Mini-Conference and Teacher Appreciation Barbecue -
"Under the Cherry Tree"

Date: Sept. 23, Saturday
: Conference 14:00 – 17:00; BBQ and Party soon after
Cherry Tree House Chomegaoka 2-10-5, 981-3212.
                Download English Instructions & Map, Google Map
Fee: Free for all.

6 speakers will present “under the cherry tree” as nature intended.
    •    Alison Nemoto – “Using your 6 senses to learn English”           
    •    Marcos Benevides – “Task-based assessment: the key to CLT”
    •    Charles Browne – “A Brief Report on NGSL Wordlist Research”
    •    Curtis Kelly – “Why Our Brains Love Stories”
    •    Marc Helgesen & John Wiltshier – “English Firsthand is active
                                                           learning: What’s new?”

Barbecue & Garden Party:
The mini-conference will be followed by the annual and legendary "Teacher Appreciation Pig Roast BBQ & Garden Party," supported by Pearson Japan, hosted by the English Firsthand authors and backed up by some yet-to-be-chosen pigs and birds. English Firsthand co-author Marc Helgesen and JALT Sendai President Cory Koby LOVE to barbecue, and visitors from around Japan are already making plans to come and sample their creations. Don’t miss out!

Download the posters for the mini-conference & barbecue and share them with friends and colleagues.






Michael Griffin: Professional Development Weekend & "Off to the Onsen!"

Language teacher and teacher trainer Michael Griffin will spend Saturday and Sunday with us, presenting on several topics of interest to our community, including…
• 11 things they don’t tell you on an initial training course
• “Found” ways of developing as teachers
• Behavioral Economics for EFL teachers?
On Saturday evening, Michael will also join us for our annual "Off to the Onsen" getaway in Akiu.
Come along for this excellent time of learning and enjoyment.

Three Events (Join for all three, or whatever your schedule allows):
1. Day One:
October 21 (Saturday)
: 14:00 – 17:00
Asahigaoka Shimin Center 2F Exhibition Hall 2 (展示ホール2) - Access
Day One Fee: JALT members - free; Students - ¥500 (free for first-timers with coupon); ALT/JACET - ¥1000; General - ¥1,500 (First-timers free with coupon on homepage).

2. Day One–Evening: Off to the Onsen!
Following Saturday's presentation, everyone is invited to join us for our annual "Off to the Onsen" event in Akiu at Hana No Yu Hotel. Eat, drink and enjoy the waters with the JALT community and special guest Michael Griffin.
Onsen Fee: JALT members - ¥15,000; Non-members - ¥17,000. Includes buffet dinner and breakfast, shared accommodation, and round-trip transportation.

Onsen Registration: Register using this online form. Register early! Space is limited.

3. Day Two: October 22 (Sunday)
: Morning session: 9:30 – 12:30  Afternoon Session: 14:00 – 17:00
Venue: Sendai Shimin Katsudo Supoprt Center (Sapo Cen) 4F Meeting Room 5 (研修室5) - Access
Day Two Fee: JALT members - ¥1,000; Students - ¥1,000; ALT/JACET - ¥1,500; General - ¥2,000.

Fee for both days:
JALT members - ¥1000; Students - ¥1,500; ALT/JACET - ¥2000; General - ¥3000.

Speaker: Michael Griffin has been involved with English teaching for over 17 years. He has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer-trainer, curriculum developer, administrator and mentor. His main interests include intercultural awareness, world Englishes, curriculum development, alternative ways of teacher development, and reflective practice. In addition to his work at the graduate and undergraduate levels in Korea, Michael is an adjunct lecturer at the New School, New York, on the MA TESOL program. He blogs at .

Topics: Michael will give three talks over the course of the weekend (order TBD):
11 things they don’t tell you on an initial training course
Initial teacher training courses such as the Cambridge CELTA and SIT TESOL are often a valuable first step into the ELT field. A 4-week, 120 hour course is widely believed to provide sufficient preparation for the novice teacher because of its practical focus, coverage of essential aspects of methodology, and intensive nature. Nevertheless, short certificate courses such can’t possibly deliver a truly comprehensive introduction to the complexity (and richness) of the English language instructor’s professional life. What can frequently be missing in the typical TEFL certificate course experience? In this session, the presenter will share 11 sometimes critical, sometimes clever, and sometimes comical things you don’t learn on a TEFL certificate course. These things range from practical (ways of passing out papers) to philosophical (why not to plan a lesson) to powerful (how to develop on your own when nobody is watching).

 “Found” ways of developing as teachers
The presenter taught “Korean Politics” and “Introduction to Korean Studies” to international students at his university in Seoul a few years ago and believes he learned as much about teaching English from these experiences as through any formal professional development he ever undertook. Have you found ways of developing your English teaching from experiences completely outside the English teaching world? Was it something like taking or teaching yoga class? Was it seeing how your children improved their language skills? Was it learning how to change the oil in your car or how to cook? In this interactive session we will explore how to identify and make the most of “found” development opportunities. In addition to sharing experiences with these opportunities we will share advice on how to best maximize the development potential of these opportunities which are hiding in plain sight all around us.

Behavioral Economics for EFL teachers?
Are there things Kahneman, Thaler, Harford, and Levitt can teach us about English language teaching that Thornbury, Nation, Krashen, Farrell, and Larsen-Freeman cannot? In this interactive workshop, the world of Behavioral Economics will be connected to the world of English language teaching. Participants can expect to walk away with insights from Behavioral Economics and new ways of framing and attempting to work through challenges they encounter as English language teachers. Continuing the theme of seeking inspiration for development in different and perhaps unlikely places the presenter will seek to share and collect thoughts related to behavioral economics and how these thoughts might be helpful to practicing EFL teachers.



Additional information