Accessibility in Language Learning  General Unvetted SIG Forum

Sustainable Inclusivity: Practical Solutions for Supporting Learners

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

Location: F21 HYBRID

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

    Ryota is an assistant professor at Chuo University. He has a PhD in international studies. His research interests include color-blindness, disability studies in education, accessibility in language learning, and Foucauldian genealogical discourse analysis.

  • Natsuki Suzuki

    Natsuki Suzuki teaches at several public elementary schools and a private school in Tokyo. She completed a Master’s degree from the English Department of Aoyama Gakuin University. Her aim is to foster a love of learning and build confidence as the essential elements for guiding all children to be autonomous lifelong learners. Her interest includes drawing, ukulele and magic as ways to teach, motivate and realize the true communicative purpose of learning and connecting through English. She likes to treasure the element of English as a means of cultivating new perspectives as well as communicating with others.

  • Andrew Reimann

    Andrew is a coordinator of the English Program at Aoyama Gakuin University. His research interests include Intercultural Communication, Materials Design and Media Literacy. He has a PhD in Applied Linguistics and teaches classes on Communication, Comparative Culture and Media Studies. He is from Vancouver, Canada and enjoys cycling, nature and all adventures big and small.

  • 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.

  • Ryoko Sato

    Ryoko is a lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Studies, Reitaku University. She has studied universal design in language education, especially focusing on how to create more accessible materials for learners.

  • Michael Yap

    Mike is a visiting lecturer at Meiho Junior and Senior High School. His interests include developing self-paced and mastery-based learning environments, differentiated instruction, and providing support to foreign language students who have learning difficulties.