Alexandra Burke


Alexandra Burke has taught English in Japanese public education from K1-12 and university since 2005. This includes thousands of hours team teaching, observing classroom interactions. She studied activities increase student autonomy and which create unexpected barriers for neurodiverse students. Based on international best practice, in collaboration with Japanese colleagues, she trialed a range of culturally appropriate strategies. Her background is public policy on reducing inequality within the Australian Government. She's presented within Japan, overseas and currently teaches at three universities. Burke has won two Best Poster Awards at JALT International Conferences 2019, 2020 and three Michele Steele Best of JALT Chapter Awards 2020, 2021. She was the Plenary Speaker at CUE Conference in 2021. She is the Accessibility in Language Learning SIG Publications Chair, JALT Mind Brain Ed SIG Neurodiversity Advisor and a member of the JALT Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Committee.


Accessibility in Language Learning  Sustainable Inclusivity: Practical Solutions for Supporting Learners more

Sun, Jul 10, 11:45-13:15 Asia/Tokyo

As the pandemic forced us to move online, learner needs became more diverse and complicated in language education. Teachers’ resources and strategies increasingly face a growing need to reflect these changes. The Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (2016) mandated the provision of equal educational opportunities for all learners, including those with special needs. However, according to JASSO (2020), the percentage of students with special needs in higher education slightly decreased last year. This raises the following questions: Does online teaching better accommodate learners with special needs? Did the online context level the playing field and make traditional differences and difficulties invisible for teachers in? Further research is needed to fully understand these changes. In light of this, the ALL SIG forum will focus on sharing ideas and relating experiences of all participants. This forum will showcase individual stories and experiences creating needs analysis framework for the purpose of assessing contexts and sharing strategies and resources. By creating a support network, educators can work together to address the diversity of needs reflected in today’s classroom. The goal is to raise awareness of diverse learner needs and develop inclusive strategies for language teachers and school administrators.

Ryota Moriya Natsuki Suzuki Andrew Reimann Alexandra Burke Ryoko Sato Michael Yap Katrina Persons-Nishi

Accessibility in Language Learning  Living with ADHD: What this means for teachers and students more

Sat, Jul 9, 16:00-16:40 Asia/Tokyo

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex and misunderstood condition. Despite its reputation as a disorder that simply affects the ability to focus and contributes to hyperactive behavior, ADHD presents in different ways for different people. What may present as a challenge for one person may in fact be the strength of another and vice versa. In the teaching context, the classroom (either physical or virtual) may create a wide variety of situations, both hurdles and opportunities, for which teachers and students who have ADHD have to manage. This poster will illustrate what it means to live with ADHD. The presenters will narrate their experiences as language teachers both pre- and mid-pandemic and discuss how ADHD shapes their teaching practice. They will also describe how they structure their classrooms to support students who may be struggling and how they craft a space for students with ADHD to make use of their skills to experience success. This poster will be of particular interest to teachers of students with diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD who may be struggling to apply learning strategies that were effective in the physical classroom to virtual study.

Gretchen Clark Alexandra Burke

Accessibility in Language Learning  Barrier-free learning in Japan: Panel more

Sun, Jul 10, 14:30-16:00 Asia/Tokyo

The panelists will talk about the lack of knowledge in creating barrier-free classes for learners with different abilities, current changes in policies in Japan, and how teachers are working with students to make their classes more inclusive. The session will begin with definitions of disabilities, issues faced by teachers who are not trained in recognizing them, and how teachers can create or modify classes to be effective for all students. Panel members will speak about helping students at all levels of education. We also hope to have enough time to answer participants' questions and help them make their own classes barrier-free.

Melodie Cook Davey Young Sandra Healy Alexandra Burke Megumi Yoshieda Olivia Kennedy