Hello; dobr denj; kalimera; ni hao; guten tag; anyong hashimnikka; bonjour, buenos dias; hyvää päivää; bom dia; haisai; konnichiwa!
In a time when we can easily understand where and how other people live, there is still only one surefire way to find out what they think individually or as a culture: to learn their language. As every culture contains specific patterns of thought and mindsets which cannot always be put into English or translated easily from one language to another, learning its language opens the door to that culture and the countries using it. The OLE SIG was founded in 1996 in order to serve the special needs of such learners and teachers.
Languages are also thought to be instrumental in developing cultural empathy, opening up our minds to other concepts and ideas, and enabling us to reflect on our own. In this way, OLE can also be considered part of peace education.
Although many teachers of German, French, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Russian etc. have their own teacher organizations, they need JALT with its powerful network across the nation and even outside of Japan in order to get more urgently needed representation on a nationwide overarching scale. On the other hand, JALT would simply be incomplete without representing the thousands of students learning and the hundreds of teachers teaching the above languages throughout Japan.
So, please help us by letting your colleagues know that JALT is inclusive of all language teaching in Japan!