JALT 2016 is in the books!

Hello Critical Thinkers!

JALT 2016 Recap

Well, JALT 2016 has finished and it was a resounding success with new members to our group, 4 thought-provoking presentations, new offices, and a TON of interest in having your Critical Thinking SIG be part of events all over Japan. Here is a brief recap and what you can expect for the future.

CTLL: Issue 3 of the Critical Thinking and Language Learning peer-reviewed journal has been published! You can look forward to a physical copy of the journal arriving at your door soon! It is the largest CTLL yet and full of great articles! We even have our first article on Critical Thinking written in Japanese! Share it with your JET friends and encourage them to join us to learn more about Critical Thinking and Language Learning!

SIG Table: We had many visitors to the SIG table on Saturday and Sunday. We even got a few new members who signed up to join us on our journey to understanding and implementing critical thinking! I (your coordinator) took 14 copies of our new issue (Issue III) of the CTLL and was able to give them all away to new members, interested parties, and a few lucky members of our JALT 2016 Critical Thinking forum.

Critical Thinking SIG AGM: At the AGM, we had a good group of members and non-members who attended to vote for officers, find out about what we did in 2016, and what we plan to do in 2017. James Dunn (Me) was re-confirmed as the coordinator (I look forward to my second year as the coordinator of the JALT Critical Thinking SIG!), Wayne Malcolm was re-confirmed as our PR officer, Hiroshi Nakagawa was re-confirmed as our treasurer, Stephen Jennings was re-confirmed as our membership chair. NEW OFFICERS: We have an incoming program chair: Wayne Devitte, an incoming Editor for the CTLL: Curtis Chu, and possible two assistant editors to help us make your papers the best they can be! So, if you come to an event and you see one of your officers, new or old, say hi and see how we can help you to learn more about critical thinking, share your ideas/opinions of critical thinking, share what has worked (or hasn’t worked!) for you in your classrooms, and even help to spread the word about your research into critical thinking and language learning!

Critical Thinking Forum: All four of our presentations were very well attended. It was obvious the presenters had worked hard to bring their ideas to the audience and the audience was phenomenal. I just wish we had more time! We will have another forum in May at PanSIG but it will be a little different! (SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PANSIG)

Overall it was a great conference for your Critical Thinking SIG. We are going to have more opportunities than ever next year for you to present and publish on your experiences/methods/research/ideas on critical thinking! All of the Critical Thinking SIG’s executive board is very excited about the opportunities to see and hear from our members in the coming events.


It is looking like we are going to have 5 (or possibly more!) opportunities for the Critical Thinking SIG members to present in 2017! Check out below for information and current submission deadlines on the Critical Thinking SIG 2017 events:

MAY: PanSIG – The JALT Critical Thinking SIG will be co-sponsoring Dr. Naoyuki Naganuma on the discussion panel plenary at PanSIG 2017 in Akita (Akita International University). WE ARE ALSO GOING TO BE HOLING A CRITICAL THINKING FORUM: The 2017 PanSIG Critical Thinking SIG Forum call for papers is currently open (until December 25th). We are going to change our style of forum for this PanSIG to a Pechakucha style of presentations (more on that later: check your emails in a day or two!) which means we would like to have anywhere from 4 to 6 short presentations (12 slides over 6 minutes) going at the same time (in small groups) and the audience will rotate to another presentation after a 4-6 minute Q&A session with the presenter. THE FORUM THEME IS: Challenges and Successes in Critical Thinking for Language Learning: Stories from the Classroom. We will be looking for 4-6 (possibly more!) presenters who would like to share their story (with a good ending or a bad one) with people at PanSIG. Please refer to the coming Call for Presentation email that you will receive shortly for more information on submitting for this exciting event.

JUNE: The Hokkaido Chapter would like your Critical Thinking SIG to team up with the GILE SIG for a one day conference in Sapporo! We will be looking for presenters to give short (20-25 minute + 5-10 minute QnA) presentations on Critical Thinking methodology, research, experiences, and definitions. We were just approached about this event this morning and it is still in the early planning phase, so please keep an eye out for information on this promising event coming soon. We are expecting the call for papers to end in early February.

AUGUST: The Critical Thinking SIG and the BRAIN SIG is planning to hold a one or two-day event in Tokyo with the Tokyo Chapter as a co-sponsor. We are very lucky to have a great venue in downtown Tokyo for this event. We will be looking for as many presenters as we can for what is promising to be an exciting and thought-provoking (brain developing?) event in Tokyo. We expect the call for presentations to end in early to mid-march, but please know that this is in the early planning phase and the deadlines may change suddenly.

SEPTEMBER: The Critical Thinking SIG is going to hold our FOURTH critical thinking room at the Tohoku ETJ Expo (the 2016 event in October went very well!) in Sendai. This is an event that always has a great number of interested attendees so if you are interested in going to Sedai to participate in the great event, let us know! Deadline for submissions TBA.

NOVEMBER: The JALT 2017 Critical Thinking Forum is already being planned and the deadline for submissions will be MUCH EARLIER THIS TIME. We want to make sure our presenters get the recognition they deserve in the conference handbook in 2017. To do that, we need to have our Forum lined up and decided by EARLY MARCH. This means our deadline for submissions will need to be LATE FEBRUARY!!!! While it is much earlier than last year, it will be good for all involved as it will be much more professional and better for the presenters of the forum.

DECEMBER?!?!?!: They Kyoto JALT Chapter has approached us to do an event for their chapter in late fall/early winter 2016. The details have not been ironed out but if you are a Critical Thinking SIG member in Kyoto (or the surrounding area!) we might have a good opportunity for you to present! More information on this event coming soon!

In Summary

As you can see, we are growing and going to have more opportunities for the Critical Thinking SIG members to present and publish than ever before! We hope you will present with us and share your understanding, experiences, opinions, ideas, research, and methodology on critical thinkig with educators all over Japan in 2017! Be seeing you soon!


James Dunn

Coordinator – JALT Critical Thinking SIG

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