The JALT2018 Four Corners Tour—Nara

Four Corners Tour Nara 2018The Four Corners Tour presents high-profile speakers from the JALT international conference to the four corners of Japan. This November, the Four Corners Tour stops off in Nara with two invited speakers, presenting versions of their JALT2018 talks tailored towards a more interactive setting. Judith O’Loughlin from the USA will present strategies for fostering resilience in young learners, and Thongsouk Keomany from Laos will present the impact of using L1 in teaching English grammar. If you are unable to make it to JALT2018 in Shizuoka, or even if you are going but wish to see these presenters up close, then you will not want to miss this event.

Date: Nov 18 (Sun)

Time: 10:00 to 12:00

Venue: Nara Visitors Center and Inn

Cost: JALT members free; non-members 1,000 yen


  1. First Presentation: Three Strategies for Fostering Resilience in Young Learners

Speaker: Judith B. O’Loughlin


For young learners, whether traditional newcomers or students with limited literacy, to become resilient, schools must create “havens of resilience” (Henderson, 2013) helping learners discover their own internal strengths, the “I Have, I Am, I Can” (Grotberg,1995; Davis, 2014).

Learners discover how to draw on three resiliency strategies to develop their internal strengths and external resources to succeed emotionally and academically in the English language classroom and beyond. Resilience isn’t a specific program or curriculum, but a process. In the “I Have, I Am, I Can” model, learners are able to develop and recognize the unique strengths they possess.

The presenter describes the model, connecting to the conference theme of addressing diverse student populations and helping to create an inclusive learner-environment. She provides numerous examples of “I Have, I Am, I Can.” Component examples described and participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the three strategies, practice with and create their own examples, as well as, share with colleagues.


Judith B. O’Loughlin has taught ESL at K-12, adult education, and graduate university ESL/ELD/bilingual endorsement programs  As a consultant, she focuses on standards-based curriculum, differentiated instruction and assessment, collaborative team-teaching, newcomers with interrupted education, and advocacy and policy impacting ESL/ELD/bilingual educators and their students.  She is the author of chapters in several edited books, including Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms: Mathematics, Grades 3-5 (Corwin), the Academic Language Accelerator (Oxford) and co-author of Students with Interrupted Formal Education:  Where They Are and What They Need (Corwin). She is one of the TESOL “50 at 50” recognized leaders in the field, as nominated by her peers in 2016.


2. Second Presentation: Inclusivity and Heartfelt Education for ALL Lao People

Speaker: Thongsouk Keomany


The speaker will enliven you with his natural charm, wit and warm heart as he talks about his students, experiences,  and his work in the English Department at the National University of Laos. Hearing about how he has assisted with over 180 amazing visits of mainly JALT members to Laos under the Lao Program (THT Laos), you the audience will be moved by his spirit for life.  He will firstly offer a general perspective on the unique education  context in Laos, particularly in relation to inclusive education, before giving us an introduction to the National University of Laos, where he has worked for 22 years. In addition,  he will speak specifically on inclusive education in NUOL and the various programs, activities and policies he has worked  on related to supporting impoverished and special needs learners. Finally,  he will offer information on LaoTESOL, a unique TESOL event, for Lao teachers of English and invited presenters. He will finish with information on how to apply to be a presenter at the conference. He feels strongly that high standards of education can only be achieved by teachers who work guided by their hearts and spirits.


Thongsouk Keomany was born in Louangphabang Province, in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic. He has studied in Laos, Singapore and Japan and is currently working on his PhD at the University of Malaysia. He works at the National University of Laos, where he has been teaching under and post graduate students, for 22 years. For several years he was Head of the Department of Academic Affairs and now he is the  Deputy Head of the English Department, in charge of International Programs in the Department, the LaoTESOL Co-ordinator, the  LAN project Academic Advisor,  and a member of the Inclusive Education Committee in the Faculty of Letters. He is also the author of, English Language for Lao Students, Books 3-12. These texts are used in all primary and secondary schools throughout Laos. He specializes in planning, evaluation,  and curriculum design. He believes that the principles and maxims of teaching  from,   to UNKNOWN, can help his learners improve their ability to study, particularly in inclusive classrooms.


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