About japantown


Call for Submissions: Stories on Raising Bilingual/Bicultural Children

We are seeking contributions about the experience of raising bilingual/bicultural children in Japan. We are primarily interested in the experience of raising bilingual/bicultural children outside of Japan’s large urban centres where English education options are generally not present, and where international opportunities are limited. Additionally, in some of the more rural or peripheral parts of Japan, even in small cities, it is often challenging to establish and sustain face-to-face social/community support networks because of limited numbers and geographic distance. If you would like to share a story about the challenges of raising bilingual kids in peripheral areas of Japan, please consider making a submission. Thus far we have received outstanding stories/contributions ranging in scope from maintaining L1 literacy when both parents are foreign nationals to nurturing bilingualism in a hearing-impaired child.

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7th Annual Shikoku JALT Conference, June 18, 2016

The Conference is co-sponsored by East Shikoku JALT, Matsuyama JALT, and Oxford University Press.

The 7th Annual Shikoku JALT full conference schedule and abstracts can be found here.

Date, time & location:
Saturday, June 18, 2016, 1:00-6:00
Ehime University (M23/M24, 2F Muse Bldg, Johoku Campus)

Keynote speaker: John Adamson (University of Niigata Prefecture), Research into Academic Publishing: Emerging Trends and Practices

OUP sponsored presentation: Stephen Ryan (Waseda University), Embracing Unpredictability in the Language Classroom

The 7th Annual Shikoku JALT full conference schedule and abstracts can be found here.


  1. Any JALT member may attend the Conference free of charge.
  2. There is no presentation fee for JALT members with accepted proposals.
  3. One-day membership for non-members: 1000 yen
  4. There will be a presentation fee of 2000 yen for accepted proposals from non-members (in addition to the one-day membership)
  5. Co-presenter submissions are welcomed but the main speaker shall be responsible for any payment of presentation fees for non-member co-presenters one month prior to the Conference.


Darren Lingley & Mike Delve
Conference Co-Chairs
7th Annual Shikoku JALT Conference (2016)

The European Language Portfolio: Principles, Aims and Functions Dr. Bärbel Kühn

The CEFR provides tools for the development of language curricula, programmes of teaching and learning, textbooks, and assessment instruments. The ELP is designed to mediate to learners, teachers and schools, and other stakeholders the ethos that underpins the CEFR: respect for linguistic and cultural diversity, mutual understanding beyond national, institutional and social boundaries, the promotion of plurilingual and intercultural education, and the development of the autonomy of the individual citizen. Dr. Bärbel Kühn will present on the value of introducing an ELP with a focus on the Bremen version.

Date & Time: Monday, 28 March, 6:00 pm7:00 pm
Location: KUT & UK Eikokuji Campus 永国寺キャンパス A108号室
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 500 yen

More information on CEFR can be found here: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/cefr/

Blended Learning Using Moodle

Title: Blended Learning Using Moodle
Speaker: Rick Broadaway, Kanazawa Gakuin University

Abstract: The term “blended learning” refers to the admixture of web-based online learning with traditional face-to-face learning in the classroom. The purpose of blended learning is not to supplant traditional teaching methods but to supplement them in various ways. This presentation will demonstrate how to use Moodle to enable blended learning by giving step-by-step instructions on how to create a Moodle course page to support three different instructional contexts: 1) content-based instruction using a culture textbook, 2) a 4-skills approach using a communication textbook, and 3) content-based instruction using Ted-Talks.

Date & Time: March 7, 2016 (Monday) from 4:30 to 6:00.
Location: Kochi University of Technology, Eikokuji Campus (Downtown Kochi), Room A108


The Significance of Overseas Programs: What Students Actually Learn

Speaker: Harry Carley
Presentation title: The Significance of Overseas Programs: What Students Actually Learn
Date/time: Sunday February 7, 2016 (2:00-4:00)
Venue: Kagawa University, Saiwai Campus, Olive Square – English Cafe

For more information about this event, please contact our Kagawa Prefectural Rep, Gerry McCrohan: mccrohan@cc.kagawa-u.ac.jp


Call for ‘Stories’: Raising Bilingual/Bicultural Children

Building on the success of last year’s family-inclusive My Share Maikawa Mountain Retreat, we are planning another East Shikoku JALT autumn retreat in the same location on the weekend of October 24th.

At this year’s event, we will gather to share stories about raising bilingual/bicultural children. What language choices and parenting strategies do parents of so-called ‘hafu’ children make? What are the issues, concerns, and challenges of parents of such children? What language and cultural issues do our ‘hafu’ children face? What educational opportunities are available to bilingual kids in rural areas like ours with no access to international schools? What can we learn from each other as language teachers and parents? How do Japanese parents nurture or maintain bilingualism in their families? What are the language/cultural hurdles when both parents are non-Japanese? And there are broader questions to consider as well, such as what it really means to be bilingual or bicultural, and what to make of labels like ‘hafu’.

There is exceptional variation and richness of experience in the way parents deal with these and other questions about raising bilingual/bicultural children. Coming together in a relaxed, natural environment like Maikawa to share our successes (and failures) will offer us the chance to learn from each other.

Anyone who would like to share their story, or come and hear the stories of others, is most welcome to attend.

If you want to share your story, we ask that you contact us by Friday, October 9th. No title or details are necessary, just an expression of interest to contribute by sharing your story. We are planning a relaxed round table format, depending on the number of people who wish to share stories. In keeping with our informal aims for this event, we will not use a presentation-driven format.

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Professional Knowledge in Language Teaching

Speaker: Terry Laskowski

Date &Time: Saturday, 26 September 2015 – 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Abstract: What makes teachers professionals? One way to approach this question is to look at Shulman’s (1986) seminal article on teacher knowledge, in which he divided it into two areas: subject matter knowledge (what to teach), and pedagogical knowledge (how to teach it). In this talk, we will look at the value of professional knowledge informed by professional theories of teaching as a means to nourish the teacher’s pedagogical knowledge. Through ongoing development of professional knowledge, manifested in professional discourse, teachers are able to rename experiences and reconstruct practice so that they can form conceptualizations of their teaching to better inform practice, which hopefully can lead to teacher change as well. Practical examples of putting theory into practice and the professional discourse to describe why the teacher does what he or she does will be presented.

Location: Kochi University, Room TBA

Fees: free for JALT members & 1,000 yen for one-day members.