Major Conference for Language Teachers in Nagoya November 1-4
by William Pellowe, JALT Director of Public Relations
If you are a language teacher, be sure not to miss this great opportunity happening in Nagoya the first weekend of November. #JALT2019, one of the largest language teaching conferences in Asia will be held November 1-4 at the WINC AICHI building, just down the street from Nagoya Station.
JALT, the Japan Association for Language Teaching, is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization (see jalt.org). Each year, it holds a conference in a different city around Japan—this November is its 45th annual conference—so if you live near Nagoya, this is a great opportunity to attend without breaking the bank on hotels and transportation.
The day before the conference, Friday, November 1, there will be dozens of workshops under two main strands: Technology in Teaching (TnT) and Professional Development (PD). The aim of the TnT Workshops is to help teachers navigate their way through the exciting array of educational technologies available, select those that are appropriate for their teaching context, and learn how to effectively make use of them in the classroom. The TnT presenters, all experts in technology, many of whom are seasoned presenters, will offer guidance on using technology and share ways to best integrate it with language teaching practices. The aim of the PD workshops is to provide information and advice about professional development, including writing abstracts or academic articles, doing peer review, diversity awareness, classroom observations, and women supporting women professionally. The complete list is too long to include here, so please check out our website for more information: www.jalt.org/conference/jalt2019/professional-development-workshops
Over the long weekend, November 2, 3, and 4, there will be four plenary presentations, by Mari Nakamura, David Barker, Donna M. Brinton, and Oussouby Sacko, all of whom will also conduct workshops during the conference. In addition, attendees will be able to attend a wide range of concurrent presentations, workshops, forums, and poster sessions, including many presentations by specially selected featured speakers, focusing on all aspects of language teaching. This is a family-friendly event, with a room set aside to offer a nice getaway and safe space for families attending the JALT2019 international conference.
Also, don’t forget to visit the Educational Materials Exhibition (WINC Floor 8) where you will find opportunities for hands-on inspection of hundreds of textbooks, games, and more—a chance to find the perfect something for your teaching style and classes. Whether you’re a relatively new teacher or a seasoned veteran, you’ll find something to take back to your classes.
At the end of each day, you’ll also find many networking opportunities to socialize with other language professionals. You can go to Friday’s “Welcome Reception” and Saturday’s “Best of JALT” awards reception, join an after-party, or choose your own places to go out in Nagoya with other conference attendees and (new) friends.
Teachers of younger learners should check out JALT Junior (JJ), a two-day conference within the main JALT International Conference that offers a unique and specialized professional development experience for teachers who are primarily teaching young learners. JJ includes presentations, innovative materials, ideas, storytelling, and professional support for teachers of younger learners from ages 2 to 18.
JALT hopes that JJ’s reduced conference fee will be attractive to many of our colleagues who teach children in public and private schools. “Remember,” says Marybeth Kamibeppu, our JALT Junior Coordinator, “activities for older teens work well in university classes, too. Find a topic that you are interested in, and check it out from a JJ perspective.”
What motivates people to attend? Joël Laurier (University of Tsukuba) says, “Soon after starting my MA studies, I participated in JALT2010, also in Nagoya. I met so many people that weekend who have since become collaborators and lifelong friends. I look forward to returning to WINC Nagoya to make even more friends. As the Conference Manager, I hope to be able to give others in the language teaching and learning community the same great quality memories. Enjoy!”
Nathanial Reed, an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Niigata, says, “Every year I meet up with old friends, people I’ve corresponded with, and build my network. The growing number of ALTs and ALT presentations has helped my work as an ALT dramatically. Teachers sharing what they are doing in their classrooms around Japan gives me so many new ideas.”
Michael Parrish (JALT Job Information & Career Development) says, “Every time I attend the JALT International Conference, I make the pun that ‘It’s a JALT to the system.’ One, it is a jolt physically because there are many presentations, workshops, and social events. Secondly, it is a jolt professionally as it makes me rethink my way of doing things. I always find a new textbook, teaching resource, a clever classroom trick, or research/practice-based evidence that reaffirms (or undermines) what I am doing. After 3 or 4 days, I come away both tired and inspired.”