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) Behavioral Economics for EFL teachers?
: 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 (Deadline - Oct. 15).

3. Day Two: October 22 (Sunday)
: Morning session: 9:30 – 12:30 11 things they don’t tell you on an initial training course 
         Afternoon Session: 14:00 – 17:00  “Found” ways of developing as teachers
Venue: Sendai Shimin Katsudo Support 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, substitute teacher, assistant director, and mentor. Intercultural awareness, world Englishes, curriculum development, alternative ways of teacher development, and reflective practice are some of his main interests. In addition to his work at the graduate and undergraduate level in Korea, Michael teaches online for The New School MATESOL program, as well as a U.S. Department of State sponsored course entitled, "Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into the Exploration of Culture in an EFL Setting course" through the World Learning program. He blogs at http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com .

Topics: Michael will give three talks over the course of the weekend (order TBD):

Saturday: 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.

Sunday morning: 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).

Sunday afternoon:  “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.








2017 Tohoku ELT Expo

Mark your calendar, get your proposals ready and join us for this annual highlight. The Tohoku ELT Expo is a one day mini-conference offering quality presentations and materials displays for language teachers in any context: college, jr. & sr. high, elementary, kindergarten and private language school. Presentations will be given by speakers from around Japan and the Sendai/Tohoku region. The aim is to provide top-class presentations and publishers’ material displays for every kind of English teacher.

Date: December 10 (Sunday), 9:30–17:30
Location: St.Ursula Eichi Elementary – Middle – High School, Sendai

See Tohoku ELT Expo page for details, call for presentations (deadline Oct. 31), etc.

Additional information