SIG News - July 2014

The 13th Annual JALT PanSIG Conference in Miyazaki was a smashing success! Thanks to all of you who attended and participated. A particularly big otsukaresama to conference chairs Hugh Nicoll and Joe Tomei. Your hard work paid off. A great time was had by all. For those interested in the proceedings, please check the conference website for details <>.


Teachers Helping Teachers SIG is still looking for participants in their Lao Program for early next year. Here’s a bit of information to promote the program. For more details, check their section below:

Since 2010, the Lao Program has supported over 80 visits by teachers from Japan and other countries to Laos. Lao program volunteers can work with teachers and teacher trainees in secondary schools, in elementary schools, at teacher training colleges, at Lao American College and at the National University of Laos. They work autonomously with Lao teachers and students. Seminars are offered on topics negotiated with Lao teachers in relation to volunteer`s skills. Opportunities to home stay with Lao teachers are offered. In addition the program supports the Lao TESOL Conference by offering more than one third of the parallel and plenary presentations. The Lao TESOL Conference is unique in that it is not an open conference, it is only for Lao teachers of English and invited presenters. Approximately 400 Lao teachers attend the annual conference. Programs will be offered in February/March 2015 with flexible dates. If you are interested in supporting the program either here in Japan or on the ground in Laos please visit the Lao Program website: <>.


Bilingualism SIG has a dual focus of supporting research in the areas of bilingualism, multilingualism and multiculturalism and supporting families raising bilingual children in the Japan context. Visit our website for more information <>.

Call for Papers: Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism Deadline: Feb 15, 2015

Submissions are now being accepted for Volume 21 of The Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, which will be released in October 2015. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2015, but authors are encouraged to get submissions in early to increase their chances of getting published in the next volume of the journal. Submission of papers to JJMM is also open to authors who are not Bilingualism SIG/JALT members. Submission guidelines are available online 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 we held June 6-8 at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Nagoya. This year's theme was "New Horizons in CALL" and it was a very successful event. To review the presentations that took place, please visit the website at <>. 


At the 2014 PanSIG Conference in Miyazaki, the College and University Educators (CUE) SIG co-sponsored a forum titled “Creating a lasting impact on students' learning: Connections inside and outside the classroom” with the CT, FLP, and LiLT SIGs. David Gann (CT) gave a presentation on “Sustained learning through appropriate pedagogy” followed by poster presentations by the other members. Wendy Gough (CUE) discussed “An online writing studio helps students join a global writing community” while Morton Hunke and Gabriela Schmidt (FLP) presented “Whose learning? By who? For whom? And for what purpose?” Gabriela also spoke on “Make teaching last outside the classroom: The language portfolio.” Tara Mcllory (LiLT) presented on “Creating a lasting impact on learning using literature: summer reading projects.” 

JALT CUE was a sponsor of the Task Based Learning in Asia conference at Kinki University, Osaka on May 17-18, and is also sponsoring Summer Seminar 2014 at Kansai University of International Studies on July 5, and the JALT CUE ESP Symposium at Waseda University, on September 13.


 In May, at the PanSIG2014 Conference the CT SIG was formally represented by Coordinator, David Gann. He gave one talk and one interactive presentation, which engaged members and non-members alike. Also under the Critical Thinking category were Jennifer Saunders and Robert Werner. Each presenter was able to engage participants over open forums and poster presentations. Other CT SIG members appeared under the banner of other SIG categories, which epitomizes the dynamic and interactive natures of CT SIG members. By the time you read this, on the CT SIG website <> there will be brief summaries regarding presentations at PanSIG2014 that had a critical thinking spin and were given by CT SIG representatives. 

In other news, the SIG Forum at the JALT2014 in Tsukuba will feature three presenters: Greg Goodmacher, Anna Isozaki, and Michio Mineshima. They will give 30-minute presentations over the course of a two-hour forum. In the coming months visit the CT SIG website or regular updates regarding the content of the presentations, and subject matter of the forum.


Upcoming Conference

Extensive Reading Seminar held at Keisen U., Tokyo on Sept. 28. Plenary speakers Charles Brown "Covering your bets: Connection between reading and high-frequency vocabulary" and Junko Yamashita "Reciprocal relationships between vocabulary and reading comprehension" See our website for more details.

Call for Papers

ERJ call: (Deadline 31 July, 2014) Send anything related to extensive reading or extensive listening, or of interest to members of the JALT ER SIG to Maximum length 4 sides of A4 (around 2,500 words) for more details visit our website.

JER call: Seeking high-quality, empirically-researched and theoretically-sound articles on the efficacy of extensive reading methods and outcomes in various teaching and learning contexts. Submissions related to reading and other language skill development through extensive reading, especially but not exclusively related to second and foreign language acquisition, will be considered. 

Please see our website <> for submission guidelines, how to become a member and grants you can apply for!


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. Updated info can be found at: <>. Contact: <>.

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 can be found at: <>


The GALE Forum at this year’s PanSIG conference was a practical session on thinking about, introducing, and teaching aspects of gender awareness and how this is reflected in improving attitude and motivation of students across a range of teaching contexts. Fiona Creaser and Aaron Hahn co-chaired the session, and were joined by Frances Shinkai and Susan Pavloska. 

Creaser described a Gender Studies seminar for third and fourth year university students, to which students bring materials related to gender issues. Video and other resources are also used to focus and motivate students. Creaser also discussed how gender awareness has been introduced into general English courses at the university level.

Shinkai focused our attention on the importance of student motivation and the role of the teacher in encouraging and building such motivation. Shinkai suggests that minimizing negative influences in the classroom can drive student interest in pursuing studies in such areas as gender awareness.

Hahn discussed how the inclusion of topics such as “future dreams/occupations” and “family” in textbooks in many cases creates a situation in which gender issues are apparent to teachers because they are often not inclusive of all family types or gender roles. Hahn encouraged participants to discuss ways in which to use these teaching opportunities to promote gender awareness in class.

Pavloska reminded us that the “organic” conditions present in the classroom should be utilized to minimize resistance to enhance learning, and suggested that insights from gender studies can be applied unobtrusively to this end. The pedagogical approaches of New Zealand educator, Sylvia Ashton-Warner were introduced, including the use of appropriate student-produced materials to teach students in her predominantly Maori classes. 

The GALE Forum took a broad look at how gender awareness challenges teacher development and practice and empowers student learning, motivation, and attitudes. Learning and incorporating a wide range of perspectives and practices is crucial for all teachers in order tocultivate our approaches and cognition, and to ensure that we are able to produce and utilize materials and approaches appropriate to the diversity of our students. As it often does, the discussion time flew by too quickly. However, the range of opinions and anecdotes of challenges presented by materials and classroom situations offered by all present is certain to inspire reflection and innovation in the teaching practice of all who attended. All JALT members are encouraged to consider attending future GALE forums and events and read GALE publications so as to encounter a range of perspectives about gender issues, teaching, and learning. 

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 <>.


At PanSIG2014, GILE held a forum on global issues and sustainability. Presenter and SIG Coordinator Kip Cates spoke about the history and goals of the GILE SIG as well as presenting ideas for creating a global issue-focused curriculum. Yuko Sugiyama spoke about discussion materials used in her “Japan and Globalization” course and Jennie Roloff Rothman introduced ways to expand upon reading materials to create global issue-oriented group projects. Audience discussion was lively and many great ideas were shared.

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 <>.


JALT PanSIG2014報告:JSLでは、JALT分野別研究部会2014年年次大会においてフォーラムを行いました。フォーラムのテーマは、「年少者第二言語・外国語教育における持続性」で言語政策の観点、子どもの認知発達の観点から大会テーマである持続可能性について考えました。15名 ほどの参加者とともに、言語学習・教育を近隣の国々と対照的に俯瞰し、具体的な事例を話題に、「年齢の壁」について意見を交わしました。他国の外国語教育 について学ぶ事は、日本語における外国語学習に大きな示唆があると改めて感じました。また、年齢の壁に関する話し合いでは、複言語で育つ学習者の言語発達 とその後のライフコースが共有されたり、子どもの社会面の発達の影響の大きさが話題に挙げられたりして、大変興味深いフォーラムとなりました。発表者の豊 田典子先生、原隆幸先生、また参加者の皆様、本当にありがとうございました!

JALT PanSIG2014 Report: The JSL SIG hosted a forum at the 2014 PanSIG in Miyazaki. The forum explored the issues of sustainability in language learning for school-aged children from the viewpoint of language policies and children’s cognitive development. Hara gave us an overview of current language policies in Europe, China, and Korea. Toyoda talked about age issues, including the so-called “4th grade dilemma.” We had a very lively discussion with about fifteen participants. Participants shared their teaching experiences with multilingual students and issues of social development. Many thanks to Takayuki Hara of Kagoshima University, Noriko Toyoda of Meikai University, and those who came to our forum!


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 and outreach projects 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 school; distance learning, language school, university settings, and teachers teaching languages other than English.

The SIG has regular get-togethers in the Kansai and Tokyo areas. For more information about some of the themes discussed at the Tokyo get-togethers, please visit <>. We also organise forums for members to present and discuss their research and practice at the JALT conferences. On the publication front, we have the regular twice-yearly issues of our newsletter, Learning Learning, as well as two 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やアウトリーチプロジェクトなどの中でも特に、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 名以上のメンバーが組織する、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。

LDSIGは関西や東京エリアで定期的に地域別集会を行っています。東京集会で取り上げられるテーマの詳細は<>をご覧ください。また全国語学教育学会の大会では、メンバーの研究や実践について発表したり討論するフォーラムを催しています。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。


A record nine presentations at PanSIG2014, including three that made up the LLL-SIG Forum, had lifelong language learning as their theme. We are still feeling some of the momentum and renewed interest in LLL that was created at JALT2013 in Kobe, with its theme of "Learning is a Lifelong Voyage." Our successful and highly interactive LLL-SIG forum in Miyazaki, focusing on LLL in the workplace, was made up of Curtis Kelly “Japan’s adult education boom”, Paul Arenson “Life-long teaching: Critical pedagogy and the corporate classroom”, and Regan Tydall “Voices of workers sent abroad about pre-departure language training”, with Joseph Dias serving as chair. 

An unanticipated thread running through all of the presentations by the forum participants was the need to be "subversive." Curtis Kelly pointed out the great gap in Japan between the high demand for adult education and the shrinking share of seats at Japanese colleges and universities filled by adult learners. It was also noted that whereas the offerings for adults at the more than 15,000 kouminkan (community centers) were made up of gardening, tea ceremony, or the study of classics; the underrepresented subjects in the greatest demand included the learning of foreign languages. It was suggested that coming up with ways to change the status quo may require some "subversive" thinking to challenge perceptions of what is appropriate for more mature individuals. Why shouldn't grandma start studying German and her 28-year-old grandson begin attending a university? The second speaker in the forum, Paul Arenson, spoke about his efforts at subversion in the corporate world where standardized tests such at the TOEIC are frequently used as a meaningless benchmark tied to promotions and salary raises. Although there may not be an easy way around "teaching to the test" in such circumstances, minor subversion can be carried out by having students question the "preferred" answers, analyzing them from the perspective of pragmatics: Is "Mind your own business?" in response to "Could you please hand me that newspaper?" really wrong compared to "Yes, here you are."? Finally, Regan Tyndall, spoke of the inefficiencies in the language programs intended to prepare Japanese professionals to work and live overseas for their companies. This boot camp style training would often leave workers ill-prepared for their assignments, leading the speaker to suggest the "subversive" idea that actually studying abroad in the culture where they will be assigned might be the more sensible and cheaper option, perhaps with more impressive outcomes.

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 the 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 210 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.


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!

Upcoming events include the LiLT SIG conference, on September 7, 2014. Registration can be done on the day of the event. See our website for a map to the campus. At JALT2014, we will have a forum entitled Literature across borders which promises a range of talks. Our AGM will follow the forum. We welcome members and non-members to both events and encourage you to drop by the SIG table at the JALT2014. 

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.


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/new members and stay active!


The OLE(Other Languages Educators) SIG has issued its newsletter no.70 with ample conference information, a call for papers, and a flyer for its 3rd annual SIG conference at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba on Sep 27 info available at: <>,

The final schedule for OLE at JALT2014 in Tsukuba, Nov 22-23 as well as information on OLE SIG events long and presenters' individual abstracts is available by contacting  <> 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 planning a fourth sequel to the successful Pragmatics Resource Series: Pragtivities 2 and 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.


We had 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. Congratulations to Hugh Nicoll, Joe Tomei, and team for their successful conference!

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 2015. 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。


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, Colin Thompson at <>.


The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. PanSIG2014 was a success with 11 presentations representing Teacher Education and Development, ranging from exploring the effects of pre-service training to how Japanese teachers can learn to teach English entirely in English. We also have an interesting line-up of presenters at TEDSIG's own EFL Teacher's Journeys Conference 2014, including some great Plenary Speakers.  For more details check 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.


The Lao program supports teachers within the structure of the curriculum and texts which they must use and within the culture of the schools where they work.

Effective volunteers must have well developed communications skills. Inevitably there will be areas where the perspectives of the teachers working together do not match and cultural differences will affect their working relationships. An intercultural training program for volunteers could thus be useful. In December 2013 the Lao Program and the Sietar, Contrast Culture Method SIG, conducted a workshop with 17 volunteers. The CCM method involves an unscripted role play, interviews of the role players and discussion and reflections of all participants. During the workshop participants identified and articulated many unstated assumptions and values which have the potential to derail positive communication. Awareness of issues was raised and teachers could see how complex human relationships are, yet how interesting cultural differences can be <>.

Lao program volunteers can work with teachers and teacher trainees in secondary schools, in elementary schools, at teacher training colleges, at Lao American College and at the National University of Laos. They work autonomously with Lao teachers and students. Seminars are offered on topics negotiated with Lao teachers in relation to volunteers’ skills. Opportunities to home stay with Lao teachers are offered. In addition the program supports the Lao TESOL Conference by offering more than one-third of the parallel and plenary presentations. The Lao TESOL Conference is unique in that it is not an open conference; it is only for Lao teachers of English and invited presenters. Approximately 400 Lao teachers attend the annual conference.

To ensure integrity and continuity the coordinator has a long-term commitment to Laos and spends 3-4 months a year in Laos. He has been visiting Laos and Thailand now for almost thirty years. He has been a plenary speaker at Lao TESOL (2010 and 2014). Since 2010 the Lao Program has supported over 80 visits by teachers from Japan and other countries to Laos. Programs will be offered in February/March 2015 with flexible dates. If you are interested in supporting the program either here in Japan or on the ground in Laos please contact <> or visit the Lao Program website: <>.

For up-to-date details on all the activities of THT SIG, please visit <>. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Tomei at <>.


This year's PanSIG was a great opportunity for our members in the west of Japan to attend a major conference locally. Our presentations included exploring what's good about the Japanese English teaching program from an assistant language teacher's perspective (Muller) and 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 (Provenzano). It introduced ideas, including a new discussion group using Google Hangout for bilingual teenagers from across Japan, and more. Participants also shared their own experiences and ideas making for a lively discussion.

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 held its Third Annual Vocabulary Symposium on June 14 at Kyushu Sangyo University in Fukuoka City. This year’s symposium featured discussants Batia Laufer from the University of Hafia and Akiyo Hirai from the University of Tsukuba. The morning Learning Symposium featured speakers Charles Browne, Cherie Brown, Rachael Ruegg, Makoto Yoshii, and Junko Yamashita. The afternoon Testing Symposium featured Stuart McLean, Nicholas Hogg & Brandon Kramer from, Tadamitsu Kamimoto, Dawn Lucovich, and Aaron Gibson. 

The VOCAB SIG will also co-sponsor the: The Seventh Annual Extensive Reading Seminar along with the ER SIG on September 28, 2014. This year’s theme will be: “Covering the Text: Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.” This event will be held at Keisen University in Tokyo. Plenary speakers will feature Dr. Charles Browne and Dr. Junko Yamashita. Please visit the ER SIG’s website at: <> for more details.  We encourage VOCAB SIG members to submit poster proposals by July 15 for this ER SIG event.

We are also currently accepting submissions for the VOCAB SIG Forum to be held at JALT2014 in October. Please send your submissions to <> by the end of September. As a reminder the JALT Vocabulary SIG provides a venue for the discussion of research into second language vocabulary acquisition and assessment as it pertains to language education in Japan. Please visit our website at <> for more information regarding previous symposiums, upcoming events and previous publications. Additional SIG news and dialogue can also be found on our Facebook page at < 236623256372419>.