December 2015 Event: Inspire Or Perspire? Getting Students Speaking

Speaker: Andy Boon (Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo)

**This event will be followed by a joint Osaka-Nara Xmas Party**

Date & Time: Saturday, 12 December 2015 – 3:30pm5:00pm

Venue: Ikoma City, Takemaru Hall (Ikoma Chuo Kominkan), Room 6  (access)

Fee: Free for JALT members, and 1000 yen for non-members


This presentation will introduce the audience to a number of strategies that can help break the silence in the Japanese classroom and get students engaging in meaningful communication. Audience members will be asked to try out a number of tried and tested speaking activities and also be encouraged to share their ideas for getting students talking to one another in the L2. Inspire is a listening and speaking course with additional content reading designed to create a richer speaking experience. The spectacular National Geographic photos and video provide enduring images that inspire learners to discover the world in all its brilliance.


Andy Boon is an associate professor in the faculty of humanities at Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo. He has been teaching in Japan for over 17 years. He holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Aston University. He has been an active member of JALT since 2004, has presented at numerous conferences, and has published several articles on teacher development, motivation, and methodology. He is also co-author of Inspire; a 3-level listening and speaking coursebook (Cengage Learning, 2013-14).

This event will be followed by a joint Osaka-Nara Xmas party at a restaurant close to the venue. Start time approx 6.30 pm. Full details to follow, RSVP only.

Andy Boon poster-page-001


Speaker: Dr. Jane Spiro

Date & Time: Sunday, 15 November 2015 – 3:00pm5:00pm

Venue: Kobe International House Room 902 (access)

Fee: Free for JALT members, and 1.000 yen for non-members


Genre as a recipe for writing

This workshop will show how the features of text types such as recipes, instructions, memos, can be recognised, mixed and subverted in order to generate inventive new texts. Participants will be able to experiment with these activities for themselves, to experience the ways in which the activities can develop both language awareness and creative writing skills. The workshop will also include examples of student writing, and explore how the activities can be adapted to meet a variety of student needs and levels.

There will be a dinner with the author following the presentation. Details and registration for the dinner will be provided before the start of the presentation.


Dr. Jane Spiro has been an active member of the ELT community for 35 years, directing language, literature and teacher development programs in England, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary. She has taught English to asylum-seekers newly arrived in the UK; retrained Russian teachers in Hungary supporting the replacement of Russian with English in the Hungarian school curriculum; and run programs on teacher development, literature and language, creative writing, academic literacies, and materials writing worldwide, including in the Netherlands, Mexico, Japan, Kenya, China and India. Her publications include two books on creative writing pedagogy.

October 2015 Event: How do Japanese-university English learners look to you?

Speaker: Etsuko Shimo, Kinki University, Faculty of Applied Sociology

Date: Sunday, October 4th, 2015.   Time: 10:00 ~ 11:30 a.m.

Venue: Yamato Conference Hall (やまと会議室). Less than 100m from Kintestsu Nara Stn.

Fee: Free for JALT members, and 1.000 yen for non-members

**Optional lunch at a nearby restaurant to follow the event**


Have you ever felt that English L1 teachers (ETs) and Japanese L1 teachers (JTs) have different opinions of their Japanese students? In many university-level English learning programs in Japan, ETs and JTs work together for shared curriculum goals. However, they are often assigned different teaching roles and may have different expectations towards their students. The presenter will discuss the results of a teacher belief survey which explored Japanese university English teachers’ perceptions about their students’ characteristics (e.g, personalities and attitudes towards learning English). The presenter will also share implications and suggestions for classroom pedagogy and curricular designs based on the study findings.



Presenter Biography

Etsuko Shimo (Ed.M. in TESOL), associate professor in the Faculty of Applied Sociology, Kinki University, teaches English and other related courses in their undergraduate programs. Her research interests include student and teacher beliefs, can-do based curriculum development, learner autonomy, and collaborative learning activities in language learning and teaching.

MELODIC METHODOLOGIES: a movement to motivate young learners

Date: Sunday, August 23, 2015
Time:10:00-16:00 **Please be sure to bring your lunch**
Speakers: Nanae Yukioka, Greg Crawford & Bevan Joseph Bulmer (BJ) and Scott Crowe
Location: Yamato Conference Hall
Guide to Location: Link to meeting location
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

Beat the heat and feel the beat!
Anyone involved in teaching Young Learners should make every effort possible to attend Nara JALT’s mammoth August event: Melodic Methodologies
This promises to be a memorable and motivating event with three marvelous presentations. Feel free to join just one or all three! There shall be plenty of time between presentations to mingle, network and discuss, with an open mic and Q&A session planned for  later in the afternoon to share your experiences and seek advice.

Presentation 1: Title: 1+1>2!: The Power of Team Teaching –Nanae Yukioka

Presentation 2: Using Songs as Effective Tools in the YL Classroom –Greg Crawford and Bevan Joseph Bulmer(BJ) 

Presentation 3: Introducing Magic House Books!-Scott Crowe

Finalised schedule and presenter line up:
10.00                  Doors open
10.30- 11.30   Presentation 1: 1+1>2: The Power of Team Teaching – Nanae Yukioka
11.30-12.30    Lunch and discussion
12.30- 1.30     Presentation 2: Using Songs as Effective Tools in the YL Classroom – Greg Crawford and Bevan Joseph Bulmer (BJ)
1.30- 2.00        Mingle break
2.00-3.00        Presentation 3: Introducing Magic House Books! – Scott Crowe
3.00- 3.30       Open mic session, Q&A, Chapter announcements
3.30- 4:00      Clear the room

Presentation 1: Abstract
Have you ever experienced team-teaching? Have you ever had difficulty making a lesson with someone who has a different perspective on teaching styles and methodologies or someone who has other teaching responsibilities? Have you ever made students confused by team-teaching with a blurred focus? Team-teaching is not easy, but team-teaching itself can show students an authentic model of communication in our real life. The presenter will explore the essence of inter-teachers communication in team-teaching, ways to form the foundation of communication skill through a foreign language, and also share some classroom practice of activating “mind”, “body” and “heart” through classroom interaction using Hi, friends! , an English textbook published by MEXT.
Presenter Bio:
Yukioka is a J-SHINE certified teacher trainer. J-SHINE ( is an NPO whose aim is to help promote the teaching of English in Japanese primary education by Japanese instructors. It offers training and seminars to those who are interested in teaching English at elementary school. She is currently teaching at a public elementary school in Hirakata and at home. Her 10-year experience of teaching English to young learners convinces her that teaching English is not only to give children an opportunity to learn a foreign language but to foster their intercultural communicative competence.
枚方で活躍されているJ-SHINE (NPO法人 小学校英語指導者認定協議会)公認英語指導者育成トレーナーである行岡七重氏がチーム・ティーチングの極意を伝えます。外国語を通じて、いかにコミュニ ケーション能力の素地を養うか、友だちや自分との対話を通し、「頭」「体」「心」を動かす授業の一例を、文部科学省小学校外国語活動テキストHi Friends! を使った実践より紹介します。

Presentation 2: Abstract
Not getting the most out of using songs in your Young Learner classroom? Take home some great tips and techniques to help you squeeze every last drop of language learning juice out of songs in this highly energetic and exciting presentation. Songs are incredibly powerful and effective learning tools in the Young Learner classroom. Unfortunately, they are also often underutilized. Let Greg and BJ show you how to get the absolute most out of songs in your classroom in this fun and energetic presentation from Fun Kids English. Take home the tools and practical applications to maximize the fun and learning potential of songs in your Young Learner classroom! Your students will thank you with big smiles, great participation and improved language learning.
Presenters’ Bios:
Greg Crawford has been teaching Young Learners of English for 15 years and is a creative director of Fun Kids English. He is a co-creator of Fun Kids English’s Fun Kids Songs CD series and is also the author of Fun Phonics Readers, a series of graded children’s readers from Fun Kids English. Greg is a regular presenter on the English language teaching circuit in Japan and is the owner and principal of Aire English School based in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. Greg is particularly interested in Young Learners, music for learning, using songs in the classroom, reading for children and phonics..
BJ Bulmer has been teaching Young Learners of English for 18 years and is a creative director of Fun Kids English. He is the owner and principal of Koala English School, based in Wakayama Prefecture in Southern Japan. BJ is a co-creator of Fun Kids English’s Fun Kids Songs CD series and is a regular presenter on the English language teaching circuit in Japan. He has been playing music both as a live and studio musician for the past 25 years. BJ’s interests are Young Learners, songwriting, creating captivating music and reading for children.

Presentation 3: Abstract

Why are so many parents so excited about Magic House Books?Magic House Books are designed to get kids speaking more naturally. Magic House Books are designed to get kids emotionally involved in the imaginative world of the story and help the characters to solve problems using English. Here are some examples of Magic House Books vs regular textbooks.

  1. There’s a ball under the table: This grammar is one of the most useful grammar structures in the English language yet when we teach it to children most textbooks use a ball and a table. Where is the ball? The ball is under the table. The ball is on the table. This is clear and easy to understand but it is not emotionally engaging for children so the teacher will have to make the children repeat it. In Magic House Books, there is a character who is trying to go to bed but there are bugs hiding in the room. So the children must warn the character. “Watch out! There’s a spider under the bed!” Not only do kids use the English naturally, they love to speak and help out the characters.
  2. TPR: TPR is Total Physical Response, which is a way to teach English by having kids do the actions that a teacher says such as jump, walk, run and after a while the kids learn the language. This is very good for children. What Magic House Books has done is take those same actions and added an emotional value to doing those actions. WHY are they running? They are running because all the bugs jumped in the window. As well, all of the action words that kids need to learn are built into the storyline so the kids not only learn the words but they are able to act out the stories in a fun way.
  3. Emotional Positioning: This technique was created by the author of the books. This technique is a very special technique created to help children learn language in a very natural and enjoyable way. It is also used to teach language that is extremely useful but difficult to teach with traditional methods. For example, here are a few of the most used words in children’s books go, come, away, here, this, is and there. In regular books, some of these words may not be taught until the second or third year but in Magic House Books they are taught right away in an enjoyable way that kids love. “Go away.” is used to tell the mosquito to leave and “Come here.” is used to call the cute bugs like the ladybug to the children.

We are so excited to use these books to help your children enjoy English and speak naturally!

Presenter Bio:

Scott Crowe has been teaching children for over 16 years in Japan. He presently runs a chain of English schools in Osaka with some great friends of his who feel very fortunate to have about 500 children at their schools. Prior to coming to Japan Scott got a double major in English Literature specializing in short stories and a degree in Theatre Arts. After graduating he played the lead in a musical and toured through 19 countries. Nothing would prepare him for Japan. He planned to stay for 9 months but …well, he’s still here and still loving it. Early on in his teaching career he became obsessed with the idea of his students wanting to use language of their own volition. This passion became even greater when he met his first son who was from a previous marriage and couldn’t speak English. He began to write and illustrate stories that were designed to have kindergarten children take a vested interest in the language through funny characters in a book who needed help solving the problems in the stories. He was surprised to discover that even with his own students he could get them almost to the point where they would be engaging in imaginative play in English. He loves teaching and is very happy to share his experiences with whoever is as excited about teaching as he is.

Nara JALT Aug 2015 Flyer-page-001

June 2015 Event: THT-SIG Projects: Dedicated to the aid and assistance of fellow educators and students in and around Asia

Date and Time: Sunday, 14 June 2015 – 1:00pm4:30pm

Roger Palmer on Krygzstan

Mike Furmanovsky on Vietnam and THT

Guest speaker on Bangladesh.

Brent Jones on the Philippines.

Ann Mayeda and Randy Bollig on Nepal.

With the cooperation of the THT-SIG(Teachers Helping Teachers), Nara JALT is proud to present this eye-opening and inspiring special event.
Multiple presenters will talk about their projects and passions, supported through the THT SIG. They will talk extensively on activities in Nepal, Vietnam, Kyrygystan and Bangladesh as well as their work to develop overseas volunteer opportunities.
A THT-SIG representative will also give a brief insight into what THT is and how it helps to make a positive difference to so many.

Further details of THT-SIG activities can be found at:

Location: Yamato Conference Center(やまと会議室)
Guide to Location:  Link to meeting location
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

      **Post-event dinner**

Fittingly, a post event dinner shall be held at a local Vietnamese restaurant from 5PM-7PM for those interested in continuing the discussion, mingling with the presenters or just catching up with fellow Nara JALT members after the official event has finished. Seating is extremely limited so should you be interested in reserving a place, please RSVP to Nara JALT Publicity Officer, Luke Rigano, by email [lukerigano (at) hotmail (dot) com] with ‘Nara JALT June event RSVP’ as the subject, followed by your name and number of guests in the body of the email, no later than 6PM, Friday, June 12th. Please be aware that guests are asked to cover the cost of their own meal and drinks: 2,160 yen,  (course menu: Beto teishoku).

April 2015 Event: Materials and Methods for Teaching Spoken Language

Date and Time: Sunday, 26 April 2015 – 1:30pm4:30pm
Speakers: Cameron Romney (Sangyo University)

John Campbell-Larsen (Kyoto Women’s University)

With the cooperation of MW SIG, Nara JALT is proud to present this wonderfully practical doubleheader-event to kick off the academic year. Cameron Romney, a Featured Speaker at JALT 2015, will be talking about ways to write supplements that go with commercial textbooks. To follow, John Campbell-Larsen will be talking about how to use materials to stimulate speaking.

-Presentation 1-
Creating Supplements that Increase Opportunities for Spoken Interaction

Speaker: Cameron Romney (Sangyo University)
Cameron Romney has taught ESL/EFL in both the United States and Japan for the last 15 years. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Colorado at Denver. In 2015, he was employed as a Foreign Language Contract Lecturer at Kyoto Sangyo University in Kyoto, Japan.

-Presentation 2-
A Page Full of Text to a Mouth Full of Air

Speaker: John Campbell-Larsen (Kyoto Women’s University)
John Campbell-Larsen is associate professor of English at Kyoto Women’s University. He received his master’s degree in TESOL from Birmingham University and his research interests include Conversation Analysis, Pragmatics and teaching the spoken language.

Location: Yamato Meeting Place (やまと会議室)
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen

February 2015 Event : A Roundtable Discussion-The New Academic Year: Resolutions, Reflections and Revelations from the Classroom

Nara JALT Roundtable Discussion: Feb 2015

Download Flyer

Speaker(s): Various

Date: Sunday, 15th February 2015, 2-4PM

Join a casual discussion to share your professional achievements and/or challenges from the classroom in 2014 and some of your teaching objectives for the new academic year at this most convenient of venues, just across from Kintetsu Nara Station.

Attendees will be given the floor for approximately 10 minutes and are encouraged to bring along sample materials, reports or even items of realia to convey their experiences as we reflect on observations in a supportive setting with friends and colleagues.

This is an ideal opportunity to meet and mingle with your fellow Nara JALT members, new and old alike. We would be delighted to have the company of members from any of the surrounding chapters and guests will of course be welcomed. We hope to see you there!

Venue: Nara Ken Chusho Kigyo Kaikan (奈良県中小企業会館

Guide to venue: Link to location(Japanese/日本語のみ)

Fee for JALT members: Free

Fee for non-JALT members: Free

2014-2015 Nara JALT Officers

Thank you so much to everyone for your votes and continued support of Nara JALT.  We are a small but thriving and lively chapter and stay that way with your  continued participation. Thanks to all of you who have come out to our events and meetings over the past year and look forward to seeing you again at our 2015 events.  Please contact us with any questions or ideas you might have or if you would like to get more involved. We are always looking for new faces to join the team.


The Nara JALT officers for 2014-2015 are-

Chapter President- Catriona Takeuchi

Treasurer- Richard Sharrard

Membership Chair- Motoko Teraoka

Programme Chair- Andy Sowter.

And we warmly welcome back on board Luke Rigano as our new Publicity Chair. Luke has previously been Publicity Chair for Nara JALT and we will all benefit from his experience.

JALT2014 Four Corners Tour in Kansai: The Teaching Power of Stories

JALT2014 Four Corners Tour in Kansai: The Teaching Power of Stories

Date: Monday, November 3rd, 2014 Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Speaker: Bill Harley, JALT2014 National Conference Plenary Speaker, Two-time Grammy-award winning musician, storyteller, and author

Co-sponsored in Kansai by Kobe, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka JALT Chapters.

The Teaching Power of Stories: A teacher is someone who gives stories to others so they can make their own. Regardless of the subject taught, story is central to how people make sense of the world and build a community with others. In this workshop, participants will look at how stories work in people’s lives, what stories define their own lives, and how to use story in an educational setting. Teachers will leave with new ideas for using story in the classroom and a deeper understanding of their work as teachers.

Bill Harley is the JALT2014 International Conference Plenary Speaker. He is a two-time Grammy-award winning musician, storyteller, and author. Please see for more information.

Handouts (4 pages) for his presentation can be previewed & downloaded at:

Other relevant websites: Wikipedia:

His own website:
“Once there was a man whose head was filled with songs and stories. Somehow, they got out…”

Bill Harley TED talk, for “teachers” (13 min.):

You’re in Trouble (funny live song, 5:05):

Pre-registration recommended:
Seating is limited, so pre-registration is highly recommended. Reserve your spot by November 2nd via to receive a 500 yen reduction in the attendance fee.

Cost: JALT Members: 500 yen if pre-registered, 1000 yen if not
Non-members: 1000 yen if pre-registered, 1500 yen if not

Venue: Yamanishi Welfare Memorial Hall
(山西福祉記念会 Same bldg. as YWCA in Umeda)

11-12 Kamiyamachō, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, 530-0026, tel. 06-6315-1868

Link to venue:

Please help spread the word for this special Kansai JALT Four Corners Tour event:

Click on this link to download the poster via Dropbox,
and print out & post up at your schools. (Thanks in advance!)


Practical Ideas For Teaching English at Elementary School.

Date and Time: 

 Sunday, 24 August 2014 – 10:00am – 4:20pm


 Marco Brazil


 Aki Matsunobu


 Catherine Littlehale


 Catriona Takeuchi

Practical ideas for teaching English to Young Learners
This free event will feature 4 presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge on English education for children.

Presenter: Marco Brazil(Sponsored by Oxford University Press)
Title: Mind And Body: Active Learning And Teaching Strategies

Learning is not mere imitation and repetition, nor the ability to accumulate fixed knowledge. Learning is a constant process of discovery, a process without end. That said, traditional teaching is limited because it assumes that all learners are the same and that a single method of listen-and-repeat meets the need of every student.

Research shows the brain is more activated by movement than by sitting still listening to a story or doing deskwork which increases fatigue and reduces concentration. Learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain. Moreover children find active learning to be more fun and engaging, which means they’re more inclined to learn. In this workshop the presenter will show why young children find active learning engaging and will share some classroom-tested games you can use right away. Marco will also share tips on motivation and activation in the children’s English class. Be ready to play games and have some fun.

We would like to thank Oxford University Press for graciously agreeing to sponsor Marco Brazil’s presentation at this event.

Presenter: Aki Matsunobu
Title: Make your lessons more attractive

Aki Matsunobu is a J-SHINE certified teacher trainer. J-SHINE ( an NPO which offers training and seminars to those who want to teach English at elementary school with the aim of helping promote the learning of English in primary education. Her 15-year experience of teaching English to young learners at home and several elementary schools convinces her that teaching English is not only to give children an opportunity to learn the language but to foster their attitudes towards communicating with others in the language.

Do you make your lesson plans according to the length of each class? Do you introduce as many activities as possible into one lesson? Do you feel satisfied when your students are having fun in class? Surely, “time allocation”, “the number of activities”, and “a fun atmosphere” are vital to a successful lesson.
However, how do you achieve those essentials? The presenter will discuss the effectiveness of team-teaching, the importance of classroom English used by Japanese teachers, and tips on how to make a well-organized 45 minutes lesson plan. Through her hands-on experience as a teacher and teacher trainer, the presenter will share practical ideas to make your lessons more attractive to your students and yourselves, using a newly published textbook by MEXT, Hi, friends!

Presenters: Catherine Littlehale Oki & Catriona Takeuchi
Title: Tried and True Activities for Monday Morning.

Abstract: Catherine and Catriona will demonstrate 20 ‘tried and true’ activities that you can take straight into the classroom on Monday morning.
These activities will get your students moving, talking and being excited about English. You’ll be able to jump right into these activities without buying ‘special’ materials and they can be easily scaffolded for varying ages and levels.

Biographies: Catherine Littlehale Oki is co-author of Happy Valley, a three level course book for kindergarteners. She teaches children and also teaches in the jidoeigo Young Learners certificate program at Konan Women’s University in Kobe. She is also co-writing iTDi’s online course for YLs. Otherwise, Catherine spends her time chasing after her not yet one-year-old daughter.

Catriona Takeuchi is the owner/operator of One World, an English conversation school for children in Nara. She has been teaching English in Japan, primarily to children, since 1990. She teaches courses in communication through drama and storytelling at Tezukayama University.


 Yamato Meeting Place (やまと会議室)

Fee for JALT members: 


Fee for one-day members: