Making Connections

The Japan Association for Self-Access Learning (JASAL) held their 2018 conference as a joint event with the Sojo University Teaching & Learning Forum (SUTLF), which is the flagship event of the NanKyu Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT). This year's theme was Making Connections. There are multiple connections within the field of second language education. Some examples of these include connections between educators and students, in- and and out-of-class learning, theory and practice, and culture and language. We hope that this theme inspires and expands participants’ thinking of the complex web consisting of, but certainly not limited to, people, place, practice, theory, materials, administration, curriculum, culture, and technology. It is our belief that, in thinking about these various connections in new ways, we may gain new perspectives and insights into language education.

JASAL 2018 x SUTLF 5 brought together language teachers as well as practitioners, administrators, and students involved in the field of self-access learning across Japan to share our innovative practices, to learn from each other, and to inspire each other to make connections between these different elements in language education. The conference included a tour of Sojo University’s newly reopened self-access learning center, SILC.

Schedule and Program

Full conference programs will not be provided this year as part of our effort to go green.

Please download and read through the program before the conference!

JASAL 2018 x SUTLF 5 Program.pdf

Plenary Speaker

Tomomi Kumai

Tomomi Kumai is an intercultural trainer, international educator, and transformative coach based in South Korea, serving expatriates and international students in the US, Korea, and Japan by enhancing intercultural competence for their international assignments. Her clients include multi-national corporations such as Apple, Boeing, BMW, GM, Nike, and also universities such as Kansai University, Kwansei Gakuin University, and Showa Women’s University in Japan, and Kyung Hee University and Konkuk University in Korea. She was born as a Korean Japanese bicultural citizen in Hiroshima and earned a BA from San Diego State University and MA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Linguistics. Tomomi has lived, studied and worked for over 15 years outside Japan. Her mission is to provide time, space and opportunity for people to connect, learn from, and empower each other to make a positive synergy. Her website is www.tomomikumai.com.

Slides from Tomomi's presentation "Access Yourself: Raising Cultural Awareness for Language Teachers and Learners" are available below.


Important Dates

Tuesday, 5 June

Call for Presentations Opens

Sunday, 30 September

Call for Presentations Closes

Early Registration Opens

Friday, 30 November

Early Registration Closes

Friday, 14 December

SALC Tour (17:45)

Welcome Party (18:30)

Saturday, 15 December

Plenary and presentations

Networking Dinner

Sunday, 16 December

Kumamoto City Tour

Submissions & Registration

Call for Presentations

Open 5 June to 30 September

Early Registration

Open 30 September to 30 November

Registrations with payments confirmed before 30 November include admission, a lunch ticket for our cafeteria, and a small gift. Registrations and payments received after 30 November include admission only. Availability of cafeteria lunches cannot be guaranteed for late/on-site registrants. Please note that the nearest open convenience store is a ten-minute walk.

Early Registration

(on or before 30 November)

¥1000 for JALT/JASAL Members

¥1500 for nonmembers

¥500 for students (fee for lunch)

Late/On-site Registration

(after 30 November)

¥1500 for JALT/JASAL Members

¥2000 for nonmembers

FREE for students (lunch not included)

Student & Newcomer Sponsorship Program

JASAL is happy to announce that we will offer a grant for undergraduate students and Newcomer Grant for newcomers to a JASAL and SUTLF conference. If you are eligible and would like to apply, please fill in and submit the form by September 1st, 2018.

If selected,

  • Recipients should submit an estimate of expenses (details will be given to selected persons later).
  • Recipients will pay up front and be reimbursed in cash on the day.
  • Recipients are asked to write and submit a report (approximately 1,000 words) on the conference.
  • Recipients will need to confirm by a certain date, and register for the conference. If they fail to do so by the date specified, they will not be able to receive the grant and it will be offered to another candidate.

Student Grant

¥50,000 each for up to 3 undergraduate student presenters from outside Kyushu (can be presenting together or separately).

Apply here by 1 September

Newcomer Grant

¥20,000 each for up to 2 non-undergraduate first-time attendees (no need to be a presenter) to JASAL and SUTLF events/conferences with no research budget traveling from outside Kyushu.

Apply here by 1 September!


SILC Building, Sojo University

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.

If you're flying, there is a bus which runs frequently from Kumamoto Airport to Kumamoto Station (60 min, ¥1010).

Day 1: SALC Tour & Welcome Party

The conference will kick off with a guided tour of the newly-constructed Sojo International Learning Center, featuring a brand new Self-Access Learning Center. The tour will take place Friday evening before the conference.

Following the tour, we will hold a welcome reception with food and drinks in the SILC Cafe.

Day 2 Networking Dinner

Deepen the connections you make at our conference by joining us for dinner Saturday evening.

Jang Jang Go

Saturday, 15 December

19:00 - 21:00


9 courses + nomihodai for ¥4000!

Post conference tour of Kumamoto

We are planning on viewing Kumamoto Castle Reconstruction and the Josaien Tourist Center, along with several other locations.

Sunday, 16 December


Start/Finish at Sakuranobaba Johsaien

10 person limit

2 hour English tour of castle grounds for ¥800