ALT,  Professional Development,  Programs

ALT Agorà ⑥ – July 15 – Register Now!

Tired of these long rainy days? Then join us for the sixth ALT Agorà, the monthly free professional development event for ALTs and let’s celebrate together the return of the sunny season before we all go on our well deserved summer break!
Come watch July’s spotlight speaker and choose your themed breakout room to engage with other ALTs in a professional and friendly environment.
As always, the event is free and open to all!

Event: ALT Agorà
When: July 15, 2021 @7:30pm JST (75 min)
***please update your Zoom software to the latest version**
How to join: the link will be sent to the specified email address by the afternoon on the day of the event.
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This month join us to talk about the following topics!

SPOTLIGHT: Getting the most out of games.
Miguel Mision (University of Nagano)
“Didn’t we play karuta last week? Do I really want to play bingo again?”. No matter what level of learner – from children to adults there’s one thing in common. They all enjoy playing games, either to warm themselves up or to shake up the rhythm in a classroom. As part of my post graduate studies I studied research on game design theory and will share how these principles have transitioned to the ESL/EFL classroom.

Room 1: So, what exactly is GIGA school?
Erin Noxon (Sagano High School)
We’ll talk about what is the GIGA school concept, what is a GIGA school, what you can do at your school if your school has gone BYOD and generally have a conversation about what everyone is doing at their schools so far.

Room 2: Are ALT roles in a shifting stage?
Akiko Kano (Sophia University)
Team-teaching has been an important element of ALTs’ contribution to English education, especially in elementary schools. However, with more specialized English teachers  (専科) coming into elementary schools these days, there seems to be a shift in what is expected of ALTs and TT. Please share your experience and ideas in this breakout room.

Room 3: Games in the Classroom
Miguel Mision (University of Nagano)
What games have worked or haven’t worked for you? 
This discussion will continue from the spotlight talk and look at examples of games that fit certain criteria of game design theory. Participants are encouraged to share any activities they do that also satisfy specific criteria and to also discuss the efficacy or lack thereof with certain games.

Room 4: Defusing Misunderstandings between ALTs and JTEs
Jackson Koon Yat Lee (Toyo University)
Conflicts between colleagues often come from inaccurate assumptions about each other. A good number of misunderstandings and disagreements between ALTs and JTEs/HRTs can be avoided with a better understanding about their teaching partner, including the teacher’s background, motivation, and vision for the students. This session focuses on common examples of differences that can cause such conflicts, why it is important to recognize and accept them, and how the two teachers can resolve or utilize their dissimilarities by sharing a positive approach to team-teaching.

SPECIAL TOPIC: English Kamishibai
Kuniaki Sakai (英語紙芝居師 – English Kamishibai Artist)
Sakai-sensei’s special presentation to close this month’s event with a smile! Definitely something you don’t get to see everyday! Don’t miss it!

The speakers that will join us for this event are:

Miguel Mision (University of Nagano)
Miguel did his undergraduate in engineering and international studies with a major in Japanese at the University of Technology, Sydney. Once upon a time he was an engineer and worked for Toshiba Corp in Australia. He came to Japan in 2009 and worked as an ALT teaching all levels from kindergarten to highschool to corporate. Miguel has an MA in Education majoring in TESOL with the University of Wollongong. His research interests include both Computer and Mobile Assisted Language Learning.

Akiko Kano (Sophia University)
Professor, Department of English Language, Sophia University Junior College Division. Specializes in SLA and TESOL. Has been teaching English to Japanese young learners for more than 30 years. Currently involved in developing curriculums and textbooks of English education in elementary/secondary schools, as well as JTE/ALT training.

Erin Noxon (Sagano High School)
Hi!! I’ve got a Dr. on my name, I’m a Google Certified Innovator, and I teach at Sagano High School in Kyoto. Let’s see… I’ve taught communicative English, life science, integrated science, CLIL science, global studies, and Tech and Media skills during 17+ years of teaching in public schools in the US and Japan. I love doing EdTech professional development (PD) and I am researching EdTech PD, blended learning, and public school EdTech environments. Find me @tesolgeek on Twitter.

Jackson Koon Yat Lee (Toyo University)
Jackson Lee is a Specially-Appointed Lecturer at Toyo University in Tokyo. He began his teaching career in Japan as an ALT in 2012. He is also involved with JALT as the Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee as well as a former Gifu Chapter President. His research interests include intercultural communication, diversity in ELT, teacher education and the Japanese English education system.

Kuniaki Sakai (英語紙芝居師English Kamishibai Artist)
Kuniaki Sakai worked as an elementary school teacher in Niigata. He teaches college students who want to become teachers how to teach English and art. He has written many books on English and art education and about 10 picture books that can be used as teaching materials for young learners. He is also Editorial cooperator for the Elementary school textbook “New Horizon Elementary” (Tokyo Shoseki).

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.