JALT 2014 – Black socks and Zombie frogs

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JALT 2014 – Black socks and Zombie frogs

レスリー先生

Last week I attended the JALT National 2014 conference in Tsukuba. It was my 10th JALT conference in a row, but this one was extra special because I was a Featured Speaker, sponsored by Atama-ii Books. I arrived on Friday afternoon and helped Marcos Benevides set up the booth, which was an ordeal because our display included a two meter high copy of a cover of Zombies in Tokyo with the heads cut out so people could stick their heads in and become zombies. After setting it up, we decided to try it out ourselves and post the result on Facebook.

Getting "zombiefied" with Marcos!

Getting "zombiefied" with Marcos!

Then I hurried off to the VIP dinner and met the other speakers from all over the world. One of the plenary speakers was two time Grammy award winner, Bill Harley, who came to talk about using songs in the classroom. He led everyone in song after dinner. It was surreal to to sing the following song with the leaders of ELT:

Black socks, they never get dirty

The longer you wear them, the stronger they get

Sometimes I think I should wash them

But something inside me keeps saying, "Not yet, not yet, not yet!"

The next day Bill Harley gave his plenary speech. I thought it was interesting that most of the people who posted how much they enjoyed it on Facebook were university professors, not teachers of children!

After the Opening Ceremony, I gave two presentations. One was on activities using graded readers and the other was why multi path readers are ideal for reluctant readers. Thanks to everyone who attended my presentations!

Making my Featured Speaker Presentation

Making my Featured Speaker Presentation

I also spoke at a forum for the new Mind, Brain, and Education SIG on how learning about neuroscience has helped me to become a better teacher. There were lots of interesting gadgets for the brain at their booth, including this fun game where you control a ball with your brain waves.

Mind control

The rest of the time I was in the Atama-ii Books booth, taking cell phone photos of teachers who wanted to become "zombiefied" and talking about the books. It was great to hear everyone's reactions to them. As a child, I was a huge fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure series, so being able to write a multi path story is a dream come true.

The Atama-ii Books authors: Marcos Benevides, me, James Broadbridge, and Kyle Maclauchlan

The Atama-ii authors: Marcos Benevides, me, James Broadbridge, and Kyle Maclauchlan

 

So, who was the best zombie in Tokyo? I'd have to say my favorite photo was of teacher and puppeteer, Juan Alberto Lopez Uribe, and his sidekick, Buddy the Frog!

Juan and Buddy the Frog as zombies!

Juan and Buddy the Frog as zombies!

 

 

LESLEY ITO

LESLEY ITO(レスリー いとう)

アメリカ、フロリダ州出身。両親の仕事の都合で生まれはイギリス。1992年、大学卒業後来日。日本での経験を活かしてアメリカで就職をするまでの1年の予定で帰国予定だったのが、結婚を機に日本で永住を決断。以後、英語指導法に関する研究や発表を重ね、その功績が認められイギリスの大手出版会社から世界の著名指導者のひとりとしてケンブリッジに招待を受ける。
著者として指導書や英語多読用リーダーなど数多くの英語教育関連書籍を執筆し、ドバイでは2015年に多読用リーダーで国際文学最優秀賞を受賞。
現在では、大学での講義やCLILレッスンの講演活動を日本全国で行っている。

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