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2008 Meeting Minutes

December, 14th 2008 - My Share and Bonenkai

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:22 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 8:23 PM ]

My Share & Bonenkai

Our chapter had its third annual December My Share meeting. Each member shared an experience or impression about their teaching from 2008 that was memorable. One junior high school ALT talked about how he tries to help students understand the pronunciation of difficult consonants, using word pairs such as "white rabbit" - because the letter "r" begins with a "w" position. Another member, who has his own school, explained how Kim Horne's presentation in September 2008 had made him reflect on how he relates to students - that the simple act of good eye contact makes an important difference. Another teacher, who teaches at a university, said Atsuko Takase's presentation on extensive reading in June 2008 had helped him a great deal in his work. He has been using extensive reading for a while, but until hearing Ms. Takase's talk he had never heard of actual research results on that type of learning method. Other members shared their impromptu experiences and questions about how to improve their teaching. After the meeting, most of the members went to a restaurant together for a bite to eat. It was an enjoyable and fitting end to 2008 for Hamamatsu JALT chapter.

Reported by Dan Frost

November, 29th 2008 - An Afternoon with film maker Linda Ohama

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:21 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:52 AM ]

An Afternoon with Linda Ohama

Linda Ohama

An emotional and touching presentation that brought many to tears, internationally acclaimed film director Linda Ohama shared her personal experiences telling stories through film, and gave a private screening of her intensely personal, mixed documentary/dramatic film "Obachan's Garden".

On the celebration of her 100th birthday, Obachan revealed a long-held deep secret to her granddaughter (Ohama) that sent shock waves through the family and inspired the making of this film. In an incredible telling of one woman's spirit and endurance, Ohama delicately pealed back the layers of her grandmother's life in a series of interviews merged with dramatic sequences that moved through several marriages, bombing of Hiroshima, internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII, arrival in Canada as a picture bride, and early life in Onomichi, Japan. In conclusion, Ohama stressed that extraordinary stories can be found behind the most common and ordinary faces, and that learning those stories and keeping them alive is our gift for future generations.

Reported by Jon Dujmovich

November 29th, 2008

October, 5th 2008 - Bringing English & Cross-cultural Activities to Young Children

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:19 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:51 AM ]

Bringing English & Cross-cultural Activities to Young Children

Kim Horne & Aya Asano - Izumi Chuo Kindergarten, Gifu

This was a dynamic meeting indeed! Kim and Aya are team teaching at a private kindergarten in the Gifu area. They showed us many simple, but useful ways to raise children's interest in English, especially by using chants, body movement and songs, etc.. The audience got involved, jumping up and down and doing everything from touching the back of our heads to colors on floor mat to air sword fighting (perhaps a take-off from air guitar).

Kim and Ayano also went through a lot of trial and error to develop an kindergarten exchange program with an American kindergarten in Kim's hometown. They used a cooking gloves with an attached photograph of the foreign exchange friends to promote the program.  Even at such a young age, the children could experience another culture and language. Kim's and Ayano's enthusiasm were infectious, and we learned a lot about how to help young learners start to learn a foreign language.

Presenter Biography

Kim Horne was born in the U.S., and has been crisscrossing cultures since infancy. She has a background in theatre and began teaching English to children & training teachers in Japan in 2000. She currently works at Izumi Chuo Kindergarten in Gifu City.
Aya Asano is Director of the Department of International English Education at Izumi Chuo Kindergarten, a private kindergarten that has been in operation in Gifu for the past 40 years.

October 5th,2008


At the October meeting elections for Hamamatsu JALT's Executive committee were also held. All positions in the executive are decided each year in October by election. Below are listed the names of the new executive and their respective positions. Please feel free to email any of the executive with any JALT related queries.
  • Dan Frost - President
  • Jon Dujmovich - Programs
  • David Stephens - Co-treasurer
  • Caren Kida - Co-treasurer
  • Adam Jenkins - Membership
If you feel that you can contribute to JALT by other means (eg. publicity) please mention it to any of the executive.

September, 7th 2008 - 1st Annual JALT Hamamatsu & ETJ­ Shizuoka Joint Social BBQ

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:16 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:50 AM ]

The 1st Annual JALT Hamamatsu & ETJ-Shizuoka Joint Social BBQ

The first annual JALT/ETJ BBQ was a huge success. We had a good turnout of teachers and their families and everyone had a great time. The food was delicious and the river, pristine. The only downfall was the rain that started just as the BBQ was about to end. All in all, it was a great day and is something to look forward to in 2009.

BBQ, 2008

September 1st, 2008 - Civil rights in Japan: An evening with Arudou Debito

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:10 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 8:12 PM ]

Civil rights in Japan: An evening with Arudou Debito

As educators we have a responsibility to have some awareness of society at large. One measure of a society is how it treats or protects its weakest members. After a brief overview of the treatment of some of Japan's minority groups, the speaker will cite some examples and open the floor to discussion about the ins and outs of the issue. He will also discuss recent changes in the education system, and how civil rights issues play out for language teachers.

Meet & Greet

Following the presentation will be an informal chance to discuss topics with Debito on a more intimate level. This is a great chance to meet one the leading civil rights advocates in Japan today. For Further information about Arudou Debito, please visit his homepage at:

July 13th, 2008 - Students’ Voices on Learning a Foreign Language: Open Forum

posted Jan 11, 2012, 8:01 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated May 23, 2012, 6:50 AM ]

Students’ Voices on Learning a Foreign Language: Open Forum

On July 13, 2008 from 1:30-4:30pm Hamamatsu JALT had a very dynamic and open discussion, centering on students' views of learning a foreign language. Twelve people attended, six students and six teachers. This was the first time we tried having students themselves as the main presenters, ranging from beginners to more advanced learners.

The students who presented were from Japan, Brazil, Sweden and Australia. They discussed their experiences learning either English or Japanese as a foreign language. Most students said that mere memorization in secondary school was not very helpful for their learning. They also mentioned that study which focusses only on tests tends to move too fast, and their abilities to understand and communicate don't keep up! Many said that using television, music, videos, etc. were helpful and enjoyable ways too learn. At the same time, they also felt that having a good understanding of grammar, not only of the target language, but of their own language, was also important. Everyone had a chance to speak, so people left the meeting satisfied that they had both learned something and been able to share their own experiences.

Reported by Dan Frost

July, 2008

June 8th, 2008 - Extensive Reading for Everybody

posted Jan 11, 2012, 7:58 PM by Hamamatsu JALT

Extensive Reading for Everybody

Atsuko Takase

Extensive Reading means reading a lot of books that are not too difficult in order to develop familiarity with and confidence in understanding English. Ms. Takase told us how she had been working for ten years trying to convince the high school and universities she taught at, to put an abundance of easy English books in their school libraries. Little by little people began listening to her. At the high school there are now three thousand English books! She guides Japanese students to try and read English so that they can understand the meaning directly, without translating back to Japanese. Even at the university level, children’s picture books are appropriate for this purpose. She says that students need in-class Sustained Silent Reading time – even just ten minutes, but sometimes a full class period. For classes that did extensive reading in comparison to ones that did not, there was a significantly higher rise in scores on the SLEP (Secondary Level English Preparatory) test – showing that reading a lot improves students’ understanding.

April 13th, 2008 - JALT Open Forum: Living and Teaching in a foreign country.

posted Jan 10, 2012, 11:50 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 8:04 PM ]

JALT Open Forum: Living and Teaching in a foreign country.

We had a panel of three speakers for the topic of living and teaching language in a foreign country. Steve Quasha (Sugiyama Women’s University in Nagoya) came from Gifu and emphasized that if a teacher makes effort to get training as a teacher, the job becomes much more rewarding and less tiring. He said that JALT is a very important resource for him – especially the MY Share issues of the TLT. Mari Hakamata (Shizuoka University in Hamamatsu) talked about her experiences in Sri Lanka as a volunteer Japanese teacher in early twenties. As students tended only to memorize things, Mari tried to teach them simple phrases useful for their own daily lives. She emphasized the importance of learning the language native to the foreign country and making sincere efforts to become part of the local community. David Stephens, an ALT for elementary through junior high school, talked about using the 100Yen-shop to make materials which can raise students’ interest levels. He demonstrated how things like a cardboard box and kitchen-use items can be transformed into fun and effective teaching tools.

March 9th, 2008 - SELHi Project: Enriching EFL through the teaching of pragmatics

posted Jan 10, 2012, 11:45 PM by Hamamatsu JALT   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 8:08 PM ]

Enriching EFL through the teaching of pragmatics

Jérémie Bouchard, Sapporo Sacred Heart School

The presentation, a combination of lecture and group discussion, will focus on a SELHi (Super English Language High School) initiative involving two English courses: Comprehensive and Interactive. The Comprehensive course emphasizes a combination of sentence-based and discourse-based grammar teaching, and the Interactive course shifts towards the teaching of pragmatics. The presentation will also include a review of the Interactive English textbook created for high school second grade students, which was designed around the teaching of speech acts (language functions, e.g. compliments, apologies, requests, complaints, etc.). The main inspiration for this textbook came from an article written in The Language Teacher of May 2004 by John Fujimori and Noël Houck titled “Practical criteria for teaching speech acts”. Along with Fujimori and Houck’s emphasis on pragmatics as a necessary part of any language curriculum, the general argument of this presentation calls for a change in emphasis in the EFL classroom, from English as the sole object of study to English as a tool for effective communication.


現在勤務している札幌聖心女子学院は文科省よりSELHi校の指定を受け、英語コミュニケーション能力の伸長を助けるための教授法と教材を研究している。総合英語クラスでは4技能をバランス良く学習しながら文法事項や実際に使われている英語表現を身につけ、私の担当するインタラクティブクラスでは、pragmaticsを身につける。ほめる・あやまる・たのむ・文句を言うなど、「話すことの指導」を目的とした教科書を製作し、その授業を行っている。The Language Teacher誌2004年5月号 にJohn FujimoriとNoël Houckの論文 “Practical criteria for teaching speech acts”が掲載された。この論文と出会ったことが、「話すことの指導」の重要性について考えるようになったきっかけである。英語を学ぶということは英語を用いてコミュニケーションを図れるようにすることであり、私たちはその道具としての英語を教えていることを確認したい。

Jérémie Bouchard has a B.Ed in TESOL from McGill University, Canada, and an M.A. in TESOL from Macquarie University, Australia. He has been teaching English in Japan for almost ten years. He is particularly interested in pragmatics, multiple intelligence, material design, and essay writing.

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