ALT,  Professional Development,  Programs

ALT Agorà – March 13, 2024 – Register Now!

This March, Agorà is happy to host an ALT Spotlight Month! This month, we have three fantastic ALT speakers, bringing their unique and extensive experiences to give practical strategies for creating inclusive classrooms for special needs students, as well as transforming textbook exercises into more meaningful and authentic experiences. Join us to discover innovative approaches that promise to enhance your teaching and engage your students like never before.

Don’t wait! Register now!

When: Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, @7:30 pm JST

How to join: you will receive the link the day before the event (or on the same day!).
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ROOM 1: Navigating the Kaleidoscope: Inclusive Strategies in Teaching English to Special Needs Classes (Elementary School)
Speaker: Diana D. Cadillo Vásquez

Embark on a captivating journey through the landscape of inclusive education. In this session, we will delve into the unique challenges and triumphs encountered while teaching English to students with different abilities in elementary school.


As an ALT, I have been navigating the diverse spectrum of special needs classes. The intricate tapestry of each class, with its unique set of challenges and triumphs, has been both a rewarding and enlightening experience.

Key Highlights:

  • Inclusive English Education: Gain insights into the tailored strategies employed to create an inclusive and supportive English learning environment for students with varying abilities.
  • Practical Tips and Techniques: Discover practical tips and techniques honed through hands-on experience. From adapting lesson plans to leveraging technology, I will share tools to engage students.
  • Holistic Approach: Explore a holistic approach to teaching, encompassing not only language acquisition but also fostering social skills, communication, and confidence among students with special needs.
ROOM 2: Fighting Evil By Moonlight: Designing lessons for the special education division– and more! (Junior & Senior High School)
Speaker: Matt Deans

After a quick tour through metaphors, research,  history, educational psychology, the Japanese education system, and our own feelings, we will work together to start planning lessons for our most important students (read: all of them!). Tomorrow is in your hands!

ROOM 3: Making Textbook Unit Tasks More Engaging and Authentic
Speaker: Rachelle Cayog

Textbooks generally go through a meticulous process to ensure quality. Arguably, there is no single textbook that can completely satisfy all the language learning needs of every student. Thus, classroom teachers usually design or modify tasks to suit the needs, proficiency levels, and interests of their students. This workshop proposes a language teaching framework that can be used not only in modifying but also in designing and evaluating unit tasks that can maximize language learning by exposing students to the authentic use of the English language in real-life communicative situations. 

This month’s speakers:

Diana D. Cadillo Vásquez

Seasoned English language educator, and dynamic professional development enthusiast. With a wealth of experience spanning over two decades, Diana has been a dedicated force in shaping the landscape of language education. Holding a License in Education with a focus on English and Spanish, Diana is a proud alum of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima Peru.

Currently engaged as a Dispatch ALT, Diana is focused on planning and conducting engaging lessons, She has become a pivotal figure in fostering cultural exchange and language proficiency. Diana has a particular passion for teaching English as a foreign language, coupled with an expertise in developing communicative and oral skills. 

An unwavering commitment to continuous learning and professional growth defines Diana’s journey. She actively seeks out and completes diverse training courses, seminars, and workshops, both online and live, showcasing her dedication to staying at the forefront of pedagogical advancements.

Matt Deans

Psychology, technology, and mnemonics. Oh my! This ALT hails from the totally fictitious city of Vancouver (in the more-rain-than-snow western end of Canada). Thoughtful, patient, and hilarious, Mr. Deans believes English language education is crucial to connecting students in Japan to the world, and more importantly: each other.

Rachelle Cayog

Rachelle Torreon Cayog has over 15 years of experience teaching across educational levels – from elementary to graduate school. She is currently a JET Programme ALT in Shizuoka Prefecture. Prior to coming to Japan, she was a College Instructor at Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) where she taught academic writing and literature to undergraduate students and Business English to Japanese professionals through a program of Kyoto University in partnership with Ateneo Graduate School of Business. She authored several English Language Arts textbooks in the Philippines and conducted teacher-training seminars in various regions across the country. She earned her master’s degree in teaching Reading and bachelor’s degree in secondary education major in English (with Latin honors) from the Philippine Normal University – the National Center for Teacher Education in the Philippines.