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Osaka JALT Journal Vol. 6 is out!




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Music in our brains - A universal human characteristic: a SIETAR Kansai event co-sponsored by Osaka JALT

Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

We are the only species on the planet that makes music. Moreover, all human societies make music of some kind. This is because music is hardwired into the human brain, just as language is. In this workshop we will examine what music is, and explore the ways in which our brains "hear" and respond to various kinds of music: both music that is familiar and music from other cultures. We will also look into the differences between recorded and live musical performances and discuss ways in which music is an integral part of our daily lives. One aim is that by the end of the workshop, we will all consider ourselves truly "musical" and appreciate the effects that music can have on the brain, providing numerous benefits to our overall wellbeing.

Dr. Amanda Gillis-Furutaka is a professor of English and British Culture at Kyoto Sangyo University. She became fascinated by the findings of neuroscience when she first started working on her PhD in music and has continued to explore recent discoveries about various aspects of the brain and how they can be applied to daily life. She is Program Chair of the JALT Mind Brain and Education SIG and a regular presenter and contributor to the SIG's monthly magazines called Think Tanks. To find out more about the Mind, Brain, and Education SIG, visit their website.


This event is co-sponsored with SIETAR Kansai and will be followed by a dinner party at a nearby restaurant. RSVP by Friday, July 24th, to


Takatsuki Shiritsu Shogai Gakushu Center, 3F Room 1 (10 minutes from JR Takatsuki and Hankyu Takatsuki-shi stations)

Venue Address: 
Speaker: Amanda Gillis-Furutaka
Admission is FREE for JALT and SIETAR members and students, 500 yen for others

Back to School 2019 - Featured Speaker Aiko Fukazawa

Aiko Fukazawa is an undergraduate student of Osaka Jogakuin University.

She presented on computer literacy in Japan. Thanks to the development of mobile phones and tablets, people can access the internet anytime and anywhere. However, some students have difficulties in class because they do not have basic knowledge of how to use computers. This presentation will look at the current situation of computer literacy in Japan and discuss the results of a survey on computer literacy at a Japanese university.


Check out her PowerPoint.

Check out the video of her presentation:


2019 JALT Research Grant Proposals

2019 JALT Research Grant Proposal Application Period: June 1st to September 30th

Each year, JALT awards up to three grants for a maximum of 100,000 yen each for research on language teaching in Japan. Only JALT members who have no outside funding sources to conduct research are eligible to apply. The goal of the grants is to support language teachers in their professional development and to encourage teachers to engage in classroom-based research. Grant applications are collected each summer and vetted by the JALT Research Grants Committee. Winners of the grants receive funding before the start of the following school year during which they conduct their studies, provide quarterly reports, and receive guidance from the committee. Following the completion of the research, winners are invited to give presentations on their projects at the JALT national conference and to publish a paper in the Language Teacher. The deadline for proposals for projects starting in the 2020 school year is September 30th, 2019.

Details and application can be found on the JALT Research Grants website.



Back to School 2019 - Osaka JALT's 9th annual spring mini-conference

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:30pm

Back to School 2019 is Osaka JALT’s 9th annual spring mini-conference which aims to share ideas on a wide range of language teaching and learning topics to help everyone in the new academic year. With long and short presentations, poster sessions, and plenty of time to socialize (including a dinner party afterward at a nearby restaurant), there is sure to be something for everyone.

This event is again co-sponsored by Osaka Jogakuin University's Research Institute of International Collaboration and Coexistence Research on Language Learning (RIICC).

Check out our list of presentations.

Check out the schedule for the day.

RSVP by Thursday, May 9, to sign up for the course menu at our after-party on Sat, May 11.

Venue Address: 
Speaker: Various
Fee for JALT members: Free
Fee for non-JALT members: 2,000 yen (1,000 yen for undergraduate students)

Upgrading Speaking Skills through Toastmasters International

Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Colorado in the U.S., the organization has more than 357,000 members in more than 16,000 clubs in 143 countries. It has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

In this presentation, the audience will be given an overview of Toastmasters International and Toastmasters in Japan. Stories about Toastmaster’s members’ experiences both inside and outside the Toastmasters environment and how those experiences have been personally beneficial will be shared. The audience will then experience a Toastmasters demonstration meeting. In addition, there will be an interactive workshop called “Thinking and Speaking on Your Feet,” a session which aims to help people practice their impromptu speaking skills. These skills will help people feel more confident in common, everyday situations.

Ludlow Gibbons came to Japan from the U.S. in 1992 and has taught English at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, currently teaching at Ritsumeikan University. He joined the Osaka Toastmasters Club in 1995 and has been actively involved in establishing clubs in Kansai, volunteering as an officer in the Toastmasters International organization, and occasionally participating in speech contests to maintain his public speaking proficiency. Ludlow is also a past President of Osaka JALT.

This event is co-sponsored by SIETAR Kansai and will be followed by a dinner party at a nearby restaurant. RSVP by Friday, April 26th, to


Venue Address: 
Speaker: Ludlow Gibbons
Fee for JALT members: Free for JALT and SIETAR members and full-time students
Fee for non-JALT members: 500 yen