Commercial Language Tests

2018 September poster

We are proud to announce our upcoming October joint event with our Annual General Meeting and a presentation by Young-Mi Lim

Date: Sunday, October 21st
Time: AGM 10:15am-11:00am. Presentation 11:15-12:15
Place: Matsumoto M-Wing (map)
Admission: Free for JALT members, 1000円 for non-members

At our Annual General Meeting (AGM), we will report on the state of our chapter and hold an election for next year’s officers. For those members interested in running for office, details can be found on our website, or contact Mary Aruga at

Presentation Title (日本語版下にあり)
Understanding Japan’s new university entrance exam system and private-sector English tests 

In Japan, the current National Center Test for University Admissions is planned to be replaced with a new university entrance exam system in the 2020 academic year. The government plans to introduce the use of privately run English tests as part of the new test system to evaluate the exam taker’s English skills in all four areas – reading, listening, speaking and writing.

This presentation will introduce characteristics of eight private English tests accepted for future university admission system. Second, it will address several issues associated with the new system such as the format and the aim of each test, testing fees, exam facilities and the measurement systems of four skills and certification standards for grading corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).  Third, the presentation discusses some issues related to English educators in Japan, especially focusing on the relationship between university entrance exams and high school education. Finally, the presentation provides some tips for high school students and university hopefuls in choosing an appropriate test and preparing for it.

YoungMi Lim is a language school owner and a part-time lecturer at Shinshu University and Matsumoto University. She has been teaching English and Korean for more than 20 years in Japan. She also teaches global marketing strategies in English at Shinshu University. YoungMi holds a master’s degree in marketing from the University of News South Wales. Her research interests involve multilingualism, language acquisition, and cross-cultural understanding.





Upcoming Event: Supporting Out-of Class Learning Through In-Class Activities and Supporting Students’ Learning Opportunities with Digital Technology

Shinshu JALT is proud to announce our next event

Shinshu JALT - July 2018 event poster

Date: Jul 15th
Time: 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Place: Matsumoto Tourist Information Center / 松本市観光情報センター (map)
Admission: Free for JALT members, 1000円 for non-members

Louise’s two-hour session will be divided into two parts:

Supporting Out-of-Class Learning Through In-Class Activities
Language educators can play an integral role in equipping learners with the skills and motivation they need to take their learning into their own hands (Blidi, 2017; Lai, 2017). This presentation outlines ways in which teacher-led support of self-directed learning was offered in two different teaching contexts: as a small, additional component to required skill-based English courses and in a course dedicated to self-directed learning. Teacher support was given in the form of tasks that aimed to broaden students’ knowledge on effective learning resources and study methods, particularly through the use of digital technology, as well as tasks which aimed to enhance their ability to manage their autonomous, out-of-class language learning. Learning management activities included identifying goals, creating and carrying out learning plans, reflecting on their learning experiences, then continuing the cycle with new plans. Student feedback from questionnaires and interviews will be shared to show the impact of the support and participants will be invited to discuss ways in which tasks introduced in this session could be used or adapted to suit their own teaching contexts.  

Supporting Students’ Learning Opportunities with Digital Technology
This workshop will introduce a wide range of online tools that can be used in class or for homework/self-study. The session will include tools that can be used to help students work on the four base skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), assist with receptive and productive vocabulary development, and boost motivation. Audience members will be invited to actively participate in demonstrations with many of the tools and discuss potential ways that they can be used to foster learning in both classroom and out-of-class settings. The session introduces activities that can be adapted to suit a wide range of teaching contexts and offers materials for all English proficiency levels. While it is possible to join this workshop without a web-capable device, those who bring a smart phone, tablet and/or a laptop will be able to participate more fully.

Presenter Bio
Associate Professor Louise Ohashi works full-time in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University and part-time in the Faculty of International Social Sciences at Gakushuin University. She holds a Master of Education (TESOL) and is in the final year of her doctoral studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Her main research areas centre around the use of digital technology in language learning (in-class and out-of-class use) and learner autonomy. She is Director of Program on JALT’s Board of Directors and Publicity Officer in JALTCALL.

Turning Speaking Tasks into Assessment Activities with Jerry Talandis Jr

Shinshu JALT is proud to present our next event.

Shinshu JALT April Event Japanese

Speakers: Jerry Talandis Jr.
Date: April 21st, Saturday
Time: 15:00 – 16:50
After the event, there will be a dinner with Jerry – all are welcome to attend.
Venue: University of Nagano C12, 長野県立大学(旧長野県短期大学のキャンパス)(Google Map)
Admission: Free for members, 1000¥ for non-members
Sign-up for the event on Facebook here

For transport assistance from Nagano station, please contact Cheryl Kirchoff:

One effective way to assess your students’ speaking skills is to turn regular language practice tasks into tests. To do that, all you really need is some sort of feedback loop that provides insight into performance. With such a loop, common practice activities can be turned into assessment activities (Brown, 2013). Such an approach to oral testing can potentially open up new ideas for assessment that help your students improve their speaking ability.  In this theory-light presentation, we’ll cover various strategies for creating such loops by looking at the pros and cons of typical holistic and analytic marking schemes. Guidance for creating effective feedback/marking rubrics will also be provided. Finally, practical issues regarding administration of in-class speaking tests will also be addressed.  No previous experience with conducting speaking tests is required; any teacher in learning how to implement oral testing in the classroom is encourage to attend.

The presentation will be followed by an informal discussion on the speaking textbook, “Conversations in Class, 3rd Edition” which the presenter co-authored. Anyone interested in learning more about this text is encouraged to take part.

Myshare + AGM

JALT November

Speakers: Cheryl Kirchhoff, Mark Brierley, Heather Fukase, Miguel Mision
Date: November 5th, Sunday
Time: 10:00 am – 12:15 pm
Venue: Agata no Mori Bunka Kaikan, あがたの森文化会館 (Google Map / 地図)
Admission: Free
Our November event will include the following presentations from our local members:

Online Communication Exchange Activities, Cheryl Kirchhoff
The Internet offers the potential for Japanese students to communicate with people of other cultures, yet often yields only problems and disappointment. I will explain factors that draw my college students into meaningful onlineintercultural communication.

Online support for Extensive Reading, Mark Brierley
Over the past ten years, language teachers at Shinshu University have collaborated with the IT department of the Engineering Faculty to create an online system for keeping track of students’ reading, and the Extensive Reading Foundation’s online placement test, which has been used by the students of almost 100 teachers in over 15 countries. Our latest project is investigating the creation of an ER cloud to support Extensive Reading.
Exposure to World Englishes through online recordings, Heather Fukase & Miguel Mission
English is now widely accepted as the Lingua franca because of its widespread application in business, science and politics. Students have much to benefit from listening to not just the spoken English of their teachers but also the various World Englishes now emerging. Farrell, Martin (2009) and Matsuda (2003) have all published research on the benefits of exposing learners to a mixture of English speakers.

In this current age of smartphones, it is easier than ever to gather spoken recordings from people from all over the world for the purposes of English learning through listening tasks. This presentation will demonstrate how simple the process can be and hopes to encourage others to share their recordings to create a growing pool of resources for all teachers to use.

Upcoming Annual General Meeting

Right after our November 5th event, we will hold our Annual General Meeting, where we will report on the state of our chapter and hold an election for next year’s officers. We are pleased to announce that the following members have volunteered for the positions listed below. However, please do not let this deter you from putting your name forward. All the officers would welcome your contribution, either as an assistant or replacement. If it is the former, it is a great way to learn more about the inner workings of Shinshu JALT, and if the latter, the current officers would be more than willing to serve as your mentor when you assume one of these roles. Like any volunteer position, it is time-consuming, but I can guarantee that you will find the experience rewarding.

Important notice:
We are sad to announce that Greg Birch, our beloved program chair who has been the backbone of our chapter for the past four years, is stepping down. As stated above, he is happy to serve as a mentor for anyone who is willing to serve as our new program chair. Please do consider this fantastic chance for professional development!

Volunteers as of October 13th:

President: Mary Aruga
Treasurer: Cheryl Kirchhoff
Publicity: Damian Gowland
Membership: Heather Fukase

*The program chair finds speakers, communicates with them and supervises arrangements for our events. They also draw up announcements to be used for publicity as well as send in reports to the JALT program database. If you have any interest in becoming the Programme Chair, or any other positions, please contact us at:

  • Mary Aruga (president)
  • Gregory Birch (current programme chair)

MOOCs and Professional Development: An afternoon with ALT Training Online founder, Nathaniel Reed.

Logo original
Speaker: Nathaniel Reed
: Sept 24th (Sun), 2017.
Time: 13:30~15:30 pm
Venue:  Nagano City Lifelong Learning Center (TOIGO 3F – Room 4)   長野市生涯学習センター (トイーゴ 3階 第4学習室) (Google map)
Sponsors: Japan Association for Language Teaching: Shinshu Chapter 全国語学教育学会  信州支部

CALL for Presenters: At Shinshu JALT’s September meeting, Nathaniel Reed will guide us through a MOOC he is developing – ALTtrainingonline. However, there are time slots available for other educators to share their expertise about team teaching, MOOCs or professional development in general. One role of Shinshu JALT is to provide local teachers with opportunities to share their ideas. Just get in touch.

Our young learners deserve quality teachers. Language education in Japan has been called, amongst other things: rigid, immobilized and outdated. As Courses of Study consistently ramp up goals, there is almost no evidence of them being met. One aspect of language policy that has huge potential for change and meeting MEXT targets that has been unrecognized 3 decades is ALTs.

There are around 14,000 ALTs working in elementary, junior and high schools and by 2020 there will be 20,000. Their job descriptions, roles and duties however have never been specified, and the level of training they receive ranges from none, to 5 day pre-position workshops with periodic on the job workshops. Almost no existing training is done with both team teaching partners – as the work context dictates. We are seeing the complexity of the working relationship develop, teachers’ voices getting louder, MEXT targets increasing, contract issues getting more obscured and the number of agencies hiring ALTs going up – and something needs to give.

Presented here is an initiative to support language teachers and ultimately support the futures of our learners’. Since 2015 the presenter has been steadily putting together an open access teacher training MOOC for ALTs. He will talk about the reasons why the MOOC exists, its goals and how it is being put together. Following this informative talk the floor will be open for questions about the MOOC, so please take a little time to explore the site – your ideas, thoughts and queries are actively encouraged.


Nathaniel Reed has been working in education, in various contexts, for 17 years. He came to Japan in 2009 and has worked as a school manager, curriculum developer and a teacher in eikaiwas, university and currently as an ALT. He completed a distance MA with Birmingham University in 2014 writing his dissertation on the contemporary roles of ALTs. He has presented the ALT training MOOC at the 2015 and 2016 JALT international conferences and will also present in 2017 conference in Tsukuba. His paper on this can be found in the post conference proceedings 2016, and interview in The Language Teacher March 2017 issue 41.2.

Admission: JALT members free. Non-members: 1000 yen. JALT会員は無料、非会
Inquiries: Gregory Birch (
See events calendar for latest details.
場所は、JALTのホームページのイベントカレンダーから検索できます (

Get Going with Google

JALT July Event - Rab Paterson edit

Speaker: Rab Paterson
Date: July 30th (Sun)
Time: 10:00-15:00
Venue: M-Wing Central Community Center / 松本市公民館M-ウィング・中央公民館 (Google Map / 地図)
Admission: JALT members: Free.  Non-members: 1000 yen.

ShinshuJALT is proud to announce the guest speaker for our July event will be Rab Paterson – a certified Google educator – who will be giving a workshop on using technology in teaching.

Note: Please ensure that you have an active Google account, and to bring a laptop/tablet/device with Wi-Fi access for this interactive workshop. Shinshu JALT will be providing wi-fi routers for attendees.

RSVP: If would be helpful if you register with Gregory Birch ( by July 15 to ensure we order enough WiFi routers for the event.

Session 1 – This session will cover digital pedagogy with practical examples drawn from the Just in Time Teaching, Flipped Learning, and Blog Journaling pedagogical approaches. These will be demonstrated by showing how Google Apps (Blogger, Docs, Forms, Google+ Communities, Google Groups, Google Sites, and YouTube) together with an RSS Reader (Feedly) can accomplish these ideas in an easy to manage way, even for teachers new to educational technology. After the overview and demonstration of this theory, the session will become more hands on and the instructor will go on to work directly with attendees on how to set up and use all these apps in this way and teachers will make their own Sites and accounts for these various apps. This section will be followed by a presentation and discussion on TPACK and how this approach can help teachers utilise the Google Apps above in varying subjects and types of classes. The entire morning session will end with a more formal Q and A session, although attendees are free to ask questions throughout the session.

Session – 2 This session will cover the many different teacher credentials and qualifications that Google offer. These will be explained in turn with the pros and cons of each along with advice, suggestions, and tips on how to gain these certificates and what to expect once attendees have them. Some time will be spent looking at the exams and where to find resources to prepare for them along with guidance on how to keep current with Google’s products. The session will conclude with reasons why teachers should consider going Google. The entire afternoon session will end with a more formal Q and A session, although attendees are free to ask questions throughout the session.

About Rab Paterson

Rab Paterson currently teaches at the Toyo University-UCLA Extension Center for Global Education, and is the Director of the Asia Association for Global Studies, a Fellow of the British Royal Asiatic Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Additionally he is a Google Certified Educator, Google Educators Group Leader, Google Certified Trainer, and winner of the Google Innovator and Apple Distinguished Educator awards.
He has a BA(Hons.) in Pacific Asian History and an MA in Pacific Asian Studies from London University’s SOAS, a Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy and an MS in Multidisciplinary Studies from SUNY(Buffalo). Currently, he’s a doctoral candidate at University College London’s Institute of Education, conducting research on digital literacy and teacher professional development via online and face to face workshops.

Inquiries: Gregory Birch (
See events calendar for latest details.
Signup for the event via facebook here.

Chubu English Language Education Society Conference

About once every 10 years, the Chubu English Language Education Society Conference is held in Nagano.  The highlight at this year’s conference (for us at least, there are over 80 presentations) will be Shinshu JALT’s sponsored speaker – Dr. Naoyuki Naganuma.  There will also be presentations by local members, Greg Birch and Dr. Sue Fraser, as well as a panel discussion about team teaching.  See the abstracts below for detailed information.  Hope to see you there.
Click here for more information about the conference.

JALT Shinshu will sponsor Dr Naoyuki Naganuma at the Chubu English Language Education Society – Nagano Conference

Event: Chubu English Language Education Society – Nagano Conference
 / 第47回 中部地区英語教育学会 長野大会
Date: June 24 – 25 (Sat&Sun), 2017
Venue: Shinshu University, Faculty of Education
/ 信州大学教育学部
Admission: JALT members, non-members  1500 yen for 2-day conference

Suggested presentations for JALT members

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 10:50 – 12:00
Room: Library (2Fl)
Presenter: Dr. Naoyuki Naganuma, Tokai University

Designing tasks informed by CEFR and CLIL to develop cognitive and intercultural skills
Under the current discussion for the direction the MEXT committees are taking for both primary and secondary education, deep learning, dialogical (collaborative) learning, and active (autonomous) learning are developing as the three key concepts in their plan. The MEXT committee’s curriculum direction is not limited to the area of foreign language, but includes all subject areas. The idea of deep learning is often discussed with the development of cognitive (thinking) skills, which naturally require sophistication of language and content, but we may need to consider the needs of thinking activities even at the lower language proficiency level when one thinks about the role tertiary level education plays.

Read more

The CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) is now attracting more and more attention over the world as a reference of second/foreign language development describing skills ranging from more familiar basic communicative ones to more academic or professional ones, but what can the majority of A2 (waystage) and even A1 (breakthrough) level learners learn beyond BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)? How can we foster their CALP (Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency)? The CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach seems to be one of the possible solutions. We can design our language tasks gradually shifting the focus from LOTS (lower-order thinking skills): remembering, understanding and applying to HOTS (higher-order thinking skills): analyzing, evaluating, and creating. We need to scaffold not only their language skills but also their thinking skills to elicit curiosity and more involvement of the learners in the content they learn to activate their deeper thinking.

Another generic, non-linguistic, skill to be developed is the skill to cope with diversified society and cultures. Mutual intercultural understanding and communication are essential even among learners. The INCA (Intercultural Competence Assessment) framework describes six key competences from the points of openness (respect for otherness and tolerance of ambiguity), knowledge (knowledge discovery and empathy) and adaptability (behavioral flexibility and communicative awareness) in three levels (basic, intermediate and full). Informational and relational aspects are two sides of the same coin of language communication, and we cannot ignore the importance of rapport management when we pursue language tasks. Critical cultural awareness helps us to think more logically, and from various perspectives, while empathizing with others. Thus it is necessary to sophisticate both cognitive and intercultural competences in this rapidly globalizing world.

Naoyuki Naganuma, Ph.D., is a professor of the International Education Center at Tokai University. He got his doctor’s degree in 2006 from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. His research interests are mainly on language learning motivation and language testing, especially can-do oriented assessment to promote learning and motivation. He was a committee member of MEXT for setting learning attainment targets in the form of can-do lists in foreign language education.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 9:30 – 10:00
Room: 第1室 (N101)
Presenter: Gregory Birch, Seisen Jogakuin College

Implementing the Language Portfolio for Japanese University: A Pragmatic Approach
Under pressure from university administration to document the effectiveness of an EFL university program, the author prepared a guidebook to clarify the learning outcomes for this program and a curriculum tree to specify in which classes these outcomes were to be achieved, and utilized the Language Portfolio for Japanese University (LP-J)(Framework & Language Portfolio SIG, 2009) to monitor and document student progress.

Read more

The LP-J is based on the European Language Portfolio, which was created by the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education and linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (Council of Europe, 2001).

The purpose of this presentation is to describe how elements of the LP-J have been implemented, and outline its primary use as a pedagogic tool to document student language learning achievements, record significant language learning and intercultural experiences, and provide concrete evidence of the students’ communicative proficiency.  A secondary goal was to promote learner autonomy through goals setting and reflection, and faculty involvement through monitoring.

The LP-J was utilized to encourage students to monitor progress in relation to program goals (i.e. Learning Outcomes). Assessment of student performance against these outcomes serves as a measure of accountability.  At this time, a key aspect of the portfolio that has not been utilized is its use as a self-assessment tool in relation to CEFR Can-do statements. The use of Can-do statements was avoided as their use implies that the existing curriculum was designed based on CEFR, and goals at each level - from curriculum to individual classes to activities - have been clearly identified and communicated to the students, agreed upon by all stakeholders, and linked to CEFR’s illustrative scales.  Therefore, it was felt that the most pragmatic way to implement key aspects of the Common European Framework of References for Languages was through a partial introduction of the Language Portfolio for Japanese University.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 10:10 – 10:40
Room: 第1室 (N101)
Presenter: Sue Fraser, Seisen Jogakuin College

We have to? We want to? Tertiary-level Language Learning Motivation in Japan
Ever-increasing opportunities for worldwide interaction through business, travel, technology and social media are motivating learners around the globe to acquire English communication skills. However, is this also true in Japan? The purpose of this on-going study is, therefore, to explore and compare language learning motivation, attitudes to studying English, and perceived L2 ability among Japanese learners approaching the end of obligatory English education.
Cohorts of 2nd-year students of Education, English, and Engineering at three different universities are surveyed each year to elicit interest in and reasons for studying English, and experiences of the L2 learning process. Results are compared every three years to identify patterns in responses, in order to ascertain to what extent motivation has varied over time. Responses also reflect how recent changes in English education and MEXT policy aims of internationalisation may be influencing motivation.

Read more

Data are interpreted in relation to motivational concepts including L2 Self System, International Posture, and Integrative/Instrumental Orientations. Differing views of those majoring in English or other subjects, as well as relationships between motivation and perceived L2 ability, are examined. Quantitative results are discussed, and qualitative examples are provided to allow for student voices to be heard. Classroom activities reported by participants as effective and enjoyable are also highlighted.

Findings include indications that despite a stated desire to communicate with foreigners, there is a decline in interest in travelling or studying abroad and in seeking out opportunities for international exchange. The gap between the ideal L2 self and the actual L2 learner may thus suggest a trend toward insularity rather than intended globalization. Identifying what learners enjoy in L2 classes and what inspires them to study has implications for establishing and sustaining motivation, which in turn may inform curriculum planning, materials design, and classroom methodology on what is appropriate for tertiary-level English education.

Date: June 25 (Sun), 2017
Time: 13:30 – 15:30
Room: 第2会場   (N201)
Presenter(s): Peter Ferguson, Nara University of Education; Simon Woodgett, Fukui Prefecture Board of Education

Teaching and Assessment with ALTs

Thirty years have passed since the JET Program started. When we observe English classes now, various roles of ALTs can be identified. For example, the ALT is used as an assistant and acts based on the JTE’s direction, or sometimes the ALT is the main teacher with the JTE assisting students’ comprehension of English. In many situations the current TT (team-teaching) system works well; so what are these good points? On the other hand, in some situations the present TT system does not work so well; so what are the problems and the solutions?

Read more

We can improve the current TT situation, by giving all ALTs an independent role in covering aspects that they are uniquely suited to that perhaps the JTEs are not, and vice versa. Making the best use of both ALTs and JTEs, by having them work together mutually and interactively, should be the ideal of a new type of TT. Our goal is to point out the merits and problems of the current TT system, propose possible solutions for the problems and give useful hints/ideas/examples to further expand the positive aspects. This presentation will not be a lecture or a one-way presentation; we would like to encourage the audience to engage in group-discussions in order to share and co-create some new ideas relating to the themes that we will address.

➀ Making CAN-DO Lists to Share the Goals between JTEs and ALTs
Haruhiko Naito (Asahi Junior high school)
This presentation shows the merits of goal sharing between JTEs and ALTs. Last year, we started making CAN-DO lists to share the goal of each unit and criteria for the evaluation with students. However, we did not make them with the ALTs. The ALTs suggested some good activities for classes, but sometimes the activities are not focused towards the goal of unit set by JTEs because the goals hadn’t been shared with the ALTs. 

Based on this situation, we are making two kinds of CAN-DO list with ALTs now. These are “Grade CAN-DO” and “Unit CAN-DO”. “Grade CAN-DO” shows the goal of each grade by term and unit. “Unit CAN-DO” shows the goal of each section within each unit. Through making CAN-DO lists with ALTs, we can share the goals and we can make teaching plans and activities that work towards these goals. In addition, understanding the goal will allow for more tailored feedback from ALTs and JTEs for the students. In my presentation, I will introduce our CAN-DO list, how we can make them with ALTs, and how we use them in class.

➁ Effective Use of ALTs in the Classroom – In Regards to Oral Assessment, Student Motivation & Creative Communication
Simon Woodgett (Fukui Board of Education)
After collating feedback and research from teacher-training sessions, I have identified the most common concerns of each party involved in TT, which in brief, is as follows: Many ALTs feel underutilized and unsatisfied in their current roles. Many JTEs, on the other hand, feel overburden and over pressured, whereas many students feel they learn English only to pass tests and not in order to develop it as a useful tool for international communication. 

Addressing these concerns, I will explain and show the success story of my experience introducing a new system for oral assessment in TT class, as well as the importance of making students active agents in their own English language progression. This will be followed by some audience-interactive examples of how to encourage students to communicate in a more creative and effective way beyond their current language level.

➂ Effective Team-teaching for Improved Student Achievement
Peter Ferguson (Nara University of Education)
TT should be a collaboration of abilities and backgrounds with the sole aim of improving student learning through effective classroom practices. TT provides a number of benefits, both real and perceived, not only for students, but for the teachers as well. In other words, effective TT should have an impact on both the students and the teachers involved. However, TT requires teachers, especially JTEs, to take up two teaching methods and styles. This can be difficult for many teachers for a variety of reasons. But if teachers are willing to be flexible in their teaching methodologies, there are a number of benefits – both professionally and personally – that can be gained. 

Why are two heads better than one? By having two English teachers in the classroom they can demonstrate effective communication skills/strategies, properly demonstrate the use of non-verbal communication, increase the lexical input and provide varied sources of input for students. TT also enables teachers to be less reliant on the textbook, which brings language learning to life for the students. All of this could possibly lead to improved student motivation and student achievement. 

The main goal of TT is to improve students’ English language development in the classroom. This presentation will focus on how TT can be an effective method to improve student L2 acquisition.



Developing literacy through CLIL for young learners + Luna’s BBQ

Chiyuki BBQ

Speaker: Chiyuki Yanase
Date: April 16th (Sun)
Time: 10:00am ~ 12:00pm
Venue:  Agata no Mori Bunka Kaikan, あがたの森文化会館 (Google map)
Sponsors: Macmillan Publishing, Japan Association for Language Teaching: Shinshu Chapter 全国語学教育学会  信州支部

In this workshop, Chiyuki Yanase will discuss what Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is and why it can be an effective approach in EFL classes for young learners. She will also explore how CLIL can be integrated in order to develop young learners’ literacy skills in a EFL story-based class. Participants will be invited to experience CLIL activities, based on a story from a course book, Story Central. It is hoped that participants go back to their classrooms with engaging CLIL activities which motivate literacy development and language learning of young learners.

Chiyuki Yanase is a language school owner and a lecturer at several universities in Tokyo. She has been teaching English for young learners for over 20 years and holds MSc in TEYL from Aston University. Her research interests focus on collaborative learning and the literacy development of young learners. She has presented at numerous conferences, and published several articles on team-teaching, learner autonomy and collaborative learning.

Over the years, we have had many gifted speakers visit us in Nagano. But how can they be expected to share years of experience and expertise in a two-hour time slot? They can’t. And that is why we are so pleased to welcome back Chiyuki Yanase. Yanase sensei will build off her successful ‘Story-based lessons for children’ workshop in 2016, this time focusing on content-based language lessons for young learners. If you missed last year’s event, do not make the same mistake twice – join us for a morning of professional development. For last year’s participants, see you on the 16th.

Immediately afterwards, we will wander over to Susugi River for a BBQ. After a long hibernation, it will be a good chance to sit down with friends from Shinshu JALT, Luna International and MacMillan Publishing.

All this is made possible by the generous contribution of Macmillan Publishing, who have kindly agreed to sponsor Yanase Sensei’s talk and the BBQ, and the tireless efforts of Jim & Damian at Luna International, who have been working behind the scenes to pull all this together. On behalf of the chapter, thank you.

Admission: JALT members: free. Non-members: 1000 yen. JALT会員は無料、非会員は当日1000円
Inquiries: Gregory Birch (
See events calendar for latest details.
Signup for the event via facebook here.


Practise, Create, Motivate: English through Drama

On Feb 19th, Shinshu JALT will host a special event for teachers interested in learning how drama techniques can be utilised in the EFL classroom to get students speaking.  Due to work commitments, our original speaker is unable to attend. Rather than miss this opportunity to get together, long-time contributor, Dr. Sue Fraser – a Best of JALT recipient, has kindly offered to share her expertise.  (In turn, Greg has promised to be nice to Sue for the next 13 days, which also provides a bit of drama and some serious acting skills).  Take a look at the abstract (and Sue’s credentials) and you will agree that this will be well worth your time.  Looking forward to seeing you there.
Practise, Create, Motivate:  English through Drama

conferencelogoSpeaker: Dr. Sue Fraser
: Feb 19th (Sun), 2017
Time: 10:30~12:30 pm
Venue:  Matsumoto City Tourist Information Office 2F  (One block south of Matsumoto Castle.) 松本市市民活動サポートセンター
Google Map
Sponsors: Japan Association for Language Teaching: Shinshu Chapter 全国語学教育学会  信州支部

Practise, Create, Motivate:  English through Drama

Workshop:  10:30 – 12:30 Speaker: Dr. Sue Fraser

‘Drama’ is not simply ‘acting’. When employed in educational settings, Drama encompasses a wide range of activities to encourage creativity, interaction, confidence-building, and communication skills and strategies; thus motivating learners to become involved and express themselves. Drama in FLT has diverse uses for grammatical and phonological practice, developing presentation skills and overall fluency, and encouraging critical thinking and intercultural awareness.

In this workshop, a range of activity types involving Drama, adaptable to various FLT classroom contexts, will be experienced and analysed: from one-off warmers, to ideas for textbook adaptation, to creative performance projects. Active participation is expected!

Dr. Sue Fraser teaches at Seisen Jogakuin College, Shinshu University, and Nagano National College of Technology (Kosen), and tutors on Birmingham University’s distance-learning M.A. in Applied Linguistics/TESOL.  She has applied her life-long performing and academic involvement in Theatre and Drama to EFL teaching, teacher training and materials writing.  She has published on varieties of spoken English, Drama and learner autonomy, spoken and written fluency, and L2 learning motivation, and co-authors various Japanese university entrance exam preparation textbooks.

Admission:  JALT members free.  Non-members: 1000 yen.  
Inquiries: Gregory Birch (
See events calendar for latest details.
Signup for the event via facebook here.

JALT National Pre-Conference My Share + Annual General Meeting (AGM)

JALT National Pre-Conference My Share +
Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Date: November 12 (Sat.), 2016.
Time: 13:30~15:30 pm (AGM: 15:45-16:30)
Venue:  Matsumoto City Tourist Information Office 2F  (One block south of Matsumoto Castle.) 松本市市民活動サポートセンター
Admission:  This will be a free event, all interested parties are welcome.  これは無料イベントとなり、気になる方是非来てください。

JALT National Pre-Conference My Share + AGM

At our November event, members presenting at JALT National will share their research, and Damian Gowland will talk about his experience on a CELTA course in the Galapagos Islands. We will also hold our Annual General Meeting, which includes a report on the state of the chapter and an election for next year’s officers.


Miguel Mision – Mobile Assisted Language Learning for Young Learners.

While MALL offers many opportunities for language learners to communicate and exchange ideas with each other, there have been few developments for elementary or beginner level learners who have not reached the communicative ability necessary for iCALL. Many applications are created using dated memorisation and quiz designs. This presentation will explore key design features of MALL for young learners and how they are currently and could be utilized for learning.

Miguel Mision has been teaching English at elementary schools in Japan for 8 years. He completed a Masters degree in TESOL, graduating with first class honors and focused his dissertation on Mobile Assisted Language Learning. He is the current webmaster for JALT Shinshu Chapter.


Gregory Birch – JTEs’ and ALTs’ views on teaching materials

This study continues earlier research (Birch, 2008) into the state of team teaching in Japanese junior and senior high schools by examining textbook usage, lesson preparation and materials selection in team-teaching contexts, and professional development among ALTs.  Results are based on surveys completed by 120 Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and 80 Japanese Teachers of English (JTEs) during the Skills Development Conference in two prefectures, and interviews to further explore survey results.

Gregory Birch, a professor at Seisen Jogakuin College in Nagano, Japan, has presented and written articles on Task-Based Learning and teacher training. He is the current Program Chair for JALT Shinshu Chapter.


Damian Gowland Training abroad: CELTA

In this presentation I will talk about my experiences on the CELTA course in the Galapagos Islands. This presentation will cover aspects of the course, professional development and the benefits of training abroad.

Damian Gowland has been teaching English at a private language school in Matsumoto, teaching learners of all abilities from the age of 2 up to adults. He is a trained Cambridge English speaking examiner for YLEs, KET, PET, FCE, CAE & CPE exams. He is the current Publicity Chair for JALT Shinshu Chapter.

Inquiries: Gregory Birch (
Signup for the event via facebook here
See events calendar for latest details.

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