Category Archives: JALT

Course 1 UbD Planner: Understanding Publications

Note for visitors: This is my final project for COETAIL Course 1. If you are unfamialr with Understanding By Design (as I was until very recently) you might want to look at this.


For my first UbD planner in Course 1 of COETAIL, I took a bit of a departure and addressed teachers not students. Many thanks to Trent Citrano who was writing his UbD for parents and pointed me to some useful resources.


The Japan Association for Language Teaching is a national organization of about 2,600 members. The organization’s motto is “Teaching to learn-Learning to teach” which sums up what members do and how JALT aims to help them. JALT is an NPO and must comply with Tokyo Metropolitan Government regulations. We have a lengthy constitution, longer bylaws, and many other rules we have to abide by. This can be a challenge for a large organization with many groups under its umbrella.

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JALT 2012 Featured Speaker Workshop Preview

I was very lucky to be selected as a Featured Speaker at this years Japan Association for Langauge Teaching International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning at ACT City, Hamamatsu. My workshop is titled “Writing for your readers: Tools and approaches” and is really aimed at teachers who want to write graded readers for their own classes or for publication. I will especially focus on vocabulary and cohesion as elements of readability. The workshop will include some personal experiences (including failures–learn from my mistakes, please), useful websites, and some actual writing practice. For more background, please see my article from The Language Teacher.

I have two ungraded texts that I plan to use during the workshop. They are short, but so is our time in Hamamatsu. Ninety minutes will go by quickly. If you are planning on attending my workshop, please take a minute to download the two texts to adapt. Just two pages of A4, including notes and instructions, so it isn’t overwhelming. Of course, I will have plenty of printed handouts at the conference, but if you get a head start by at least reading the original texts, you’ll enjoy the workshop much more.

I’ll be watching this post for comments if you have any questions. If you are really adventurous, you might even consider posting your own adaptations here before Sunday. It would be great to get the discussion started early.

Thanks, and see you in Hamamatsu!

Do you dare drink from the Cup of Death?

Here is a little teaser for one of my upcoming presentations at the JALT2012 conference. This is a commercial presentation sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education Asia. They are publishing the new series of Choose Your Own Adventure graded readers that I have been working on. Marcos Benevides is the series editor and he asked me to contribute 4 of the 30 titles in the series. (Disclaimer: The Cup of Death is actually Mark Firth’s book, but I’m using it for this workshop because it is set in Japan.)

Update: At risk of giving people no reason to come to my presentation, here is my handout.

It’s quite helpful if people know the story background ahead of time, but we’ll have sample copies of the book to give away. If my narration grates on your nerves, you can read the beginning of the book yourself quite quickly at the conference. Hope to see you there.

Interactive reading to deepen learner engagement

Saturday, 13 October 2012 6:10-7:10pm Room MR37

Abstract: Stories should invite learners to make the characters and the language their own. This presentation will provide participants with practical ways for learners to interact with graded readers in and out of the classroom. Based on experience as a classroom teacher, program coordinator, and materials writer, the presenter will share some pitfalls best avoided along with plenty of example activities to support readers interacting with their reading on both a textual and a narrative level.

I’m presenting at Okayama JALT, tomorrow, Saturday 7 July 2012

It’s a little short notice, but I’ll be presenting at Okayama JALT this Saturday.  See their website for more details, but I’ll be on from 3pm to 5pm. I understand there is likely to be an excursion to a nearby izakaya with lots of character (and many characters) afterwards.

I’ll be doing a workshop in a computer room taking participants through several of the tools available on Tom Cobb’s website Compleat Lexical Tutor. In particular, we will work tbrought tools that I’ve found most useful for research, analyzing text, and preparing teaching materials. Participants will get hands-on with Vocabulary Profilers, Range, and Lex-Tex Compare. We’ll analyze some graded readers and look at other texts as well.

Here is a roadmap to the major stops we’ll make along the way.

And, here is an outline of the workshop outline.

I’ll hope for some good weather on Tanabata too.

List of Twitter accounts (possibly) related to the Japan Association for Language Teaching

The Japan Association for Language Teaching promotes good teaching and professional development for language educators around Japan and internationally. The group is composed on the national organization, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), local Chapters, and committees and projects such as publishing JALT Journal, The Language Teacher, and Conference Proceedings. Many Twitter users have set up accounts for various parts of the organization. I cannot vouch for the official nature of some of these accounts, but most of them seem legitimate. I have copied the profile information as-is.

Of course, some of them tweeted just a few times and are now dormant, but please follow any of these that you feel are useful, or maybe just add them to a list. Following the hashtag #JALT will also bring you all kinds of other (possibly related) messages.

If you have an account related to JALT that I missed, please contact me or just comment below.

JALT National

  • JALT Central Office @JALTCentralOffi
  • JALT Events @jaltevents
    Upcoming events for chapters and SIGs of the Japan Association for Language Teaching


  • JALT Conference 2012 ‏ @JALTConference
    38th Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning & Educational Materials Exhibition 12 – 15 October, 2012, Hamamatsu


  • JALT Publications ‏ @jalt_pubs
    Publications of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT)
  • TLT Wired @TLT_Wired
    TLT Wired is a column on technology for educators in the monthly JALT publication, The Language Teacher Japan.

Special Interest Groups

  • Business English SIG @jaltbesig Contexts, Consensus, Collaboration, Community, Contacts, Competition – Business English
  • GILE SIG @gilesig Global Issues in Language Education (GILE) is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Japan Association of Language Teaching (JALT)
  • jaltcue @jaltcue
    The Japan Association for Language Teacher’s College and University SIG’s Twitter page
    Japan ·
    Materials Writers SIG
  • JALT TC SIG ‏ @jalttcsig
    Teaching Children SIG
    JALT Teacher Education and Development (TED) special interest group.
  • JALT CALL @jaltcall


  • FukuokaJALT ‏@FukuokaJALT
    Fukuoka, Japan ·
  • GifuJALT ‏ @GifuJALT
    Gifu Chapter ofJapan Association of Language Teachers
  • HiroshimaJALT ‏ @hiroshimajalt
    This is the HiroshimaJALT chapter Twitter feed.
  • NagasakiJALT ‏ @NagasakiJALT
    The official account for the Nagasaki Chapter ofJALT, a non-profit organization connecting language teachers in and around Nagasaki
  • JALT ‏ @jaltokinawa
    Serving Okinawa for over thirty years.
  • OsakaJALT ‏ @osakajalt
    The Osaka Chapter of theJapan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).
  • Jalt Shinshu ‏ @jaltshinshu
    ShinshuJALT is the local Chapter of the Japan Assoc. Language Teachers, covering Nagano Prefecture. Promote professional development and cultural integration.
  • TokyoJALT ‏ @tokyo_jalt
    Official Twitter feed for the Tokyo chapter ofJALT.
  • YokohamaJALT ‏ @YokohamaJalt