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 a plurilingual teacher who has been living in Nagano Prefecture since 2016. He teaches in public elementary schools where he also develops and holds training sessions on EdTech integrated curriculums to foster students’ 21st-century skills. His main research topics concern identifying realistic education technology practices in public schools settings and assessing the potential of online learning communities of practice for teachers. An active JALT officer, he also organizes independent professional development opportunities for ALTs including Agorà, a monthly interactive live event as part of the ALT Training Online grassroots initiative.