TD SIG Conference – “Moving Towards Sustainable Education”

The Teacher Development SIG are excited to be holding our first face-to-face conference in years at Hakodate University, Hakodate, Hokkaido, this Saturday February 17th (09:00-17:00).

“Moving Towards Sustainable Education” has three tracks of research and will feature round-table speakers from the English Program of Utsunomiya University who will provide insight into their progressive teacher-led research agenda.

Our final schedule is all set – we have a full day of presenters with exciting and innovative research topics.

Please use the QR code on the publicity flyer, or click here, to register for the conference.

TD @ PanSIG2024 – Call for Forum Leaders

The Teacher Development SIG is inviting researchers and teachers to join our debate forum at the upcoming PanSIG Conference.

The theme of the forum is “The boon and bane of digitalized EFL education: Building a new foundation for the future”. If you are interested, you can choose which side of the fence you are on: the boon side or the bane side.

This format will have a presenter sharing a specific view on the theme with a round-by-round format. Initially, speaking for 3-5 minutes each to explain their experience of the recent large-scale technology implemented lessons, their realizations/revelations that stemmed from that and which relate to the fundamentals of EFL education/lessons, and finally their support for increased use of technology (boon) or that technology is overused and that more traditional approaches are more efficient and effective (bane).

We want you, the educator with experience in the technology zoom-boom of the last years, to share with us your takeaways and wisdom which you can aptly apply as we move back to basics.

We are targeting these topics for forum presentations:

  • teachers’ and students’ technological skills as a pivotal factor
  • maximizing learning outcomes through the use of technology or not using technology 
  • a move back to basics, everything digital, or amenable balance : as a problem of practice

Some potential questions for proposal submitters:

  • How does learning theory and design impact your choice and/or use of technology?
  • How did you maximize learning outcomes via technology? 
  • In what ways did you consider the development of technological skills (for yourself and students) as a pertinent aspect within learning? 
  • What can we pull out of this recent flood of online education to build a better basic foundation of EFL teaching?
  • How will you be moving forward with a redeveloped sense of “back to basics”?

Please note that the PanSIG 2024 Conference is an in-person-only event from May 24th – May 26th, 2024. You must physically travel to Fukui University of Technology to participate in our forum.

You can apply via Google Forms until March 10th by sharing the following information:

  • an indication of the targeted topic(s) you intend to submit for (listed above)
  • a potential title for your presentation
  • an abstract (up to 220 words)
  • a basic explanation of your presentation content (3-4 main aspects in point form)

The Google Form is here:

Thank you in advance for your application. We will respond within 2 weeks of your submission.

Registration open: “Moving Towards Sustainable Education”

We are excited to announce our upcoming face-to-face conference being held in Hakodate, Hokkaido, on Saturday February 17th.

“Moving Towards Sustainable Education” has three tracks of research and will feature round-table speakers from the English Program of Utsunomiya University who will provide insight into their progressive teacher-led research agenda.

Scanning the QR code on the flyer above will let you register and check which options you would like our help with. For example, after the event, we will likely be holding a dinner, which participants may join. As well, the following day (Sunday morning), a small sightseeing agenda is in the works. While these activities are optional, and will have some walking and personal costs to cover, we hope to spend an enjoyable time together. 

Please use the QR code on the publicity flyer to let us know your attendance at the conference, or click on the following link:

We have an exciting schedule of speakers coming – keep an eye on our social media for details:

Teacher Journeys 2023

On Saturday December 16th (15:15-18:45), the TD SIG’s Teacher Journeys will host five insightful individuals who will share their professional and personal transformations with the audience online.

The conference will cover a range of topics, from changes in one’s teaching approaches, to ways to reflect on one’s own past to pave the way for the better future self.

The conference will start with a discussion session by Devon Arthurson based on her thought-provoking video presentation (which we strongly urge you to watch before attending) followed by interactive presentations by four other guests. Come meet us and our presenters tomorrow from the comfort of your home, café, or wherever you find yourself at that time.


  • 15:30-16:00 – Reflecting on Academic and Career Paths by Devon Arthurson (please watch this video before attending for the full experience)
  • 16:10-16:40 – My Journey to Translanguaging in the Classroom by Davis Shum
  • 16:50-17:20 – Using the Pebble-in-the-Pond Model to Improve EFL Instruction by Jon Thomas
  • 17:30-18:00 – The Art of Gathering in the Japanese EFL Classroom by Cam Hill
  • 18:10-18:40 – Apathy in the English Classroom by Jason Hobman

The conference will take place on Zoom (link below) and is free to attend. Please visit and bookmark the official conference page for all relevant information, including the schedule and the link to the Zoom session.

We are all looking forward to seeing you there.

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