MEES 2017 – Presenter Lineup and Schedule


MEES page on Iwatejalt

Hello everyone !
Just under a month to go until the 2017 MEES conference ! We want to thank everyone who submitted presentation proposals this year. We are proud to announce our full day’s lineup of six presentations for Sunday, June 18th!

Please check out the full conference schedule below. The lineup and full presentation descriptions are also attached to this post as 4 separate image files.

Details on the pre-conference dinner party (evening of Sat. 17th), shuttle busses to and from the venue, and bento reservations will be posted here soon.

Conference Schedule:

09:00 – 10:00 Registration

10:00 – 10:10 Opening Comments

10:10 – 11:10 Plenary Session – Marc Helgesen (Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University) ‘DIY NeuroELT – Make Your Text More Brain-friendly’

11:20 – 11:50 Session 1 – James Hobbs (Iwate Medical University) ‘Neuropsychology and the Nervous Presenter’

12:00 – 12:30 Session 2 – Robert Walsh (University of Maryland University College-Asia) ‘Service Learning for Higher Education in East Asia’

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break (bento available on site)

13:30 – 14:00 Session 3 – Robert Walsh and Norie Chida (University of Maryland University College-Asia) ‘A Bridge Across Cultures: An Intercultural Interview Project at University of Maryland University College’

14:10 -14:40 Session 4 – Mike Morris (Hachinohe National Institute of Technology) ‘So You Got Stuck with the English Writing Class’

14:50 – 15:20 Session 5 – Yukako Kimura (St. Ursula Eiichi Elementary and Middle School) ‘Creating Workshops with Young Learners’

15:20 – 15:30 Closing Comments


(Hachinohe city is set up weird !)

In particular, this information is for those staying at a local hotel AND planning to attend the Saturday evening dinner party. We wanted to let you know about the distance and travel time required to the dinner party if you stay at one of the hotels close to “Hachinohe Station”.

There are 2 main train stations in Hachinohe: “Hachinohe Station” and “Hon-Hachinohe Station”.

“Hachinohe Station” 八戸駅 has access to shinkansen lines and local trains. However, it is located on the extreme outskirts of the city and about a 15 minute ride to the closest downtown station (Hon-Hachinohe Station). There are a couple of hotels close by (Toyoko Inn, Hotel Mets) that are very convenient to Hachinohe station, but as the location is remote from the city center, there is very little else close by within walking distance. If you stay here, please be aware that the Saturday evening dinner party location is a 20-30 minute bus ride …or 30 minute+ train & walking) away. If you do this and take the train / bus, we recommend checking timetables / maps and planning out your trip downtown and back in advance. Of course, taxi is also an option.

“Hon-Hachinohe Station” 本八戸駅 is the closest local train station to downtown Hachinohe. There is no shinkansen access here. And, although it is the closest station to downtown, it is still a good 10 minute walk to the city center, called “Mikka-machi” (where the Saturday evening pre-conference dinner party will be held).

“Mikka-machi” 三日町 is what the locals call downtown Hachinohe. There are a number hotels in / near downtown (Super Hotel, Daiwa Roynet, Citypark, etc.). This is where the nightlife is and where the dinner party will be held. There is convenient access to and from “Hachinohe Station” via local bustops in “Mikka-machi”.

Our free shuttle van service to and from the conference on Sunday will stop at “Hachinohe Station”, “Hon-Hachinohe Station” and “Mikka-machi”.

Hachinohe’s layout have you confused yet?! (=
If you have any questions or concerns about hotels and getting around in Hachinohe, just drop us a message in advance.



I’ll have more updates when they become available.

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MEES 2017 Information is up

Please check out our tab for MEES 2017 for a permanent place for all MEES 2017 information. I’ve placed it here as well.


2017 Michinoku English Education Summit

Co-sponsored by the Iwate Chapter of JALT and Hachinohe Gakuin University

Sunday, June 18, 2017

at Hachinohe Gakuin University


Conference theme:

“Transformations: Possibilities in Teaching and Learning”

This year’s conference will explore the themes of change and evolution in language teaching and learning. Topics will address changes related to language pedagogy, perceptions of language education, and/or other relevant topics.

Plenary speaker:
Marc Helgesen (Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University)


Call for Presenters:

Proposal deadline: May 12, 2017

Session or poster presentation, as described below:
All proposals should be 100-200 words in Word or PDF format.

1. Session Presentation: 30 minutes (20 minute presentation, 10 minute Q & A) Please advise about your presentation style: Hands-on Workshop, Lecture, PowerPoint Presentation, etc.

2. Poster Presentation: Maximum size 150x150cm.

Send presentation proposals to:

Barry Grossman:

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Upcoming: April 23 – Preparing for the global marketplace: How can we best prepare our learners? – Richmond Stroupe


Date and Time: Sunday, 23 April 2017– 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Speaker: Richmond Stroupe
Location: AIINA Rm 602 (map
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)


There will be an open mic session after the presentation.

In the 21st century, prospective employers of our graduates are no
longer satisfied with solely higher levels of English language
proficiency, but also require additional skills that shape a
well-rounded global citizen. As part of the global community, our
learners will be required to be autonomous and confident and be able
to think critically. In addition, our learners need to be able to
effectively manage large amounts of information, use technology
efficiently, understand the cultural perspectives of others, and work
collaboratively and in leadership positions. All of these skills need
to be incorporated into language programs that increasingly are
providing content through English medium instruction, increasing the
expectations placed on students and instructors alike. This workshop
will provide opportunities for teachers to discuss the obstacles they
face when trying to support learners as they develop these skills, and
to discuss effective approaches to overcoming these obstacles.
Participants in this workshop will also have the opportunity to
discuss specific strategies and effective suggestions that teachers
can use on a daily basis within any curriculum with students at any
level to help them achieve the skills necessary for success within the
global community.


Richmond Stroupe is the current Chair of the International Language
Education: TESOL Graduate Program at Soka University in Tokyo, Japan.
He has worked with university and professional language-learners from
Asia since 1989, and his academic interests include curriculum
development, teacher training and professional development, and
enhancing learners’ critical thinking skills.

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Upcoming – Feb 26 – Joël Laurier – Cooperative Learning: a teaching strategy and a learner’s tool


Date and Time: Sunday, 26 February 2017– 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Speaker: Joël Laurier
Location: AIINA Rm 602 (map
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)


2370963Administrators want improved student performance; parents want improved social skills instilled in their children; teachers want better performing students that are more autonomous; and students want to show everyone what they can do. But in this world of budgets over educational outcomes, standardized tests, and constant academic competition, teachers are faced with numerous constraints that make most of the above desires unattainable. But are they really?

As more and more research is being conducted on multiple intelligences and effective group work, Cooperative Learning (CL) has proven itself as an effective teaching approach that involves students using social skills in interdependent groupings, and achieving better results.  The classroom then becomes an interactive stage for students to learn and use social skills while demonstrating more meaningful learning.

This hands-on workshop is aimed at teachers of all academic levels, and will benefit who have varying levels of students in their class. It will show attendees how they can use CL to increase active participation between students while instilling a positive learning environment that leads to better achievement results. Attendees will be shown effective CL structures that make learning the student’s responsibility, and leave the teacher ’s concern.

Joël Laurier teaches in the Leaning English for Academic Purposes (LEAP) program at Toyo University. He is a two time Kagan Academy Cooperative Learning Scholarship winner. His research interests include cooperative learning, language policy and bilingualism.

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Happy New Year from Iwate JALT

Hi everyone! Holidays are over and everyone is getting back in the swing of things. Iwate JALT has some big plans for 2017 and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you. I  have updated the schedule and we have some exciting events and presentations lined up.

We won’t be having a meeting in January. Instead, we’ll be starting things off in February. Stay tuned for an announcement about that soon. I will also have news about the upcoming MEES 2017, which will be in June and the PanSIG event in Akita in May. I’ll keep you up-to-date with all the latest with Iwate JALT. I’m looking forward to meeting you all in 2017.


Iwate JALT – Publicity Chair

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Upcoming – Dec 11 – Education as a Business – School Owner Simulation


Date and Time: Sunday, 11 December 2016– 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Speaker:Ryan Hagglund
Location: AIINA Rm 602 (map
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)


Most teachers at some time have thought about running their own language school or wondered what it would be like. What would it entail? What might a successful model be? How might it differ from education in the non-profit world? This presentation will utilize a simulation style to highlight challenges and benefits unique to for-profit language schools. Participants will engage in decision-making scenarios and opportunities, observing how they affect both the educational and financial aspects of education as a business.

Ryan Hagglund is owner of MY English School in Yamagata and adjunct professor of English at Yamagata University. He also serves as coordinator for the JALT School Owners’ SIG and regional group liaison for ETJ. He has an MA in TEFL/TESL from University of Birmingham in England, MAT from Willamette University in Oregon, and Oregon State teaching certification for JHS and HS. He lives in Yamagata with his wife and three boys.

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Upcoming – Nov 20 – 21 Fall Events with Sarah Mercer

While Iwate JALT itself has no events in Morioka this month, there are a couple of events in the Tohoku region, we are work with. Please check them out if you are in the area.


The first is in Sendai




The second is in Aomori with Iwate JALT as a sponsor.



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