Understanding Language and Learning: Theoretical, Methodological, and Cultural Developments in Applied Linguistics

On Friday, 19 July, professor Nick Ellis from the University of Michigan delivered a talk titled
Understanding Language and Learning: Theoretical, Methodological, and Cultural
Developments in Applied Linguistics, at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. The event was hosted by
JALT’s Tokyo chapter, and we were happy to co-sponsor the event alongside the West Tokyo
and Yokohama chapters. Professor Ellis is an esteemed and notable scholar in the field of
cognitive linguistics, as well as other related areas, and opened his presentation by taking
the audience on a journey through his lengthy career. Professor Ellis then described
important changes, trends and insights regarding second language acquisition research, and
their implications for researchers and research. Focussing primarily on quantitative studies
into cognition and language learning throughout his talk, professor Ellis concluded by
discussing the expectations of scholars currently working in the field, by explaining about
the open access and open data movements in modern academia, and the increasingly
demanding rigours of conducting reliable, significant and empirically sound studies.
Professor Ellis also talked about some of the figures in our field who are best placed to
bridge the gap between researchers and teachers, and also offered some ideas on potential
areas that need further investigation and research. We would like to thank Nick for his
presentation, the hosts at Rikkyo university, as well as the three chapters who co-sponsored
this event.

Teacher Journeys x SUTLF 2019


This year marked the eighth annual Teacher Journeys Conference, and the Teacher Development SIG, in collaboration with the JALT NanKyu Chapter, organised the Teacher Journeys x SUTLF Conference. The conference was held on Saturday, June 29th at Sojo University in Kumamoto, and was housed inside the recently built Sojo International Learning Center (SILC). The aim of the conference was to explore the winding but meaningful paths teachers take towards greater self-awareness and improved classroom practices.

The featured speakers were Christopher Hale of Akita International University and Fumi Takegami of the Prefectural University of Kumamoto. They spoke on the topics: ‘Educating the Educators: Exploring the Experiences of Teachers Enrolled in an American TESOL Program in Japan’ and ‘Reconceptualizing Practice: Implications for Teacher Development’, respectively.

Through the combined efforts of the day’s many presenters, conference attendees learnt about varying aspects of English pedagogy, the efforts teachers make in the classroom, the challenges they face and overcome, and how their varied encounters impact their professional aspirations and students’ motivation. The evening culminated in a networking dinner with the organisers, presenters and conference attendees.

The Teacher Development SIG and JALT NanKyu would like to thank all our presenters, invited guests, host (Sojo University), and the conference attendees for coming and taking part. To our members: thank you for your continued support. We are look forward to seeing you again at JALT National!

Teacher Identity and Emotions

On Wednesday, March 20th, the Teacher Development SIG hosted a workshop on Teacher Identities and Emotions in partnership with Rikkyo University. Sam Morris of Kanda University of International Studies first spoke on“Frustration Regulation in Japanese University English Language Teaching”. Through group discussion, he led the audience to understand the meaning of frustration and its negative and positive roles in teaching. He also outlined in detail several strategies to deal with frustration when such feelings arise.

Next, Christina Gkonou of the University of Essex delivered a talk entitled“Understanding Shifts in Language Teacher Identities and Emotions”. She outlined the relationship between our students, our colleagues, and ourselves with our identities as teachers as a central hub. Christina shared the important message that emotion and identity are not formed personally within ourselves, but socially and dynamically in our greater teaching contexts. The sessions lasted approximately three hours in total, and were attended by about 30 people.

The Teacher Development SIG would like to thank Christina and Sam, along with Rikkyo University for such an engaging event! Check out their talks below. 

Sam Morris – Frustration regulation and language teaching (PowerPoint slides)

Dr Christina Gkonou – Understanding shifts in language teacher identities and emotions (PowerPoint slides)

Teacher Journeys 2019

Teacher Journeys Conference (June 29)

The Teacher Development SIG‘s biggest annual event, the Teacher Journeys Conference, will be held at Sojo University in Kumamoto on Saturday, June 29, in partnership with the Nankyu JALT Chapter. We are happy to announce our plenary speakers, Dr. Fumi Takegami from Kumamoto University and Dr. Chris Carl Hale from Akita International University.

Click here to visit the conference website. We look forward to seeing you in Kumamoto!

Teacher Journeys 2019

We are happy to announce that this year, the Teacher Development SIG, in partnership with the Nankyu JALT Chapter, will have our annual Teacher Journeys Conference at Sojo University in Kumamoto, on June 29. Be on the look out for more announcements about this conference in the coming weeks, including the call for proposals.

We look forward to seeing you in Kumamoto!

Reflective Practice workshop with Thomas Farrell

The JALT Teacher Development SIG are excited to announce that we will be hosting a Reflective Practice workshop with Thomas Farrell. The event is free for JALT and/or Toyo University employees, or 500 yen for non-JALT members.

The event will take place at Toyo University’s Hakusan Campus, in room 1603 (Building 1, 6th floor). Entry is from 18:30.

To help with event organisation, registration is encouraged but not required. Registration is open until Sunday, 7th October. Please use the following link or the QR code to register.

Teacher Journeys 2018

Teacher Journeys 2018 and Call for Co-Sponsors Next Year

On Sunday June 3, TD held its biggest annual event, Teacher Journeys, at Rikkyo University with co-sponsors Tokyo JALT. The conference was attended by about 50 people, and featured plenary talks by Dr. Christina Gkonou of the University of Essex, and Dr. Tomohisa Machida of Akita International University, along with sixteen presentations in four sessions throughout the day. Look forward to proceedings of the conference to be published in ETD in the coming months.

Currently we are looking for chapters to partner up with for Teacher Journeys 2019. Please get in touch with program chair Mike Ellis (maikeru.desu@gmail.com) if you’d like to bring the conference to your area next year.