Teaching Foreign Languages: Diversity & Inclusion

Date:       October 7 (Sun)

Time:       13:00-15:15 (Teaching Foreign Languages: Diversity & Inclusion) 15:30-16:20 (AGM)

Venue:     Yamato Conference Hall


Akiko Mokhtari (Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Osaka                      College of Foreign Languages)

Hiroko Shikata (SUPER OSAKA)

Aki Matsunobu (SUPER OSAKA)

Fee:             Free for JALT members, 1.000 yen for non-JALT members


With the 2018 JALT International Conference approaching, Nara JALT proudly announces this October event that will address the issues relating to the conference theme, Diversity and Inclusion. Akiko Mokhtari will discuss her students’ diversified learning attitudes that she recognized by teaching two foreign languages. Hiroko Shikata and Aki Matsunobu will talk about a newly established branch NPO where children feel included through learning English in their community. The presentations will be followed by the Annual General Meeting (AGM).




13:00                                Doors Open

13:10-14:00                     Akiko Mokhtari

14:10-15:00                     Hiroko Shikata and Aki Matsunobu

15:00-15:15                     Chapter Announcements

15:30-16:20                     AGM

(Each presentation includes a 10-munite Q & A session.)


Abstracts and Bios


Perspectives on Teaching English based on Teaching Two Different Languages

Akiko Mokhtari


Teaching English and Chinese, I encounter diversity in terms of students’ attitudes and effective teaching methods on a daily basis. Here, I focus on two main factors: “freshness vs familiarity” and “native teachers vs non-native teachers,” and talk about personal experiences of teaching two languages in order to seek a better and more effective way to conduct English classes as a Japanese teacher.


After finishing her Master in Linguistics, Akiko Mokhtari started her career as a researcher and a Chinese instructor. She earned her Ph.D in Linguistics at the Graduate School of Kobe University in 2008. Currently, she is teaching English at Osaka College of Foreign Languages and Chinese at Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She also teaches English and American Literature as that was the main focus of her undergraduate major.


A Journey through starting a branch NPO for Local Children

Hiroko Shikata and Aki Matsunobu


SUPER OSAKA, Supporting Union for Practical-use of Educational Resources Osaka, (教育支援協会大阪) is a branch of Tokyo-based SUPER (教育支援協会) that is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of public education in Japan. The aim of the NPO is to develop educational resources and conduct educational research in order to encourage self-help efforts of homes and communities toward acquiring education and help to recover home-and-community educational powers that they used to have. SUPER OSAKA was established last year and has juridical personality that allows it to locally implement its own educational activities including Hokago English, after-school English class, where pupils from various backgrounds such as low-income families and with learning difficulties come and learn English for different reasons. These activities are not able to be carried out without the aid of local residents and supporters of the branch NPO. The goal of SUPER OSAKA is to provide opportunities to help to develop children’s own abilities and improve their self-esteem. In the presentation, the speakers will be talking about: the reasons why they started the branch NPO as well as their current activities and future plans; the roles and benefits of supporters of the branch NPO; and some related issues regarding the new course of the study of English in Japanese primary education.


Hiroko Shikata is the representative director of Supporting Union for Practical-use of Educational Resources Osaka, 教育支援協会大阪 (https://www.kyoikushien-o.com/). She has been teaching English to young learners for 17 years and is currently teaching at a public elementary school and at home. Before pursuing her career as a teacher of English she lived in Indonesia for three and half years where she realized English is a practical and useful communication tool and does not have to be perfect. She conveys this message to young learners of English.


Aki Matsunobu is a director of Supporting Union for Practical-use of Educational Resources Osaka, 教育支援協会大阪. She has been teaching English to young learners for over 20 years and has more than 10-year teaching experience at elementary schools. She completed her MA in English Education at Kyoto Kyoiku University in 2017. She is a member of a kaken project group under Professor Shien Sakai at Chiba University of Commerce and this group has recently published a book, 先生のための小学校英語の知恵袋, literally translated as Teachers’ Recipes for Teaching English at Primary School. She believes that small steps from local communities can create something big enough to support the national education itself.



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