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January 16, 2004

JALT2003: International Atmosphere Dominates JALT Conference

The 2003 annual conference of the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT), held last November 21-24, had a decidedly international flavor, according to a JALT press release. Events developed to attract language teachers who might otherwise not have attended included JALT Public and domestic and international forums. There was also an International Food Fair, which proved very popular with attendees. The conference attracted 1,650 paid guests over the holiday weekend, who came to attend hundreds of presentations including those by plenary speakers Jack Richards, Simon Greenall, and Dave Ellis. Greenall commented that he was "very impressed by level of professionalism and the sense of community obvious at the conference." JALT2003 may turn out to be something of a turning point for the organization, which has been beset with falling membership and, some would say, marginalization. In the words of President Jim Swan, "After years of being marginalized, I think that 2003 will be remembered as the year that JALT was finally admitted into the mainstream of Japanese academic society." JALT2004 will be held at Tezukayama University, Nara, on November 19-22 and the theme will be "Language Learning for Life."
Full JALT2003 Press Release

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