot more about the realities of writing for the Japanese market. Thanks, Todd! At the board level, we introduced a new level of officer: the assistant role. This allows new officers to learn the ropes without necessarily taking on the full responsibility off the bat. The idea behind this is to nurture future stability in the officer ranks. 

Our activities in 2014 will be exciting as we'll be joining the Pan-SIG as usual, and we'll be involved with a few other events during the year.  Please check our website for more information <>. Meet old/new members and stay active!


In 2013, OLE participated in the JALT East Shikoku conference, PanSIG and JaltCALL and organized its 2nd SIG conference at Chukyo University in Nagoya and enjoyed over 20 contributions at JALT 2013 in Kobe. Most Kobe presentations will be up very soon on <>

OLE will participate in the respective events this year and is already accepting proposals for its events at JALT 2014:

The OLE-SIG and the Multilingualism Forum, the French Forum, and the Spanish, Chinese and German workshops. Please send your proposal urgently to the coordinator at <> with the title line JALT2014.


Pragmatics is the study of language from the point of view of language users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects their use of language has on other participants in the act of communication. 

The Pragmatics SIG is in the process of creating a library of humorous comics and videos that highlight pragmatic matters in everyday conversation.  Look for some new videos on our website <> this summer!


PALE’s mission starts from the recognition that language education does not take place in isolation from society or 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 apprise teachers of research and trends in these issues by organizing conference presentations and through its journal, newsletter, listserv, and website <>.


Please consider signing up for our newsletter! The sign-up form to the SO SIG's free quarterly newsletter is now active on the SO SIG website <>. To subscribe, visit the site and enter your email address. Subscribers receive articles, freebies and news on upcoming SO SIG events.


2013 was a good year for the Speech, Drama, and Debate SIG. We had a strong presence at PanSIG2013, the most dramatic booth and a really exciting forum at JALT2013--five excellent (really excellent) PechaKucha presentations followed by two enthusiastic small group discussions--and a wonderful co-sponsored conference in Hiroshima at the beginning of December, which included our first speech contest. We put out 6 bulletins and two issues of our peer-reviewed journal, Mask & Gavel. See <> to download some of the back issues.)

In addition to PanSIG2014 and JALT2014, our biggest project for 2014 is the first annual JOESC (Japan Online English Speech Contest).  For details see <>.


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 <>.

当研究部会は、留学や異文化教育に関して議論し、また支援できる場を提供しています。当部会のニュースレター“Ryuugaku”への皆様からの投稿をお待ちしております。新役員の募集をしております。詳細は新ウェブサイト<>へお問い合わせは、 <>へお願いします。


The TBL SIG will hold the second “TBL in Asia,”conference in Kansai on May 17-18 2014 at Kinki University, Osaka. Peter Skehan from the University of Auckland in New Zealand is confirmed as Plenary speaker. Proposals are now being accepted for presentations, workshops and poster presentations. Deadline for proposals is January 31, 2014. Details and the call for papers can be found at <>.

The TBL SIG was created for teachers and other professionals who currently use or are interested in using task-based approaches in the classroom. It focuses, in particular, on issues related to task-based language teaching and learning in the Asian EFL context. The SIG serves as a useful forum for the exchange of practical teaching ideas, theoretical discussion, and academic study 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 <>.


The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. With memories of JALT2013 still fresh in our minds, we are starting to think of TED SIG's next mini-conference, EFL Teacher's Journeys Conference 2014. Preparations for the conference have begun and the hunt for interesting plenary speakers is on. Updates will be posted as they happen on the website at <>.

You can also find out more about TED's journal Explorations in Teacher Education on the website. The journal welcomes stimulating articles across the field. Submission guidelines for articles can be found on the website. You can also stay in touch with us via Facebook or Google+ or by following <@tedsig> on Twitter.


2014 Lao THT Program, February/March, National University of Laos staff training and student support program. Bankuen Teachers Training College, Lao American College and high school home stay program. For further information please contact:

Chris Ruddenklau, THT Laos Country coordinator, is also working with the organizers of the 11th Annual LaoTESOL Conference January 21-22, 2014 at the National University of Laos Vientiane

 "Advancing Techniques and Skills for the Language Teaching Profession.” Approximately 350 Lao teachers of English will be attending. This is a unique chance to present, meet Lao teachers, eat Lao food and be entertained by Lao singers and dancers. Abstracts and biographical data can be sent to: <>. Please consider combining this with the THT Laos program!


Submissions are now being sought for the 2014 JALT Junior Conference. Although the conference is still a while away, this year the presentation submission deadline has been brought forward to February 11, so please note the early deadline. We would particularly like to encourage first time presenters to consider giving a short talk, holding a workshop, or joining a panel discussion on any aspect of teaching young learners. We also warmly welcome submissions for presentations in Japanese.

The TC SIG is for teachers of children of all ages and we are always looking for new ideas and new people to keep the SIG dynamic. We particularly want to appeal to Japanese teachers and teachers who team teach to consider joining our group. There is an email list for teachers of children who would like to share ideas or questions <>. 

If you have any ideas, activities, advice or experiences you would like to share with your fellow teachers, please consider submitting them to some of our upcoming issues of our online TLC Newsletter! Email your submissions to the editor at <>. For more information about the Teaching Children SIG and all our activities, please visit our homepage <>, or the TCSIG Facebook page <>.


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 new to this area who wish to learn more about it. Our interests encompass quantitative and qualitative approaches to language assessment, including 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, instructional columns on statistical analysis, Rasch measurement, and assessment literacy. 


The VOCAB SIG is proud to announce that our membership has grown to 130 members since last year. We welcome new membership and enjoyed last year’s JALT2013 Conference.