Upcoming Events

May 28, 2023 (Sunday): Allyship and activism in the language-learning classroom

Register here: https://forms.gle/mhgG6FeYFgH3Yavd7

Session 1

Natasha Hashimoto & Mahboubeh Rakhshandehroo
bios: Natasha Hashimoto is an associate professor at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. Her Ph.D. is in education/applied linguistics, and her master’s is in human rights. Her teaching and research interests include human rights issues in TESOL, Bourdieusian theoretical framework, multilingualism, metacognitive strategies, social-emotional learning, and fairness in language testing. She co-edited  Teacher narratives from the Eikaiwa classroom: Moving beyond “McEnglish” with Daniel Hooper in 2020.
Mahboubeh Rakhshandehroo is an associate lecturer of English at Kwansei Gakuin University. Additionally, she serves as the leadership team coordinator of the East Asia regional group of Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education (ICLHE). She received her PhD in Human Sciences (Critical Studies in Transformative Education) from Osaka University. Her research interests include English-Medium Instruction (EMI) support, native speakerism, and multiculturalism.
Title: On Teaching (in) English as Foreign, Female, and “Nonnative”
This presentation is based on a duoethnographic study carried out from December 2021 to December 2022. The aim was to discuss the reconceptualization of English education in Japan through the transformation of language ideologies from the bottom up (Kubota, 2020). An important point of the discussion we engaged in was native-speakerism. Native-speakerism is an ideology that negatively impacts language learners’ confidence in using the target language and positions them outside the realm of English language speakers, since the ultimate goal is, for many, to speak like a “native speaker,” a goal they cannot reach since they had not been born in an English-speaking country (Matsuda, 2003; Shiroza, 2020). We argue that teacher autoethnography and sharing pedagogical practices with other teachers could potentially create spaces for engaging our students and reevaluating native-speakerist ideologies. 

We are two foreign, multilingual, working women, married, with children. We both teach (in) English at Japanese universities. Our data collection started with a 90-minute video interview, which was followed by additional interviews and regularly sharing our thoughts via a Google document where we collaborated to create our narrative. We wrote about what was happening at work in regard to our “NNES” status and our interactions with students, which has resulted in close to 10,000 words of diary exchanges. Our study shows that despite our marginalized positions in Japanese ELT, we can create spaces for our professional development, meaningful student engagement, and students’ personal growth. This study also serves as further evidence of the usefulness of duoethnography as a research method and tool for professional development.

Session 2


May Kyaw Oo

Session Title: Empowering Ourselves and Others: Strategies for Becoming Active Allies in ELT
In the English language teaching (ELT) industry, marginalized identities such as people of color and those who do not come from native English-speaking countries are often targets of implicit biases, microaggressions, and discrimination (Holliday, 2019; McKinney & Norton, 2008). Despite these issues being prevalent, colleagues may fail to recognize these biases and microaggressions or may not know how to effectively respond to support their marginalized colleagues (Elliott, 2017; Yan & Bao, 2019). The objective of this workshop is to raise awareness of the impact of implicit biases and discrimination in the ELT workplace and provide strategies for becoming active allies. The workshop will begin with exploring and defining the meaning of microaggressions followed by a brief sharing session where participants can share their experiences if they so wish to. It is my hope that participants will learn about the importance of acknowledging privilege and marginalization in the workplace and discuss practical steps for creating a more inclusive environment for all colleagues and students (Kumaravadivelu, 2012; Seloni & Chun, 2017). By doing so, participants can empower themselves and their colleagues, and help promote equity and justice in ELT.

References: Elliott, N. (2017). Microaggressions in the ELT workplace: A personal account. ELT Journal, 71(1), 77-86.Holliday, A. (2019). Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation. Multilingual Matters. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2012). Language teacher education for a global society: A modular model for knowing, analyzing, recognizing, doing, and seeing. Routledge.McKinney, C., & Norton, B. (2008). Identity in language learning and teaching: Research agendas for the future. TESOL Quarterly, 42(3), 537-543.Seloni, L., & Chun, C. W. (2017). Language teaching as a site for transformative dialogue and praxis. Applied Linguistics Review, 8(3), 275-299.Yan, X., & Bao, D. (2019). Native speakerism in English language teaching: An overview. English Language Teaching, 12(11), 17-28.
Speaker Bio: May Kyaw Oo is originally from Myanmar. She is currently serving as an assistant professor at Nagasaki University. May has earned two Master’s degrees, including an M.A. in English literature from Assumption University in Thailand and an M.A. in TESOL from the University of Exeter, UK. She is interested and passionate about equity, inclusion, and social justice issues within the TESOL field and the wider context. May is an active member of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT), serving as publicity chair for Global Issues in Language Education SIG and as the Deputy Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

June: YOJALT My Share (Your chance to give a mini-presentation on a classroom activity… and get published!). Send your 75-word abstract and short bio to: assistantprogram@yojalt.org

July: YoJALT is proud to be a co-sponsor for the JALT Listening SIG Conference (July 15, 2023 in Tokyo) 

In the planning….

October: All about academic writing!

November: JALT International Conference (November 24-27, 2023, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki) 

December: YOJALT My Share

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