SIG News - May 2013

 

Pan-SIG2013

The PanSIG2013 Conference is coming up soon - May 18 – 19!  Plan to come as it promises to be an interesting and informative gathering of most of the SIGs in JALT. This year’s conference theme is: From Many, One: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Community. The structure of the conference will reflect the theme as related SIGs have formed partnerships and will explore overlapping areas of research and pedagogy. Judith Hanks from the University of Leeds and Robert Croker from Nanzan University will be the plenary speakers. For more information on them, see <pansig.org/2013/JALTPanSIG2013/Plenary_Speakers.html>. Come, collaborate, cooperate, and join our community! 

JALT’s newest SIG

TLT and the SIG News column would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest forming SIG in JALT, School Owners. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors! Please read the information below from SIG coordinator Matt Reynolds to learn more or join this group, or read the Showcase column earlier in this issue of TLT.
School Owners

Please consider signing up for our newsletter! The sign-up form to SO SIG’s free quarterly newsletter is now active on the SO SIG website <schoolowners.net>. To subscribe, visit the site and enter your email address. Subscribers receive articles, freebies, and news on upcoming SO SIG events.

SO SIG at PANSIG 2013

We are delighted to announce 2 events as part of the upcoming PanSIG 2013:
1. Come meet the SO SIG!
To attract new members and discuss upcoming opportunities, SO will be hosting a 60-minute open door session as part of the conference proceedings. We have 10 SIG memberships to give away and visitors will receive free gifts c/o Cambridge English Language Assessment. If you are an owner, please bring promotional school literature for our “pamphlets clinic.”
2. School Owners, Business English & CALL joint panel: “Cloud computing: Merits and demerits”
Partnering with CALL & BE we will be discussing which cloud apps are or are not a good fit for language teachers, business English professionals, and school owners.
More information about both of these events can be found on the <schoolowners.net> website.

Bilingualism

 

B-SIG provides support to families who are bringing up children in two or more languages in Japanese contexts. Our newsletter, Bilingual Japan, includes practical information about bilingual parenting, as well as academic and theoretical issues. To request a free inspection copy of our newsletter, email <york@notredame.ac.jp>. Further information can be found at <bsig.org>.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at the PanSIG conference in May.

Business English

The JALT Business English SIG is intended to develop the discipline of teaching English conducive to participation in the world business community. We wish to provide instructors in this field with a means of collaborating and sharing best teaching practices.
JALT Business English SIG は、世界のビジネス界に通用する英語教育の発展を目的に持ち、結成されました。連携体制を組み、最善の教育方法を共有することにより、英語教育に携わるインストラクターの皆様のお手伝いを致します。

College and University Educators

 

The College and University Educators (CUE) Special Interest Group aims to engage in activities for those interested in the development of language education in Japanese colleges and universities. CUE SIG celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, so we plan to make this a big year! We are planning lots of regional events including: a CUE/JALT Hokkaido Event with Paul Nation, CUE at the PanSIG Conference, a CUE/Vocabulary SIG – Vocabulary Symposium 2013, the CUE/JAIST ESP Symposium, a CUE Technology Workshop, and a CUE/JALT Okinawa Qualitative Research Workshop. For more information about these events, please see our website <jaltcue-sig.org>.
The next big event is the PanSIG Conference at Nanzan University, Nagoya. CUE is collaborating with the Professionalism, Administration, and Leadership in Education (PALE) SIG and Gender Awareness in Language Education (GALE) SIG for this event. In our joint forum, CUE, PALE and GALE SIGs will address multiple issues that shape the identities and experiences of teachers in Japan. Diane Nagatomo (GALE) will discuss gender issues that affect the professional identity of Japanese and non-Japanese female university teachers, and suggest several concrete measures that could narrow the professional gap between male and female university English teachers in Japanese academia. Robert Aspinall (PALE) will address institutional and cultural obstacles that conspire to prevent Japanese and foreign professionals from doing their job to the fullest, and discusses the resulting failure in implementing the desired communicative language teaching in Japanese schools and universities. Lastly, Richard Miller (CUE) discusses the changes that are occurring in the overall employment situation for teachers in colleges and universities, noting a shift in required qualifications and a move towards more professionalism and accountability within Japanese institutions. This promises to be both enjoyable and enlightening, so do come along!
To find out more about the CUE SIG, visit us online at <jaltcue-sig.org>. There you can find out about forthcoming events and read copies of our biannual peer-reviewed OnCUE Journal. OnCUE welcomes submissions all year round. Stay connected with other CUE members by joining our Facebook group, and by joining our Yahoo group at: <groups.yahoo.com/group/JALTCUESIGmembers>. If you would like to become more actively involved, there are many ways to contribute which will help you to further your own professional development while also helping others. There are many ways in which you can assist, from helping to locate or set up conferences, staffing the CUE table at JALT national meetings or CUE regional meetings, or just contributing your own ideas regarding what CUE can do for college and university language teachers. Contact us here: <jaltcue-sig.org/officers> for further information. To join up: <jalt.org/main/membership>. We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you soon!

Computer Assisted Language Learning

For 20 years, the JALT CALL SIG has been connecting teachers to tackle the challenge of using technology in the classroom together. Through conferences and publications, the SIG supports teachers and researchers that are interested in using computers and technology.

Our main event, the JALTCALL 2013 Conference and 6th Annual ER Seminar is right around the corner. This year, the JALT CALL SIG is celebrating its 20th anniversary conference and in doing so, is joining with the ER SIG to make this year extra special. The two SIGs will be showcasing the “Best Practices” of their respective areas - bringing together best ideas and proven techniques from myriad presenters. The conference will be held at Shinshu University on May 31 – June 2, 2013, in scenic Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. A variety of interesting presentations are on tap for the weekend as the JALTCALL Conference continues to be one of the annual highlights in Asian CALL Conferences.
The JALTCALL Keynote Speaker, Dorothy Chun, will present, “Fad or fundamental? Keeping up with CALL technology.” Dr. Chun is a Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Besides CALL, her research areas include: L2 phonology and intonation, L2 reading and vocabulary acquisition, and tele-collaboration. Her speech will explore how we can best keep abreast of the constantly changing field of CALL technology.
The ER Seminar Plenary speakers are expected to be: Kunihide Sakai, author of Misuteri De Hajimeru Eigo Hyakumango: Ninki Jidōsho Kara Honkakuha Pēpābakku Made, and Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer. For more information about the ER Seminar speakers, check out <www.ersig.org/drupal-ersig/6th-er-seminar>.
This year we are delighted to have the support of several commercial sponsors. By attending commercially sponsored presentations and visiting commercial displays, conference attendees will be able to learn about the latest in educational materials and resources. This year our platinum sponsor is Oxford University Press with Lexxica sponsoring our networking reception. Other sponsors include McGraw-Hill Education, MacMillian, Language Cloud, Oliver Rose, E-Learning Service, Book Smart, Language Center - Harvard University, and DynEd.
All conference attendees are invited to attend the networking reception on Saturday evening. This year’s reception is planned for the majestic Matsumoto Castle grounds (weather permitting). It’s sure to be the event everyone will be raving about throughout the summer. The networking reception provides an excellent opportunity to meet up with old friends, make new ones, and enjoy lively discussions. Admission to the reception is complimentary for attendees who have pre-registered, however, a limited number of tickets will be on sale at the event. We’ll see you all in Matsumoto!
JALTCALL 2013 & ER Seminar registration is at <account.jaltcall.org>. Note: A new system starting this year requires you to create an account on the JALT CALL site to submit proposals and register for the conference. This process will allow users to maintain their registration information from year to year. For more information, please visit the CALL SIG or ER SIG websites. You can also stay informed of SIG news by following <@jaltcall>, the SIG’s official Twitter feed.
In addition to the conference, JALT CALL SIG is also involved with publishing members’ research. For almost a decade, the CALL SIG has been fortunate to have Glenn Stockwell at the helm of the JALTCALL Journal. Over the years, he has built the Journal into an internationally recognized publication with Associate Editors on three continents, and a stellar group of researchers on the Review Board. The Journal is always open to well written, research-oriented work, which is published both in paper and on the web. Archives of the JALTCALL Journal are available at <journal.jaltcall.org/jcjarchives.html>.
As a complement to the Journal, and a development of the JALT CALL community, the CALL SIG will announce sponsorship and the launch of a new publication, Digital Mobile Language Learning, or DMLL, at the annual conference in June. We are working hard on building access to practical ideas and opinions in multiple areas with a blog, a quarterly magazine and eventually, a repository of papers. Catch a sneak preview at <dmll.jaltcall.org>.

Critical Thinking

 

On February 16th, David Gann presented at the First International Academic Writing and Critical Thinking Symposium at Nagoya University. His presentation, “A Four-Stage Blended Approach for Scaffolding Basic Argumentative Competence” discussed explicit instruction of critical thinking as a skill set aimed at developing students’ understanding of academic writing through in-class face-to-face guided discussions and both in-class and out-of-class online learning. He also gave a presentation titled “A Few Considerations on Critical Thinking Instruction” on March 10 at the First Gunma-Omiya My Share Collaboration. That presentation was aimed at raising awareness of three issues: What is critical thinking? What is critical thinking instruction? And what is critical thinking instruction in a language learning context?
We are ALWAYS looking for new input from teachers interested in critical thinking themes! We invite your ideas about the theory and teaching practices related to critical thinking. Whether it’s a classroom idea, a reflection, or a full research paper, we want to hear from you! Please consider writing for a future issue of CT Scan. Full research articles: 1,500-3,000 words, detailing your research related to critical thinking in language education. Articles that connect theory to classroom practice are encouraged. Classroom reflections: 500-2,000 words, detailing classroom activities that have been used to teach or encourage critical thinking among language learners. Commentaries: 500-2,000 words, detailing personal observations meant to create discussion within our membership with regards to critical thinking in language education. All submissions are welcome at <ctscan.editor@gmail.com>. For more information, visit us at <jaltcriticalthinking.org>. We recommend following JALT Journal style guidelines for your submission. Please refer to <jalt-publications.org/downloads/jaltstyle.pdf> for guidance.

Extensive Reading

The ER SIG aims to keep you informed about extensive reading. Whether you are new to ER or an old hand, please avail yourself of our resources. One way is our online presence. Check out our website at <ersig.org/drupal-ersig>. Here you can find news from the ER SIG, past issues of the ERJ, links to useful resources and publishers, event information, and more. Please visit the site if you haven’t already. Friend us on Facebook. Look for JALT ER SIG or use the link on our website. Follow us on Twitter <@ERsigJALT>. Another way is our publications. Become a member of the SIG to receive the paper version of Extensive Reading in Japan in your post and periodic electronic newsletters in your inbox. Also, anyone can access the new online research journal, Journal of Extensive Reading. For information on joining us or accessing these publications, go to the website.

This year we are happy to announce that in cooperation with the JALT CALL SIG we will be holding a joint event encompassing both JALTCALL 2013 and the 6th Annual ER Seminar to be held May 31 to June 2 at Shinshu University, Matsumoto. In keeping with tradition, ER presentations and plenary sessions will be concentrated on Sunday. We expect to have Kunihide Sakai, author of Misuteri De Hajimeru Eigo Hyakumango: Ninki Jidōsho Kara Honkakuha Pēpābakku Made and Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisperer, as our plenary speakers. We think this event will be a great opportunity to enjoy the energy of two conferences at once and find out more about how extensive reading and educational technology can be synergistic. We hope you’ll join us for this exciting and unique event.
Other upcoming ER Events:
PanSIG 2013, May 18-19 at Nanzan University, Nagoya—Please join us at our joint forum with the THT SIG, TED SIGs and many other ER presentations. Go to the PanSIG 2013 website for complete details: <pansig.org/2013/JALTPanSIG2013/Welcome.html>
Second World Congress of Extensive Reading, September 13-15 at Yonsei University, Seoul—A conference following on from the First World Congress which was co-sponsored by the ER SIG. See the conference website for complete details: <er-korea-2013.org>
Also, please note, the ER SIG Annual General Meeting minutes, including the elected officers for 2013, are available as a PDF on the website at <ersig.org/drupal-ersig/reports>.

Framework & Language Portfolio

 

Please participate! FLP needs YOU to help research about textbooks! The FLP SIG is undertaking a Kaken-Project about creating CEFR-informed textbooks. One step is collecting and analysing the opinions and experiences of language teachers with textbooks. For this we created an online survey, which can be found at: <de.surveymonkey.com/s/TLT-Texts>. The survey will only take around 10 minutes to complete. Of course the survey is absolutely anonymous. More information about the survey and about the project can also be found at: <tinyurl.com/FLPKaken>. We feel that teaching books are a very important issue for every language teacher and we would like to invite you all to participate in the survey. 

Gender Awareness in Language Education

GALE is honored to be a part of the next PanSIG Conference, “From Many, One: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Community.”  Several of our members will be presenting, and a joint forum will also be held by GALE, PALE, and CUE at the conference. GALE also plans to have a general meeting and a dinner at PanSIG, so get in touch at <coordinator@gale-sig.org> if you’d like to attend the dinner.

Global Issues in Language Education

 

GILE aims to promote global awareness, international understanding, and action to solve world problems through content-based language teaching, drawing primarily from the fields of global education, peace education, environmental education, and human rights education. The SIG produces a quarterly newsletter, organizes presentations for local, national, and international conferences, and maintains contacts with groups ranging from Amnesty International to Educators for Social Responsibility to UNESCO. Contact us for a sample newsletter or for more information about the SIG’s work in “teaching for a better world.” visit <gilesig.org>, our Facebook page, or contact Kip Cates <kcates@rstu.jp>.

Japanese as a Second Language

論文・記事大募集:JALT日本語教育学会では日本語教育論集の発行を計画しています。研究報告、学会発表報告論文、日本語教授・学習法に関する論文、ブック・レビューなど募集。日本語研究者、指導者、学習者の皆様応募お願いします。詳細は、Megumi Kawate-Mierzejewska <megumik@temple.edu>まで。

*Call for Papers: JALT Journal of Japanese Language Education. Japanese as a second language researchers, teachers, and learners are invited to contribute articles, research reports, essays, and reviews. Please visit our website: <jalt.org/jsl>.

Junior and Senior High School

 

Please visit our website for more information <www.juniorseniorhighsig.org/wordpress>.

Learner Development

学習者ディベロプメント研究部会(LD SIG)はオートノミーのある学習とティーチングを発展させるための実践を探求・研究することに関心のある者約200 名が世界中から集まって組織する、活発でフレンドリー、そして成長し続ける研究部会です。私たちは、多様な教育現場でご活躍の皆さんの参加を歓迎していま す。小学校、中学校、高校、通信教育、語学学校、大学で指導されている皆様、そして英語以外の言語を教えている教師の皆様も、どうぞご参加ください <ld-sig.org>。

今年のPan-SIG Conferenceではグローバル問題研究部会や語用論研究部会と“The World, the Language Learner, and Relationships”をテーマとしたフォーラムを共催し、活発な意見交換の場を提供いたします。また6月1~2日に松本で開催予定の JALTCALL Conferenceでは“Best Practices for Autonomous Learning in CALL Environments”と題したフォーラムを主催いたします。詳しく <conference2013.jaltcall.org>をご覧ください。
さらに今 年の11月23~24日には東京の学習院大学において、Exploring Learner Development: Practices, Pedagogies, Puzzles and Researchという2日間の学会を主催します。この特別なLD SIG20周年記念大会は生徒、教師、研究者、NGOがあらゆる形の(言語)教育における学習者ディベロプメントおよび学習者オートノミーについての様々 な課題に共に取り組み、探究する場となる予定です。ぜひご参加ください。発表の応募受付期間は 2013年3月15日~5月31日です。詳しい情報については、<ldsigconference2013.org >をご覧ください。
本年度のJALT2013全国大会(10月)及びLD SIG20周年記念大会(11月)への参加助成金の応募締め切りは6月20日となっております。この助成金は発表者ではなくても応募することができます。 ご応募お待ちしております。詳しくは<ld-sig.org/grants2013>をご覧ください。
The Learner Development SIG is a lively, friendly, and growing network with around 200 members who have an interest in exploring and researching practices that help develop autonomous learning and teaching. We welcome the participation of teachers from diverse teaching contexts, including elementary school, junior high school, senior high school, distance learning, language school, university settings, and teachers teaching languages other than English <ld-sig.org>.
At this year’s PanSIG Conference in Nagoya, the LD SIG will participate in a lively collaborative forum along with the Global Issues SIG and the Pragmatics SIG. The theme of this collaborative forum is “The World, the Language Learner, and Relationships.” The LD SIG will also be hosting a forum on “Best Practices for Autonomous Learning in CALL Environments” at this year’s JALTCALL Conference in Matsumoto, June 1-2. Please see the conference web site <conference2013.jaltcall.org> for more information.
Later this year, November 23-24, the SIG will be hosting a two day conference, Exploring Learner Development: Practices, Pedagogies, Puzzles and Research, at Gakushuin University, Tokyo. Please join us for this special 20th anniversary event in which students, teachers, researchers and NGOs will explore together a wide and challenging range of issues to do with learner development and learner autonomy in formal and non-formal (language) education. The Call for Proposals is March 15-May 31, 2013. More information: <ldsigconference2013.org >
The deadline for the SIG grants to attend JALT2013 National Conference in October and the LD-SIG 20th Anniversary Conference in Tokyo in November is on June 20th. You do not have to be presenters to apply for these grants. For more details and requirements, please visit our grant webpage: <ld-sig.org/grants2013>.

Lifelong Language Learning

 

With the aging of Japan’s population, it is now widely accepted that engagement in learning, including language learning, enables an active and healthy life. Therefore, a national organization is needed to distribute resources and information for those teaching languages to adult learners, and those nurturing students who will one day be adults who will have a lifelong perspective on language learning. We are that organization. The importance that JALT places on lifelong learning is reflected in the theme of this year’s Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning & Educational Materials Exhibition: Learning is a Lifelong Voyage. 
The LLL SIG invites those teaching languages to young, middle-aged, and older adults to share information through our website <jalt.org/lifelong/index.html>, newsletter, at various SIG conferences and events (including the PanSIG), and at the JALT National Conference, where an annual LLL SIG forum is held.
The theme of this year’s JALT PanSIG 2013 Conference is “From Many, One: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Community.” It is sure to be a lively, fun, and worthwhile event. The call for papers has ended and the announcement of successful applicants has already been sent out. However, there is still time to register for the conference and we hope that you will be an active participant. Past PanSIG conferences have proven to be high-energy occasions for teachers to network and share their knowledge and expertise.
The LLL SIG will have a table at the PanSIG Conference and will hold a forum, in cooperation with the OLE SIG and JSL SIG, entitled “Learning Languages at All Stages and Ages.” As part of that forum, Rudolf Reinelt (representing OLE SIG) will give a case study that shows how a very old learner of German came to enjoy success in a language skill that had not been emphasized by his Nazi-prone, grammar-emphasizing German native speaker teachers many years ago. Don Maybin (representing the LLL SIG) will describe his own experiences learning languages, starting with secondary school French in Canada, which was taught similarly to the way English is being taught at Japanese high schools. He will show how selected learning experiences influenced his teaching, particularly with immigrants to Canada, and how it came to inform the blended learning courses he was to develop in his prime.
In addition to the LLL co-sponsored forum at the PanSIG, we will also have individual presenters representing us, giving presentations on the following topics: Enriching study abroad programs, Blended benefits: Computer to classroom to Cambodia, English Rakugo and English teaching, Enriching study abroad programs, and Older students as both teachers and learners.
Our Facebook page can be accessed at <www.facebook.com/jaltLLL>. As of this writing, we have nearly 150 likes and we always welcome more. If you “like” us, you will not only be able to find out about our SIG’s events, but you can also get tips about lifelong language learning and teaching, as well as discover opportunities and events in the community that stretch your capabilities and broaden your horizons, including volunteering.
In the past few years, we have received few submissions from our members for participation in the PanSIG Conference, the JALT National annual LLL SIG forum, or our mini-Conferences. These are great opportunities for you to share the wealth and let others bathe in the brilliance of your experience and knowledge. We welcome you to be part of the programs that are vetted by our SIG’s officers through an allocation of forum slots which our SIG is offered at the national and Pan-SIG conferences. This year we would love to have more presentations coming from the grassroots. “Don’t be shy; give it a try!” is our motto.

Literature in Language Learning

The Literature in Language Teaching SIG was created in 2011. Our diverse membership engages with literature through film, drama, creative writing, poetry, the short story, classic literature, and world literature as well as literature in translation. We welcome interest from those working in cultural studies, politics through literature, language learning, and applications of literary texts in different contexts.  
Our focus for 2012 was to promote literature-themed events around Japan, including the hugely successful World Storytelling Conference in December in Kobe. In 2013 LiLT SIG is looking to continue this focus and will be at the PanSIG and JALT National this year. This year at the PanSIG, which encourages closer cooperation between groups, we are working with the Critical Thinking (CT) and Speech, Drama, & Debate (SDD) SIGs. In our shared forum, Jane Nakagawa and Tara McIlroy will respectively discuss the interrelationship of poetry, critical thinking, and speech, drama and debate, and will talk about selecting poetry for content-based classes. Additionally, Dawn Kobayashi (SDD) will talk about creativity in language learning through drama and David Gann (CT) will discuss critical thinking in ELT. This will be followed by a general idea exchange on developing language proficiency through literature, speech, drama, debate and critical thinking. All are most welcome to come along to join the audience, and please, do join in our discussions too!
In 2013 The Journal of Literature in Language Teaching becomes biannual. The first issue of the second volume is now available on our website, <lilt.jalt.org>, published April 2013. The journal is double blind reviewed, it is academic, and it is high quality. And this time it is BIG. This mammoth issue, double the size of our inaugural publication, comprises five Feature Articles, a ‘Literature in Practice’ article (a new section, with a more practical focus), and a conference report, so there is certainly plenty for you to read. Contributions contain discussions of poetry; of TV drama for EAP discussion classes; critical theory; students creating their own creative writing; technologies and reading; and a literary review of the field. Noting also the dramatic increase in the size of the Liberlit Conference this year (ten presenters in 2012, to twenty-four presenters this year) it is evident that ours is an increasingly active field in Japan.  
Recent events for SIG members included an April talk on multiple intelligences for Toyohashi JALT and a presentation on cooperative learning for Shizuoka JALT where publicity chair Jane Nakagawa demonstrated the use of poetry and other materials. Kevin Stein attended the Kyoto My Share event on April 20th and shared activities for using Writers Workshop techniques in reading classes. We encourage members to get in touch to let us know of their activities and events they attend.
All important guidelines and information for contributors are available on our website <lilt.jalt.org>. You can get in touch with us online through a newly established Yahoo group and Facebook. To join the SIG tick Literature in Language Teaching when renewing your SIG membership. We look forward to welcoming you and meeting up with you soon!

Materials Writers

 

The Materials Writers SIG now has a Members Profiles section on its website where SIG members can post materials of their own creation for anyone to download. Even if you are not a member of the MW SIG, please check out the materials available at <materialswriters.org>. Also, if you are interested in posting your own materials on our website, please contact the MW SIG Coordinator at <mw@jalt.org>.

Other Language Educators

Besides information in French, German, and simplified as well as traditional Chinese on the upcoming May 18-19 PanSIG 2013 Conference at Nanzan University in Nagoya, where OLE also has a few presentations, OLE has issued flyers for its 2nd Annual SIG Conference October 12-13 at Chukyo University, Nagoya, in English, French, Spanish and German. These are downloadable from the conference website <geocities.jp/dlinklist/ENG/OLEkon2013.html>. OLE also provided JALT 2013 with the theme in French, Spanish, German, and Chinese. All materials are available from the coordinator at <reinelt.rudolf.my@ehime-u.ac.jp> for distribution to your colleagues.

Pragmatics

 

The Pragmatics SIG is pleased to announce the publication and sale of the third book in its Pragmatics Resource series entitled, Pragtivities: Bringing pragmatics to second language classrooms. The book contains 64 pragmatic-themed activities written by and for language teachers helping students focus on language-as-action. It is available for 2000 yen (not including postage) through <pragsig.org/publications.html>. Also a heads up for this year’s PanSIG Conference: Pragmatics will join forces with the GILE (Global Issues) and LD (Learner Development) SIGs for a unique forum. See <pansig.org/2013> for more details.

Professionalism, Administration, and Leadership in Education

PALE’s mission starts from the recognition that language education does not take place in isolation from society or other fields of education. Issues of concern include curriculum design, implementation and maintenance, professional ethics, professional development and evaluation, administrative methodology, leadership dynamics, comparative education, sociological trends in education, employment problems, legal issues, and the demands that societies place on educators. PALE seeks to apprise teachers of research and trends in these issues by organizing conference presentations and through its journal, newsletter, listserv, and website <jalt.org/groups/PALE>.

Speech, Drama, & Debate

 

The Speech, Drama, & Debate SIG (SDD SIG) has another exciting year planned.  The focus in 2013 will be on speech and debate, as the focus in 2012 was on drama and oral interpretation.  The SDD is a sponsoring SIG for the PanSIG conference on May 18–19 at Nanzan University in Nagoya. (See <pansig.org/2013/JALTPanSIG2013/Welcome.html> for more information.)  SDD will also have a significant presence at JALT2013, and will sponsor or co-sponsor presentations, workshops, and conferences throughout the year. Volume 2 of Mask & Gavel, the peer-reviewed journal of SDD, will be out in October. If you are interested in submitting an article, contact us at <sdd@jalt.org>.  For more information on the SDD SIG and to download Volume 1 of Mask & Gavel, see our public website: <sites.google.co/site/speechdramaanddebatepublicsite/home>.

Study Abroad

 

The Study Abroad SIG provides a supportive place for discussing areas of interest regarding study abroad and intercultural training. We welcome submissions for our newsletter, Ryuugaku, and we are looking for new officers to join the team. Visit our new website at <jalt-sa.org> or contact us at <studyabroadsig@gmail.com>.
当研究部会は、留学や異文化教育に関して議論し、また支援できる場を提供しています。当部会のニュースレター“Ryuugaku”への皆様からの投稿をお待ちしております。新役員の募集をしております。詳細は新ウェブサイト<jalt-sa.org>へお問い合わせは、 <studyabroadsig@gmail.com>へお願いします。

Task-Based Learning

The TBL SIG was created for teachers and other professionals who currently use or are interested in using task-based approaches in the classroom. It focuses, in particular, on issues related to task-based language teaching and learning in the Asian EFL context. The SIG serves as a useful forum for the exchange of practical teaching ideas, theoretical discussions, and academic studies of TBLT issues. Our journal, OnTask, focuses on both research and theory in the form of feature articles as well as more practical TBLT-informed lesson plans. Potential contributors to OnTask are invited to contact our publications officer, Julian Pigott at <julianpigott@gmail.com>.

Teacher Education & Development

 

The Teacher Education and Development (TED) SIG is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers.

TED is proud to announce that we will be coordinating with the Teachers College Columbia University Japan Alumni Association to host our annual mini-conference entitled “EFL Teacher Journeys” on Sunday, June 16 at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in Kanda, Tokyo. A call for proposals and further information about the conference, including featured speakers Deryn Verity and Andy Boon, can be found on the conference website at <sites.google.com/site/teacherjourneys>.
TED’s newsletter Explorations in Teacher Education welcomes stimulating articles! You can find out more at <jalt.org/ted>. You can also stay in touch with us online by becoming a friend of our mascot, Ted Sig, on Facebook, or following <@tedsig> on Twitter or Google+.

Teachers Helping Teachers

For participation in THT programs, we ask that you prepare 2 or 3 presentations and be prepared to make the presentations a few times so all the event participants can see it. The emphasis is on practical classroom activities with the possibility of linking them up to current theory in ESL pedagogy. 

THT Vietnam
As of this writing, we still have room for 2 or 3 more presenters for THT Vietnam, at Hue University, June 14–16 and the topic is Innovations in the methodology of teaching English: Scaffolding activities and the textbook. If you are interested in presenting, please contact Joe Tomei <thtjalt@gmail.com>. We also have PDFs of the Vietnamese textbooks available, so if you want to develop some exercises using that material, please contact us.
THT-Bangladesh
The tentative dates for Bangladesh are the week of September 2–8. For more information, contact  Steve Cornwall <ojcsteve@gmail.com>.
THT-Kyrgyzstan
The tentative dates for Kyrgyzstan are the week of September 9–13. For more information contact either Brent Jones <bjones_jp@yahoo.com> or Roger Palmer <roger@center.konan-u.ac.jp>.
THT-Laos
Not too early to plan! Scheduled for February–March 2014 with flexible dates. Contact Chris Ruddenklau <chrisruddenklau@yahoo.com> for more information.
Even if you have a vague plan and are interested, please contact the country director of the place you are interested in so we can keep you informed.

Teaching Children

The TC SIG had a busy start to 2013. In conjunction with the International Teacher Development Institute we held a stimulating series of webinars in January featuring Özge Karaoglu, and we would like to thank both the presenters and participants for making them such a success. In January and February we co-sponsored the Electronic Village Online which, again, was a wonderfully varied and informative professional development program.

If you have any ideas, activities, advice, or experiences you would like to share with your fellow teachers, please consider submitting them to some of our upcoming issues of the TLC Newsletter! Email your submissions to the editor at <editor@tcsig.jalt.org>. For more information about the Teaching Children SIG and all our activities, please visit our homepage <tcsig.jalt.org>, blog <jalttcsig.posterous.com>, or TCSIG Facebook page <facebook.com/pages/JALT-Teaching-Children-SIG>.

Testing & Evaluation

The Testing and Evaluation SIG is concerned with all aspects of testing and evaluating language performance and language programs, and welcomes both experienced teachers and those new to this area who wish to learn more about it. Our interests encompass quantitative and qualitative approaches to language assessment, including alternatives to traditional testing such as peer and self-assessment, portfolios, and project evaluation. Shiken, our refereed newsletter, contains a variety of assessment-related articles, including research reports, interviews with prominent authors, book reviews, instructional columns on statistical analysis, Rasch measurement, and assessment literacy.

Vocabulary

The Vocabulary SIG publishes the bulletin VERB (Vocabulary Education and Research Bulletin) twice a year. To read online or to make a submission for an upcoming issue please see the Publications page on our website: <jaltvocab.weebly.com>.
We are looking forward to the 2013 Vocabulary Symposium (put on by Vocabulary and CUE SIGs) which will be in Fukuoka, Kyushu on June 29, 2013. Our featured discussants are Paul Nation and Yo In’nami. It will be a full day of presentations in two sessions on vocabulary learning and vocabulary assessment. The proceedings from the 2012 Symposium have been put online in the first issue of the online journal Vocabulary Learning and Instruction (VLI) at <vli-journal.org>.
The Vocabulary SIG aims to provide a forum for focused research and discussion in specific regard to vocabulary acquisition. We aim to offer both teachers and researchers a place to connect regarding how learners improve vocabulary knowledge, how to test their knowledge, and how these theoretical aspects connect to classroom practice.

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