At PanSIG 2018, instead of plenary talks, there will be plenary conversations, each concentrating on one of three particular themes of interest to PanSIG participants. This style varies from most plenaries, but it is hoped that the more fluid, organic nature of the interactions will:
- promote deeper discussion on key topics for the language education community in Japan in a different way than in a different way than the standard plenary style,
- bring together a variety of voices with the aim of broadening horizons, and
- build links between professional communities in Japan.
These plenary speakers will share their research and experience as a way of exploring the efficacy of teacher development activities. This conversation will likely explore contextual constraints as well as teacher anxiety and what can be done to address these.
These plenary speakers will share their research into what teachers can do to maximize student engagement in their classrooms. The conversation will likely explore what works at particular levels and what can be applied across multiple contexts.
These plenary speakers will introduce the work of their organizations and what they are doing to connect people across Japan. This conversation will likely explore how JALT can learn from their work as well as how they and JALT can work together to build stronger bridges connecting more language professionals nationwide.
- Maria Theresa Niibori, the representative from Filipino English Teachers in Japan
- Satomi Miura, the representative from J-SHINE
Plenary Speaker Bio Statements
Atsushi Iida is Associate Professor of English in the University Education Center at Gunma University, JAPAN. He was awarded his Ph.D. in English (Composition and TESOL) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include second language writing, poetry writing, literature in second language education, and writing for academic publication. He has published his work in various journals including Assessing Writing, System, Qualitative Inquiry, Scientific Study of Literature, English Teaching Forum, and Asian EFL Journal.
Tomohisa Machida is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Global Communication and Language at Akita International University. He obtained his M.A. in TESL and Ph.D. in Elementary Education at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently working with Prefecture and City boards of education in Akita Prefecture to provide in-service teacher training to elementary and junior high school English teachers. His research interests include elementary school English education, foreign language anxiety, and teacher education.
Quint Oga-Baldwin has taught in all areas of language education in Japan. He now trains teachers at Waseda University in the School of Education. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Hyogo University of Teacher Education, specializing in elementary school foreign language pedagogy and motivation. His research interests include effective classroom teaching methods, motivation and engagement in elementary / secondary schools. His work has been published in Contemporary Educational Psychology, System, ELT Journal, Frontline Learning Research, and Asia-Pacific Educational Researcher.
Mayumi Abe has been a language learning adviser for eleven years and currently works with ALC, a publishing company, in charge of training of advisers. She is also an instructor at Gakushuin University. She received her master’s degree from Temple University Japan Campus and now studies at a doctoral program of Waseda University. Her research interests include learner autonomy, self-directed learning, learning strategies and metacognition
FETJ-Global (Filipino English Teachers in Japan) is an association of Filipino English teachers in Japan which provides support to its members by facilitating regular education through trainings, continuous communication, and assistance in job placements. The organization aims to serve as bridge between members and other related institutions including Japanese Board of Education, serving as a Liaison. It also serves as a catalyst towards enhancing the quality of life among the Filipinos living in Japan. (fetjglobal.com)
Maria Theresa Niibori considers EFL teaching as the most fulfilling and rewarding job there ever is. She had been a teacher since graduating with honors from college and even before she came to Japan. Her first years in Japan gave her the opportunities to work as event coordinator, interpreter and translator before she went back to teaching. She now teaches as an ALT at a municipal senior high school after several dispatch assignments to elementary and junior high schools in another prefecture. She is currently taking up her TESOL certification course and is at present the National President of FETJ-Global, where she, together with all the chapter officers and the executive committee, supports the dreams of aspiring teachers and assists to help enhance the skills of those who are already in the teaching force.
The Elementary School English Instructor Certification Council (abbreviation: J-SHINE) was founded in 2003 to support the spread and development of English education at elementary schools in Japan. It is a non-profit organization which licenses English teachers in Japan. In order to promote English education at elementary schools in Japan, J-SHINE works with national education-related organizations to train elementary school English leaders and build a system to support elementary school English activities at educational sites throughout the country. Its website is www.j-shine.org.
Satomi Miura is a J-SHINE Trainer, a Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) at Morioka Municipal Tsukigaoka Elementary School and also a JTE in Shizukuishi Town in Iwate. She is the representative of Sunshine, a supporting group for elementary schools' foreign language activities. She was an English Instructor at ECC from 1997-2005. From 2005-2006, she studied abroad in Canada. There, at Camosun College, she studied ESL, psychology, and counseling. She received her Canadian TESL certification in 2006 and was a recipient of that year’s International Student Award. In 2007, she opened her own English conversation school, IE TreeHouse. Since 1999, she has been involved in foreign language activities as a JTE at elementary schools in Morioka, where she currently lives.