In mid-November, I went to Tsukuba for the JALT International Conference. It was the first time in four years for me to be able to attend face-to-face. It was wonderful to see old friends and hear about new ideas in the English teaching field.
Saturday morning I made a presentation for National Geographic Learning about personalization activities for Young Learners. I demonstrated activities I have used in the classroom at BIG BOW English Lab and shared my students' work. Research shows that students learn more when they do personalization activities, using the language learned in the classroom to talk about their own lives or topics that interest them.
This was my favorite slide from the presentation I gave!
A short video of my presentation highlights: https://youtu.be/Ox3-hE0IPlA
Visiting publisher booths for the first time in years and checking out books for my classes was wonderful. Of course I visited the National Geographic booth!
On Sunday, I was in a very interesting panel discussion for the Lifelong Learning Special Interest Group about the role eikaiwa schools play, as many eikaiwa students stay at schools for many years to learn English. I learned a lot from the other members of the panel, one of whom owns a large school with many locations in Saitama, and another who owned a neighborhood school for a long time before closing it during the pandemic to take a full-time university teaching job.
I'm really thankful I can go to these events once again to hear fresh ideas and find new books to bring back to BIG BOW English Lab!