PanSIG 2021 Forum with ICLE SIG

At this year’s PanSIG 2021 conference, the TD SIG facilitated a forum with the Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIG. The session was titled Developing an Intercultural Understanding as Teachers, with the forum opening the conference on Friday, May 14.

The event featured presentations by invited speakers Yoko Munezane from Rikkyo UniversityStephen Ryan from Sanyo Gakuen University, and Helen Spencer-Oatey from the University of Warwick and GlobalPeople Consulting Ltd. Each presentation explored different elements of what developing intercultural practice, understanding, and principles in foreign language education entails.

Yoko Munezane
 introduced a new empirical model of intercultural communicative competence, exploring the structural relationships among eight individual differences factors, and how this model could be applied to the language classroom to promote intercultural friendship.

Following this, Stephen Ryan provided lessons learnt through an autobiographical presentation outlining the evolution of his understanding and approaches to the position of culture in his teaching.

Finally, Helen Spencer-Oatey demonstrated ways we can learn to notice how socialisation-based multiple identities affect behaviour, through reflecting on their potential significance and seeing what impacts they have on our (mis)evaluations of others. 

Following the series of presentations, an engaging discussion took place in which the speakers reflected on each other’s talks, established points of resonance, and developed some new ideas together. The TD SIG would like to thank you if you attended this forum.

TD-CUE SIG Joint Forum @ JALT2021: Reflections on Remote Teaching – Call for Proposals

The Teacher Development SIG and JALT CUE SIG will be co-facilitating a forum on “Reflections on Remote Teaching” at the JALT2021 International Conference

The past year and a half has forced many innovations in teaching. The tendency has been to focus on technological adjustments; however, deeper changes involving the purpose of education and the role of the educator have also taken place. We invite presenters to share their own reflections on these fundamental issues which were stimulated by recent circumstances.

In the forum, a series of members of each SIG will use tablets, laptops or paper, to share experiences of creating communities through PechaKucha-like sessions. Presenters will give 5 minute presentations, followed by short Q&A periods. Each presentation will be given several times to multiple audiences so that attendees are provided a range of topics. This is in accordance with our goal of ensuring all of those in attendance at least one valuable takeaway from their experience teaching during the pandemic.

The deadline for proposals is April 28th. Click here for the proposal submission form.

PanSIG 2021 Forum with ICLE SIG

JALT PanSIG 2021 will take place from Friday 14th May to Sunday 16th May. Originally planned for Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, the conference will be held online due to ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 situation. The conference website is

The TD SIG is delighted to be facilitating a forum with the Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIG, titled ‘Developing an Intercultural Understanding as Teachers’.

This will be held on Friday May 14th from 19:00-20:30.

The following invited three speakers will be presenting on the following:

  • (Presentation 1) Prof. Yoko Munezane (Rikkyo University) – From Friendship to the Interconnected World: Theory & Application of the New Model of Intercultural Communication
  • (Presentation 2) Prof. Stephen M. Ryan (Sanyo Gakuen University) – Things I Wish I’d Known about Culture When I Started Teaching
  • (Presentation 3) Prof. Helen Spencer-Oatey (University of Warwick) – Building an Interconnected World through Fostering Global Fitness

The following is a description of the forum: 

Language teaching involves a commitment to, and interest in, intercultural communication. In providing language learning instruction, practitioners are not merely sharing linguistic knowledge and skills in a one-directional manner, but are continuously negotiating and learning from their students’ dynamic experiences, repertoires, and identities. As English is a lingua franca, which facilitates communication across cultures, a sensitivity to the intricacies of interaction between groups from different speech backgrounds is essential. In an era characterised by division and remoteness, language educators’ roles have become even more paramount in upholding and promoting intercultural mindsets. However, these skills may be overlooked or complicated to build
and hone.

This forum is a collaboration between the Teacher Development (TD) and Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIGs. Featuring a panel of invited speakers from the SIGs, each presenter will explore a different element of what developing intercultural practice, understanding, and principles as a foreign language educator entails. Following the presentations, the panellists will interact about points of interest and resonance, and there will be an opportunity for audience participants to share their reflections and contribute to the dialogue. It is hoped that this session will provide guidance for developing intercultural teaching approaches and language learning environments.

Click here to register for the conference.

TD & CUE SIG Forum @ JALT2020

On Saturday, November 21 at the JALT2020 conference, the TD and CUE SIGs held their tenth joint forum, “Forms and Functions of Community in Education”.

The forum was conducted online via Zoom, and the format was slightly different from past years. Five members from the SIGs spoke in turn about their experiences in creating community.

First, Mathew Porter of Fukuoka Jo Gakuin Nursing University described a community among nurse educators in a nursing department at a Japanese university. Wendy Gough of Bunkyo Gakuin University spoke about the importance of mentors, and how to find or become one. Peter Brereton of International Christian University shared his experience in establishing a group of reflective practitioners which helped to more deeply connect his university with its associated high school. Daniel Hooper of Kanda University of International Studies shared the importance of action logs in adjusting to a new community during his transition from a small eikaiwa to a private international university. Dawn Lucovich of Nagano JALT and The University of Nagano spoke about the principles necessary to create a community of practice and how they can be implemented at JALT.

After the presenters spoke, there was a brief moderated discussion in which participants discussed in breakout groups how they might implement the ideas expressed to foster community in their own teaching contexts, and then shared some final thoughts with the full group. Please look forward to more collaboration with the CUE SIG on future forums!

PanSIG 2021 Forum with ICLE SIG

PanSIG 2021 will take place on May 15-16 in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture. The event is currently planned as a hybrid event (partially online), but will be moved entirely online if needed depending on the situation.

For PanSIG 2021, the TD SIG is delighted to be facilitating a forum with the Intercultural Communication in Language Education (ICLE) SIG, titled ‘Developing an Intercultural Understanding as Teachers’.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be finalising the details, including the invited speakers, the session format, and the date/time. Please watch this space for information!

Teacher Journeys 2020: Panel Discussion

Join us as we reflect on this year’s online conference, Teacher Journeys 2020: Experiences in Emergency Remote Teaching. Due to Covid-19, this year’s conference was unique with respect to both content and format. The organizers have invited four presenters to hold a discussion on the virtual sharing of their and others’ journeys through the pandemic as educators. We will discuss topics such as the process of creating their videos and lessons learned from others’, and also consider ways that this experience might inform professional teacher development post-coronavirus.

Date: Sunday, November 8
Time: 2 to 3pm (Japan Standard Time)
Hosted on Zoom

Learn more about the participants and access the meeting from the conference site.

TD SIG Annual General Meeting at JALT2020

In this annual general meeting, members of the Teacher Development SIG will report on the recent activities of the group. Officers will share information and news about the SIG‘s events, membership, publications, and other related matters. As well as discussing previous work, ideas about the SIG‘s future will be shared, and the results of this year’s officer elections will be announced. Current and potential SIG members are encouraged to come along to this session. 

Date: Tuesday, November 17th
Time: 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM  

This session will be taking place live on Zoom. Registered participants of JALT2020 should follow information during the conference period for details about how to access and join the session. 

TD SIG Officer Nominations

The TD SIG is always looking for new volunteers to join as officers. At this year’s JALT conference, in the same way as every year, we will be electing and deciding on officers for the year ahead. We have a number of different positions that require more volunteers, such as supporting our publicity, programs, and publication activities.

TD depends on a small group of active members helping and collaborating with each other to make sure the SIG can continue functioning smoothly. If you think you might be interested in putting your name forward to get more involved, please send us an email for more information at:  A full list of our office positions are as follows:

  • SIG Coordinator
  • Membership Chair
  • Program Chair
  • Publications Chair
  • Publicity Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Webmaster

We look forward to hearing from you!

Teacher Development SIG Photo Competition 2020

The Teacher Development SIG is pleased to announce its very first photo competition!

Two winning photographs will be used in the first journal issue of 2021 and in the January 2021 newsletter.

All interested JALT members are invited to submit an original photograph related to (life in) Japan. Only members of the Japan Association for Language Teaching may submit a photograph, and entrants should remain a member up to the time the photo is used.

The photo must:
• be an original photograph taken by the person submitting it
• be in colour
• not have any licensing restrictions that prevents JALT from using it online and in print
• be high definition (minimum 1920×1080 pixels)
• be related to (life in) Japan
• not have any faces visible
• be accessible online and be shared with the TD SIG using an unrestricted link

Each photographer is allowed to submit up to 2 photographs.

Submissions are being accepted from August to September, but early submissions are welcome. The two winning photographs will be announced by December. 

Click here for the photo submission form.

• It is ultimately at the discretion of the JALT Teacher Development SIG to decide how submissions will be shared between the SIG’s journal and newsletter.
• Submissions that do not win may be divided amongst other editions of the journal and newsletter.
• All submissions are subject to use by the Japan Association for Language Teaching, e.g. to share information about the competition throughout the organisation.
• Photographs will not be used outside of official JALT purposes.