SIG News - September 2014


SIG News would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest SIG, the BRAIN SIG! TLT would like to wish you the best of luck in all your future activities and events.

The Mind, Brain, and Education (BRAIN) SIG is a forum for language educators and researchers to share insights in neuroscience. We hope to be a driving force in bringing relevant new discoveries in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neurolinguistics to language teaching in Japan.  

Neuroscience is changing many parts of the world, but not ours. It is disturbing how slowly new findings are coming into the language classroom. We feel that if we wait for findings in neuroscience to percolate through linguistics and the other academic fields not directly related to our profession, we will miss too many opportunities to improve our practices. Therefore, we plan to learn as much as we can and teach each other. Since only a few of us are neuroscientists, we will have to a) maintain standards of rigor in the work we do, b) reach out to neuroscientists and psychologists abroad to inform us, and c) remain appropriately humble about our own work. At this point, our primary goal is not to conduct our own research, but rather to study what others have discovered and consider the implications for our classroom practices.

Come to our forum at the JALT2014 National Conference in Room 304,  Sun 23 9:15-10:15. We will launch our new SIG at this venue. Four teachers will talk about how things they learned from neuroscience changed the ways they think and teach. 


The Bilingualism SIG is looking forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming conference in Tsukuba! Please join us at our annual general meeting on Sunday from 11:30-12:30. Also, on Sunday from 13:00-14:30, don’t miss the Bilingualism SIG forum “Bilingualism: Off the beaten path,” which explores ways to support bilingualism in places where it is difficult to find community in the minority language. This forum and discussion will give ideas and inspiration to all parents raising children in two or more languages. 

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

Submissions are now being accepted for Volume 21 of The Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, which will be released in October, 2015. Authors are encouraged to submit earlier than the deadline to increase their chances of being 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。 


JALT CALL has just finished hosting its 2014 conference, which was held at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Nagoya from 6-8 June. The conference featured 32 paper presentations, 40 show and tell presentations and 13 poster sessions on a variety of topics related to CALL and educational technology. Over 200 people attended the conference and, in keeping with tradition, the networking reception was a conference highlight. Preliminary discussion about the 2015 conference is already underway, with details to be announced on our website. Beyond this, The JALT CALL Journal celebrates its 10th year of publication this year, and our newer publication, Digital Mobile Language Learning (DMLL), has been growing in popularity online. These publications are a rich resource for those interested in incorporating technology, at any level, into their language teaching. For details about our publications and future events, please visit our website at <>.


At the PanSIG2014 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  how “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 how to “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 17-18 May, as well as the Summer Seminar 2014 at Kansai University of International Studies on 5 July. Also look out for the upcoming JALT CUE ESP Symposium at Waseda University, on 13 September.


The CT SIG has a full schedule at JALT2014 coming up from 21-24 November 2014. Our SIG Forum and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will prove to be informative sessions that will demonstrate the full breadth of the Critical Thinking SIG operations to those in attendance. 

On Saturday 22 November is the 3rd JALT Critical Thinking SIG Forum. Our presenters will be Greg Goodmacher of Keiwa College, Anna Isozaki of Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, and Michio Mineshima of Niigata University of Health and Welfare. Each presenter will engage the attending audience for 30 minutes about varying perspectives related to critical thinking in language teaching and education. The forum will take place from 16:30-18:00 in room 304 of the Tsukuba International Congress Center (Epochal Tsukuba) in Ibaraki, Japan.

While the CT SIG Forum is a great way to see what the Critical Thinking SIG has to offer regarding member contributions and content, the AGM is a great way to see, hear, and discuss the business of the CT SIG. It is on Sunday 23 Nov 11:30-12:30 in room 403 of the Tsukuba International Congress Center (Epochal Tsukuba) in Ibaraki, Japan. Those members in attendance will be able to meet the CT SIG officer core and actively participate in any business that requires direct member involvement. While the officers are always open to communications with members and non-members alike, attending the AGM is a great opportunity to meet people face to face and gain a deeper understanding of the organization. Hope to see you there!

In other news, within the next month we will be announcing a call for presentations for the ETJ Expo Tohoku, which will take place at the end of November.

Finally, the CT SIG officer core is working on producing an academic journal with the goal of releasing it by the end of the year. If preparations go well, for those who attend the CT SIG Forum and or the AGM at the national conference there may be a little surprise! 

For details regarding the above events and efforts, as well as past happenings, please visit our website at <>. If not before, looking forward to seeing you at the national conference in Tsukuba!


Upcoming Conference

Extensive Reading Seminar held at Keisen U., Tokyo, on 28 Sep 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!


1. PanSIG Miyazaki: The FLP SIG took part at PanSIG2014 in Miyazaki in May and engaged in a joint forum, “Creating a lasting impact on students' learning: Connections inside and outside the classroom.”

2. Critical, constructive assessment of CEFR-based language teaching in Japan and beyond: The second JSPS grant-in-aid FLP SIG project. We'd like to get more members involved. The inaugural symposium was held on May 31st <>, while a writer’s workshop was held on June 1st for contributors who are willing to get involved in the project.

SURVEY: HELP needed. For the new kaken project we will start a survey on where, who, and how the CEFR is used in Japan for language teaching. Please be prepared to spread the news.

3. JALT National Nov 2014

a. FLP SIG Forum: “CEFR-based language teaching: Critical assessment” (Sat 22 Nov, 12:45-14:15 in Room 304, led by O’Dwyer, Schmidt, & Hunke).

b. FLP SIG AGM (Sun 23 Nov,11:30-12:30, Room 402, led by Schmidt, O’Dwyer, & Hunke).

c. A new SIG officer needed: Please volunteer. Sign up and have a SIG-sponsored lunch together! We will contact you about this by October. 

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


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 <>.


Our Global Issues SIG is planning a dynamic program of events for this fall’s JALT2014 conference in Tsukuba. Our annual SIG Forum will be an "idea sharing" session featuring mini-reports from classroom teachers on innovative activities, materials, and curricula linked to global themes. We’ll also hold a GILE Colloquium which will look at initiatives such as Global 30 universities and Super Global High Schools, and discuss how language teachers can promote the knowledge and skills of global citizenship that these programs aim at. Make sure to catch our GILE business meeting and stop by our GILE SIG display table as well! GILE promotes global awareness and international understanding aimed at “teaching for a better world.” Contact us for a sample newsletter, or for more information about the SIG's work.

Visit <>, our Facebook page, or contact Kip Cates <>.


The JSL SIG AGM will be held between 15:35-16:30 on Saturday 22nd at JALT2014. The JSL SIG Forum will follow after the AGM till 18:00. The forum is entitled "Kanji learning across boarders," and the presenters are Nozomi Takano, Kaori Asami, and Yan Yu. The abstract is “漢字学習への取り組み方や学習方法は、日本語学習者の背景やレベルによって様々である。このフォーラムでは、①非漢字圏からの入門レベルの学習者を対象とした視覚的な漢字指導法について、②漢字圏からの学習者にとっての日本語漢字習得の難易点について、③日本語能力試験での漢字の位置づけについて紹介する。” The forum will be conducted in Japanese and English.


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, and university settings; as well as teachers teaching languages other than English.

The LD SIG organizes forums at all national conferences. Please join the forum, “Learner development across borders”, at the upcoming JALT 2014 in Tsukuba on Sunday, November 23rd from 13:30-15:00. On the publication front, we have a semi-annual 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 also offer 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。

LD SIGはさまざまな全国大会でフォーラムを催しています。つくばで開催される全国語学教育学会年次国際大会では、11月23日(日)1時30分 から3時にフォーラム Learner development across bordersを開催します。是非ご参加下さい。出版関連では、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。


With the unifying topic "Finding what motivates adult learners," JALT2014's LLL SIG Forum in Tsukuba will feature three fascinating speakers:

1) Deborah Bollinger speaking about "Factors that motivate older adult learners to improve their written & spoken English"

2) Kathleen Yamane presenting a talk on "Writing as a stepping stone to speaking & listening for adult learners" 

3) Deborah Bollinger & Joseph Dias explaining how to "Motivate and cultivate adult learners to avoid plagiarism"

Details: Sunday, 23 Nov 2014, 13:00-14:30. Room: 402

Abstract of the forum: 

Deborah Bollinger will explore factors that have motivated older adult learners to improve their written and spoken English for more than 20 years. Drawing from her teaching of students enrolled in a program on Cultural Properties, Kathleen Yamane will speak about writing as a lead-in to speaking and listening activities. Finally, Joseph Dias and Deborah Bollinger will describe attitudes toward plagiarism among adult learners and ways to nurture respect for the intellectual property of others.

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, and at the JALT2014 International Conference. 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 not only be able to find out about our SIG’s events, but you can also get tips about lifelong language learning and teaching, and learn about opportunities and events in the community that stretch your capabilities and broaden your horizons, including volunteering possibilities.

We are now accepting proposals for individual or forum presentations at our Mini Conference that will be held at the Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in Tokyo on the first weekend in November, 2014. 


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 with 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!

Thank you to everyone involved in the LiLT SIG conference, The Heart of the Matter, on September 7th. First, to Marcos Benevides for his plenary talk, “A lexical approach to developing western cultural fluency,” which invited us all to consider ways of integrating cultural content at appropriate levels for Japanese learners. Also, to John Roberts for his work as conference chair, and to the local JALT chapters for their welcoming hospitality. We look forward to the next LiLT event. 

Upcoming events include the JALT2014 National Conference on November 21-24, 2014. We 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. 

Presentations at the upcoming JALT2014 National Conference:

1. Neil Addison and Neil Conway: “Accessing the inward eye: Using Wordsworth’s poetry in EFL reading”

2. Morten Hunke: “Using Japanese cultural formats to foster creativity in the L2 classroom”

3. Atsushi Iida: “Poetry across borders: Haiku in second language education”

4. Tara McIlroy: “Using multimedia quote and picture tasks to cross the border between fiction and reality”

5. Anna Twitchell: “Between the lines: Teaching critical literacy skills to students who don't read”

6. Li-Hsin Tu: “Learning from the masters: Using literature as models during the revision process” 

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.


The MW SIG has a wonderful program lined up for JALT2014 in Tsukuba. We are delighted to be sponsoring a featured speaker in conjunction with Macmillan and IPI. Miles Craven is a world-renowned speaker and author of many international textbooks. He will give two presentations for us.  The first, "Writing for ELT: Nuts and bolts," describes the process of turning an idea into a finished product. Many writers have great ideas, but when they put their thoughts onto the page, the final result can be less than satisfactory. The workshop will look at the process of ELT textbook writing, overviewing all the stages involved in taking an initial concept all the way through to a handover manuscript. Miles' second event, "Skills and strategies in ELT materials" argues for a stronger emphasis on skills and strategies in our writing. Besides these, we will also present our regular forum. This year, on the topic of "Digital technologies’ impact on materials writers," five speakers from various segments of the industry will discuss key points in a field that is already changing the way writers approach their work and will undoubtedly give rise to many more controversies and disputes. Writers are represented by Miles Craven. For publishing we have a speaker from Macmillan, Darren Halliday; from ABAX, Hugh Graham-Marr; and from Perceptia, Paul Lewis. Dave Dolan is an expert in digitalization of EFL books and will provide insights into the technical processes involved. Finally, the MW SIG board would like to encourage all members to attend our AGM, where we will discuss our plans for the future. Come along and get on board with a highly active and energetic team. For more information, visit <>. 


OLE has put all materials made available by authors of OLE-related presentations in the last few years on the coordinator's page at Ehime University for everyone to use. Visit <> for more.

OLE at JALT 2014

OLE will have two days full of OLE-related events. The program schedule, as well as the long and short abstracts are all in OLE NL 70 available from the coordinator at <>.


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 will be active at the JALT2014 conference. Nobuko Trent will present a short paper titled, "Politeness: Speaker's territory model." Seth Cervantes and Rob Olson will present a short paper titled, "Using cotext to improve communication." The Pragmatic SIG will also host a forum titled "Assessing L2 pragmatic development." The panel will include Yusuke Okada, Aki Siegel, and Joe Siegel. Check out our website <> to see what's happening or stop by our booth at the JALT2014 conference in Tsukuba!


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 are planning exciting things for JALT2014: our first-ever poster session/meet & greet party with refreshments, many individual presentations, and our annual meeting.

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. The JALT2014 conference is just around the corner and as always TED SIG will be there. This year we are sponsoring one the plenary speakers, Prof. Thomas Farrell, who will be talking about “Reflecting on practice”. Thomas will also be giving us his insight in our joint forum with CUE SIG entitled “Conversations with the self: Reflective practice and teacher development.” Don’t forget to say hello at the TED SIG desk, which promises to be a good place to hang out between presentations. 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.


The THT SIG will be sharing space with the TED SIG at the National Conference. We have overseas events planned for Vietnam (early August), Kyrgyzstan, and Bangladesh (September) so please come by and visit if you are interested in participating next year. In addition, the THT Laos program is being planned now. For more information, contact us at <> or visit the Lao Program website: <>.


Please keep an eye out for TC SIG events at JALT2014 by checking our Facebook page or the conference booklet. 

The TC SIG 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 TC SIG 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, as well as instructional columns on statistical analysis, Rasch measurement, and assessment literacy. 


The VOCAB SIG just held its Third Annual Vocabulary Symposium on June 14th at Kyushu Sangyo University in Fukuoka City. With over 60 attendees the symposium was a success and many of these attendees had the opportunity to discuss vocabulary learning, testing, and instruction with fellow attendees. This year’s symposium featured discussants Batia Laufer from the University of Hafia and Akiyo Hirai from the University of Tsukuba, both of whom were well received. 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, Tadamitsu Kamimoto, Dawn Lucovich, and Aaron Gibson. 

The VOCAB SIG will also co-sponsor The Seventh Annual Extensive Reading Seminar along with the ER SIG on September 28th, 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 attend this event.

We are also currently accepting submissions for the VOCAB SIG Forum to be held at JALT National in November. 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 <> for more information regarding previous symposiums, upcoming events, and previous publications. Additional VOCAB SIG news and dialogue can also be found on our Facebook page at < 236623256372419>. Please look forward to our upcoming online Vocabulary Journal and Verb, which will be published online later this summer.