2010 Events Archive

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kyoto JALT with Osaka/Kobe JALT brings you Pecha Kucha Night & Bonenkai

The Kyoto Chapter in association with the Osaka and Kobe Chapters co-sponsored a Pecha Kucha Night (PKN) style event at Konan University, Hirao School of Management (CUBE) in Nishinomiya (just south of Hankyu Nishinomiya Kita-guchi station). A year-end party (bonenkai) was also held at the Busy Bee Cafe from 6:30 p.m. Good food and good times were had by everyone. Admission was free.

This was the second attempt at moving our annual potpourri meeting to a Pecha Kucha Night format (20 slides x 20 seconds each). Last year’s (2009) event was a big success and it was even more this year. More information about PKN is available here.

Sunday November 28th

Evaluating your vocabulary program

Paul Nation

This presentation looked at a set of questions that teachers can use to check if the vocabulary component of their language course is adequate or not. The questions included what vocabulary is focused on, how it is focused on, how it is sequenced, and how it is taught and learned. These questions covered the important parts of the curriculum design process. The presentation also described how these important aspects of teaching and learning vocabulary can be included in a course.


Paul Nation is Professor in Applied Linguistics at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies (LALS) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He supervises MA and PhD research on vocabulary. He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland and Japan. Paul has published extensively and his books include Teaching and Learning Vocabulary (Heinle and Heinle, 1990), New Ways in Teaching Vocabulary (TESOL, 1994), Learning Vocabulary in Another Language (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Focus on Vocabulary (with Peter Gu) (Macmillan Australia, 2007).

His publications include articles and books on teaching and learning vocabulary, language teaching methodology, and curriculum design. Paul Nation’s most recent book on vocabulary is called Teaching Vocabulary: Strategies and Techniques (2008) Heinle Cengage Learning, Boston.

There are three highly recommended books from Routledge Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking (with Jonathan Newton), and Teaching ESL/EFL Reading and Writing, and Language Curriculum Design (with John Macalister)

Sunday October 24, 2010

2010 Conference Presentations: Practice makes perfect!: Examining the carry-over effect

Daniel Mills • E English House

(2:00-2:45 Room 1)

In recent years, research in the field of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has shown that technology can be used to increase students’ willingness to communicate and decrease foreign language anxiety. Yet, few studies have examined whether these positive effects will “carry-over” when students return to a face-to-face communication environment.

The proposed case study, which will attempt to examine the long term effects of CMC in relation to affective factors, will be conducted over a 15-week period with an intact class of Japanese University students. Students will alternate between task-based conversation activities in both f2f and CMC environments. Data collection pertaining to foreign language anxiety and willingness to communicate will be collected using the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale and length of utterance and turns taken during conversation activities respectively. CMC activities will be conducted using the Language Education Chat System developed by Kanto Gakuin University.

From Boxed In Daughters to Carnivore Women

Jhana Bach • Mukogawa Women’s University

(2:00-2:45 Room 2)

The presenter focused on methods of analyzing gendered language through the process of a university English seminar. Participants learned ways in which the text Womansword, a collection of Japanese expressions relating to women, can be used as a springboard to engage university students in analysis of attitudes and assumptions about gender in Japan, and shed light on the ways these change over time.

Thinking Outside the Film

Kelly Butler • Kansai University of International Studies

(3:15-4:00-2:45 Room 1)

The use of films within language classrooms has steadily increased as they have been shown to be motivational for learners; for example, students mention they want to understand Hollywood films without subtitles. Thus, teachers are creating entire classes centered around feature-length films and a multitude of activities have been created by teachers hoping to utilize this motivational tool while students learn a variety of skills and content: listening comprehension, grammar, pronunciation and intonation, culture, etc.

While whole films can be a good source of course material, this presentation shares insights gained from using a variety of short film excerpts within a semester to demonstrate a variety of language features as well as conversational situations. Two communication courses were taught intermittently with the use of short, unit appropriate film clips under a variety of circumstances, i.e. with or without English or Japanese subtitles, with the intent of discovering an effective method to increase student listening comprehension as well as understanding of situational discourse.

The students were given quizzes following the clip to check for comprehension and surveyed at the end of the course to assess the value of the clips within the course, the film clips’ affect on student motivation and the effectiveness of video clips as a teaching tool.

Saturday September 25, 2010

Presenting Naked with Slides: How thinking like a designer can help

Garr Reynolds

Garr Reynolds, is the author of award-winning and international best-selling books Presentation Zen and Presentation Zen Design. In this presentation, Garr introduced a few fundamental design principles and spoke in depth with examples and before/after samples. The lessons in this talk were not about dressing up presentations or decorating slides, they were about understanding and embracing concrete design principles that will help make your presentations clear, powerful, and memorable. 


Garr Reynolds is currently Associate Professor of Management at Kansai Gaidai University where he teaches Marketing, Global Marketing and Multimedia Presentation Design. Garr is active in the Japanese community and can often be found presenting on subjects concerning design, branding, and effective corporate communications.

Visit Garr’s official website for more information on branding, design basics, presentation tips, and heaps of resources. Also, view Garr’s bibliography page at amazon.com.

Sunday July 18, 2010

Teaching Gender-Related Issues in the Classroom

Co-sponsored by JALT Gender Awareness in Language Education SIG

Folake Abass & Robert Ó’Móchain

The two presenters provided a much-needed focus on gender-related issues in the EFL classroom.

Ms. Abass addressed gender stereotypes and exploring ways to encourage students to develop the critical intelligence necessary to move beyond culturally inherited stereotypes. Mr. Ó’Móchain discussed representations of masculinities on Japanese television and how his observations can be reported in EFL classrooms as part of a gender-awareness syllabus. Discussion circles followed for opinion and idea exchange.


Folake Abass is an English lecturer at Kyoto Sangyo University. Her research interests language and advertising especially as it applies to gender.

Robert Ó’Móchain has completed both M. Ed and Ed. D. programs at Temple University Japan. Research interests include linguistic creativity in humorous communication and gender and sexuality in educational contexts.

Sunday April 18, 2010

Getting Back to Basics in English Language Teaching 

David Barker

In this presentation, veteran English instructor and author of seven books and several newspaper columns for Japanese learners of English, David Barker, argued for a renewed focus on ‘old-fashioned’ approaches that have served language teachers and learners well for centuries.

“The history of English Language Teaching has been characterized by a stream of ever-changing fashions and trends. Proponents of new methodologies have urged teachers and learners to abandon all their old tools and techniques and embrace the new dogma, and all too often teachers have been willing to follow unquestioningly. Barker argued that an obsession with ‘communicative’ activities and educational materials can be detrimental to both teachers and learners.”

Barker outlined what he considers to be the most important ‘basic principles’ of language learning, and presented ‘basic principles’ of language learning and discuss how these can be applied to classroom methodology.

In the second half of his presentation, Barker introduced some of his books and explained how it relates to his principles of teaching.

Note: This presentation, a semi-commercial event, was awarded Best of JALT 2009, Best Presentation of 2008 by Toyohashi JALT, and also well-received by Hokkaido JALT at their annual conference.

Saturday March 27th

My Share and Troubleshooting

This was an event open to all teachers, from experienced to newbie! The event was an excellent opportunity for instructors to get some advice or offer suggestions on language teaching and learning.

2:45—3:15  Thoughts on Teaching Large Classes

Julian Pigott

View pesention slides.

Abstract: In this presentation, Pigott suggested techniques for teaching large classes in high school and university. He focused on social aspects of learning and teaching such as teacher-student rapport, group-cohesion, classroom management, and the Japanese context. Finally, he presented examples of lessons he feels that work particularly well.

3:15—3:45  Using Cell Phones for ESL Learning

Paul Evans

View presention slides.

Abstract: All students have cell phones, and use them with great enthusiasm, every day, all day. Evans outlined the work he has done on cell phone use in the EFL classroom. He shared his vision for where and how he thinks it can be carried further, and explained his ideas for how other people might join him.

4:00—4:30  Methods for Successful Group Work

Ted Bonnah

View presentation slides.

Abstract: Unsatisfied with group work in your classes? Bonnah explained the methods for getting the most from group activities. Based on experience in university and junior and senior high classes, this presentation was for all teachers grappling with large class sizes, demanding syllabi, and evaluation requirements.

4:30—5:00  Wringing the Text

Carl Nommensen

View presentation handout.

Many teachers use textbooks containing written texts. Most classroom manipulation of those texts ends with follow-up exercises outlined in the text itself. In this presentation, Nommensen introduceds two classroom activities in which students enthusiastically engage with a written text in review, developing familiarity and productive competence with the vocabulary, while practicing syntax, writing, speaking, and listening, and having fun.

Saturday March 6, 2010

Privilege-a Photography Project of English Teachers in Japan 

Digital artist and English teacher, Gary McLeod, presented PRIVILEGE, a photography project that bridges artistic and academic practices. Having photographed and interviewed 97 English teachers around Japan, McLeod presented his collection of photographs and read aloud samples of his participants’ words. This was followed by Q&A / discussion. 

January 17, 2010

Kyoto JALT’s Apple Day: Using iPods /iPhones in the ELT classroom

This event is for veteran techies and newbies alike! Matthew Walsh of Momoyama Gakuin High School and Craig Hagerman of Osaka Jogakuin University will lead a cutting-edge session on using iPods and iPhones in your ELT classroom. Learn the basics, discover ELT related applications, and participate in a hands-on model lesson workshop!