ALT,  Professional Development,  Programs

ALT Agorà – April 19, 2023 – Register Now!

The cherry trees bloom, taxes are due, and the school-year starts anew. This April, Agorà springs forth with another pair of fantastic speakers to help you prepare for a new year of challenges and opportunities. This month, Jonathon deHaan returns with the thrilling conclusion to his February talk about games in the classroom, and Cherry June Maridable brings her extensive experience to lay down strategies for tackling multi-level and multi-grade classrooms. Well, what are you waiting for? Register now!

BUT WAIT!! Are you an ALT looking for the next big step in your career in Japan? See below for a special recruitment announcement from Saitama City!

When: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, @7:30 pm JST

How to join: you will receive the link the day before the event (or on the same day!).
Follow us on FB:

This month, join us to talk about the following topics:

BREAKOUT ROOM 1: Games & Language Teaching: less tech hype, more teaching, please! ~PART 2~
Speaker: Jonathan deHaan

Part Two: this talk will continue from where we left off in February. I’ll do a quick recap of the main points from before. Then, I’ll focus on practical Methods, Materials and Mediation (MMM!) that you can take into your classroom.

Games (e.g., conversation games, digital games, role plays) have been used for decades in language teaching. Unfortunately, language with games research has primarily focused on technologies and motivation, and doesn’t offer much to help teachers “do more” with games in their classrooms. In this teacher-focused talk, I’ll “dive deep” on my recent teaching/research/design agenda: integrating (a wide variety of) games with a comprehensive teaching method: the Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. I will give you ideas and materials and techniques to take into your classrooms (or labs). These will vary from thinking about “big picture” questions like “why are we teaching and learning?” to different types of teaching (traditional <–> progressive and yes they both have their benefits), to specific activities (experiences, discussions, mini-research projects, participation projects, reflection), and the different things that a teacher can say and do to lead, guide, mediate, support, direct and transform learners, classrooms, and society. I’ll show you what I have been thinking and doing … and try to help you avoid the pitfalls I fell into before discovering a new way to do things with games.

BREAKOUT ROOM 2: Effective Strategies in Teaching Multi-Grade/Multi-Level Classes
Speaker: Cherry June Maridable

❝With my 18 years of teaching experience in Asia as an EFL teacher, I will give a hand in laying down effective strategies in teaching multi-grade classes. Through this talk, educators will be able to see the special abilities they already have that can be used to enhance students’ potential and teachers’ passion inside the multi-grade classroom.❞

The speakers that will join us for this event are:

Jonathan deHaan

Jonathan deHaan is an associate professor in the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Shizuoka. He has been researching and teaching language and literacy with games for 20 years. He is currently exploring the boundaries of teaching language and literacy with and around games with his ongoing pet project, “The Game Terakoya.”

Cherry June Maridable

Cherry June currently works at ILA Vietnam, a leading Premium English Learning Teaching Service Provider. She has experience in teaching ESL and EFL in multi-grade classrooms (KTN, Secondary/High School/University and Graduate). She also has an array of degrees: Master of Arts in Tesol, Master of School Management, Master of Religious Education, PhD in International Business. And is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Intercultural Concentration and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership.


We’d like to share with our members an announcement from Saitama City, which is currently recruiting teachers for public licensed positions. The job starts in April 2024, but the application deadline is soon: May 8th, 2023! We’ve been told that nearly all of the people currently holding these positions are former ALTs — this means you! — and they especially need math and art teachers for high-level students. If you’re ready to take your next big step in Japan, keep reading!

Recruiting Public Teacher Candidates (Saitama City)

This call is for full-time / permanent employment positions with Saitama City Board of Education; recruitment starting in May for an April 2024 start. While the following page is for all public teachers, within the recruitment call is for the special designation of Native instructors, who may proceed in the examination even if they do not have a college degree issued by a Japanese institution. It’s tough, long, and typically demands some additional study, but it’s a solid investment for anyone looking to establish themselves in Japan. There are some rare and satisfying experiences to be had. Of note, candidates able to teach high level math and art are in especially high demand.

Check this link for the official release (it’s mostly all in Japanese), and specifically the pamphlet entitled Let’s Teach in Saitama City. More information is provided at the information sessions, which you can attend on the day. There are additional unofficial Zoom information sessions with a current teacher within the city, all sessions posted below:

All sessions at this link:

750 5848 2209

Passcode: Crmv8Y

  1. 4/9 Sun 13:00~14:00
  2. 4/12 Wed 18:00~
  3. 4/15 Sat 16:00~
  4. 4/19 Wed 18:00~
  5. 4/26 Wed 18:00~
  6. 4/29 13:00~