Striving towards our full potential: The Junior/Senior High SIG

Jake Arnold, Treasurer


2011 started off well for the Junior/Senior High SIG with membership regaining its three-figure level for the first time in several years. It’s great to know that all the hard work by the members of the group has paid off with an increasing membership, though admittedly still at only 0.001% of its possible size!! Long may the SIG continue to work to meet the needs of its 80,000 potential members!

A measure of that increased size was the full house at last November’s National Conference Forum. At least 40 people packed in to hear presentations by five junior and senior high school teachers on subjects ranging from the role of Native English Teachers (NET’s) in the Aichi area to triangle debates, to teaching grammar in a communicative way, to a teacher development program in Nagoya, to the use of juggling balls for maintaining conversation! It was great to learn about such a variety of different projects and new ideas being tried out in the world of junior and senior high school teaching.

Our National Conference table also saw its fair share of visitors, who dropped by to have a chat about our group, ask questions, or to have a look at our newsletter. Our table centerpiece, the “Think outside the box” box, was the recipient of many a comment. It was not only a brightly-coloured 3D work of educational art, but also provided an insight into the beliefs and opinions of those connected to secondary education.

The SIG is planning to be active at conferences and workshops throughout the year. Last year every member of the executive presented somewhere, so we have a lot to live up to this year! So far, the SIG has an event on February 13 at Omiya JALT where Marcos Benevides and I will present on task-based learning. We will also be represented at the PAN SIG conference in Matsumoto on May 21-22, so come over and say hello at our table there.

Our biggest project for the year will be our first JSH SIG Workshop which we plan to hold on a (as yet undecided) Sunday in June at Hosei Daini High School, between Yokohama and Tokyo. Primarily it is the kick-off workshop for a sustainable junior/senior high school teacher development group, which we hope to set up in the Kanto region. The group will meet at regular intervals and provide a means for junior/senior high school teachers to grow as teachers and thereby improve English education as a whole. Both these regular meetings and the June workshop will be a combination of lectures on basic teaching theory and presentations from teachers who are trying new things in the classroom and who can give, or who need, help. At the same time we hope to provide opportunities for teachers to meet others in the same field who are interested in development.

We are now preparing the first 2011 issue of the SIG publication, The School House, and are always happy to receive any submissions and then work with writers to provide feedback and help them improve their articles. So if you are out there with something you want to say, in Japanese or in English, then please write it down and send it to the new editor, Robert Morel, at <>.

For our SIG, it’s looking like another big year of presenting, organizing events, and publishing, with the goal of informing junior and senior high school teachers that we are here and working to help them. It’s looking like another year of striving towards our full potential. Please, join us.

皆さま、はじめまして。JALT中高SIGのプログラムチェアーをしております小河と申します。中高の先生方は日本人が多く、また、ALTとの連携のご経験も豊富です。皆様が、普段考えていらっしゃることを率直に交流できる場としてSIGをご活用下さい。会誌への投稿は、日本語でも受け付けております。どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。(小河園子 Jr./Sr. High SIGプログラムチェアー<>)

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