Monday, October 13, 2008

#854 JALT Hokkaido, Japan Aims To Import Less Food

Show 854 Monday 13 October
Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

This weekend we’re going to the JALT conference, which is very exciting. I talked about that a couple of weeks ago.
And since then we’ve been to Sapporo and we met three people from JALT Hokkaido and it was great we had a really nice lunch at an Indian restaurant.
And afterwards we interviewed two of them to find out more about the conference. Michael and Wilma are both from Canada and they are both very experienced teachers, they’ve been teaching in Japan for 17 years – most of that time in Hokkaido and Michael spent a few years in Akita and Wilmer spent a few years in Toyama.
When we were talking about ways to study English one of the things that Michael said was that coming to the JALT conference is a good idea to practice English. So, it’s not just for teachers. So if you’re in Hokkaido, or you feel like travelling here, then I hope you come to the conference and I’ll see you there.

The conference is a great chance for practicing your English. There’s, ah, people who are sympathetic to your level of English. And, ah, people from all over Japan and you can attend the, the, ah, the presentations, um, and, ah, you know, learn something. If you’re interested in being a teacher in the future, that’s great, but even if you’re not, especially at CALL, there’s lots of neat computer related, ah, technology that’s very interesting to learn and use, like how to make a, a podcast and how to make a video … movie … and things like that.


Kia Ora in Stick News today the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture has launched a campaign to encourage people to buy food which is produced in Japan.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Japan only produces around 40 percent of the food it consumes.
They want that number to increase, so they’ve started a campaign.
Their aim is to increase the percentage to 45% by 2015.
So far the campaign has included hiring a pretty girl to speak at a press conference and uploading videos to the maffchannel on YouTube.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 13th of October.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#528 What is JALT?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah's lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Michael/Wilma.

Sarah What is JALT?

Wilma JALT is the Japan Association of Language Teaching. It’s a group of, ah, language teachers, all over Japan who get together for meetings, conferences and so on. Yeah. About 2000 members in total.

Sarah How many members are there in Hokkaido?

Wilma JALT Hokkaido has about 150 spread all around Hokkaido.

Sarah And you have a conference once a year?

Michael One big conference but sometimes we have many conferences, based on specific themes, like, um, teaching children is one we’ve done in the past. And in coordination with other special interest groups.

Sarah What’s the theme of this year’s conference?

Michael Well, this year’s theme is called Hokkaido Nabe, which is a popular food, nabe is a hot stew pot full of all sorts of delicious things. And, ah, so our theme is Hokkaido Nabe, so that means a mixture of a lot of different things, and from that, helping students to help themselves, so, we wanted to focus this conference them on, ah, ways that teachers can get students to, you know, get into English and get access to English resources on their own, so they don’t need to depend on the teacher so much.

Sarah How many people are you expecting to come?

Michael I’m hoping for 120, but if we get more than that, that’ll be great.

Sarah Do many Japanese teachers come to the conference?

Michael Not enough.

Wilma Yeah.

Michael I mean there’s reasons for that too, cause most of the presentations are in English and that can be intimidating. Um, and there other groups that, you know, cater more specifically to certain needs, like MET (?)

Wilma Sure, yeah. But I think maybe 30 or 40 % of attendees, maybe, Japanese.

Michael Yeah.

Wilma But the ratio of attendees is different than the presenters and we’d love to have more Japanese people presenting. Ah, and that doesn’t always, that doesn’t always happen, unfortunately, yeah.

Sarah What do you think people get out of the conference?

Michael Well, there’s the, ah, social aspect, where people from all over Hokkaido, and other parts of Japan can come and meet up again with friends and so on. And then there’s, ah, the professional aspect of it, where people can get, ah, teaching resources. Ah, there’s a lot of publishers who come to this as well and they set up displays. So it’s a good chance to see, um, what kind of materials are available and talk with the publishers face to face and get, you know, solid advice you can actually see the stuff that they’re selling, that you might be ordering for future classes and things. So there’s that part of it. Um, there’s also, for the presenters, the, the chance to, um, put out their ideas in front of their peers and, ah, get some criticism, or …

Wilma Feedback.

Michael Feedback is probably a better word. Feedback.

Wilma Yeah, that’s right.

Sarah What does your job involve as president of JALT Hokkaido?

Wilma Well, I just really have to make sure the officers know what they have to do and that they do it. Crack the whip, kind of thing. And kind of, just coordinate and make sure that people are … basically know what each other … what everyone else is doing. So that we don’t overlap. And communication with, ah, with people, ah, for example the keynote speakers and so on. Ah, communicating with them, bringing them in. Yeah, things like that.

Sarah And what’s your job description?

Michael Well, this time of year, it’s, um, getting, ah, ah, people to send in abstracts to be vetted for the conference and then compiling it together into a program and then, getting it out, and then from there helping the people in charge of the facilities and stuff just do whatever needs to be done to get the conference going. And there’s always lots of little things.

Wilma Conference program chair.

Michael Yeah, that’s the official name, but …

Wilma That’s the official name, yeah.

Sarah Do you have any advice for people who are studying English?

Wilma I think for advice for students generally, I try to tell my students, ah, develop the habit of English, you know, do something in English every day. And with technology the way it is, it’s so easy to do that, even though there may not be native English speakers around to talk to. But on the internet there’s all kinds of possibilities, so do something in English every day.

Michael If there’s something that you enjoy, ah, and you can, you know, express that in English. That’s probably a very useful way to enjoy using the language for a useful purpose, you know, sharing what you like to do. And with Skype and other types of, you know, multi-media type of technology, it’s really easy to communicate, much easier than it’s ever been. So …
Oh, and if my students are watching this, come to class, that’s probably the best thing you can do.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS pictures

MAFF promotional video by groovisions


show start
artist: Boom Tschak
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: More Chocolate, Please
from: Former Yugoslavia

cws start
artist: Wolfgang S.
album: Indietronic CCBit.
track: Dynamite
from: Belgrade, Serbia, Former Yugoslavia
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: Antony Raijekov
album: See U
track: When Waves Trying to Catch a Marvel
from: Sofia, Bulgaria
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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