About Agorà,  ALT,  Professional Development

ALT Agorà – The first national professional development event for all ALTs

ALT Agorà is the first national professional development event for ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) looking to improve their skills. As a nonprofit initiative it’s free of charge.

ALT Agorà is a collective of ALTs coming from different backgrounds gathering together every month to exchange experiences, learn from each other and build a professional network. Whether you are on the JET program, directly hired by schools or working for a dispatch company, the goal of this initiative is to provide ALL ALTs in Japan the chance of a monthly session where to engage with other colleagues around the country and exchange ideas on specific topics. 

The Ancient Agorà of Athens was the primary meeting ground for Athenians, where members of democracy congregated affairs of the state, where business was conducted, a place to hang out, and watch performers and listen to famous philosophers.  

This event will work the same way. The goal is to stray from the usual set up of offline/online conference that usually involve a main speaker talking for most of the time plus 5/10 minutes talking time.

Each Agorà session will involve:

  1. a selected speaker who will present to everyone in the main room for 10minutes;
  2. a choice of interactive themed breakout rooms focused on specific topics where to share experiences, bring up problems and help each other for the remaining 40 minutes. These rooms will be moderated by a team of experienced teachers and researchers and will be able to enrich the dialogue with additional knowledge.

In 50 minutes you will have both the chance of hearing something new from experts and discuss topics of interest with other ALT colleagues based on the preferences expressed in each month’s event registration form.

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.