Welcome to ALT Agorà, a monthly series of interactive webinars designed to support Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in Japan. Our goal is to provide a platform for ALTs to improve their teaching skills, share best practices, and build positive relationships with Homeroom Teachers (HRTs) and Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs).
Whether you’re a new or experienced educator, we invite you to join us for our free webinars. Our events are open to ALTs from various organizations like JET, boards of education, schools, and dispatch companies. We believe that by creating a common set of skills and competencies, we can help all ALTs to be successful in their roles.
At ALT Agorà, we appreciate and celebrate the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our fellow ALTs. We are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive space where everyone can learn and grow together. Our initiative is part of ALT Training Online (ALTTO), a nonprofit organization that offers free learning materials for ALTs.
Join us in our mission to improve the quality of foreign language education in Japan by empowering ALTs to be the best educators they can be.
At ALT Agora, we believe in creating an interactive and engaging learning experience for Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in Japan. Our events are inspired by the Ancient Agorà of Athens, a primary meeting ground for Athenians where democracy was practiced, business was conducted, and entertainment was enjoyed.
Our webinars are designed to be different from the usual setup of offline or online conferences where one speaker talks most of the time. As ALTs teach in many different contexts, there is never one single answer to their needs. That’s why we’ve created a place where they can listen to many answers and find the one that works best for them.
Each Agora session offers a range of interactive themed breakout rooms focused on specific topics, where ALTs can share their experiences, bring up problems, and help each other. Each room is assigned a facilitator who introduces the topic, supports the discussion, and answers questions. While most sessions were initially led by experts and professors, we’re proud to say that more and more ALTs are now taking an active role and leading sessions themselves.
In just 60 minutes, you’ll have the chance to hear from your fellow ALTs and learn from their experiences. Join us for our monthly webinars and discover new ideas, techniques, and strategies to improve your teaching skills and enhance the quality of foreign language education in Japan.
DEVELOPMENT, NOT ADVANCEMENT
ALT Agorà aims at professional development, not career advancement. ALTs have an invaluable role in the classroom, one that can and will influence students’ approaches toward foreign languages and the rest of the world. There is more to being an ALT than just “teaching grammar” or “being a cultural ambassador”. The mission of ALT Agorà is to help you go deeper. To figure out how you can really impact your students learning in the classroom whatever your years of experience.
Q: I’m a first-year ALT and planning on doing this job just for a year. Is Agorà the place for me?
A: Yes, we are aware of the differences in terms of experience between ALTs and make sure that every session can be understood by both experienced and new teachers. Plus, it is your one-a-month chance to ask questions about your role and about teaching practices.
Q: I’ve been working as an ALT for 20 years. Is Agorà the place for me?
A: Yes, teachers are always learning something new, and the monthly setup allows us to dig deeper into all topics. Having also access to researchers and experts in specific topics allows you to directly ask more advanced questions.
If you feel you have what it takes to support other ALTs, get in touch!
Q: Because of COVID-19 I’m still stuck out outside of Japan. Can I come to these events?
A: Yes, we are well aware that many contracted ALTs and JETs are still waiting for their placement because of travel restrictions. Even if you have never stepped into a classroom before, do join these events. They can give you the necessary head start. And don’t worry, nobody will force you to speak!
Q: I am a Japanese teacher/trainer/researcher/professor interested in the topic/event. Can I join?
A: Of course you can. While the event has been designed with ALTs in mind, there are many professionals working together with them inside and outside of the classroom. Everyone is welcome!