Accessibility in Language Learning  Any Unvetted SIG Forum

Barrier-free learning in Japan: Panel

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

Location: F21 HYBRID

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

    I am a Professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture. While not an expert in barrier-free learning, I have asked Alex Burke and Davey Young to work with me on an edited book about it in Japan, as this kind of resource is badly needed.

  • Davey Young

    I am a lecturer in Sophia University's Department of English Studies and a PhD candidate at Waseda University's Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies. My research focuses on English language teacher preparedness to teach students with disabilities.

  • Sandra Healy

    I am a professor at Kyoto Institute of Technology. My research interests include intercultural learning, and inclusive teaching practices. I am also interested in the incorporation of digital technologies in learning.

  • 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.

  • Megumi Yoshieda

    I am a lecturer at a university in Aichi facilitating English courses that encourage students in Japan to notice what is happening around our area and around the world. Hence, my current interst is using SNS for L2 learning. I also teach children with Filipino background in Nagoya who often face barriers in joining a regular school. Last but not least, I am a beginner zumba student trying hard to follow the Filipino and other latin rhythms.

  • Olivia Kennedy

    I firmly believe that all students should have equal access to education, and am passionate about bringing positive change where it is needed. I teach at both Nagahama Institute of Bioscience and Technology, a small research institute in northern Shiga, and Kyoto Institute of Technology, where I am also a Phd candidate, researching the interplay between teachers, students, and technology.