As author and activist Jeanette Winterson once noted, "language begins with listening." With advances in technology and the ever increasing use of handheld computing devices such as smartphones and tablets, the options for teaching listening have increased significantly. This forum provides a space for sharing ideas on how to approach listening in the modern educational environment.

Plenary Speakers

Gabriela Schmidt, Approaching listening with a wider scope

The scope for listening in classroom instruction is often narrowed to intensive listening used to catch every single sound, while neglecting the wider scope of listening for more general purposes. Extensive Listening's focus is on natural input of oral utterances in various contexts. The goal is to get students used to the sound and rhythm of the language and help them to grasp the overall meaning of a text without listening to every single word. The benefits of sound and rhythm training have been backed up by results from brain research and studies on prosodic patterns in phonetics. This presentation will outline these results and give some ideas for activities in-and outside the classroom that can be used to develop comprehension of natural, fluent speech of the target language. 

Gabriella Schmidt teaches German at Tsukuba University. Her key interests include comparative linguistics, phonetics and phonology, intercultural communication and applying the CEFR to teaching. She holds a PhD in comparative linguistics and has been teaching German at the tertiary level in both South Korea and Japan.

William Pellowe, Listening with small devices - Distributing listening materials for use in class and outside

It is not uncommon to see large audio players on the teachers' desks in foreign-language classrooms. Teachers use these during various types of listening activities. We've all seen this and we've probably all used them. However, picture a classroom in which each student has a mobile device (such as an iPod Touch or their own mobile phone) with the same listening materials pre-installed. One advantage is that the students can listen with their own earphones, allowing all of the students to hear equally clearly, regardless of where they're sitting in the room. Another advantage is that students can pause the listening when they want to, and repeat the parts they want to hear again. But how do we get the listening materials onto these mobile devices? In this talk, I will outline various solutions, from class sets of iPod Touch devices, to using podcast technology to delivery materials onto you r students' mobile devices, either in preparation for BYOD ("bring your own device") classes or as out-of-class tasks. 

Bill Pellow teaches at Kinki University's Fukuoka campus. He has been using technology with students for many years. He has led pre-conference workshops in technology at the JALT National Conference, and has given many workshops and presentations around Japan and internationally.

Schedule of Presentations

Click here to open a PDF containing the conference schedule and list of presentations.

Registration Process & Fees

Early Registration is now closed, but the conference is open to anyone who wishes to come on the day.

¥1500 for JALT Members
¥2000 for nonmembers


Venue & Access

SUTLF 2015 will be held in the Sojo International Learning Center (SILC) at Sojo University in Kumamoto. 

Sojo International Learning Center

By Train

Local JR trains run frequently from Kumamoto Station to Sojodaigaku-Mae (10 min, ¥210).
From Sojodaigaku-Mae, cross Route 31 and take the elevator up to the university.

By Airplane

The Kumamoto Airport Limousine Bus runs frequently from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto Station (60 min, ¥1010). 
Local JR trains run frequently from Kumamoto Station to Sojodaigaku-Mae (10 min, ¥210).
From Sojodaigaku-Mae, cross Route 31 and take the elevator up to the university.


The following spreadsheet contains a list of local hotels and links to their websites and locations on Google Maps. You can sort the list by name, price, or commute by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Kumamoto Station: Slightly removed from downtown, but tram and train services shorten the commute to Sojo and city center. 
Downtown: Conveniently located in the city center, providing easy access to entertainment and public transportation.
Kotsu Center: Kumamoto's main bus terminal is just a brief walk from downtown.


Please direct any questions and/or comments to: 

Branden Kirchmeyer and Levy Solomon 
Conference Directors