3 Dec 2014, 11:08am
conference JALT


JALT National Conference 2014



Was actually really good


This year I was again lucky enough to be able to attend the JALT National Conference in Tsukuba. It’s no secret that I prefer the intimate, geeky atmosphere of the Pan-SIG conference to the sprawling opulence of the national, and to be honest I wasn’t super-excited about going to Tsukuba. The dearth of transport links meant taking the shinkansen down to Tokyo, then the Tsukuba Express back up to Tsukuba. Grumble grumble.

However, I was wrong this year about both the conference (which was excellent) and Tsukuba (which I ended up liking quite a bit). Humble pie for brunch today.

So what was so good about this year’s conference? As a predictable blogger, I have a list for you:

  1. the venue was fantastic. Compact, clean, and easy to navigate, it was pretty close to perfect
  2. lots of people came to my presentation on Saturday evening, despite the unsociable time slot
  3. I somehow managed to attend a really good selection of presentations (and one truly awful one, but we won’t go into that)
  4. as usual, the conversations in the hallway were just as good as the presentations, and I came away with some really good ideas
  5. central Tsukuba (well, the bit around the venue) was pretty good: nice restaurants, a decent bar, and lots of trees
  6. I only managed to see one plenary (Thomas Farrell on reflective teaching) but it was excellent

So I may have to rethink my attitude towards the national conference. I guess the more people you know the better it becomes in aggregate, and I’m starting to feel like I know most of the people at JALT 🙂

Next year’s conference is in Shizuoka again. O-tanoshimi da ne!



Nice! I’m kind of regretting not going now. I’ve sent one application in so far (for a workshop) and will send another in early in the new year. Is there a video of your presentation coming up?

Afraid not! I’ve been careless recently with remembering to take the video camera.

I really regret not getting my presentation at Nika, as I feel that was the best one I have ever done (comment from audience member: “it was like a TED talk”). Now I am kicking myself…

I heard that the Monday was really quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the previous two days, with very few people around. Perhaps they could scrap the last day? Might bring prices down.

Also, what was so bad about that presentation?! You don’t have to name names!

One big difference this year was that there were a couple of time slots set aside for meetings, which left most of the attendees with nothing to do!

I think the Monday is mainly there so that they can fit in some more presentations (everyone who presents attends, and all that).

The presentation was terrible because it didn’t cover any of the things it said it would, and just consisted of the presenter talking unfocusedly about their experience. Shame, as the topic is a really important one.

Made me want to put in a proposal for the same topic next year!


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