Upcoming: Double Presentation: Global English Seminar and What can be done with Corpora – Barry Grossman

Event Speaker: Barry GrossmanFee for JALT 


members: freeFee for non-JALT members: 1000 yen (500 yen for students)
Contact or Queries: iwatejalt@hotmail.com

Date and TIme: Sunday, January 28, 2018 – 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Location: AIINA in Morioka Rm 605 – View Map

Presentation #1: (45 minutes)

Title: “Global English Seminar Project: A navigation app for foreign tourists and residents”

The need for English information in a local community is being met by a university’s ‘Global English Seminar’ class. In order to make visiting the area more convenient for foreign tourists and residents, the seminar class has made a free iPhone app that provides information in English on local tourist spots, businesses and services. The educational and societal goals, methods, results, and challenges of this three-year project will be presented.

Hands-on Workshop: (90 minutes)

Title: “What can you do with a corpus?”

Online corpora have become very user-friendly in the past few years. In this hands-on workshop, we will learn to use the corpus engine at Brigham Young University. The corpus can be beneficial as a language resource for teachers and students, but we will also discuss its use for classroom activities. By the end of the workshop, participants will have the confidence to use a corpus on their own and be able to explore the various functions an online corpus can offer.


Born 1965: Brooklyn, NY


1988: University of Colorado, BA in English Literature

1991: University of Colorado, MA in Linguistics / TEFL

2017: University of Birmingham (UK), PhD. in English & Applied Linguistics

(Thesis in Cognitive Corpus Linguistics)



1991: Tokyo, English Language School

1992: Hirosaki, English Language School

1993: Hachinohe National Institute of Technology

1996: Hachinohe University, Lecturer

2013: Hachinohe Gakuin University, Professor


Besides having published numerous articles on EFL and Linguistics, he has given research presentations in Japan, Canada, Korea, Italy, & The Netherlands.

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Upcoming – Creativity and Playfulness in the Language Classroom – Malu Sciamarelli

Date and Time: Tuesday, 21 November 2017,  19:00 – 20:00
Speaker: Malu Sciamarelli
Location: Hirosaki Gakuin University (13-1 Minorichō, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken 036-8231 0172-34-5211


Fee for JALT members: Free

Non-JALT members: 500 yen

Creativity and Playfulness in the Language Classroom

Children are driven by curiosity and playfulness. An approach based on children’s Four Corners Poster - Malu in Hirosakinatural way of interacting with their world, a playfulness approach, would go a long way to creating a more inclusive learning environment and more effective schools in general. However, a playfulness approach should not just be limited to school, but should be encouraged throughout a learner’s lifetime. This approach contributes to the development of problem solving, creativity, perspective taking, and the development of language.

This playfulness approach, with an emphasis on experimentation and risk-taking, inventing and failing as well as succeeding, develops our ability to learn with the skills that will allow us to build the sustainable cities, environments and societies of the future. Such an approach also encourages, accepts, and acknowledges not only the skills of the individual, but also how people share these skills with each other through the exchanging and joining of ideas and experiences.

In this workshop, we will explore how teachers can offer activities that:  provide role modelling of playfulness; support and value creative thinking; lead to active engagement; and help develop the critical skills for children to learn a language through play.

Playfulness can help foster a desire for lifelong learning in our students as well as an ability to adapt throughout their lives. It provides the base for our students to be able to explore better opportunities to create and develop their own future in a global age.

(This workshop is based on my chapter “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation” in the new British Council’s publication Integrating global issues in the creative English language classroom: With reference to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, London, 2017)


Malu Sciamarelli has been an active member of the ELT community for 24 years, working as a teacher and freelance teacher trainer in Brazil.  She has also been an active member of C Group, a group of teachers dedicated to increasing the amount of creativity found in language classrooms throughout the world.  She has been a committee member of the C Group for 2 years, and has published book chapters on ‘Teaching Children with Mascot-Inspired Projects’ (British Council 2015) and the importance of creativity and play in language learning (British Council 2017). Her articles on creative writing and using literature in the language classroom in several journals have helped generate a higher level of discourse around creativity in the language classroom within the ELT community. In addition, her work guest editing an issue of the ETAS Journal on ‘Creative Writing and ELT: Intersecting borders in creative writing and English language teaching’ (2014), offered a chance for new authors around the world to engage and broaden the conversation on the role creativity plays in the language classroom.

Malu Sciamarelli is also a part of a new movement in ELT, one which uses blogs and other media to quickly disseminate new ideas to the ELT community.  Her posts on creativity and literature on Teaching VillageiTDi, the IATEFL Teacher Development Interest Group (TD SIG) Blog, and her own blog show her dedication to constantly engage with the community in real time and help shape the flow of ideas around the use of literature and creativity within the language classroom.


Personal Website: www.malusciamarelli.weebly.com
Twitter: @malusciamarelli
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malu.sciamarelli
The C Group: www.thecreativitygroup.weebly.com

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Upcoming – Gerome Rothman – Understanding Labour Contracts and the Five Year Rule


Date and Time: Sunday, 29 October 2017– 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Speaker: Gerome Rothman
Location: AIINA Rm 602 (map https://goo.gl/maps/kEQo5UV2jPr)
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)


The talk will  begin by giving a brief background about temporary labor contracts to set up an examination about a unique problem facing language educators in the corporate and university sector – the so called five-year rule/ten-year rule.  This rule purports to provide a method for temporary labor contracts to become converted to permanent contracts.  This presentation will discuss the ins and outs of this new policy, the myths associated with it, the implications of the policy.  It will close by explaining why cooperation, rather than competition with ones colleagues is the only way to build solidarity and improve working conditions in the academic workplace.

Bio:  Gerome Rothman is a Field Director and Organizer at Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union (Tozen Union for short).  As an organizer at Tozen he is a case officer for 10 of its locals, responsible for leading collective bargaining, drafting demands and legal documents, and representing the union to third parties such as the Labor Relations Commission 労働委員会.  He is also Tozen’s representative to the executive of Rengo Tokyo, Rengo being the national federation with which Tozen became affiliated in 2016.  He is also English language instructor at the  Foreign Service Training Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About Tozen Union:  Tozen a Japanese labor union based in Tokyo with members who hail from over 35 countries. Members work in a diverse range of sectors including language education, financial services, warehousing, and translation/interpretation.  Tozen aims to be the most democratic and transparent union in the world.  Our website is at www.tokyogeneralunion.org http://www.tokyogeneralunion.org.

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TILES 2017 Wrap-up

This past Sunday Iwate JALT was in Aomori City at the Aomori University of Health and Welfare for our annual TILES(Tsugaru Ideas in Language Education Symposium) event. This year the conference was organized by the university’s own Mike Smith. There was a panel discussion on various educational topics and we were very happy to have Edo Forsythe, Megumi Ono Tada, Maria Reyes and Steven MacWhinnie there to offer up their points of view. After the panel discussion, Yukako Kimura from St.Ursula Gakurn Eichi ES&JHS gave a spirited presentation on creating workshops with young learners. Below are some photos from the event. I hope to see you all at TILES next year.

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All Photos ©2017 Jason Hill

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MEES 2017 – Over and Out

MEES 2017 came and went today, and it was a roaring success. We had a number of amazing presentations. Here some photos of the event. Thank you for coming out everyone. We’ll see you all next year.

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All photography ©2017 Jason Hill.

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Our university is on located the outskirts of the city. It is easily accessible by car, serviced by a very limited number of public bus routes, and inaccessible by train.

So, for anyone coming to Hachinohe by public transport, we have arranged a free shuttle van service at points downtown and at Hachinohe’s two major train stations both to and from the university on the day of the conference. Please see the separate post “free shuttle van information” to reserve your spot.

For those coming on your own by car:
Here is the address for the university for Sunday’s conference (registration starts at 9am, opening comments from 10am):

If you are heading towards campus using the Hachinohe – Kuji Expressway (八戸久慈自動車道), please exit at “Tanesashi-Kaigan Hashikami-Date” and head towards “Kabushima Tanesashi”. The campus is only a couple of minutes from that exit.

There is free parking available on campus and we will have staff members helping to direct guests on the day of the conference.

Please be aware that we share our campus with our Junior College, so be sure you are at the correct end of campus !
For those coming on your own, please double check your directions to Hachinohe Gakuin University campus (Google Maps, etc.) before heading out on Sunday, as we may not be available to respond to messages or e-mails asking for directions on Sunday.

Thanks & feel free to ask if you have any questions !

University Homepage link with map:


(reserve your spot!)

We have a shuttle van arrangement with Kosan Taxi for free transport between the conference venue (Hachinohe Gakuin University) and points downtown and the two major train stations in Hachinohe. The times are convenient (within 30 minutes) for north and southbound shinkansens both before and after the conference. The schedule and pickup / drop-off schedule is posted below.

As passenger space in each van is limited, we need an estimate of how many plan on riding the shuttle vans in advance (both to and / or from the conference). Those who have reserved a place will have priority, and if we run out of space ,those without advanced reservations will have to find their own transportation.

Please be aware that the conference venue is roughly a 30-minute (direct) ride from Hachinohe station, and access is very limited via public bus and that there are no local train stations nearby. If you are not coming to the venue by car, our shuttle van service or hiring a taxi on your own will be the only convenient ways to get here.

So, please let us know (as a comment to this post or email to us) if you intend on riding the shuttle van (and if you will ride coming and / or going back).

Thanks !!

Here is the shuttle schedule we have arranged:
Sunday, June 18
(heading to conference venue)

8:45am – Hachinohe Station (shinkansen) – shuttle bus DEPARTS from outside of the EAST (Main, front) EXIT (東口)
~9:05am – Hon-Hachinohe Station (local train / bus transfer) – bus pick up outside of the WEST EXIT (西口)
~9:15am – Mikka-machi (downtown main shopping street, in front of Sakurano Dept. Store)
~9:40am – Bus arrives at Hachinohe Gakuin University (conference starts from 10am)
(returning to downtown / stations after conference)

15:50 – Bus leaves Hachinohe Gakuin University
~16:10 – Bus arrives Mikka-machi (downtown main shopping street, in front of Sakurano Dept. Store)
~16.25 – Bus arrives at Hon-Hachinohe Station (local train/ bus transfer)
~16:50 – Bus arrives at Hachinohe Station (shinkansen)

* northbound shinkansens arrive at Hachinohe at 8:34am this day

* southbound shinkansens depart Hachinhoe station at 17:06 this day



Here are some maps of our university campus. The MEES conference will be held in building # 8 (labeled with an ⑧ on the full campus map, with separate photo attached). Free parking is available in front of building ①.

* Please note that the shuttle bus departure time shown on the attached map (16:45) is incorrect. The correct departure time is 15:50.

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MEES 2017 – Pre Event Dinner, Presenter Lineup and Schedule


Come and join us for a fun and relaxing dinner the Saturday evening before the MEES conference ! Make new friends and share ideas over some drinks & eats!

This year, we will meet at the HACCHI Portal Museum, located in central downtown Hachinohe, and decide on where to go (within walking distance) from there, taking into account the number and preferences of those present. If the weather is agreeable, there are also outside eating/drinking options.

We would appreciate it if those planning to join us would let let us know in advance by WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14th.

Thanks & hope to see you all there !!

Date: Saturday, June 17
Meeting Time: 6:00pm
Place: inside HACCHI Portal Museum (はっち 八戸ポータルミュージアム)1st Floor ‘Hacchi Square’ (Public Meeting Space)

* If you are running late the evening of the 17th, please contact Barry Grossman or Greg Anthony (phone, facebook messenger, e-mail, etc)… just posting here on facebook might not get noticed the weekend of the conference!

Google Maps Location:




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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