2014 Events

December 12th (Fri):
The Way Forward: Translating the Pedagogical Principles of English as an International Language (EIL) into Classroom Practice
Dr. Gregory Paul Glasgow, Meikai University, General Center for Education

The notion of how to effectively teach English to speakers of other languages is being increasingly reconceptualized in an increasingly multilingual and globalized twenty-first century. Findings in English sociolinguistics and World Englishes (Kachru, 1985) have also led researchers to question traditional assumptions in English Language Teaching (ELT) privileging target models of the native speaker, monolingual language practices, and teaching methodologies and materials incompatible with local contexts (McKay, 2003). These assumptions also include the ideology of native speakerism (Holliday, 2006; Houghton & Rivers, 2013), viewed as a potential threat to ensuring that ELT is taught in a locally sensitive, egalitarian and contextually relevant manner. In this presentation, traditional ELT is contrasted with the pedagogy of English as an International Language (EIL) a viable alternative to teach English in today’s increasingly globalized society. These advances notwithstanding, there is still wide uncertainty among educational stakeholders as to how to translate principles of EIL pedagogy (Matsuda, 2012; McKay & Bokhorst-Heng, 2008; Renandya, 2012) into everyday classroom practices (Marlina, 2014).

This presentation clarified any misconceptions about the pedagogy of EIL and to demonstrate how EIL principles can be gradually incorporated into pedagogical practice through curriculum planning, classroom medium of instruction, and materials development. The presenter drew from his experiences as a curriculum coordinator, lecturer and instructor in upper secondary and tertiary education. The presentation combined opportunities for participants to engage in reflection and discussion. The overall goal of the presentation was to provide participants with a sounder conceptualization of the pedagogical principles of EIL and incorporate them in ways that are effective and compatible with their local teaching contexts.

Dr Gregory Paul Glasgow has completed his PhD research in Applied Linguistics at the University of Queensland, Australia’s School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies.

November 26th (Wed):
The Role of Extensive Reading (ER) in Developing Global Awareness
Professor Alan Maley

This presentation began by rehearsing what ER is according my understanding. We discussed some of its undoubted benefits. Professor Maley suggests that, alongside its purely language learning benefits, ER can also be a valuable resource for developing ‘Life Skills and Critical Thinking’.

Increasing awareness is growing that as language teachers we need to be more than passive technicians for delivering a package. In Kumaravadivelu’s terminology, we need to become ‘transformative intellectuals’. That is to say, as educators, we have a responsibility for raising our students’ awareness of the world they live in.
Material was drawn from currently available graded readers. Participants engaged in discussion of these issues.

Professor Alan Maley has been involved in English Language Teaching (ELT) for over 50 years. He worked for the British Council in Yugoslavia, Ghana, Italy, France, China and India. For 5 years he was Director of the Bell Educational Trust in Cambridge. He worked in universities in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia as well as in his native country, UK. For 25 years Alan was Series Editor for the OUP Resource Books for Teachers series. He has published over 40 books and numerous articles.

November 19th (Wed): The Future of English Language Teaching: International Perspectives
Dr John Hope, Associate Dean International, 
University of Auckland, New Zealand

The English language teaching world is changing in ways never previously envisaged. As English rapidly becomes ubiquitous across Europe and increasingly, across Asia, more countries offer programmes taught in English and more countries adopt English as a mode of instruction in schools. English instruction begins earlier and earlier in school systems, reducing demand for introductory English courses at secondary and tertiary level.
A number of other driving forces are combining in unique ways to change the demand for English language instruction. The Generation Y students entering higher education are different to previous generations and no longer want traditional senior secondary and higher education programmes. The increasingly widespread offerings of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) are beginning to address the demand for English language tuition.
What does all this mean for Japan? This forum began with a resume of international trends, followed by interactive discussion of the implications for Japan.

November 1st (Sat): "Song and Story" (lecture/concert)

Bill Harley, JALT2014 International Conference Plenary Speaker

The Teaching Power of Stories
A teacher is someone who gives stories to others so they can make their own.  Regardless of the subject taught, story is central to how people make sense of the world and build a community with others. In this workshop, participants will look at how stories work in people's lives, what stories define their own lives, and how to use story in an educational setting. Teachers will leave with new ideas for using story in the classroom and a deeper understanding of their work as teachers. 

Storytelling From the Beginning
In the beginning, is the story - we can add movement, voices, props, puppets, or fireworks but none are as important as the telling of the story.  This workshop offers basic advice and practice in the telling of stories, with an emphasis on telling stories in your own way, appropriate to your own setting.  In a whirlwind tour of the many aspects of storytelling, Bill will give insights on using personal stories, the effect and functions of storytelling in the classroom, storytelling games you can use in your class, and will offer lots of encouragement.  And of course, there will be a few good stories to pass on.  

Song and Story - A Natural Combination
Song and story go hand in hand - one starts where the other stops.  Yet many of us are afraid to use our voices or the music that's in us in our storytelling.  In this workshop you will explore the connection between song and story, do some simple exercises, and gain practical suggestions on how to use music in your storytelling. 

About the speaker:
Bill Harley is the JALT2014 International Conference Plenary Speaker. He is a two-time Grammy-award winning musician, storyteller, and author.  Please see http://billharley.com/ for more information.

Sept 14 (Sun): Pragmatics for Language Teachers

Jerry Talandis Jr., University of Toyama; Kimiko Koseki, Futaba Junior Senior High School & Donna Fujimoto, Osaka Jogakuin University

This was a three-part workshop covering both practice and research in the area of Pragmatics.

Part 1. This general introduction to Pragmatics began with a useful and usable lay person's definition of pragmatics. This was followed by activities that have been successfully used with university students enabling them to understand the concepts. In order for teachers to focus on what type of pragmatics to teach, “Three Golden Rules” of conversational strategies for students were explained. After the introduction of the concepts of pragmatics, it is important to provide constant review and practice. Ideas for embedding pragmatic principles into an EFL curriculum were shared. The presenter also spoke about how pragmatics is treated in conversation textbooks and recommended useful resources.

Part 2. Teaching pragmatics is also important at the high school level. The tendency in many schools is to focus on grammatical accuracy, yet pragmatic failures may be much more problematic. Teachers and students should be made aware of the importance of pragmatics in communication because it is, in fact, possible to offend others without even knowing it! In this session the presenter shared lessons and materials based on speech acts, such as compliments, refusals, apologies and requests. Actual student performances and pragmatic problems were shared. There was also a focus on pragmatic challenges for Japanese students and a treatment of some sensitive areas in the teaching of pragmatics.

Part 3. There are many ways to do research on Pragmatics, but perhaps the most effective methodological framework is Converastion Analysis (CA). This is a rigorous and highly detailed analysis of people's interaction, both in and out of the classroom. This session began with a general introduction to CA and then explained the difference between CA, discourse analysis, and other methodologies.  Converation Analysis has uncovered many interactional practices that are important for both students and teachers to be aware of. Many examples of interactional exchanges which lead to pragmatic failure (or success) were given.

Sept 1 (Mon): Global Englishes

Dr. Nicola Galloway, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Galloway talked about the growing importance of Global Englishes (GE) as a research paradigm that has important ramifications for English Language Teaching (ELT). Recent years have seen an increased interest in the
pedagogic implications of the spread of English. There is a growing literature on the topic and several proposals have also been put forward for a change in ELT (cf. Galloway and Rose, 2015).
However, as 
Saraceni (2009, p. 177) notes, “the volume of such academic attention does not seem to have had a tangible impact on actual classroom reality”. Despite the increasing emphasis being placed on the pedagogical implications at the theoretical level, ELT remains largely unchanged, proposals for change have also met severe criticism, and there is a lack of research at the practical level.  

This presentation examined Global Englishes Language Teaching (GELT), which represents a move away from a focus on native English speaking norms, and a move to a more ELF-oriented view, in-depth.  In this new approach the Native English Speaker (NES) and the Non-native English Speaker (NNES) are placed on equal footing and the aim is to emancipate the NNES from the norms of a minority group of English users. ELF research shows that successful communication is not achieved through adherence to outdated native speaker norms and a discourse favourable to GE needs to replace the NES episteme. However, a number of barriers to implementing change exist, including an attachment to ‘standard’ English, the prevalence of standardised language tests and the continued recruitment of NESTs. This presentation introduced examples from the Japanese context that showcase how GE can be incorporated into the curriculum in different ways (Galloway, 2011; Galloway and Rose, 2013; Galloway and Rose, 2015), although it is recognized that breaking away from the epistemic dependency of NE and the NES, may not be such an easy task.

July 10 (Thu): Reading and Responding to Student Writing
Paul Kei Matsuda, Arizona State University

This workshop explored the principles and practices of
reading and responding to student writing by responding to an actual student writing. After an overview of different types of responses that teachers might provide, participants practiced providing feedback, shared their
responses, and reflected not only on how to respond but why.

une 19 (Thur): Blended Benefits - From Computer to Classroom to Cannelloni
Don Maybin, Shonan Institute of Technology

Don described his ongoing research into development of communication skills with absolute beginners using an accelerated experimental curriculum which combines integrated online and classroom components. After approximately 15-20 hours of study, participants are flown overseas for pair and solo testing to confirm how well they can communicate and complete a range of tasks. This presentation was of particular relevance to instructors interested in integrating CALL and classroom training, developing listening and speaking skills with low level learners, preparing task-based materials and authentic testing.

June 4th (Wed):
Expatriate ELT Faculty Members’ Experiences with Entrance Examination Construction: Beliefs, Assumptions, and Recommendations for Change
Dr. Melodie Cook
University of Niigata Perfecture
Melodie highlighted results of a Japan-wide research project on expatriate ELT faculty member involvement in the entrance examination construction process. She focused particularly on three questions: 1) What do expatriate ELT faculty believe about entrance examinations and university entrance? 2) Why do they hold those beliefs?  3) How can entrance examinations be changed for the better?

May 19th (Mon): Learning and Teaching Language from a Sociocognitive Viewpoint

Dwight Atkinson, Purdue University (Indiana, USA)

In this riveting presentation, Dr. Atkinson presented an alternative view of cognition and second language learning--as designed for and intimately
tuned to social action. He guided attendees through a clear explanation, that like all nervous systems, the human nervous system is designed to enable us to adapt to our complex and ever-changing
environments. For humans more than many other animals, this notably includes adapting to our 
conspecific--i.e., human--environments. That is, our existence-ensuring action-in-the-world is largely social action. This inter + action is thus what language is for, from a sociocognitive viewpoint, and therefore why--and how--we acquire it. This theoretical viewpoint was illustrated brilliantly with video data, and possible implications for pedagogy were explored as well.

May 5th (Mon): Exploring Critical Thinking Through Students' Reflective Papers on a CLIL Cultural Studies Course

Chantal Hemmi, EdD TEFL, Sophia University 

CLIL pedagogies are
becoming increasingly popular, and Dr. Hemmi's talk provided brilliant insight on how CLIL can be used effectively in language teaching. Dr. Hemmi talked about an on-going interpretive study examining students’ critical thinking skills developed during a Cultural Studies course which used a CLIL approach at the English Literature Department of Sophia University in Tokyo.

April 21st (Mon):
The Likely Rise of Japanese Transnational English Language Teaching Programmes
John Hope, Auckland University 

In this highly informative presentation, Dr. Hope talked with attendees about the globalization movement associated with economic affairs having a major influence on education. Usually termed the internationalization of education, schools and universities around the world are developing policies to encourage international student movement. Recent developments in Japan mirror those happening elsewhere in the world.

March 15th (Sat): 2nd annual Reacting to the Past workshop at Sophia University
Mathew Thompson & Jim McKinley, Sophia University

“Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) was an exciting
educational workshop featuring an approach that uses content to get students to engage in debates, research and prepare papers and speeches, in a way that allows students to develop invaluable critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork skills. These integrative games are currently in use at universities in Japan. The two games run in this one-day workshop were "Legacy of the 47 Ronin" and "The Threshold of Democracy, Athens in 403 B.C." Participants were assigned a role in which to engage in one of the games. Role sheets and readings were sent to participants before the workshop in order to prepare. Overall it was a great success and brilliant learning experience. 

February 24th (Mon): The Future of Extensive Reading

Rob Waring, Notre Dame Seishin University

In this well-attended and compelling talk, Dr. Waring reviewed what

Extensive Reading (ER) is and why it's an essential part of any language program. He discussed how ER is currently being implemented and its effectiveness. Finally, the future for ER was discussed to see how the online revolution is helping shape the future of Extensive Reading and Listening. Some sites for teachers to assess were also previewed. To get the slides from this presentation visit Rob Waring's website:


January 27th: Comparison between JSL and EFL classroom discourse

Sayoko Yamashita, Meikai University

In this special JSL SIG-Tokyo chapter co-sponsored lecture, Prof. Yamashita compared discourse of each classrooms in terms of teacher student interaction, particularly in the light of Brown and Levinson's politeness theory (1987). After a general review of the literature on classroom discourse and the notion of “face” in the theory, similarities and differences in the two classroom types were discussed. Participants had the opportunity to discuss implications and contributions of the study.

January 23rd:
 Working with word lists for language learning and teaching: Challenges and opportunities
Averil Coxhead, Victoria University of Wellington

This well-attended, high-energy talk focused on word lists for language learning and teaching, using the Academic Word List (AWL) (Coxhead, 2000) as a springboard for discussion. Dr. Coxhead looked at the purpose of word lists such as the AWL and some of the challenges teachers and learners might face when using word lists for language learning.   She also considered ways to evaluate word lists for language learning and teaching, and investigated on-line tools and other resources that are available for working with word lists and discuss principles, such as Nation’s (2007) Four Strands, to think about when using word lists for curriculum and materials design, testing, and vocabulary exercises for language classrooms.