For all of you budding teachers out there in Blogger Land - here's a tip on JALT - if you aren't in it, you should be! I too am a 'Newbie' and had the pleasure of attending the JALT Conference 2005 in Shizuoka for the first time. Thousands of like minded foreign folk coming together for discussions, on, you guessed it - English teaching, and all those other topics that expats love to indulge in. Speaking of indulging, the Saturday night party was a big hit and was followed by groups splintering of to invade the town of Shizuoka well into the night. I myself ended up at a place called 'Our Boozer' which I promptly made my own.
JALT conferences also seem to be an excellent way to net-work so take lots of 'meishi', say hello to anyone and everyone, and providence may smile. The publishers are also out in force, so it was a great opportunity for me to grab a bundle of inspection copies - you are really only limited by how much you can carry.
As for the seminars themselves I probably had a similar experience to most- some I thought were great, some not so hot. There are so many to choose from you will invariably blame yourself when you make the wrong choice - but from a 'newbie' my advice would be to read the handbook well in advance and before making your selection - be careful you aren't going to a presentation by a book publisher unless that is really what you are interested in - the open forums/discussion panels were by far the best for me.
Lastly, the big names of the conference were David Nunan, Susan Stempleski,Jennifer Bassett and Kumiko Torikai. I couldn't catch them all - but Kumiko Torikai's lecture and her discussion on National Lang. Policy was most interesting. I hate to dish David Nunan as he is 'the man' but his 'Styles and Strategies' presentation was a little dull- perhaps he thought we were in an ESL 101 class - and that he needed to regurgitate parts of his book prior to selling it to us (signed of course) - hmmmmm, perhaps I am being a bit harsh to justify the fact that my hangover, and those big comfy seats in 'Chu Hall' lured me into nodding off....
Definitely see you next year!
Guide To Shizuoka (City Guides/Shizuoka)
Tuesday, October 25, 2005