Skills Development Conference 2018

From Akita Wiki

The 2018 Skills Development Conference (外国語指導助手の指導力等向上研修) was held on October 22nd and 23rd at the Prefectural Education Center in Tenno.


  • The scheduled check-in times were:

Day One: 09:30-10:00
Day Two: 09:00-09:25

  • Dress: Formal Business Attire

What to Bring

For those lucky enough to be staying in the dorms at the Center, there is a bed and a shower provided for you but almost nothing else. You will need to bring:

  • A towel (plus small towel for the onsen) and toiletries;
  • Indoor athletic shoes if you plan on using the gym;
  • Cash. There is no ATM at the Center. The vending machines for meal tickets accept notes of ¥1000, and change no smaller than ¥10.


The cafeteria at the Education Center will serve a different set menu each day.


Teaching at Elementary School Reza Danesh-Pajooh & Kathryn Ross

Elementary English education in Japan has been going through an evolution, throwing ALTs and homeroom teachers alike into a new kind of chaos (or perhaps your school is burying its head deep in the sand). There are new textbooks with old textbooks printed behind them, bizarre jumps in difficulty, and a lot of kids trying to play catch up! Join two veteran elementary ALTs  for advice and discussions about creating useful lessons and modules *with* HRTs, using the new textbooks, and strategies on keeping your HRTs from using them too much.


Teaching at Junior High School Kaixin Chin & Marissa Lightfoot

We’re going to address a few difficulties or problems that both JTEs and ALTs might encounter in regards to team teaching looking specifically at English education methods. We’re going to introduce various activities and cooperative methods to encourage cooperation teaching in the classroom. As well as encouraging discussion between JTEs and ALTs to better understand one another’s roles and uses in the lesson planning process.


Teaching at Senior High School Glenn Timoney & Matthew Trojic

A discussion on teaching at SHS level from the perspective of different work environments and SHS types, including an objective look at why we believe some activities are good and what we think are elements of a successful lesson, as well as types of out-of-classroom work you can get involved in. We will also talk about the importance of including cultural examples in order to show genuine examples of English and to expose students to different cultures, how to tailor lessons to your students’ level, pitfalls to avoid, and the role of the ALT in the classroom.


Student Pop Culture Catherine Johnson & Amber Shamma

Communicating with your students doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. Succeeding as a teacher sometimes means knowing what your students are going to talk about before they do. This presentation will discuss topics such as student current interests and tips for encouraging conversation – so that you can stay hip with the young crowd.


Cross-Cultural Communication Jacqueline Jean-Francois & Priscilla Chong

The JET programme is one giant social experiment. When companies work internationally, they train their workers for the new culture, they hire interpreters and even mediators to prepare for cultural conflicts. Unfortunately, the JET programme doesn’t have the financial backing for such mediators and interpreters. ALTs are placed into Japanese schools, and together with our co-workers we are expected to figure out how to work in these unfamiliar situations and environments. Of course, this is difficult! We will bring research on cross-cultural communication and help you with strategies on how to bridge communication between two very different cultures.


Keeping Them Entertained Aaron Kern & Josephine Chiao

Video Games are taboo in the classroom. People say they prohibit learning. But maybe we can learn something from them. Learn how to apply video game mentality to make your activities more interesting and engaging for your students to help them learn.


The Dangers of Translation and Myth of Grammaticality Chris Dean & Kei Lam

The Grammar-Translation method of teaching foreign languages is widely used in the classroom, though it is often criticized by linguists and language teachers. First, we will look at how the overuse of translations can be harmful to the students’ learning, and how we can make use of them effectively. Next, ALTs and JTEs tend to have confusing moments when it comes to ‘grammar’. This is due to the fact that there are common misconceptions about speaking correct English, as well as the idea of grammar itself. In the second part of this discussion, we will discuss the reasons there are disagreements between the native speaker and the textbook, and how we can have a more open mind about the students’ learning.

(Presentation Pending)

North Block Presentation Domonique Owens & Ken-Hou Yee


Central Block Presentation Kaixin Chin & Amber Shamma


South Block Presentation Catherine Johnson & Marissa Lightfoot


See Also

Skills Development Conference
Mid-Year Conference 2008 • 2009 • 2010
Skills Development Conference 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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