Call for Proposals: “Moving Towards Sustainable Education”

One of the Teacher Development SIG‘s first self-hosted face-to-face events in years will be held on February 17th, 2024 at Hakodate University!

We are accepting proposals from JALT and NON-JALT members who are interested in presenting about the topics listed below:

Track 1: Curriculum Reform & Professional Development
Track 2: Activating Learning & Educational Technology
Track 3: English for Specific Purposes

Other topics will be considered depending on the presentation theme. Presenters will be able to choose between a 25-minute or a 45-minute presentation.

Submit your proposal through this link:

The proposal deadline is January 7, 2024.

TD SIG Forum @ JALT 2023: Growth Mindset in Language Education

The Teacher Development SIG will be holding a forum on “Growth Mindset in Language Education” at the JALT 2023 International Conference in Tsukuba on Saturday November 25th, 15:50-17:20 (Room 304).

The format for this year’s forum will be a workshop in which four workshops leaders will share their own reflections and stories related to the concept of growth mindset, and how they made positive changes to their teaching context. The audience will have an opportunity to discuss and reflect on their own experiences and situations.  

Below are the details of each leader’s workshop. We look forward to seeing you there!

Devon Arthurson (Hakuoh University): A Shift from Efficiency to Support

Being at the same university and teaching the same classes prevented me from challenging myself to be the kind of teacher I wanted to be, resulting in a fixed mindset. Though I was very efficient and organized with the experience to predict issues in lessons, I maintained a barrier between most classes and viewed myself as a classroom manager instead of a supportive instructor. Before starting at a new university in April of 2023, I was concerned I might continue with this mindset. Through reflection journals and community development theories, I am now nurturing a growth mindset and better understanding how I can make the classroom a safer place for learning by being a more supportive teacher. I realized that I needed to be a helper, in addition to an efficient instructor. I am interested to know how a change in other instructors’ perspectives and actions led to a new definition of who they were as language teachers.

Camilo Vilanueva (Nagoya University of Foreign Studies): Helping Others Succeed as Your Greatest Success

There are many obstacles to succeeding as a teacher in Japan. First, I did not initially choose teaching as a career but discovered it. The path I carved out in several different teaching contexts made me relearn how to teach and rely on others for success. Here, I share briefly about my 20-year teaching career, how others have helped me, and how important it is to help others develop and succeed. I started in eikaiwa, worked in elementary school, junior high, high school, corporations, and others. My current teaching context is at university. I have been the owner of a successful eikaiwa for 11 years. After 16 years of teaching, I got a masters and then a US teaching license. I have learned that the best way to lead others is in helping them find paths of their own.

Jason Hobman (Saitama University): Considering Anxiety as Trigger for Repeat Retakes

As university educators, we occasionally find ourselves in the challenging position of having to fail students. This scenario becomes more complex when dealing with a minority of students who persistently fail a course, attempting it three or four times. In my experience, many of these students generally possess a satisfactory English ability, but fail due to poor attendance. One significant factor contributing to these patterns of behaviour may be intense anxiety, which can manifest in ways that are not immediately recognisable. Research indicates that certain signs of anxiety are less apparent than others, making detection a challenge. Given this, we must consider ways in which we can identify anxiety in students before they feel overwhelmed by the class. In this presentation, I will share my personal experiences working with students who exhibit a recurring pattern of failure and how I discerned their underlying anxiety. I will also encourage you to reflect on your own similar experiences with students, and how you might approach a situation differently. By raising awareness of this issue and exploring potential strategies for modification, we can create a more inclusive and supportive educational environment for all students.

Jon Thomas (Hakodate University): Using Reflective Practices to Sustain Pedagogical Approaches and Student Engagement

EFL pedagogies help shape practice throughout one’s career, and often in tandem, teaching values and standards develop according to the individual. Similarly, EFL instructors may face context-specific challenges that lead them to adopt approaches to address the needs of institution or department for the short- or long-term. Course and instructional design require the instructor to analyze and implement variously. Though we strive to effectively reach prescribed learning aims amid many push and pull factors, it is easy to lose sight of the most important means in the process – our pedagogical practices. As time goes on, even the most effective go-to tools and lesson flow may wear thin. In this presentation workshop, a short narrative of such an occurrence and an implemented remedy is shared. The pre-workshop discussion centers on factors that led to student disengagement, specifically concerning cognitive and constructive approaches that formed the basis of his practice. These are depicted in terms of their perceived effectiveness and pedagogical life cycle, and how they can become problematically redundant. The workshop portion gives the audience a chance to find solutions, which will be followed by the presenter’s means and outcomes of the use of reflective practice, reassessment, self-regulation, and reiteration.

Teacher Journeys Conference 2023 – Call For Proposals

In language education in Japan and around the world, almost every teacher’s career path takes the form of a unique and eventful journey. We often take this for granted, but it is exactly these journeys, these narratives of teacher identity formation, that enrich our profession and serve our students.

Since 2011, the Teacher Journeys conference has evolved in many ways: from a face-to-face annual conference to a collection of curated videos online, and to a synchronous online conference. Yet, one feature has remained constant: it is one of the best venues for teachers across Japan and beyond to share reflections on their classroom situations. 

This year, Teacher Journeys aims to facilitate a continuous dialogue between presenters and viewers culminating in a synchronous online conference on December 16th 2023

We are inviting everyone to submit proposals for video presentations that fall broadly under the theme of teacher development. A successful applicant will be asked to record a presentation to be published on the blog of the Teacher Journeys website.

We are most interested in personal narratives that clearly explain the professional change and the path to it. A typical proposal and subsequent video presentation will consist of the following elements:

  • Describing your situation (views, experiences, behaviors, opinions, etc.) before the change.
  • Describing what prompted the change. This often comes in the form of a critical incident leading to a certain insight.
  • Describing what informed the change. This may be personal observations, experience or reading of specific academic literature (or anything else we may not have thought about).
  • Describing the results of the change. This may include your views, behavior, opinions and/or other things.

Please see some of the previous submissions here, here and here to get a better idea of what we are looking for and, perhaps, for some inspiration.

If you believe have a story worth sharing, please consider contributing to this year’s conference! The deadline for proposal submissions is August 31st.

Click here to go to the conference website.

TD SIG’s “Up-and-Coming Research Grants”

Small research and TD-related conference grants are being offered to TD SIG membership. Each grant can be awarded up to twice a fiscal year.

Although an applicant can submit their proposal at any time, its review and decision will be made in the 6-month period it was received. The first six-month period is from April 1st to September 30th and the second six-month period is from October 1st to March 31st.

Click here for grant details and click here for the application form.

Call For Proposals: Learner Development SIG’s 30th Anniversary Conference

Call for Presentation Proposals now open (until 30th July 23:59): go here

大会発表の申し込みが開始しました (7月30日23:59まで)!こちらへ

Join us as the Learner Development SIG celebrates its 30th anniversary with a conference held in collaboration with the Teacher Development SIG and the Global Issues in Language Education SIG. Our conference theme is “Learning for Change and Action, Making a Difference for the Future”, a call to action for educators and learners alike.

学習者ディベロプメント研究部会が30周年を迎えるにあたり、言語教育における世界的課題SIG、教師開発SIGと共同で開催されるカンファレンスに参加しませんか?大会テーマは「Learning for Change and Action, Making a Difference for the Future」、教育者と学習者の行動を呼びかける内容です。

Taking place on October 21st and 22nd, this two-day conference will explore how to encourage learners to engage in their learning to make a difference in their lives, their local communities, and beyond. Both students and teachers are warmly invited to take part by actively engaging in presentations, workshops, and discussions exploring innovative approaches to learner development, teacher development, and global issues in language education.

10月21日、22日に開催されるこの2日間のカンファレンスでは、どのように学習者が自分の人生、地域社会、そしてそれらを超えた領域に変化をもたらすために、自分たちの学習への取り組を促していけるかを探究します。学生と教員の両方の方々の参加が可能です。 参加者は、学習者育成、教師育成、言語教育におけるグローバルな問題への革新的なアプローチを探究するプレゼンテーション、ワークショップ、ディスカッションに積極的に参加することができます。

CUE & TD SIG Forum @ PanSIG2023

Many tertiary-level English teachers in Japan have educational backgrounds in fields other than TESOL, and transition to teaching subjects in a seemingly abated manner. Whether one comes from the social or “hard” sciences, math or technology, arts and humanities, or business and professional studies, the landscape of the education field continues to shift our pathways. Recent movement towards task-based language teaching, EMI, and CLIL is becoming more commonplace, and English educators are tasked with teaching a vast range of special topics outside their original expertise. As a result, many teachers find themselves teaching in subject areas such as political science, sociology, global studies, journalism/news analysis, and more. As the contrasts between our educational roots and ‘current’ positions become remarkably plain to see, we ought to stop and reflect on the directions we have moved in and anticipate moving in the future.

This panel, co-sponsored by College and University Educators (CUE) and Teacher Development (TD), will introduce four experienced tertiary English teachers from various educational backgrounds who will discuss how they have met these challenges in their careers and provide a number of practical suggestions for teachers. Speakers will outline their teaching contexts and describe the challenges they face. Presentations will be followed by Q&A and two open-choice breakout group sessions between each of the panelists and the audience.

One presenter in our join forum is Marc Waterfield. Marc will share how the foundation of his teaching approach, which was formed in the Karate-do dojo, developed in the public and private school systems in Japan, and influenced by his post-graduate studies, provided him with the tools necessary to ground his teaching methods and approaches within recognized academic frameworks.

Another presenter is Devon Arthurson. Devon will be sharing how her background in community development and community studies helps her tailor lessons and provide support according to student needs. Using community development theories, Devon aims to create a learning space that is safe and allows students to develop their skills.

Date: Sunday May 14th
Time: 14:05 – 15:35
Room: S501

TD SIG Webinar: Neuroscience Application in the EFL Classroom

Please check our Facebook or Twitter to register for the event.

Session overview: Neuroeducation is a relatively new field that emerged in the 90s. Education is a social activity in which we all share a brain with almost identical functions. Thus, knowing who we are teaching and how our most important organ works is a fundamental part of teaching that should not be overlooked. Reframing, reflecting, and questioning the way we teach is the key in this 21st century full of rapid changes.

The session will start by introducing neuroscience and how it is related to language teaching. Then, we will look into the brain’s main features, the theory of the three brains, and the importance of considering them all in learning. We will further explore the relationship between neural networks and learning and the main happy neurotransmitters all teachers must know to trigger their release. We will also learn how to apply these concepts to practical tasks for our language classes.

Biography: Roxana Areán is a graduate English Teacher and a Literay, Scientific and Technical Translator (Cultural Inglesa de Buenos Aires) with a Master’s degree in Audiovisual translation from the University of Cadiz, Spain. She’s also a certified Neurolanguage Coach® (Efficient Language Coaching, UK) and holds a Diploma in English Phonetics and Phonology from UNLZ (Buenos Aires, Argentina). She has worked in several institutions teaching all ages and levels but has been teaching mostly adults and young adults lately. She is the founder and coordinator of Dream On ELC; an online academy which has been designing and delivering online courses and Webinars for more than 6 years now.

TD SIG Forum & AGM @ JALT2022 Conference

The JALT2022 Conference will take place face-to-face in Fukuoka City from Friday, November 11 to Monday, November 14. Conference registration and payment is now open on the conference website.

The TD SIG will be holding a forum titled “Students’ Aiding Teacher Development” on Saturday November 12th (12:45-14:15) in Room 407.

The forum will be coordinated by one of the SIG’s Program Chairs, Ross Sampson, and the presenters will be: Kent HillNick KasparekKathryn YamagishiJon PrevattEwen MacDonald, and Adrianne Verla Uchida.

The following is a description of the forum:

With people positively influencing each other in every walk of life, it is understandable that within a language classroom, students can and do positively impact their teachers in direct and indirect ways all the time. When shared, these stories of how students have aided teacher development can be fascinating to hear and can have important lessons for educators. We are looking for presenters to share their stories of how they have been impacted by their learners in a way that has aided their own development.

Using tablets, laptops or paper, presenters will share experiences through 6-minute speed-slide presentations with time allotted evenly to each slide, followed by short Q&A periods, and concluding with a wider discussion. Each presentation will be given several times to multiple audiences so that attendees and provided a range of topics, with the goal of providing all of those in attendance at least one valuable takeaway.

Prior to the forum, the TD SIG Annual General Meeting will be held from 12:10-12:35 in the same room. 

SIG Officers will report on the recent activities of the group, and share information and news about the SIG’s events, membership, and publications. Ideas about the SIG’s future will also be discussed, and officers for the year ahead confirmed. A call for volunteers for officer positions will be made in a separate email.

We hope to see you at the conference!

JALT TD SIG Teacher Journeys 2022

The TD SIG’s annual Teacher Journeys conference, a practitioner-focused event blending research with reflective self-examination and learning from peers, will be held online on Sunday October 30th.

The conference will include both traditional and flipped presentation formats, and will utilise a novel online environment for socialising.

Please visit this page to find the following:

  • Links to prerecorded presentations (indicated by an exclamation mark). These should be watched in advance before the live session on the conference day.
  • The schedule and presentation information for the conference day.
  • A big red button to join the online conference venue. Please visit the venue in advance to create an account and confirm it is working smoothly on your device.

On the conference day:

  • The conference organizers will be online from 9:20 to meet and greet all the presenters and attendees and provide technical support if necessary.
  • The conference will officially start at 9:50 with a short speech by the organizers and the presentations will commence at 10:00am.

Teacher Journeys Conference 2022 – Call For Proposals

In language education in Japan and around the world, almost every teacher’s career path takes the form of a unique and eventful journey. We often take this for granted, but it is exactly these journeys, these narratives of teacher identity formation, that enrich our profession and serve our students. Since 2011, the Teacher Journeys conference has been the venue for educators of all backgrounds and teaching contexts across Japan to share and reflect on such stories.

This year, we are looking for presentations that fall broadly under the theme of teacher development. Personal narratives that highlight professional change and the path to it are welcome. Descriptions of the professional change, what prompted it, what informed it, what the results of it were: all of these in any combination should make for a presentation suitable for the conference. Please see the previous submissions here and here to get a better idea of what we are looking for and, perhaps, for some inspiration.

We envision this conference not only as an opportunity for viewers to learn from the presenters’ stories but also, and more importantly, to share their own. We hope to achieve this goal by a) employing a flipped format for some of our presentations and b) by utilizing a novel online environment for socializing.

Learn more about the conference by visiting the pages for presenters and attendees. If you have a story worth sharing, please consider contributing to this year’s conference! The deadline for proposal submissions is June 30th July 31st.

Click on the image below to go to the conference website.