The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) continues to push for the advancement of globalized educational opportunities for its students. English language educators in Japan remain charged with the task of supporting learners as they strive to acquire a global language. This February, we invite you to share your research, strategies, materials, theories, tools, and ideas that deal with this issue at SUTLF 2017. 

Presentations, posters, and workshops that address the following topics are welcome: 
  • Educational approaches, strategies, and materials that encourage active student involvement in globalized learning contexts 
  • Reports and reflections on the impact of globalization on teaching, learning, and administrating EFL in Japan 
  • Programs and tools for preparing and supporting ELLs for and through participation in globalized contexts and communities  
This year, we will also be inviting former study-abroad and exchange program participants to share their experiences during a featured poster presentation session.

Important Dates & Registration Forms

Important Dates & Registration Forms

Saturday, 4 February 2017
Conference Day

Sunday, 25 December 2016
Call for Presentations Deadline

Sunday, 15 January 2017
Early Registration Deadline

Plenary Speakers

Todd Thorpe, Kindai University

LEGO® Serious Play®

LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) is a facilitated thinking, communication and problem-solving technique for organizations, teams an individuals. It draws on extensive research from the fields of business, organizational development, psychology and learning, and is based on the concept of hand knowledge. This workshop is designed to not only introduce the basic theoretical background and working process of the LSP method, but also allow participants to experience the LSP process through a variety of exercises. After a hands-on, minds on experience with LSP, participants will discuss the possible applications of the LSP method at their own institutions.

Terry Laskowski, Kumamoto University

Reconceptualizing Pedagogy for Spaceship Earth

This address is not about some futuristic science fiction theme as the title might metaphorically indicate. However, the talk is grounded in the theme of the conference, and will begin by unpacking the concept of globalization, which Buckminster Fuller wrote about over 50 years ago in Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth. Reasons linking MEXT’s call for active learning to globalization; implementation within the Japanese educational context, and obstacles are discussed. Professional teacher development is stated as both the problem and solution. Teachers need to acquire knowledge of teaching and learning theories and methods, and to not merely rely on ungrounded eclectic approaches in lessons supported only by teacher intuitions and experiences. This view is underpinned by a Vygotskian position about the interdependent role of language and thought in cognitive development, which leads teachers to form richer conceptualizations to better inform their practices. In relation to today’s address, it means teachers would be more prepared to implement active learning in a globalized world.  

Registration Fees
Registration fee includes admission, a lunch ticket for our cafeteria, and a small gift.
Please note that the nearest open convenience store is a ten-minute walk.

Early Registration 
(on or before 15 January)

¥1000 for JALT Members
¥1500 for nonmembers
¥500 for students

Late / On-site Registration

¥1500 for JALT Members
¥2000 for nonmembers
FREE for students

See this guide for instructions on paying from a Japan Post account.

Networking Dinner

Join us for a post-conference evening of socializing downtown at Ichinosouko!

9 courses + nomihodai for ¥4000!

Venue & Access

SUTLF 2017 will be held in the Active Commons Building 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.


Due to damage caused by the earthquakes this spring, hotel space in Kumamoto is extremely limited. Please consider searching Fukuoka for accommodations, which is only a half-hour shinkansen ride away.
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.


Please direct any questions and/or comments to: 

Branden Kirchmeyer and Levy Solomon 
Conference Directors