Special Interest Group (SIG) Mission Statements

JALT's SIGs are national networks for information exchange and fellowship among teachers with similar interests. They further JALT's mission of improving foreign and second language education in Japan. SIGs are based on the various academic, research and pedagogical interests shared by JALT members. They are founded on similar occupations, subjects or levels taught, teaching approaches tailored to Japan, interest in certain fields, or interest in certain issues cutting across disciplines.

JALT members may join as many SIGs as they wish for 1,500 each per year when joining online, by signing up at JALT events, or using the postal transfer form inserted in each issue of The Language Teacher. To maintain SIG privileges, renew your SIG memberships when you renew JALT membership. Missions of established and forming SIGs are briefly described alphabetically below.

For more definitive information, sample newsletters, or enquiries about individual SIGs contact the SIGs directly. SIG activities are also detailed bimonthly in The Language Teacher of "SIG News" column.

  • Bilingualism (BIL) is a branch of applied linguistics that informs language policy while guiding parents struggling to raise children bilingually in Japan.
  • College and University Educators (CUE) share concerns affecting language educators in JALT's largest occupational category.
  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) develops the CAI-CALL approach in hi-tech Japan.
  • Critical Thinking (CT) fosters critical dispositions and promotes discussion of the definition of critical thinking, various understandings of critical thinking instruction and the development of critical thinking instruction approaches and resources appropriate to an EFL environment.
  • Extensive Reading (ER) helps promote Extensive Reading (ER) in Japan. Through our website, our newsletter, the ERJ Journal, and presentations throughout Japan we aim to help teachers set up and make the most of their ER programmes.
  • Framework & Language Portfolio (FLP) wants to discuss the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), the European Language Portfolio (ELP), amongst other tools, and their relevance for language education in Japan while carrying out projects and communicating the results.
    フレームワークと言語ポートフォリオ研究部会(FLP SIG)は、ヨーロッパ言語共通参照枠(CEFR)とヨーロッパ言語ポートフォリオ(ELP)、また他道具が日本の言語教育において、プロジェクトを実施し、その結果を共有していく上で、妥当であるかを議論するために設立された。
  • Gender Awareness in Language Education (GALE) promotes research on gender and its implications for language learning, teaching, and training.
  • Global Issues in Language Education (GILE) promotes global awareness, international understanding, social responsibility and the teaching of world problems (peace, human rights, environmental issues) as content for language education.
  • Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) develops the profession of teaching Japanese to native speakers of other languages residing in Japan.
  • Junior/Senior High (JHS) promotes research and dialogue toward improving secondary school foreign language education in Japan.
  • Learner Development (LD) brings together concepts and research in English and Japanese to develop more autonomous and effective learners, teachers included.
  • Lifelong Language Learning (LLL) aims to explore ways to accommodate the increasing number of people who are eager to study English as part of life-long learning, a trend powered by the increasing number of retirees and the internationalization of Japanese society.
  • Materials Writers (MW) encourages the production of ever-higher quality foreign language teaching materials in all media.
  • Other Language Educators (OLE) gathers and disseminates information on all aspects of the teaching and learning of languages and cultures beyond English and Japanese.
  • Professionalism, Administration and Leadership in Education (PALE) promotes the status of language teaching as a profession both within the Japanese educational system and in relation to the wider national and international context.
  • Pragmatics (PRAG) is concerned with both research and practical teaching issues related to "how people do things with words."
  • Speech, Drama and Debate (SDD) aims to provide a forum for teachers and academics to discuss, research, and implement oral interpretation, speech, debate, and drama in language education. The main activities are creation of a newsletter and sponsoring a National Speech, Drama, and Debate Contest. Future activities may be the sponsoring of workshops and conferences, and supporting local and regional speech, drama, and debate contests or festivals.
  • Study Abroad (SA) is dedicated to fostering discussion and sharing ideas related to the international education and studying abroad. We aim to create a collaborative environment in which those interested in Study Abroad-related issues, including setting up and running Study Abroad, exchange, and internship programs, can come together and raise standards for our students who are visiting a foreign country, including those that we receive from other countries in Japan
  • Task-based Learning (TBL) serves as a forum for the exchange of practical teaching ideas, theoretical discussion, and academic studies of TBLT issues in Asia
  • Teacher Education and Development (TED) is a network for those who want to help themselves and others become better teachers. Our activities include retreats and sponsoring speakers for the annual JALT conference.
  • Teaching Children (TC) is for teachers of children of all ages. We publish a bilingual newsletter four times a year with columns by many of the leading textbook authors in the field.
  • Teachers Helping Teachers (THT) seeks to carry on the work of the late Bill Balsamo and organizes teaching seminars in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Testing and Evaluation (TEVAL) provides a venue for research, information and discussion related to foreign language testing and evaluation as well as promote exchange within JALT and with affiliates of other professional organizations which have common interests and goals.
  • Vocabulary (VOCAB) aims to provide a forum for focused research and discussion in specific regard to vocabulary acquisition. We aim to offer both teachers and researchers a place to connect regarding how learners improve vocabulary knowledge, how to test their knowledge, and how these theoretical aspects connect to classroom practice.