19:30~20:30 via Google Meet
Saitama JALT needs a few good people.
Saitama JALT needs new leadership who can better represent the wants and needs of the chapter. Please take a few moments to view this overview of the chapter and the human talent it needs to thrive.
12/5 Developments in Professional Development hosted by Gifu, Niigata, Saitama, and Shizuoka Chapters of JALT
Time: 14:00–17:00 JST
Online via Zoom: Edzil.la link: https://gnss2021.edzil.la/ (No need to register or log in. Scroll past the log-in page, then choose the session you wish to attend).
Please join us on December 5 for five presentations exploring developments in professional development. Covering topics such as the benefits of collaborating with colleagues, the how to of publishing, institutional approaches to personal development, teacher wellbeing, and part-time teacher wellness in the time of Covid-19, this event guarantees something of interest for all educators. Session A begins at 14:00-14:45 with two concurrent sessions (please see below), and Session B runs from 15:00-15:45 with two concurrent sessions (please see below). Our plenary begins at 16:00 with a 17:00 finish. Abstract information will be provided on our respective JALT chapter homepages, and on our facebook pages. Edzil.la link: https://gnss2021.edzil.la/ Please pen this exciting event in your diaries.
Sessions: 14:00-14:45 Session A (with 2 concurrent workshops)
1) Collaborating to Create Strong Relationships and Better Instructors: Kazumi Kato, Wendy M. Gough
2) Getting Published: Melodie Cook
15:00-15:45: Session B (with 2 concurrent workshops)
1) ELI PD: An Institutional Approach to Teacher Professional Development: Jennie Roloff Rothman
2) Positive Psychology and Teacher Wellbeing: Mary Nobuoka
16:00-17:00: Plenary The Impact of Covid-19 on Part-time University English Teacher Wellness in Japan: Wendy M. Gough, Chiyuki Yanase, Colin Skeates, Bill Snyder
Cost: Free to all
Event in Planning:
Developments in Professional Development
Cost for Jalt Members:
Cost for non-Jalt Members:
9/18 Kobe/Saitama JALT Chapters Present: Shifting from ALT Job to University Teaching & Narrative Inquiry into ALT Identity
Please use the following Zoom link to join the event:
Meeting ID: 984 3363 0766
MyShares are 15-minute, short-style presentations, which make them perfect for new presenters as well as experienced presenters that want to introduce a topic as a set up for a longer presentation in the future. We allot time based on first-come, first-serve, and it is entirely possible to choose to share something on the day of the event.
For this upcoming event, we have a simple theme: "What works?"
This is our first member-focused online event, and our first even in ages, so we're happy to work with you to develop your 10-15 minutes to make them the best they can be, while also welcoming the informal discussion that comes with online video discussion.
Some topics for the discussion session may include:
What advice would you give yourself a year ago?
What resources are you using that should be shared?
What was the biggest headache that you solved?
...and what's the biggest headache you haven't solved yet?
Featured Presenter: Miori Shimada
An effective Breakout Room activity for Engineering
The presenter briefly describes some issues that arose in university EFL classrooms due to the shift to online education. Considering these issues, the presenter designed the task-based Breakout Room sessions using the original worksheets for her engineering students' classes. The worksheets and the activity procedures will be explained to the audience. The feedback from the students who joined her Breakout Room sessions will also be shared.
Following the event, we will have a brief State of the Chapter Meeting. As your chief executive officer, I am taking responsibility for the lack of programing and communication over the last year. I'd like you to know how hard the individual officers of our organization have been working as academics, professionals, and family members over these months. It is the very same people who raise their hands to solve problems at schools and in their communities as the people who said "I want to make Saitama JALT better." It is the case that ultimately I couldn't provide the time and clarity that I believe we needed in the last year, and I will now do what I can to immediately re-position Saitama JALT as an advocate of its members, and help identify the leadership it needs for the coming years. It's been an honor to serve in the position for the second time (the first being when I helped us transition from Omiya to Saitama chapter), and I wish to see it receive the attention and care it deserves.
Saitama JALT is seeking new voices and leadership as it seeks to adapt to the current demands of Remote and Hybrid Teaching and Teacher Advocacy. Please consider how your needs as a language teacher can be met by the chapter and its resources.
Please use the following link below for presentation submissions. "February 17th" should be entered as the preferred date and "MyShare" as the presentation format.
How to Leverage Digital Pedagogy for Successful Online Classes
This is the Zoom Link.
can be combined in an 'App Smashing' way to enable them to be educationally more than the sum of their parts. However, this session will not just be a typical 'how to use these apps' type workshop. The benefits to students in terms of their improved mind-brain learning as a rationale behind the adoption of these apps will also be covered, as will the motivational benefits for students that appropriately created challenge / project based learning brings. Everything will be demonstrated in an easy to understand way, even for teachers new to educational technology, so the session is suitable for a wide range of educators. After the initial overview and case study demonstration of these theories and apps, the session will then continue with short talks from four of Rab’s students (Arisa Tsuji, Toko Hata, Minori Hirai, and Tomoko Motohashi) from TGUISS, a high school where he teaches part time. They will give a short talk on their experiences about learning in this type of system and how this method easily adapted to the COVID 19 school closures. The workshop will then have a short breakout room time and end with a more traditional
free flowing discussion / Q and A session, although attendees are free to ask pertinent questions throughout the session. So please join us for an interesting educational evening!
12/22: Allison Nemoto presents "Examining Pupils' Images of English, Before and After Short Storytelling Sessions, in a Japanese Primary School", Saitama JALT AGM, and Bounenkai
Saitama JALT is thrilled to welcome Allison Nemoto all the way from Miyagi prefecture for our December event! This event should be especially interesting to those who have taught or are teaching young learners. Below you will find the complete abstract for the presentation in both English and Japanese, as well as a bio of the presenter.
Examining Pupils’ Images of English, Before and After Short Storytelling Sessions, in a Japanese Primary School
Humans have been motivated and inspired by stories since the beginning of civilization itself and can be found in even the most primitive cultures. Regarding literacy skills for native speakers, it is said that; “The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it, (Trelease, 20013, p.4). Children naturally search for meaning in the pictures, words and sounds presented in picture books, and easily pick up language used repeatedly, so reading picture books aloud could be considered an ideal introduction to foreign languages for young children. In this study, pupils’ preconceived image of English as a subject was compared before and after a series of ten short storytelling sessions. Findings from the completed questionnaires indicate that this narrative based approach of reading picture books out loud and watching university students acting out original plays, were considered enjoyable and easy to understand by the pupils and had the added effect of enhancing the majority of the pupils’ image of English as a subject, in a positive way.
Bio - Alison is from the UK and trained as a primary school teacher, before coming to Japan on the JET programme in 1989. She holds an MA in Teaching English to Young Learners and has over 20 years of experience teaching in kindergartens, primary schools and junior high schools in the coastal area of Fukushima and worked as the only native teacher in Minami Soma City, Fukushima, directly after the earthquake, Tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011. She is a Specially Appointed Professor at Miyagi University of Education in Sendai and has worked there full-time for 7 years. She has used stories with her students in all educational contexts.
Prior to the presentation, Saitama JALT will hold its Annual General Meeting where officers will give their reports and elections will be held for Saitama JALT's Executive Board for 2020. We encourage all members to attend and also to try to get further involved in Saitama JALT by running for a poston or volunteering to shadow and officer in order to run for that poston next year.
Following the presentation, we will have our annual year-end party (忘年会), so please make plans to join us if you are able. We will be making reservations at a nearby establishment, so it would be nice to have a great turnout for both Allison and for the party! We look forward to closing out the year with you next month!
We are thrilled to have Hiromi Oda for our September event on how using diagrams with science news articles can both help to increase student understanding of the reading while also allowing teachers to quickly assess the level of that understanding as well. Below you will find the full abstract for the presentation:
Diagram Methods for Science News Reading
In the fields of Chemistry or Electrical Engineering, diagrams are the only method to express abstract and complex relationships among atoms and molecules or electrical components. Visual representations allow us to capture multiple objects and their spacial or logical relationships at a glance. Also, English textbooks for reading often use some form of diagrams to explain the logical relations such as contrast or cause-and-effect.
The method — tentatively dubbed as the Diagram Method — introduced in this session is an attempt to use diagrams for extended texts. It has been used in science news reading classes at a couple of universities for the past several years.
Science news articles often have a common structure, including the lead, background, new research, discussion and outside comment sections. Using a template for the overall structure, students use different types of boxes, arrows, and connection lines to summarize the whole article on an A3 or B4 sheet, adding annotations in English.
Students are urged to differentiate the foreground from the background, and to put the logical "flow of the story" in the foreground, highlighting the new findings and relevant methods and background facts in the new research.
A few paragraphs will be discussed first to show the effectiveness of diagrams. Then, together with participants, a couple of sample science news articles will be discussed and summarized using the Diagram Method.
The discussion will then move to how this method helps students to have a clear understanding of the logical structures of scientific texts, and also allow teachers to check student summaries at a glance.
If you have the time, please make plans to join us for some drinks and refreshments following the presentation.
We are very excited to start off our collaboration with our neighbor to the north, Gunma JALT, for the Saitama portion of a MyShare event that will be held both this month and next and see members from both chapters present at both locations. For those that don't know, MyShare events are an assortment of short, 25-minutes-or-less presentations from presenters that either do not have a lot of experience presenting and want to get some while getting feedback from an audience, have something that they are working on that is not quite ready for a long-format presentation, or simply have something amazing to share that can be done within the shorter timeframe. Below you will find the abstracts for the presentations coming from members of both Gunma and Saitama for this event:
Azalia Zaharuddin presents "The Effects of Translation Use on Advanced Student Attitudes"
Although recent studies have shown that translation use can be beneficial to students in second and foreign language classrooms, its implementation has often been hindered due to the negative attitudes associated with the grammar-translation method. This paper argues that students' attitudes towards translation use will be more positive when they are exposed to a translation-inclusive classroom compared to one where students receive instruction only in the target language. Semi-structured interviews conducted with learners of Japanese as second language after taking a translation-inclusive class reveal that they have more positive views towards translation use so long as the teacher is fluent in both languages (English as a shared language and Japanese) and ensures that it is not overused.
Daniel Hooper presents "Trading off, not trading up: Perspectives on ELT in eikaiwa and university"
Within Japanese ELT, private conversation (eikaiwa) schools are commonly viewed as the bottom rung of the professional ladder. In contrast to eikaiwa’s marginalized position, language teaching in university is regarded as the pinnacle of the field’s professional hierarchy (Nagatomo, 2016). In this presentation I will focus on firsthand perspectives of teachers who have transitioned between these two teaching environments and analyze perspectives on each context’s pedagogical constraints and benefits. Teachers revealed that eikaiwa teaching provided them with experiences that contributed to their pedagogical skillset and evolving teacher beliefs. On the other hand, university teaching afforded enhanced professional identity due to factors such as increased teacher autonomy and authority in the classroom. In this presentation, I hope to promote a more nuanced view of different teaching contexts in Japan that recognizes diverse affordances and constraints rather than subscribing to a linear, hierarchical view of certain ELT settings.
Heather McCulloch presents "Inferences in ESL Contexts"
Inferences are bits of knowledge that are shared or assumed among groups of people. In some cases, they can be understood as creating an “educated guess,” based on a particular situation. By using inferences, we can get students to think about English language structure in a contextual format, which can help to facilitate linguistic progress and proficiency. This presentation seeks to showcase to educators some effective tips and tricks that can be used to get students thinking about language independently.
Isobel Hook presents "Raising Children in Bilingual Environments"
Much of a student’s linguistic exposure occurs prior to students entering formal educational, and language relationships are greatly influenced by what, how, when and with whom each language is used within the home. To better understand children’s linguistic identities, parents of young children living in bilingual households have been surveyed to explore their usage of different languages with and around their child. Regard is also given to the parents’ relationships to languages, as this can be seen to greatly differ how, in turn, their children will respond in later years. Reflection on parents’ personal experiences and their hopes for future bilingualism in their children provides insight into the current realities for young families in a globalising world. While much has been written on the globalisation of English and the ways in which English fluency may provide educational and professional opportunities, equal importance has also been given to the non-English influences on the children, in this case Japanese and Korean. Some families note abilities in other languages, such as Mandarin and Spanish, however this study focuses on the primary and secondary languages of each parent and how they overlap, are utilised by parents, and are adopted by children.
John Larson presents "How Do We Assess Communication?"
Assessment should ideally be objective and reflect the abilities of the individual without outside influence. Communication is necessarily a two-way process that involves at the minimum a producer and a receiver. How do we square this circle?
First, participants will be asked to reflect on the ways they assess communication, and if these are both fair and accurate. After sharing their ideas in groups, Saitama and Gunma members will discuss their experiences and methods to arrive at a consensus on best communication assessment practices.
As always, we would love for people to join us after these fantastic presentations from some drinks and refreshments at a local establishment nearby the venue. Please make time to join us if you are able!
We are very happy to have a presentation by Mr. Jason Demsteader and Kayvon Havaei-Ahary about how educators who are not entirely tech-savvy can survive in a teaching context where suddenly they are expected to use technology. Please find the full abstract for the presentation below:
Tech It from Us!
You don’t need tech in the classroom. What’s the problem? You’ve been motivating students for years. Chalk and talk, that’s all you need. Until you’re suddenly forced to work with a bunch of iPads, that is. Now what?
This happened to the presenters and it could happen to you, so come and future-proof yourself. Discover how choosing the right strategy can better prepare you for life with tech in the classroom. The presenters will share their experiences of getting started with Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) and explain how they adopted an approach based on UX design.
As always, we will be joining the presenters for some drinks and refreshments at a local establishment afterwards, so please feel free to join us if you have time after the event!
04/21: Mrs. Miori Shimada and Mr. Henry Foster present "Exploring Learner Psychology Through Narrative Inquiry"
For our April event, we are excited to have a presentation by Mr. Henry Foster and Saitama JALT's own Program Chair, Miori Shimada. Please find the full abstract for the presentation below:
Exploring Learner Psychology through Narrative Inquiry
This presentation and workshop will introduce a double case study conducted as part of a doctoral degree program this year by the presenters. The two participants were asked to write language learning histories and then were interviewed in semi-structured interviews which were transcribed and analyzed in an attempt to explore certain aspects of their L2 learner psychology.
Specifically, the presenters looked at the influence on the participants’ language learning experiences of individual difference factors such as fluctuations in motivation and possible selves over time, anxiety, and the influence of key persons and study abroad experiences.
The researchers will describe the process by which data was collected and analyzed and discuss the results, as well as the challenges and rewards involved in working with self-reported narrative data. Ideas and tips for collecting such data will be introduced, such as elicitation prompts for language learning histories, drawing motivational timelines, and a language-learning anxiety questionnaire. Attendees will be given the opportunity to try these instruments out for themselves, as well as to share other ideas or experiences they have in working with narrative inquiry.
As always, we will be joining the presenters for some drinks and refreshments at a local establishment afterwards, so please feel free to join us if you have time after the event!
For March, we are excited to have a seminar on a topic that many of our members may only have minimal knowledge on: Japanese American Studies. Please find the full abstract for the presentation below:
Japanese American Studies Seminar
The presentation will be divided into three segments. The speaker will first explain how his personal roots spurred him to develop self-awareness activities and other content for his students in the Japanese American Studies Seminar. The presenter will then demonstrate how content materials were introduced, some of which have been implemented in the university course. The final segment of the presentation will be collaborative in nature with group members discussing and exploring ways to incorporate lesson plans in their classes. Samples from his collection of materials will be provided.
As always, if you have time after the presentation, please plan to join us for some food and drinks at one of the local establishments nearby!
02/17: Gregory Price and Marcus Sakellarios present "Treatment of Foreign Words in Japanese EFL Studies" and "Social Awareness and Content-Based Curriculum"
We are pleased to have an exciting pair of presenters joining us this month to present on two topics that are very relevant within EFL education in Japan. Please find the full abstracts for both presentations below:
Treatment of Foreign Words in Japanese EFL Studies
This presentation will discuss the ways which negative language transfer can result from non-English loanwords in the Japanese language. The presenters will discuss an experiment which was conducted based on the hypothesis that some L1 interference may result from the use of katakana for such borrowed words. The results of the experiment and follow-up study will be examined at length. The presentation will include a discussion on how the history of Japanese loanwords have shaped the Japanese language and the perceptions of foreign languages in general.
During the presentation, a discussion will be had with the attendees regarding the notion that students may not be able to discern English loanwords from the non-English variety. Furthermore, groups will be expected to examine and talk about their own experiences in the Japanese education system.
Social Awareness and Content-Based Curriculum
This discussion focuses on using an English communication classroom environment with the dual purpose of conversation practice and creating interest in civic responsibility among Japanese university students. Students were given questionnaires about their interest in politics, government, economics, energy, and law. Many students admitted to having little interest, often because their understanding of the topics was limited.
The background for this talk and the workshop that presenters want to engage in with the attendees is based on a plan used in university classrooms that focused on current events in Japan and the world. The skills involved include reading, research, writing, speaking, and asking questions based on listening. The presenters will explain and model some of the methods used for the lessons and discuss their experiences with these techniques.
There are ethical concerns when dealing with political topics in any class. During the workshop, the presenters will discuss some of these and both elicit as well as provide advice for teachers who may wish to engage in this type of class work.
As always, we will stop off for some food and refreshments following the presentations, so please make time to join us if you can!
01/27: Brad Semans presents "Establishment of a Public Article 1 International Secondary School" and New Year Party (新年会)
On behalf of Saitama JALT, a very Happy New Year to everyone! We are pleased to be starting our 2019 presentation program off with a very unique session from Brad Semans on the process of establishing a public international school. Please find the full abstract for his presentation below. The presentation will be proceeded by an opening MyShare presentation by Saitama JALT's own Matt Shannon.
Establishment of a Public Article 1 International Secondary School
In April of 2019, Saitama Municipal Omiya International Secondary School will open its doors to the first cohort of 160 students. This session will be divided into three parts. In part one, the presenter will explore the nature and logistics of establishing a school. This part of the session will give attendees an exceedingly rare look into the process of establishing a public school. In part two, the presenter will describe the process of school establishment from the perspective of faculty. In this part of the session, attendees will be able to reflect on work culture in Japanese public schools and the nature of school change in relation to professional development. In part three of the session, the presenter will present detailed contents of the school’s make up. This will include specific educational and administrative practices that serve to make the school’s effective operation possible.
2019年4月、さいたま市立大宮国際中等教育学校は160名の生徒の第１期生へ門を開きます。 このセッションは3つの部分に分かれています。 第1部では、発表者は学校を設立する際の性質と物流を深まります。 この部分では、公立学校を設立する過程に出席者に非常にまれな見方が与えられます。 第2部では、発表者が教職員の視点から学校設立のプロセスを説明します。 ここでは、参加者は、日本の公立学校の職場文化や教員の指導力向上に関連した学校の変化の性質を反映することができます。 第3部では、発表者が学校の具体的な取り組みについて発表します。 これには、学校の効果的な運営を可能にするための具体的な教育的、および行政的な実践を含まれます。
Following the presentations, we have a reservation at Hana no Mai for a New Year Party (新年会). If you plan to attend, please let us know by sending an email to the following address:
We currently have a reservation for 10 people, but we are able to increase the number of reserved seats if we notify them early. Please contact us ASAP if you would like to attend. Looking forward to beginning another wonderful year with all of our members in Saitama JALT.
On behalf of Saitama JALT, it is with great pleasure that we bring our members a smorgasbord of presentations from members of the Critical Thinking SIG (Special Interest Group) within JALT. As the name of the SIG suggests, the group and its members are especially interested in critical thinking and how incorporating such into our classroom lessons affects students and helps them to grow. Below you fill find the abstracts for the three presentations to be held on the day.
Oliver Smith presents "Critical Thinking and L2 Interaction"
This presentation will explicate a method for explicitly teaching critical thinking to a 3rd year Japanese high school class on an English for Academic Purposes course. It includes an overview of the ‘Introduction to Critical Thinking Skills course and how it fits into the programʼs wider curriculum, an example of a unit, and some of the theoretical underpinnings of the method, which suggest focused group discussion tasks aid both content and linguistic understanding through interaction.
Christofer Bullsmith presents "Critical Thinking and Japanese University Students"
The first half of this brief talk will review what critical thinking is, why it's important and particularly challenging in the Japanese context, and why language classes have a role to play in improving it. The second half will report on the author's efforts to encourage critical thinking in an EFL class.
James Dunn presents "Critical Thinking in EFL: What, Why, and How"
This presentation examines the definition, need, and methodology of critical thinking in the EFL context. By examining the definitions of critical thinking, higher-order thinking skills, and the action verbs that we use in activities, educators go from examining the need of a class to designing critical thinking-based course material that develops thinking skills. Attendees will receive sample course materials from the authors and generate ideas on how to implement critical thinking in their courses.
Each presentation will be about 50 minutes each, so be sure to take plenty of notes! Following the presentations, we have a reservation at Hana no Mai for our annual Year-End Party (忘年会).If you plan to attend, please let us know by sending an email to the following address:
We currently have a reservation for 10 people, but we are able to increase the number of reserved seats if we notify them early. Please contact us ASAP if you would like to attend. Looking forward to closing out another wonderful year with all of our members in Saitama JALT, as well as with our distinguished guests!
10/28: Aleda Krause presents "Simple Activities to Help Engage Students" followed by the Saitama JALT Annual General Meeting (AGM)
*Please note that the starting time is 1-hour later than our usual 2 p.m. starting time
On behalf of Saitama JALT, it is our great pleasure to host the founder of Omiya JALT (present-day Saitama JALT), Aleda Krause, English teacher and trainer, and author of SuperKids, a 6-level EFL series for elementary-school children, SuperTots, a 3-level EFL series for kindergarteners, and the Longman Children’s Picture Dictionary. Details of her abstract are found below:
The best classes are almost always the simplest ones. Teachers are not stressed, students are confident and involved, and everyone knows what's happening and what they're supposed to do. Teachers need a set of successful activities that they can adapt to different classes in order to have these simple lessons. We will try out some simple activities to add to your English lessons with young learners, based on the chapters in the new MEXT textbooks for 3rd and 4th graders, Let's Try 1 and 2.
Following Aleda's presentation, we will hold our Annual General Meeting (AGM) where Saitama JALT officers will give their reports and officer elections for next year will be held. If you are interested in running for a position, please plan to attend the AGM. Anyone can run for any position with no experience necessary. Current officers are happy to help train newcomers on how to perform the duties of each position. We really need motivated individuals to help continue the momentum that Saitama JALT has been enjoying for the past few years. If you have any questions about positions or about running, please contact the Saitama JALT President at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have time, please plan to join us for refreshments after the AGM.
Balsamo Asian Scholar
Emiko Hirose Horton
Inggy Yuliani Pribady
Jerry Talandis Jr
Lee Ann Erickson
Lee Ann Genovese
Ma. Milagros C. Laurel
Mehran & Yuriko Sabet
Michael Todd Fouts
Patricia Daily Oe
Robert James Rowland
Sai No Kuni
STEP / EIKEN