Member Spotlight

If you're new to NanKyu, this is a good place to start getting to know your fellow chapter members! Alternatively, if you've been around for a while, you might find out something new that you didn't know before! To submit your information, please fill out the form here Member Spotlight (don't forget to send us a picture!).

Know a NanKyu member you think deserves a member spotlight? Send us a message at!

September 2015 - Nobuyuki Takaki

posted Sep 11, 2015, 6:58 PM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 7:01 PM ]

Location  Kumamoto University / Kumamoto Gakuen University, Kumamoto
In Japan Since  1948
JALT Member Since  1987
SIG Member  Teacher Education and Development

Nobuyuki Takaki is my name, and I am director of PIGATE, grassroots EFL teacher education program in Kumamoto. I have been a JALT member for more than 30 years. I am a pig thing collector for years mainly because PIGATE's mascot is a pig. I am currently interested in TEYL, Teaching English to Young Learners. I never thought that I would be teaching English to kindergarten kids. My specialized field has been EFL teacher education, that is helping junior and senior high EFL teachers with their professional development.

August 2015 - Joy Jackson

posted Aug 3, 2015, 8:29 PM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 7:01 PM ]

Location  Sojo University, Kumamoto
In Japan Since  2010
JALT Member Since  2014
SIG Member  none currently

Hi! I'm Joy and I'm originally from the beautiful island of Barbados.I first came to Japan in 2010 where I was a Fukuoka JET for two years. I moved to London and graduated with my Masters degree in English Linguistics in 2014 and returned to Japan to teach in Nagoya. I'm currently teaching at Sojo University and enjoying life in Kumamoto! My current research focus is on Japanese learners of English, the various difficulties they encounter when studying the language and possible ways for them to overcome them. I really enjoy baking, traveling and punny jokes. Nice to meet you! 

July 2015 - Joel Hensley

posted Jul 6, 2015, 2:43 AM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 7:00 PM ]

Hometown  Toledo, Ohio, USA
Location  Miyazaki Prefectural Nursing University, Miyazaki
In Japan Since  2009
JALT Member Since  2009
SIG Member  none currently

I've just moved from Nagasaki, where I began my university teaching career. Before that, I was an ALT in Ehime a couple years, which prompted my getting an MA in TESOL. At my previous school, I had been researching writing feedback, as well as dabbling in ESP. Now that I'm at the nursing school, it looks like I'll be changing focus toward ESP. On days off, I will be driving all over the prefecture and acting like I know how to take a good picture.

June 2015 - Anne Howard

posted Jun 2, 2015, 2:13 AM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 7:00 PM ]

Hometown  New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Location  Miyazaki International College
In Japan Since  1992
JALT Member Since  
SIG Member  Teachers Helping Teachers

Hi, I'm Anne Howard and I teach linguistics and methodology at Miyazaki International College.  I'm originally from New Orleans, and came to Miyazaki in 2000 after eight years in rural Hokkaido. Needless to say, the climate suits me much better here. I am active in the Teachers Helping Teachers SIG and teach seminars in Bangladesh almost every year.  I love jazz, I'm obsessed with Bollywood, and I have an advanced-level license in Ikenobo Ikebana.  I'm also the Editor of the JALT Journal. I hope I have a chance to participate in some stuff and meet everyone this year.

May 2015 - Alan Simpson

posted May 11, 2015, 10:43 PM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 7:00 PM ]

Hometown  Glasgow, Scotland
Location  Asahi Kasei Amidas, Nobeoka, Miyazaki
In Japan Since  2003
JALT Member Since  2009
SIG Member  Pragmatics, Business English, Bilingualism, Task Based Learning

Hi, my name’s Alan, and I’m glad I can share this little corner of Japan with you. When I first came here, I lived in Miyakonojo for 5 years, where I met my wife, and learned my trade working for a now defunct private English school. I enjoyed working there; planning lessons quickly, thinking on my feet and assessing students’ weaknesses. Back in Scotland, I was a fighter aircraft test systems engineer for 5 years. However, I wasn’t that keen on helping to kill people, and wanted to help instead, therefore, I took a leap of faith and jumped into English teaching. Now, I coordinate the English program at Asahi Kasei in Nobeoka. We have two teachers, and about 18 classes per week. We go to the chemical, pharmaceutical, electronic, fiber, and medial factories, and teach a range of students from recent graduates to senior managers, using various materials, to suit their needs and motivations. Recently, I finished my MSc in TESOL. My main focus was on the authentic business English as a lingua franca interaction between Chinese coworkers and my Japanese students. We used a process syllabus to study the problematic phonological patterns and discuss our comprehension (or lack of). This year, I aim to develop pedagogical materials to help my students to be tolerant when listening and flexible when dealing with the variety of Englishes they encounter. If you have an interest in English as a lingua franca, or just fancy a beer in this neck of the woods, please feel free to drop me a line at

Slainte mhath (slahnchə var) as we say in Scotland, which means that I wish you good health, and hope that you enjoy life in this sunny part of the world!

April 2015 - Branden Kirchmeyer

posted Apr 16, 2015, 10:27 PM by NanKyu JALT   [ updated Sep 11, 2015, 6:59 PM ]

Hometown  Buffalo, New York, USA
Location  Sojo University, Kumamoto
In Japan Since  2012
JALT Member Since  2014
SIG Member  Task-Based Teaching (TBT), Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

Hey! I'm Branden Kirchmeyer and I teach English Communication to first and second year students at Sojo University in Kumamoto. Since starting my teaching career in 2009, I've had the pleasure to teach English to students of all ages in all levels and sectors of education. My current research interests include learner creativity, task-based teaching, listening skills, and CALL. When I'm not in the classroom you might find me romping around in the park with my two dogs, running along the riverside, camping in the mountains, or playing a gig with my band in some hazy downtown club. I'm eager to meet those of you I haven't, and I'm looking forward to working with you all in the near future!

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