ALT,  Professional Development,  Programs

ALT Agorà ⑩ – December 14 – Register Now!

It’s almost the end of 2021, the second year spent with COVID-19. While some parts of the world are slowly trying to go back to “normal”, the world of education is moving towards a new reality. And we, as teachers, need to be able to anticipate the change and prepare our students for the society they will embrace in the near future.

So, before we all turn our screens off to enjoy the upcoming winter break, let’s gather one more time and see what this month’s presenters have in store for us! Plus, a couple of announcements regarding 2022!

Event: ALT Agorà
When: December 14, 2021 (TUESDAY) @7:30pm JST (60 min)
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How to join: the link will be sent to your email address.
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This month join us to talk about the following topics!

SPOTLIGHT: The Odd Contradiction of Language and Culture Learning
Joseph Shaules (Keio University)

There’s an odd contradiction at the heart of language and culture learning. On the one hand, language and culture are closely related. On the other hand, in the classroom language and culture are often kept separate. This talk will explore how to make language learning a more intercultural experience. We will learn about the “Linguaculture Tree” and the cultural basics that all language teachers should understand.

Room 1: Making the language-culture connection.
Joseph Shaules (Keio University)

What do you see as the connection between language learning and culture learning? What are the challenges of overcoming the “odd contradiction of language and culture learning”? How can we make language learning an intercultural experience?

Room 2: Revisiting the Awakening to Languages Methodology.
Daniel Pearce (Kyoto Notre Dame University)
The modern-day English teacher has many challenges, including how to prepare learners to engage with World Englishes (or other languages), and creating lessons that will have a genuine educational impact on learners regardless of whether they eventually use other languages or not. In this session, I explore the Awakening to Languages approach, through which learners examine, compare, and consider multiple languages to develop interest in diversity, openness towards the unfamiliar, motivation for the study of language, and acquire the skills necessary to pursue a target language. Classroom activities will be introduced and made available for participants. Newcomers welcome!

Room 3: Whose English Is It Anyway!?: A Discussion on Native Speakerism.
Chiaki Lawler (Director, Endeavour English Education)

This interactive forum aims to provide a platform for our English teaching professionals in Japan who have experienced discrimination in their profession to voice their experiences. We can’t change the world overnight…But the discussion will attempt to dissect the notion of Native Speakerism in Japan to better understand our host culture and the society we live in.

The speakers that will join us for this event are:

Joseph Shaules (Keio University)
Joseph Shaules (PhD) is an author and educator in the field of language and intercultural education. He is the Director of the Japan Intercultural Institute and is a Specially Appointed Professor at the GIC Center, Keio University, Tokyo. He is the host of the Deep Culture Podcast. Books include: Language, Culture and the Embodied Mind (Springer); The Intercultural Mind (Intercultural Press), and Deep Culture (Multilingual Matters).

Daniel Pearce (Kyoto Notre Dame University)
My name is Daniel Pearce, and I am currently working as a teacher-researcher at Kyoto Notre Dame University. I was an ALT in several high schools of the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture between 2008 and 2013. Since I moved to Kyoto, I have undertaken the JTE licensing program at Kyoto University, and now collaborate on several research/teacher training programs from the elementary to the senior high school level. My research interests include team teaching and plurilingual/pluricultural competence.

Chiaki Lawler (Director, Endeavour English Education)
Teaching students and training teachers in Australia and in Japan for more than three decades. Australian Government accredited Trainer and Assessor (TAE), Pre- and in-service teacher trainer. Special interest area: World Englishes, native-speakerism, bilingualism, and cross-cultural issues. M.A. TESOL, Grad. Cert. TESOL, B. Min, TAE, Cambridge TTT, Cert IV TESOL, N.A.A.T.I

Nicholas J. Wilson is an elementary and junior high school English teacher and curriculum developer fostering students’ digital literacy through foreign language education. He is a Level 1 & 2 Google Certified Educator and Level 1 Adobe Creative Educator in charge of supporting the professional development of English and Japanese teachers as a mentor, area leader, and member of the local board of education’s Digital Transformation Committee. His current research focuses on exploring the potential of the metaverse as a learning environment. He is also an active JALT officer involved in planning, promoting, and coordinating regional events and national conferences, and the founder and organizer of ALT Agorà, a series of monthly webinars designed for assistant language teachers, part of the ALT Training Online grassroots initiative.