Professional Development and Nara Jalt

Nara JALT’s third online event: 

Recently, Nara JALT president, Leigh McDowell, sat down with former Nara JALT members, Steven Nishida and Jim Swan, for a Zoom conversation. Both Steve and Jim have stepped back from JALT now but have taken leading roles in JALT in the past, including Vice President and President, respectively, at the national level of JALT, and we reflect on their time with JALT and how it helped them develop professionally. 

Please click on the link below to go to the Nara JALT YouTube channel and you too can be part of the conversation by leaving comments in the comments section. We would love to hear from you. Please show your support by subscribing to the channel.

Emergency Teaching and Online learning. A conversation with Garr Reynolds.

Emergency Teaching and Online learning.
A conversation with Garr Reynolds.

Nara JALT’s second online event:

In lieu of our traditional face-to-face program, Nara JALT brings you an online interview with Garr Reynolds. Garr, a world-renowned author and professor at Kansai Gaidai, was generous to freely give his time to talk about coping with emergency remote teaching during the pandemic. 

The interview is hosted on the new Nara JALT YouTube channel and can be accessed via the following link:

Emergency Teaching and Online learning.
A conversation with Garr Reynolds.

Nara JALT presents: Content and Language Integrated Learning: An Online Panel Discussion.

The start of 2020 has brought all of us unimaginable challenges and sacrifices. Many of us have had to fundamentally change the way we go about doing even the simplest of things. Spring is usually the time when we begin new journeys and challenges. This year has certainly given us plenty of them already. 

The officers at Nara Jalt had prepared a wonderful selection of events for you this year. Attending these events gives us all the chance to learn new things while meeting like-minded people. April’s event was going to be a panel discussion with 3 CLIL experts and we were so disappointed when we had to cancel it. 

The world is fighting an invisible enemy, and this battle is causing us all immense pain and stress. It is at these times that we must remember that we are all part of a wonderful community that loves and supports one another. So, the officers at Nara Jalt decided to take our April event online and share it with all of you. We wanted to try and bring a little bit of normality back at such a crazy and unpredictable time in all our lives.

We would like to thank Laurence Anthony, Francesco Bolstad, and Brian Shaw for taking the time to participate in Nara JALT’s first online event. This would not have been possible without their support. Thank you so much.

Stay safe and practice social distancing.

Nara JALT Officers.

Upcoming Nara JALT events: Cancelled: April 19th, 2020

Content and Language Integrated Learning: A Panel Discussion.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an umbrella term for several language teaching approaches, including immersion, English-medium instruction (EMI), and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). This event brings together a panel of experts in these approaches to offer perspective and discussion on this exciting area of language teaching. 

Date:
April 19 (Sunday)
Time:
10:00–12:00
Venue:
Nara Women’s University (S-Bldg, Room 228)
Fee:
¥1,000 (JALT members free)

Panelists:

Laurence Anthony 

Brian Shaw 

Francesco Bolstad

Nara JALT in collaboration with the JALT CEFR and Language Portfolio SIG present:

Getting to know the CEFR: An introduction to the Common European Framework of Reference

The next Nara JALT event is co-hosted by the JALT CEFR and Language Portfolio SIG and features two speakers: Jack Bower, a local chapter member now working at Tezukayama University, and Gary Cook from the Hiroshima Bukyo University.

Speakers:

Presentation 1: Jack Bower (Tezukayama University)

Suggestions and Resources for Using the CEFR in Language Education

Presentation 2: Gary Cook (Hiroshima Bunkyo University)

The CEFR Shuffle: Getting Familiar with Can-do Statements

Date: Saturday, December 7th, 2019

Time: 14:00-17:30

Venue: Nara Women’s University (S-Building, Room 228)

https://jaltnara.wordpress.com/venues/
Fee: Free for JALT members. ¥1,000 for non-members.

Presentation 1 (14:15~15:30): Jack Bower (Tezukayama University)

Suggestions and Resources for Using the CEFR in Language Education

The Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) has become increasingly influential in foreign language education around the world. However, many language teachers remain unfamiliar with the CEFR and unsure of how it can be used to improve foreign language curricula and classroom practice. This presentation will give a brief overview of the CEFR followed by succinct explanations of four major uses the CEFR for language teachers. These uses are:

1. for setting language proficiency goals for programs, courses and lessons

2. for fostering learner autonomy

3. for designing classroom assessments

4. for language teacher professional development

For each of these areas practical suggestions will be made, and participants will be directed to further resources.

Biography: Jack Bower is an associate professor at the Tezukayama University general education centre. He has taught English at Japanese Universities for over ten years and he recently graduated with a PhD from Macquarie University. His research interests include curriculum development and language assessment. 

Presentation 2 (16:00~17:15): Gary Cook (Hiroshima Bunkyo University)

The CEFR Shuffle: Getting Familiar with Can-do Statements

Since 2012, staff at Hiroshima Bunkyo University have been involved in creating curricula with the CEFR as a guide for its language learning center; the Bunkyo English Communication Center (BECC). One aspect of the CEFR, Can Do statements, form the basis of goals incorporated into many of the 18 courses offered at the BECC. While staff had participated in CEFR-focused professional development, little had been done for students to raise their awareness of the CEFR. From 2017, 31 first-year students were introduced to an activity dubbed the ‘CEFR-shuffle’: a sorting exercise utilizing self-assessment descriptors. Those students were then asked to repeat the CEFR-shuffle once each year. This workshop will introduce the results of students’ performance from the ‘CEFR-shuffle’ over 3 years, and ask participants to take part in a descriptor-sorting exercise in which they can experience how useful this activity could be for themselves and their students to become familiarized with the CEFR.

Biography: Gary Cook has been a lecturer and coordinator at Hiroshima Bunkyo University since 2011. He has previous teaching experience in Spain, France, England, Georgia, and his native New Zealand. His research interests are in the areas of curriculum development and the CEFR.