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 https://goo.gl/maps/kEQo5UV2jPr)
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 https://goo.gl/maps/kEQo5UV2jPr)
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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Upcoming – Oct 30 – Tsugaru Innovation in Language Education Symposium

Hi everyone. Our October event will not be in Morioka. We will be up in Hirosaki, Aomori at Hirosaki University for a special event called the Tsugaru Innovation in Language Education Symposium. Here is the information below.


PDF Here

Prior to the Symposium – Hirosaki University will have a Workshop on New English Education using ICT, SALC and Active Learning Methods from 12:00 ~ 12:55

Every one is welcome to join! 

12:00 ~ 12:25 Megumi Tada – In and Out of the Classroom – Exploring and Maximizing Student Potential Using LMS & SALC

12:25 ~ 12:50 Shari Joy Berman – Innovative Active Learning and Project-based Techniques for Quintessential Flipped Classroom.

The Symposium will have the following schedule:

13:00 Start – Opening Remarks (Colin Mitchell)
13:15 ~ 14:00 Speaker 1: Peggy Ishikawa  (15 minute Q&A)
14:00 ~ 14:15 Coffee/Tea Break
14:15 ~ 15:00 Speaker 2: Edo Fosythe  (15 minute Q&A)
15:00 ~ 15:15 Coffeetea Break
15:15 ~ 16:00 Speaker 3: Mike Smith (15 minute Q&A)
16:00 ~ 17:00 Closing Remarks and Invitation to visit and tour the English Lounge (Hirosaki U.’s SALC)

Please check out the TILES main page for a abstracts and bios.

I’ve place all this information on a TILES page here. It will always be there for reference in case you cannot find this post.

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Upcoming: Sept 25- David Gann – Sustainable Language-based Critical Thinking Instruction


Date and Time: Sunday, 25 September – 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Speaker: David Gann
Location: AIINA Rm 817 (map https://goo.gl/maps/kEQo5UV2jPr)
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for one-day members: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students)



I hope everyone had a great summer. I’m back from a short sojourn to  Canada and the U.S. Now that I’ve returned, we can get down to business for the fall season. Here is our September event. I’m looking forward to this one.


Sustainable Language-based Critical Thinking Instruction

The presenter will report on the first in his multi-step course design for aiding students in the development of critical thinking competence and dialectical discourse. These steps include (1) intake of explicit instruction in argument analysis delivered via podcast; (2) completion of two types of online text reconstruction exercises specially designed to facilitate noticing of (a) salient textual features associated with various premise-conclusion constructions; and (b) dialectical discourse items used in professional, academic and civil discourse; (3) online discussion threads concerning either (a) issues raised in the textbook during Freshman English; or (b) problem solving, hypothesis testing and data interpretation during subsequent Integrated Skills courses; and collaborative writing via online documents; (4) speaking tests, during which students draw upon their recent discussion thread communications; (5) assessment based on the use of the aforementioned language items, followed by meaningful feedback; and (6) how a technological solution helped the course design and approach reach sustainability. The presenter will explain the rationale behind the various steps; pedagogical considerations that informed various technological aspects of production and delivery; how the podcast material was connected to in-class activity; and how well the course design was received by our students.



Originally from the U.S., David Gann moved to Japan and began teaching in 1996, after earning an M.A. in English literature. In 2010, he began co-producing Critically Minded Podcast. That same year he also co-founded JALT Critical Thinking SIG. Since 2012, he has taught as Assistant Professor at Tokyo University of Science, where he has continued to develop materials for critical thinking instruction. In 2013, he completed a second M.A. in Educational Technologies and TESOL at the University of Manchester. His main interests include critical thinking instruction, CALL and learner autonomy.

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MEES 2016 – A Look Back in Photos

MEES 2016 was a smashing success. Here is a look back at the event thought some of the photos I took during the day. I hope we’ll see you all next year.



Photography ©2016 Jason Hill – All Right Reserved

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