SIG Forums at PanSIG 2018

SIG Forums are events that the SIGs themselves organize for the conference.

Bilingualism SIG

"Language has the power, not only to reflect who we are, but also to make us who we are or allow us to make ourselves" (Llamas & Watt, 2009). This year, the Bilingualism SIG Forum aims to explore issues, problems, and "puzzles" that surround the theme of multilingualism/multiculturalism and its relation to identity development and dilemmas. The panelists will share their lived experiences as well as engage with the audience during a Q&A session. The forum will be of particular interest to potential attendees who are considering how language(s) may affect individuals' identity development.

Business Communication SIG

Ideas for Teaching Business English Classes

These presentations/workshops will focus on some practical business communication coaching activities to enable students to improve their language skills to function in specific business contexts. The teaching contexts vary from the university classroom, to the office or factory, but the aim is the same; to improve business English knowledge and techniques which can empower learners to operate more effectively as global citizens in the business community.

CEFR & Language Portfolio SIG

CEFR and Curriculum

In recent years many universities in Japan are under way to revise their curriculum by using the CEFR or the CEFR-J. This CEFR&LP SIG Forum will address this topic by inviting presenters of some selected universities as good practice case studies. These concrete examples will give the opportunity to clear, deep insights of curriculum change. The Forum aims to an open exchange on experience, challenges and perspectives.

College and University Educators SIG

Integration of Non-Textbook Tools into the Classroom: What Do You Use? How Do You Use It?

While textbooks often provide the instructional framework for tertiary-level courses, teachers may look to outside sources either to teach one-off topics or even base their entire course on non-textbook materials. Does this sound like you? We are particularly interested in showcasing the following materials: software, graded readers, websites providing instructional content, multimedia content, and authentic materials such as maps and menus.

Presenters will share their experiences and know-how in choosing, designing, incorporating and implementing these types of resources into the language-learning classroom.

Computer Assisted Language Learning SIG

CALL Forum: What Teachers Should Know about A.I.

What is Artificial Intelligence? How will it affect the teaching profession? Are we preparing our students to succeed in a future that it vastly different than anything we’ve seen before?

If you thought the invention of the Internet changed the world, get ready, because the rapid advancements in artificial Intelligence and machine learning have been predicted to result in even more profound societal changes.

Come to the CALL SIG forum for an accessible, beginner-friendly introduction to the underlying technology, present-day classroom applications, and future implications of A.I. and machine learning.

Critical Thinking SIG

The JALT Critical Thinking SIG Forum

Join us for petcha kutcha style presentations on Critical Thinking and how it can impact language learning both in and out of Japan. We invite you to join us and learn about different aspects of CT and its importance in the educational arena. Each petcha kucha presentation will last only six minutes to give you a chance to walk away with many perspectives and activities to us in your classroom. We are looking forward to an exciting and productive sharing session to help you become more familiar with, and learn more about, Critical Thinking.

Extensive Reading SIG

Addressing Noncompliance and Cheating in Mandatory ER Programs

Despite the benefits of ER, many students resist reading to a degree sufficient to see reading speed or standardized test score improvement. Noncompliance includes refusing to read (sufficiently), or even cheating in reporting amounts read. It seems to be common, even in programs where students should be highly motivated. This forum will begin by describing the types and extent of noncompliance taking place in two programs. It will then address issues associated with mandatory program-wide ER noncompliance or cheating.

Gender Awareness in Language Education SIG

Equality Across Borders

This forum will examine issues related to gender and identity both within Japan and globally. Eucharia Donnery will compare the experiences of female teachers and students in a computer sciences department at a Japanese university with other departments. She will also suggest ways in which universities can support minority identities. Parisa Mehran and Elisabeth Fernandes will explore the theme of debunking stereotypes of Middle Eastern Women. They will discuss their personal experiences in Iran and Pakistan and their collaboration in their English classrooms on projects to reflect on existing stereotypes and their impact on the identity of these women.

Global Issues in Language Education SIG

Incorporating Global Content into the Language Classroom

This year’s Global Issues in Language Education SIG forum will give the participants exposure to innovative techniques for integrating global issues into their language classes. After the presentations, discuss will continue SIG officer-moderated groups.

Kurt Ackermann: Hokkaido Breakfast

In this activity, used in a content-based geography class, students are introduced to 'food miles' (the distance food travels from production to consumption area).

Matthew Cotter: Teaching Maori Studies to Japanese in Japanese

This presentation will give an overview of a ‘Regional Cultural History’ course, taught in Japanese, concentrated on the topic of ‘The History, Culture and Present Day Status of Maori.’

Learner Development SIG

The 2018 Learner Development SIG Forum offers a variety of research and practice-based poster-presentations. Presenters will share practical insights into encouraging student growth, touching upon areas such as teacher approaches to increasing student autonomy, the use of social networks, increasing fluency, and independent student reflection. Others introduce theory and research such as metaphor pedagogy and multimodal analysis of student L2 production. Attendees will have a chance to interact with presenters during the forum, followed by discussion circles giving participants a chance to draw connections between the various topics covered in the forum.

Lifelong Language Learning SIG

Career Design in the Lives of Teachers

For many, teaching can be more a labor of love than an endeavor that ensures a comfortable standard of living and future financial security. Whether employed full-time or on a casual basis, teachers may need to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to supplement their income and adequately provide for their families. In this presentation, a panel of experienced university instructors will explain how they invested in their futures, made various career choices, struggled to make sense of pension plans and retirement options.

Literature in Language Teaching SIG

In the Literature in Language Teaching SIG interactive forum, several panelists (names TBC) will discuss the opportunities and challenges of using literature in the language classroom here in Japan. The panelists will talk of their own experiences and offer advice, while leading discussion amongst participants on topics provided by LiLT SIG members. Participation is very much open to all, and not limited to SIG members.

Materials Writers SIG

Innovations in Materials Design

In this interactive forum, the three panelists will talk about a variety of innovations in materials development. First, Brian Cullen will talk about textbook development (e.g. content, style, exercises) has evolved since the early 2000s using three editions of a textbook as case study. Next, Steve Paton will discuss how advances in software allow writers to produce textbooks with day-to-day software rather than expensive DTP software. Finally, Todd Beukens will show how writers can use technology to reach their audience in a number of enhanced and engaging

Mind, Brain, and Education SIG

Get To Know The BrainSIG Better

This forum will introduce various aspects of psychology, neuroscience, and teaching that the Mind, Brain, and Education SIG encompasses. We will start with a presentation by well-known author Marc Helgesen: “Positive Psychology: Happiness and the Brain”. This will be followed by poster presentations based on Think Tank topics published in our newsletter, the MindBrainEd Bulletin. This will provide a chance to meet and talk to the contributors. We’ll round off the forum with a fun quiz on neuroscience facts and myths–a chance for you to find out what you know and what you need to know more about!  

Mixed, Augmented, and Virtual Realities SIG

MAVR SIG Project Showcase

Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Realities and Learning SIG (MAVR) members share projects/apps/demos/implementations created over the past year. This content is presented in a way to be both accessible to new members and useful for veterans of the field. Some projects to be showcased involve self-access learning center support, multilingual virtual campus tour, connecting to Puerto Rico through augmented and virtual realities, VR for in the second language classroom, and VR for academic writing. There will be hands-on demos available of most presented projects.

Other Language Educators SIG

Develop Your Language and Intercultural Competences

This forum’s presentations will explore the teaching and education of other foreign languages such as German, Spanish, French, and Chinese at university level in Japan. Language education has to bear constant changes caused by G-N-L-university reform(s). Invariably, questions such as ‘What does Monkasho expect of this change and the forthcoming implementation of the CEFR?’ arise. In a globalized world, the following points need also to be addressed: ‘What are the advantages of (even very basic) multilingualism?’ and ‘How to integrate intercultural communication into language teaching?’.

Pragmatics SIG

Pragmatics + Grammar + Communication

When teaching language, teachers must provide students with a rich environment to encourage and enable Communication. This presentation stresses the necessity of Pragmatics—using language appropriately—and Grammar—utilizing the structure of language effectively. These are essential for language classrooms at all levels. While today many language lessons stress grammar at the expense of pragmatics (or vice versa), this presentation argues that these can be integrated with positive results for learning. Teacher education should prioritize both at the same time.

School Owners SIG

This will be an opportunity for owners to gather together and discuss/debate different issues related to the business side of running a language school. Issues discussed at previous forums have included teacher contracts, school culture, and marketing, and financial issues.

Speech, Drama, & Debate SIG

The Speech, Drama, & Debate SIG forum will feature simultaneous presentations on several topics related to performance-assisted language learning, including debate, drama, community theater, and others. The forum will also provide a venue for sharing ideas and ways to incorporate performance-assisted activities into the foreign language curriculum. Presentations will be given in a variety of forms, with the audience rotating twice so that three presentations can be viewed in total. There will be a question and answer session following each individual presentation, with a group session to follow.

Study Abroad SIG

Study Abroad Destinations

The study abroad forum provides a venue for all to discuss issues in study abroad programs. One of the main themes to be discussed in this forum is whether the destination matters in study abroad. Should Japanese students study in English speaking countries such as the UK or US, or can they gain the same language development by studying in countries where English is not used as the predominant language? The forum will also be open to discuss other issues concerning study abroad. Join us for this discussion and bring your questions, comments, and ideas to join in as well.

Teacher Development SIG

Exploring The Role That SIGs Play In Teacher Development: Three Interviews

In this forum, three members of Teacher Development SIG will each conduct a 20-minute interview with a representative from invited SIGs, asking carefully prepared questions that aim to explore the connections and commonalities between SIGs, specific teacher development stories, as well as the individual differences that mark SIGs as unique and special. It is hoped that through conducting such interviews SIGs can co-construct a clearer understanding with each other, whilst strengthening an awareness and interest in each other's activities. The forum will conclude with an open discussion session between our invited SIG representatives, with audience questions and comments highly encouraged.

Teachers Helping Teachers SIG

Publishing And Professional Development In Partner Countries

This forum will focus on how Teachers Helping Teachers' publications offer opportunities for members and partner organization members share their work and develop professionally.