SIG News - May 2014

The 13th Annual JALT PanSIG Conference, Sustainability: Making Learning and Teaching Last, will be held in Miyazaki, May 10-11, 2014. The schedule is online at <> so take a look. We hope to see you in Miyazaki! 


Bilingualism SIG has a dual focus of supporting research in the areas of bilingualism, multilingualism and multiculturalism and supporting families raising bilingual children in Japan. The latest issue of our annual journal, the Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, volume 18, is now available. Our monograph on third culture kids (TCK) is still available for 1,000 yen. Visit our website for more information <>.

On May 17, 2014, B-SIG coordinator Mary Nobuoka will be speaking about raising bilingual children, at the Kobe/B-SIG annual BBQ. If you missed this comprehensive talk at the JALT international conference last year and are in the Kobe area, please join us. Check for details at <>.


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 speaker is yet to be determined. For further details, please visit the website at  <>. We 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!


Members of the Critical Thinking SIG will be active at this year’s PanSIG conference.  To view all the abstracts in one place, visit the Critical Thinking SIG page for PanSIG 2014 at <>.

There will be three individual presentations by Gann, Saunders, and Werner, plus a forum with the College and University Educators, Framework and Language Portfolio, and Literature in Language Learning SIGs.  

In conjunction with the Learner Development SIG, Gann will be discussing the idea of needing a critical thinking special interest group and why “EFL educators must rethink critical thinking instruction.”  Saunders, who will appear representing the Critical Thinking and Pragmatics SIGs, will discuss the accomplishments of a Super Science High School (SSH) as it pushes a program designed to prepare some of Japan’s future scientists with the English language knowledge and ability to communicate on a global scale.  Werner, who represents the Critical Thinking and Material Writers SIGs, will demonstrate materials developed for a content-based university class on American pop culture that takes students another step below the surface to get them thinking about identified social issues. Participate in this presentation and you will be treated to a hands-on experience with online tools as well.  Finally, the Critical Thinking SIG will participate in the forum “Creating a lasting impact on students’ learning: Connections inside and outside the classroom.” Participants will be discussing how what one does inside the classroom can have a demonstrable resonance in places other than a classroom, or just during a lesson.  

It will be a fun and educationally packed weekend at PanSIG 2014 in Miyazaki, and the Critical Thinking will be collaborating with a host of different SIGs to bring the opportunity to meet your peers, share your ideas, collaborate with colleagues, and expand your horizons to ultimately build a sustainable and lasting environment for yourselves, and those you teach.


At the PanSIG2014 conference be sure to stop by the ER SIG Forum where we will discuss ER program creation, from beginning to sustainability. We have a great line-up of speakers planned who will each bring a different perspective to the creation process: Mark Brierley, Barry Keith, Thomas Bieri, and Greg Rouault. For more information visit our ER Forum page on the PanSIG website where you can ask questions and comment! We hope to see you there! 

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 aims to discuss the CEFR and ELP and other similar frameworks and their relevance for Japan. The SIG holds periodical seminars focusing on classroom use of the CEFR, amongst other things.  More info: <> Contact: <>

13th Pan SIG, May 10-11 2014

Joint forum with CT, LiLT and BE SIGs

Title: Creating a lasting impact on students' learning: Connections inside and outside the classroom

FLP SIG's topic:  Make teaching last outside the classroom: The language portfolio

Content: We will discuss the concept of the CEFR as an important tool to make classroom instruction more lasting by including a classroom diary and a language portfolio in the teaching cycle. Studying an L2 in Japan is largely for passing exams, and therefore tends to be shallow. A more reflective approach can foster a deeper impact. Reflective data from students classroom diaries will be presented.

SIG Conference in Nagoya, May 31 2014

Venue: Chukyo University, Nagoya.

Title: Critical, constructive assessment of CEFR-based language teaching in Japan and beyond

More info: <>

The FLP SIG Kaken Project 2012-2014

Development of EAP Textbooks based on the CEFR and Learner/Teacher Autonomy Support Tools

The principal purpose is to develop English language integrated skills textbooks for the higher education context in Japan. More info: <>


GALE will be organizing a panel discussion at PanSIG 2014 to discuss ways that we as language teachers can help sustain discussions of gender issues in the classroom and in Japanese society at large. While four GALE members will lead the discussion, our primary goal is to build a conversation among all participants, gathering tools from each other that we can put into practical use as educators.

We also have a Facebook page, an online discussion list for all members, and an executive discussion list for officers and any GALE member who would like to take an active role in, or know more about, GALE business.  

For more information about GALE, visit our website at <>.  If you have any questions about joining GALE, please send a message to <>.


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 contact 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 <>.


The JSL SIG will host a forum at 2014 PanSIG in Miyazaki. You are cordially invited to join us. The forum aims to explore the issues of sustainability in language learning for school-aged children. While it is essential to provide such children with sustainable language education, curricula are subject to change by policies which are heavily influenced by social and political changes. Unlike adults, most children have to passively accept programs. First, we will overview policies and issues in language learning in Japan. Both English and Japanese language learning are in the process of policy changes. Issues will be discussed in light of global perspectives. Actual cases and some experimental results of children’s cognitive development and curriculum making for sustainability will be brought to examine.

日本語教育研究部会(JSL SIG)は、今年度5月に宮崎で行われる分野別研究会(PAN SIG) においてフォーラムを企画しております。


 言語学習に対して自ら決定権をもつ成人学習者と異なり、就学期の子どもの言語学習は新たな政策やプログラムを与えられることから、社会の変化の影響を受けやすくなっています。本 フォーラムでは、年少者の第二言語・外国語教育における持続性をテーマに扱います。まず、近年、様々な改革の中にある、年少者への言語政策の概要を俯瞰し ます。その後、参加者も交え、持続可能性について、年少者の認知発達やカリキュラム作成の観点からも考えを深める予定です。皆様のご参加をお待ちしており ます!


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!


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, junior and senior high schools; distance learning, language schools, university settings, and teachers teaching languages other than English.

In addition to our regular get-togethers, the LD SIG will hold forums at the PanSIG and JALTCALL conferences entitled, Continuity in Learning and Learner Development and Learner Development and Web 2.0 respectively. On the publication front, we have the regular twice-yearly issues of our newsletter, Learning Learning, as well as 2 book projects nearing completion: Learner Development Working Papers: Different Cases, Different Interests and Collaborative Learning in Learner Development. We are also offering grants for membership, subscription, research, conferences, and outreach projects. 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。

LD SIGの今後の予定として、メンバーの地域別集会に加えPanSIGではContinuity in Learning and Learner Development、またJALTCALLではLearner Development and Web 2.0と題するフォーラムをそれぞれ開きます。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: Different Cases, Different Interests とCollaborative Learning in Learner Development.)が仕上がりつつあります。また、会費、購読料、研究、学会参加、アウトリーチプロジェクトへの助成金を支給しています。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 International 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 also be able to 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.


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 in 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!

Upcoming events include the PanSIG where we’ll hold a joint forum on the theme of sustainability. Later in the year is the LiLT SIG conference, September 6-7, 2014. We are steadily making plans for our first literature-themed conference to be held at Aichi University, Toyohashi campus. Please consider submitting something to present, attending, or helping out by promoting the conference. The deadline for submissions is May 15th.

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


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


OLE will participate in many events this year and is already accepting proposals for its events at JALT2014:

The OLE-SIG and the Multilingualism Forum, the French Forum, and the Spanish, Chinese and German workshops. Please send your proposal without delay to the coordinator at <> with the title line JALT2014.


Pragmatics is the study of language from the point of view of 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 <> soon!


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.


Great news! The Speech, Drama, and Debate SIG was promoted to full SIG status at the February EBM!  Thank you to all who made this possible. 

We are planning a strong presence at PanSIG2014 in beautiful Miyazaki, with a collection of PechaKucha presentations and interactive presentations. See <> for more details on our presentations there. 

Something new. We plan to publish an activities book. So, if you have ideas for teaching speech, drama, debate, or oral interpretation, or would like to be an editor of the book, send inquiries to the SDD contact email address on the official JALT SDD page or <>. The format will be the same as the My Share articles in The Language Teacher. We will also be putting out the third of 6 bulletins and we are preparing the first of two issues of our peer-reviewed journal, Mask & Gavel. Please consider submitting an article. (See <> to download some of the back issues.) 

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

Finally, we are happy to provide speakers to chapters or events. We have already done so for Toyohashi, Gifu, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and Okinawa chapters, and have had a few requests from several chapters for 2014. Send inquiries to the SDD contact email address on the official JALT SDD page or <>. 


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。


TBLT in Asia 2014

A biannual international event aimed at task-based learning practitioners and theorists or those interested in learning more about this approach to teaching. The first conference in 2012 featured over 60 presentations by experts from Asia and around the world. TBLT in Asia 2014 promises even more! TBLT in Asia also features a mini-conference focused on Study Abroad and the use of tasks for students while studying abroad sponsored by the JALT Study Abroad SIG. The two day event will feature plenary speakers William Littlewood (Hong Kong Baptist University) sponsored by the JALT CUE SIG, Stephen Dalton (U.C. Berkley, USA), sponsored by the JALT Study Abroad SIG,  Peter Skehan, (St. Mary's University College, U.K.), & Yuko Goto Butler (University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A). Kinki University, Osaka, May 17-18, 2014. See <> for more info


The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. We are seeking submissions to TED's journal Explorations in Teacher Education. Submission requirements can be found on our website at <>. 

Preparations for TED SIG's next mini-conference, EFL Teachers' Journeys Conference 2014 are well underway with our two plenary speakers and the venue booked. We hope to see you there on June 22nd, 2014 at Kyoto Campus Plaza, Kyoto. More details can be found on our website and the conference website. Keep in contact with us on Twitter <@tedsig>, Facebook and Google+ for the latest news.


THT Vietnam, THT Kyrgyzstan and THT Bangladesh are looking for presenters for the 2014 events. Vietnam has been set for 8-10 August. Currently the Vietnamese National Ministry of Education has mandated CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) levels for all teachers within the national education system by the year 2020 (the 2020 Project), and while all teachers are welcome, we would particularly welcome participants who would like to present about

CEFR and work with Vietnamese teachers in this area.

As of printing, the tentative dates set are:

  • Bangladesh September 15-19
  • Kyrgyzstan September 8-12

For up-to-date details, please visit <>. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Tomei at <>.


This year's PanSIG is a great opportunity for our members in the west of Japan to attend a major conference locally, and we encourage you all to come along. Of particular interest to our members, will be a presentation exploring what's good about Japanese English teaching programs from an assistant language teacher's perspective (Muller), an interactive presentation looking at ways families of bilingual children can overcome problems such as the lack of opportunities for children to interact with English speakers besides their parents. The speaker (Provenzano) will introduce ideas, including a new discussion group using Google Hangout for bilingual teenagers from across Japan, and more. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences and ideas.

TCSIG would like to extend our thanks to iDTi for organizing a fantastic series of online courses and to all our members for participating.

As always, 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 the TLC Newsletter! Email your submissions to the editor at <>. For more information about the Teaching Children SIG and all our activities, please visit our TCSIG Facebook page < pages/JALT-Teaching-Children-SIG>.


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 will hold its Third Annual Vocabulary Symposium on June 14 at Kyushu Sangyo University in Fukuoka City. This year’s symposium will feature discussants Batia Laufer from the University of Hafia and Akiyo Hirai from the University of Tsukuba. The theme of this year’s symposium is vocabulary learning and vocabulary assessment. The JALT Vocabulary SIG provides a venue for the discussion and research into second language vocabulary acquisition and assessment, particularly as they pertain to language education in Japan. Please visit our website at <> for more information regarding previous symposiums, events and publications. Additional SIG news and dialogue can also be found on our Facebook page at <>.