“Individual, Community, Society: Connecting, Learning and Growing”

April 17–20, 2014 | Osaka International Conference Center, Osaka, Japan

Conference Report

The Fourth Annual Asian Conference on Language Learning (ACLL) and the Fourth Annual Conference on Technology in the Classroom (ACTC) welcomed 255 delegates from over 40 nations to engage, debate, learn and interact through productive exchanges, and the sharing of professional ideas and opinions alongside their international peers. The theme of the 2014 joint conference was ‘Individual, Community, & Society: Connecting, Learning and Growing’ and sought to establish new ways of engaging with others, providing creative mechanisms for teaching and learning, as well as advancing and enhancing personal, community, and societal advancement.

The joint conference got off to a great and convivial start with the well-attended welcome reception held at the Saint Louis Amuse, which established the highly positive and inclusive rapport that resonated within the conference. The Friday Plenary Session was once again very strong with two highly regarded senior academics as keynote speakers. The ACLL Keynote, Professor Kuniko Miyanaga is a cultural anthropologist and linguist and works on questions of globalization, identity and language. Professor Miyanaga spoke on the closed epistemological and ontological circuit that exists within English language education in Japan. The ACTC Keynote Dr. John Hope is the Associate Dean of International Programmes at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Dr. Hope is a highly regarded and respected education leader within the Asia Pacific region. His keynote titled ‘Improving School/Home Communication With Online Blogs’ elaborated on research that was instigated to investigate whether online parental access to classroom blogs could help to bridge the gap between home and school, thus encouraging enhanced school – home dialogue with a view to create improved student achievement. The plenary session closed with an optimistic and motivating address by the ACLL Conference Co-Chair Professor Steve Cornwell of Osaka Women’s University, Japan, whose ‘Answerless Riddles: Stories from Language Learning Classrooms’, was not only informative but highly entertaining.

The organizing committee offers its grateful thanks to the five featured speakers at ACLL / ACTC 2014. Professors Marjo Mitsutomi and Minna Kirjavainen of Osaka Gakuin University, Japan Professor Shamim Ali of the Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan and Dr Roger Palmer of Konan University, Japan. We felt privileged to hear such wonderful insights and knowledge with our disciplines in such a positive and inspirational way. Our special thanks once again goes to our Conference Co-Chairs Professor Barbara Lockee of Virginia Tech, USA and Professor Steve Cornwell of Osaka Women’s University, Japan.

An important aspect of what makes our IAFOR Osaka conferences such a unique event is the opportunity for delegates to engage with traditional Japanese cuisine, arts and culture. The ACLL / ACTC conference dinner on Friday evening gave many first time visitors to Japan an experience of the delights of Japanese food. During the conference, delegates had the chance to hear the powerful Taiko drumming from leading Osaka based group Baliholic as well as attend a wonderful Japanese Calligraphy Workshop given by art students from Kyoto’s Ritsumeikan University.

This year’s conferences built upon the success of our previous 2013 joint conferences with returning delegates remarking that it was the best yet. The organizing committee wishes to thank all delegates who attended the 2014 ACLL and ACTC Conferences for their fantastic contributions and enthusiasm.