Getting Involved in JALT

Contents

  1. Learning
  2. Networking
  3. Presenting
  4. Getting Published
  5. Running JALT
  6. Jobs—Resources for Job Hunters and Employers
  7. JALT Research Grants
  8. Domestic Partnerships
  9. International Partnerships
  10. Associate Members (AMs)
  11. Administration

Footnotes for Further Information

  1. Learning
  2. JALT Announcements
  3. Publishing
  4. Running JALT

Welcome!

Thank you for joining JALT! Now that you are a member, the doors to a plethora of opportunities for personal and professional development are open to you. The more you put in, the more you will get out. I think you will find that truism a good guide for how to approach the array of opportunities facing you now. Please have a look at the offerings under the eleven headings below. Whatever professional skills you have or would like to develop, there is a place to exercise them in JALT.
Happy JALT-ing!
Fred Carruth, Director of Membership

Learning

I always get something from the presentations I attend, even if they're not in my corner of the EFL field. The 60 JALT Chapters and SIGs together sponsor hundreds of events all over Japan every year, and that's not even including all the miniconferences, regional conferences, and the JALT International Conference, which by itself offers more than 500 presentations in the fall of each year. Your JALT Membership Card entitles you to free or member-only rates to all of these events, including the International Conference and the PanSIG Conference. All JALT events are listed on the JALT Events Calendar.

In addition to the publications of any SIG or chapter you join, your JALT membership will bring you JALT's three peer-reviewed publications: bimonthly The Language Teacher, which offers feature articles, teaching tips, reviews, meeting and conference announcements, member profiles, and job-hunting information; the semiannual JALT Journal, with practical and theoretical articles, research reports, and reviews; and the annual Postconference Publication, with papers based on the presentations given at the previous International Conference.

The special publication JALT Announcements will be delivered to your email inbox every month. Take a look and stay informed!

Networking

A lot of us think that the opportunities to make new friends or professional contacts are some of the most rewarding aspects of JALT. Besides the people you will meet as we work together, there are social gatherings of many kinds offered by chapters, at miniconferences, and at the big conferences, too. You will have the chance to meet lots of friendly, open people from Japan and from around the world who are doing interesting things both inside and outside of JALT. That can expand your horizons, and be a lot of fun, too!

Talk to the people you meet—there's always something being planned. The JALT Events Calendar is a good place to start.

Presenting

JALT offers many opportunities for people who would like to give presentations or share what they have been doing. Just getting started? You may be able to present as part of a “My Share” or “pechakucha” event at a chapter or SIG event, as one of a number of people each giving a very short presentation.

The next step might be to become a featured speaker at a chapter or SIG event or miniconference. A good way to get your foot in the door is by contacting Chapter or SIG Program Chairs, who are always on the lookout for interesting presentations.

Presenting at the International Conference

This is the big league. Proposals are vetted by the program committee, with generally about a 50% acceptance rate. Work on the next conference begins almost as soon as the last one ends, so prepare early. Read the submission guidelines carefully. The Call for Papers comes out right after the International Conference in the fall and closes in mid-February.

Many chapters sponsor a local presenter who has never presented at the national level—vetted locally by the chapter and automatically accepted by the conference committee. Chapters who participate in this program sometimes subsidize conference fees or hotel or travel costs for first-time presenters at the International Conference. Ask your local program chair if your chapter sponsors presenters. The deadline for Chapter-sponsored proposals is generally in mid-May.

Further information is available in the monthly JALT Announcements and on jalt.org.

Getting Published

JALT offers many opportunities for people who would like to get published. Just getting started? All SIGs, as well as many chapters, offer opportunities to publish. Since this is a traditional focus of SIG activity, many SIGs provide support, peer review, or both to authors. There is usually a workshop on publishing with SIGs offered at the International Conference.

SIG publications can be a great place to learn the business. Become a writer, reader, proofreader, or editor. Contact SIG Publications Chairs to inquire.

Getting Published in JALT International Publications

The Language Teacher, JALT Journal, and the Postconference Publication are JALT's flagship publications, peer reviewed and carefully edited to the highest international standards. The editors welcome submissions of materials concerned with all aspects of language education, particularly with relevance to Japan. Submissions can be in either English or Japanese. Each year there are workshops at the International Conference on getting published in JALT publications and how to get help from the JALT Peer Support Group (PSG).. Find JALT publications here.

Getting Published in The Language Teacher (TLT)

TLT offers a varied list of publishing possibilities, from book reviews to brief “My Share” items to research articles up to 3,000 words. You can find submissions guidelines here.

Getting Published in JALT Journal (JJ)

JALT Journal, JALT's refereed research journal, invites empirical and theoretical research articles and research reports on second and foreign language teaching and learning in Japanese and Asian contexts. It accepts research articles in English or Japanese up to 6,000 words in length in English, or 18,000 characters in Japanese. You can find submissions guidelines here.

Getting Published in the Postconference Publication

Presenters of vetted presentations at the International Conference are invited to write an academic paper about the topic of the presentation for the Postconference Publication in English, Japanese, or the language of presentation and up to 4,000 words or 12,000 characters. You can find submissions guidelines here.

Inside JALT Publications

The staff of each of these publications consists entirely of volunteers. It takes a team of almost 40 people, plus advisory board members, for TLT alone. Interested in being a reader, editor, copy editor, or proofreader? Contact the JALT Publications Board Chair. pubchair*at*jalt.org

Writers’ Peer Support Group

The Writer’s Peer Support Group (PSG) is a team of JALT authors and reviewers who collaboratively assist writers to develop their manuscripts to a publishable level. PSG is associated with JALT, but the group can also help writers who are looking to publish in any publication. PSG usually gives a workshop at the International Conference.

Running JALT

I started my JALT career as the recording secretary in a small, rural chapter. That experience convinced me that the most rewarding way to experience JALT was "from the inside," as a participant rather than just an observer. Right from the start I found it satisfying and rewarding to work with colleagues on such a worthy, common cause as building and maintaining an organization that is dedicated to improving language education in Japan.

Chapters and SIGs

It takes a whole team of volunteers working closely together to build a good chapter or SIG and keep it moving forward. Many hands make light work, and most Chapters and SIGs are always looking for people to help with planning and carrying out events, publishing, and the great variety of other jobs related to the JALT mission. Volunteering as a chapter or SIG officer is also a good way to help shape the direction of the group and to develop and practice leadership skills.

If they don’t ask you, ask them! A good person to start with is your Chapter President or SIG Coordinator. Have an idea? If it helps us with our teaching, JALT is the place to do it.

National

Most National officers come from the ranks of chapter and SIG officers, from the Conference Team, or from publication volunteers, but all members are eligible. Seven members of the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Auditor are elected by JALT members in even-numbered years to serve terms of 2 years. Most other officers (and we need about a gazillion officers and committee members to run an organization of JALT's size and complexity) are appointed for responsible jobs that vary from liaising with our many partner organizations to preparing JALT's annual 7 million yen budget, to mention only two.

Or you can join the Conference Team as one of the approximately 50 people it takes to put on the International Conference, with its more than 500 presentations and around 2,000 attendees. If you're interesting in volunteering to work on the International Conference, contact the Director of Program. program*at*jalt.org

Jobs—Resources for Job Hunters and Employers

While JALT cannot help you find a job directly, joining and attending chapter and national events is one step towards professional development. Listing your JALT membership, officer position, or volunteer work on your resume is a good demonstration of commitment to the teaching profession.

For those searching for employment, we run a Job Information Center (JIC) at every International Conference. The JALT JIC is a service supporting both educators and employers who are looking to find each other with the intent of building professional relationships. Visit the Career Development Corner to access jobs resources.

JALT Publications also maintains an online job listing with current openings at all levels from young learners through university and beyond. Employers may post openings there for free by clicking submission guidelines.

JALT Research Grants

Each year, JALT awards up to three grants for a maximum of 100,000 yen each for research on language teaching in Japan. JALT members who have no outside funding sources to conduct research are eligible to apply. The goals of the grants are to support language teachers in their professional development and to encourage teachers to engage in classroom-based research. Grant applications are solicited each summer and vetted by the JALT Research Grants Committee. The deadline is usually around July 31.
 
Details and an application form can be found at JALT Research Grants.


Domestic Partnerships

Under the auspices of the JALT Domestic Affairs Committee (DAC), JALT has established partnerships with the following five organizations that are based here in Japan.  These relationships can open doors for JALT members who are interested in expanding their horizons by working with a diversity of groups with goals relevant to language teaching and learning in Japan.

International Partnerships

JALT currently has partnerships with eleven language and teaching associations around the world, our primary focus naturally being on associations within Asia. The aim of such partnerships is to offer mutual support, to forge collaborative alliances and, in so doing, to offer increased professional development opportunities for our members. Contact the International Affairs Committee Chair. international*at*jalt.org.

Members of the Pan-Asian Consortium of Language Teaching Societies (PAC)

Other International Partners

Associate Members (AMs)

This group includes commercial sponsors, publishers, and other supporters. Many of them sponsor a booth at the International Conference offering professional assistance with teaching materials and other opportunities that may be of interest to you.

Many AMs sponsor presenters at chapter and SIG events as well as at the International Conference. For more information contact the JALT Business Manager. business*at*jalt.org.

Administration

The JALT Central Office (JCO) is the center of JALT administration. While it is we volunteers who lead and do most of the work in JALT, we are supported by a professional staff based in Tokyo. JCO can be thought of as the JALT “front office.”
Should you have any questions or problems regarding your membership, please contact the JALT Membership Secretary as below, particularly regarding such things as . . .

  • membership renewal problems,
  • questions concerning your membership status,
  • changes of address, contact data, or chapter or SIG membership,
  • subscription problems with JALT publications,
  • your membership number, or
  • an official receipt of payment.

The Japan Association for Language Teaching
Urban Edge Bldg 5F 1-37-9 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0016, Japan
Office Phone: 03-3837-1630 (9:00-17:30) / 03-3837-1641 (9:00-17:30)
Office Fax: 03-3837-1631

  • Office Supervisor: jco*at*jalt.org ; Membership Secretary: membership-office*at*jalt.org ; Accounting Secretary: accounting*at*jalt.org ; Associate Member Liaison: am*at*jalt.org

Footnotes for Further Information

1. Learning

JALT has 33 Chapters throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Chapters hold meetings, seminars, lectures, workshops, book fairs, and training sessions, to name a few of their activities. Check the Events Calendar for an idea of Chapter activity.

The links below provide information on our Chapters, including an officer list, upcoming events, and a link to the Chapter website if the Chapter has one. If you wish to contact a Chapter please use the individual contact form found on the linked Chapter page. If you are interested in forming a Chapter, consult the process for forming a new Chapter.

JALT has 26 Special Interest Groups (SIGs), each made up of JALT members who share a professional interest. Our SIGs publish books, journals, and newsletters and maintain informative mailing lists. SIGs also hold conferences and seminars and work with JALT Chapters and other groups to put on events throughout Japan.

To learn more about JALT's SIGs, read this mission statement or see the SIG Focus column of The Language Teacher. If you wish to contact SIGs, use the individual contact forms on each SIG page. If you are interested in forming a SIG, consult the process for forming a new SIG.

Click the links below to see information on our JALT SIGs, including officer lists, publications, events, and websites:

PanSIG is an annual conference sponsored and organized by many of JALT's SIGs. The conference brings together leading scholars and practitioners in language education from Japan, Asia, and all over the world. It is meant to be a smaller, more intimate conference than the annual International Conference and a place where SIG members can network . It is held in different venues around Japan, usually in May or June.

2. JALT Announcements

This list has been set up to be a clear channel through which to keep JALT members up-to-date on important JALT information. All JALT members are subscribed to this list automatically. You will receive timely, monthly announcements directly from JALT Central Office. The announcements will be brief, to the point, and include only important or time-sensitive information. Subscribe here.

3. Publishing

Publications Contacts

  • JALT Publications Board Chair: pubchair*at*jalt.org
  • The Language Teacher Editor: tlt-editor*at*jalt-publications.org
  • JALT Journal Editor: jj-editor*at*jalt-publications.org
  • Postconference Publication: jalt-publications.org/proceedings
  • JALT Publications Website Editor: webcontact*at*jalt-publications.org

4. Running JALT

Board of Directors (BOD)

  • All National Directors: directors*at*jalt.org
  • President: president*at*jalt.org
  • Vice President: vp*at*jalt.org
  • Auditor: auditor*at*jalt.org
  • Director of Membership: membership*at*jalt.org
  • Director of Program: program*at*jalt.org
  • Director of Public Relations: pr*at*jalt.org
  • Director of Records: records*at*jalt.org
  • Director of Treasury: treasury*at*jalt.org

National Officers and Committees

  • Balsamo Asian Scholar Liaison
  • Best of JALT Coordinator
  • Business Manager: business*at*jalt.org
  • Chapter Representative Liaison (CRL): chaprep*at*jalt.org
  • Chapter Treasurer Liaison (CTL): chapyen*at*jalt.org
  • Four Corners Tour Coordinator
  • JALT Website Editor: webmail*at*jalt.org
  • NPO Liaison with Tokyo Metropolitan Government
  • SIG Representative Liaison (SRL): sigrep*at*jalt.org
  • SIG Treasurer Liaison (STL): sigyen*at*jalt.org
  • Administrative Committee – Chaired by the Vice President
  • Audit Committee – Chaired by the Auditor
  • Business Committee – Chaired by the Director of Program
  • Competitive Bidding Committee – Chaired by the Vice President
  • Financial Steering Committee
  • External Relations Committee – Chaired by the Director of Public Relations
    • Domestic Affairs Committee: domestic*at*jalt.org
    • International Affairs Committee: international*at*jalt.org
    • NPO Liaison
    • UALS Liaison
  • Finance Committee – Chaired by the Director of Treasury
  • Membership Committee –Chaired by the Director of Membership
  • Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC): nec*at*jalt.org
  • Program Committee – Chaired by the Director of Program
    • Conference Program Chair
    • Conference Site Chair
    • Four Corners Tour Coordinator
    • Program Database Manager
  • Records and Procedures Committee – Chaired by the Director of Records
  • Research Grants Committee
  • Sales and Advertising Committee – Chaired by the Director of Public Relations
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