Editorial on ELTNEWS.com
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Editorial

I'm really excited about taking on responsibility to write monthly editorials for ELT News. I wanted to take this first column to introduce myself and some of my experiences which I hope to draw upon in the coming year. I'm the Co-owner of Noah Learning Center, a private English school in Nagano, Japan and have been involved in editing for JALT's The Language Teacher and the Asian ESP Journal. I've been living and teaching in Japan since 2000, and have been active as a teacher-researcher since receiving my MA in TEFL/TESL from the University of Birmingham via distance education in 2004.

As you can tell, I'm a wearer of many hats, but the perspective I would like to concentrate on in this column is that of my role in academic publishing. As both an author-researcher and editor-gatekeeper, I've experienced the challenges and benefits of publishing first-hand. Perhaps my greatest achievement to date was receiving the John Haycraft Classroom Exploration Scholarship, courtesy of International House London, which provided me with funding to conduct research on task-based language teaching in Japan and present the results of my research at IATEFL Cardiff in 2009.

That experience drove home for me the fact that while the conversation and discussion surrounding the study of second language acquisition has largely been driven by "center" countries (primarily the USA and the UK), there is a greater openness to researchers and voices from more international contexts, such as Japan, and that it's up to those of us based in these international contexts to take advantage of these opportunities and ensure our voices are heard and our experiences shared. ELT News is one such venue through which to hear about the experiences of fellow teachers based in Japan, but in academic circles the conversation of teaching and learning is driven through academic publications, so while ELT News is an important start toward entering the conversation, I would also encourage you to consider academic publishing. Along those lines, I recently wrote a guest blog for Barbara Sakamoto's Teaching Village about how to get your start in Academic Publishing, and am currently teaching a course along the same theme.

If you're interested in finding another venue for collaboration, please consider MASH Collaboration's Facebook page or visit our website. Thanks very much for your time and attention. For my next post in May, I hope to discuss the difficulties involved when teachers learn through on-the-job training, or learn how to teach through teaching.

If you don't want to wait until May, you can read more about me and my experiences on my Blog or follow me on Twitter.



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