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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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



VUS TESOL 2014 resources and postmortem

I was delighted to deliver the opening plenary for VUS TESOL in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend.


The conference was held at the City Conference Hall and was very well-attended.


I had to be there at 7:00 to set up before the opening ceremony at 8:00. The hall was incredible, it felt a bit like a rock concert with the two tiers of seats and the spotlights.

I started a bit late so had to trim my talk a little on the fly (ended up talking for about 40 minutes instead of the planned 60).

You can see the video of the speech below. My slides are here:ย 140719 VUS plenary slides, and the notes for the talk are here:ย VUS TESOL 2014 summary

Overall I wasn’t completely happy with my performance. Giving a plenary is very different from a workshop or presentation, and this was my first one of this scale. I felt I was a bit rushed and had too much content, which means that I wasn’t able to fully develop some of the main ideas.

Still, it wasn’t completely horrible. I would probably give myself six or seven out of ten, and try to do better next time.

I’d like to thank everyone who came to the conference, and especially everyone who came and talked to me. It was great to meet you all.



I am extremely excited to have the chance to speak at VUS TESOL 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City this year. Slides, notes, and hopefully video to follow next week.

The website for the event is here.

6 Jun 2014, 2:06pm

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JALT CALL 2014 (Nagoya)

A new experience

nagoya castle at night

I’ll be attending the JALT CALL conference this weekend for the first time, in Nagoya.

I won’t be presenting, as I am trying to take it easy this year. Figure I deserve it after finishing my MA dissertation last month!

Hope to see some of you there ๐Ÿ™‚

The 1st Michinoku English Education Summit (MEES) Conference

Fun times in Hachinohe


I was lucky enough to be able to attend and present at the first MEES Conference last weekend. It was held at Hachinohe Gakuin University, and was possibly the best-organized conference I have ever attended. The preparation, execution, and communication on the part of the organizers was flawless.

My presentation was about expanding academic programs by reaching out to colleagues. You can download my slides in pdf format here (140601 MEES), and watch the full presentation below:

By the way, the Daiwa Roynet Hotelย in Hachinohe is very pleasant and has an amazing buffet breakfast.

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