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The Kyoto JALT Review

The Kyoto JALT Review is a journal hosted by that aims to publish articles related to language learning. We are currently accepting submissions. Learn more about The Kyoto JALT Review here.


Issues in secondary school English: A morning at Kyoto JALT

This event brings together two diverse speakers to talk about separate yet crucial issues for teachers, both Japanese and non-Japanese, in secondary education. Current and former junior high school and high school teachers are especially welcome.

Event information

October 8, 2016, 9 AM – 12 PM.

Registration starts from 9. Event starts at 9:20.

Free for all JALT members. 500 yen for one-day members.


Status, roles, and fairness: Expatriate secondary English teachers and entrance examination creation

Dr. Melodie Cook, University of Niigata Prefecture

Entrance examinations are a significant part of life in Japan as they are said to enable the social mobility of citizens; although contemporary economic and demographic forces may be proving the opposite, many Japanese continue to believe that once students enter prestigious universities, they are guaranteed good jobs upon graduation. Although entrance examinations are commonly believed to be objective and fair in stratifying students, expatriate faculty participating in their creation often call viewpoint into question. This presentation reports on expatriate high school English teachers’ beliefs about and perceptions of the entrance examination construction process and common themes that arise for them, such as how they are treated differently from their Japanese colleagues, examples of social hierarchy at work in decision making, and issues surrounding fairness in scoring procedures.

Presenter bio: Dr. Melodie Cook has been teaching ESL/EFL in Canada and Japan since 1991. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture. Her research interests include teacher education in Japan, the influence of entrance examinations on secondary and tertiary education in Japan, and how expatriate families navigate the complexities of Japan's educational system. She has previously been on the editorial board of JALT Journal. She is also an advocate for adoption and fostering.

Conducting English lessons (almost) all in English and the judicious use of the Japanese Language: Why? and How?

Dr. Rintaro Sato, Nara University of Education

Language acquisition or learning is input-driven. It is crucial for learners to be given a great amount of L2 (English) input. From the point of view of second language acquisition theories, it is clear that teachers should conduct their English classes in English to provide students with a lot of highly quality of input, and then lead them to speak English. However, having English as the primary language does not mean that there should be no use of Japanese. I suggest that teachers should (can) use the Japanese language effectively and selectively when needed in a minimum fashion. For example, in teaching grammar or pronunciation, explaining abstract, complicated concepts, developing a good rapport, and so on. In my presentation, I will talk about the importance of English-medium classes and the reasons, and crucial roles of the Japanese language.

Presenter bio: Rintaro Sato is professor at Nara University of Education. He received a Master’s degree from Tsukuba University and earned his Ph.D. in Education at Hyogo University of Teacher Education. His research interest is in incorporating theories of second language acquisition into the Japanese EFL classroom. He has been excited about wonderful performances’ of All Japan rugby team in the last World Cup and the Olympic games!


Kyoto JALT Officer election 2016

Invitations are now open to become an officer at large for Kyoto JALT 2016/2017. Kyoto JALT welcomes anyone with interest in helping out to apply. We would especially like to see more females and Japanese become involved. An Officer-at-Large helps out when they can, and does not have any fixed responsibilities. This is the best way to introduce yourself to the wonderful world of Kyoto JALT.

Elections will be conducted via a written ballot held during the October 8th event.

In accordance with the JALT national constitution, to be eligible to apply for an officer position or vote in the election you must be a Kyoto JALT member in good standing with the organization.

2016 Nominations (thus far)
  • President: Jeremy White (continuing)
  • Co-Program Chair: Thomas Amundrud (continuing)/Open
  • Co-Treasurer: Martin Hawkes (continuing)/Maki Ikoma (continuing)
  • Co-Publicity: Bjorn Fuisting (continuing)/Open
  • Co-Membership: John Syquia/Open
  • Co-Webmaster: Chris Edelmann (continuing)/Open
  • Co-Facilities chair: Chris Edelman (continuing)/Open
  • Officer at Large: Open

    Some information about the positions:

    II. Officer Duties and Committees

    1. President: The President shall have general responsibility for coordinating the activities of the JALT CHAPNAME Executive Board, directing and publicizing the affairs of the chapter, and representing its interests to the JALT National Executive Board. He/She shall preside at the JALT Executive Board meetings, and at the Annual General Meeting. With the approval of the JALT Kyoto Executive Board, he/she may appoint committees as deemed necessary to carry out the work of the organisation.

    2. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall maintain all financial records, be responsible for collecting and disbursing all funds of JALT Kyoto, accepting payment of membership dues, reimbursing individuals for JALT-related expenses, and submitting financial reports as directed by JALT policy, including the annual budget.

    3. Program Chair: The Program Chair shall be responsible for supervising the arrangements for JALT Kyoto chapter meetings, communication with speakers and recruitment of prospective speakers. He/She must also provide timely information to the Publicity Chair and fulfill all reporting requirements about meetings and presenters for the JALT Program Database.

    4. Publicity Chair: The Publicity Chair shall be responsible for coordinating JALT Kyoto's publicity and public relations in both JALT and non-JALT forums.

    5. The Membership Chair shall be responsible for the maintenance of current and past member records, communicating with the JALT Central Office and working at the reception desk at meetings.

    6. The position each officer holds shall be determined by the JALT Kyoto Executive Board. In addition to the five required positions, officer positions may be instituted to identify other important responsibilities such as: Recording Secretary, Facilities Chair, Vice President, Web Communications Developer, Journal Editor, Group Liaison and Member-at-Large. In addition, any number of volunteer officers may work together as a team using titles to reflect such sharing of responsibilities such as Co-Publicity, etc.

    From Chapter Constitution:

    In the event of convening an Annual General Meeting, written notice of date, place, purposes and agenda of the Annual General Meeting shall reach JALT CHAPNAME members at least 5 days before the Annual General Meeting.

    III. Nominations, Elections, Vacancies, and Removals

    1. Nominations for officers by members in good standing shall be solicited and accepted by the JALT Kyoto Executive Board, either in writing prior to the Annual General Meeting or in person at the meeting.

    2. Candidates must acknowledge acceptance of nomination, and provide relevant biographical information at the Annual General Meeting.

    3. The Executive Board members shall be empowered to poll the voting members in the form of a primary chapter election in order to determine a slate of officers to be presented as a motion for approval by the Executive Board. There is no limit to the number of officer positions that can be created or shared. Voting members shall include JALT Members Kyoto Chapter Local Members.

    4. If no officer positions are being contested among two or more candidates, the JALT Kyoto Executive Board may present the full slate of officers to the membership at the Annual General Meeting for approval by the members present. If there are contested positions, elections will take place at the Annual General Meeting, with the results subject to approval by the JALT Kyoto Executive Board.

    5. The terms of office shall be for 1 [one] year. The terms of office shall be from the end of the JALT Ordinary General Meeting up to and including the next year's Ordinary General Meeting. Reelection shall not be prohibited.

    6. If for any reason an office becomes vacant, the vacancy shall be filled by Presidential appointment, subject to approval by the JALT Kyoto Executive Board.

    7. An officer who fails to perform his/her duties under the JALT CHAPNAME Constitution and Bylaws, the JALT Kyoto Executive Board policies, or the JALT National Executive Board policies may be removed from office by a three-fourths vote of the JALT Kyoto Executive Board.

    Koko Kondo - Hiroshima Hibakusha and international peace advocate

    Sunday, October 16, 2016

      Joint meeting by SIETAR Kansai and JALT Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara

      • Koko Kondo is the youngest Hiroshima hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) who has a very important message of peace for people all over the world. Although in her early years, she did not want to tell people that she was a hibakusha, later she told her husband, “If I don’t do anything for Hiroshima, then my life is meaningless.” Since then she has been tireless in her efforts to promote peace and understanding, traveling around the world speaking to young and old. She is most proud of the fact that when President Obama was in Hiroshima he mentioned her in his speech: “We see these stories in the hibakusha--the woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb, because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself.” She will tell us this story firsthand. Ms. Kondo attended Centenary College for Women in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and then studied in the College of Arts and Sciences at American University in Washington, DC. For many years she has worked for peace through an organization called Children as Peacemakers, and she is a board member of the Tanimoto Peace Foundation. She adopted two children herself and has helped to place many children in adoptive homes. She often accompanies the American University Nuclear Study Institute’s annual study abroad trip to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Kyoto. She has traveled the world with her heartfelt and moving message of peace.
      • Venue: Takatsuki Sogo Shimin Koryu Center (one minute from JR Takatsuki Station) Tel. 0726-85-3721
      • Event 14:00am-17:00pm
      • Free Members and Students, 500 Yen for Non-Members
      • Link to webpage for the venue
      • We will have a meal after the session at a nearby restaurant. Reservations for dinner required by Wednesday, October 12. Contact