JALT 2016

This year saw my first visit to the annual conference for the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT). I must admit that it was more than I expected it to be. There were a lot of highly experienced instructors and researchers, and it was great to see what topics people are engaging in at the moment. A lot of food for thought!

Areas of particular interest to me were extensive listening and CALL, but there were certainly a lot of inspiring ideas to consider.

I plan to introduce the xreading system to my students soon, and I hope I can do some research on how the students respond to it.

In terms of CALL, Quizlet Live seems to be the hot topic at the moment. I think my students would love to use it, but internet connection issues at the university might scupper that. I also enjoyed a short presentation about using Google Drive as a tool to collect speaking homework from the students. The presenter claimed that his students really enjoy doing it, even though they don’t get specific feedback. I think I would have to try hard to convince the students of the value in this, but assigning it as 30% of their final grade might be enough encouragement for them! What homework I would set, I’m not really sure yet, but I do like the idea of using the transcripts from the textbook CDs.

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