Language Teaching and Brain Science

Sojo University Teaching and Learning Forum 2024 in collaboration with the Mind, Brain, and Education Special Interest Group

NanKyu JALT Sponsored

Fully Hybrid

Language Teaching and Brain Science

The language teaching industry is constantly changing, and advancements in the science of mind and brain have the potential to transform language teaching methods. The joint JALT Nankyu Chapter and the JALT Mind, Brain, and Education Special Interest Group (BRAIN SIG) conference aims to examine how the latest research on the mind and brain can be practically applied in educational contexts. Attendees can expect to gain a deeper understanding of how mind, brain, and education intersect, and how this multidisciplinary approach can enhance language teaching practices. 

While the subject of brain sciences and language education can be explored in presentations and workshops, we want to invite proposals from both members and non-members of the BRAIN SIG to make this conference informative and inspiring. If you have research you would like to share that doesn't necessarily fit into the brain sciences category, don't worry! You are more than welcome to participate. As this is a joint event with SUTLF, a conference that strives to foster opportunities to share research-focused and practice-focused  investigations in language education, presentations and workshops that fall under other categories of study are more than welcome.

Happily, we are continuing to hold SUTLF in-person at the Sojo International Learning Center in Kumamoto as well as online. We invite researchers, educators, and learners to share their knowledge and work in the fields of brain science and language education. In the spirit of collaboration, we are not limiting presentations only to the field of neuroscience, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neurolinguistics, but also to more generalized research in the field of language education as a whole. We hope to foster an event where both presenters and attendees can share and be inspired by presentations and workshops in the areas of brain science and language teaching. We hope you will join us on Saturday, February 3rd for a day of professional development and networking opportunities.  

As with SUTLF 2023, this conference will offer opportunities for both in-person and online presentations, as well as dual-purpose rooms in which live speakers can be streamed to online attendees. Please be sure to mark yourself as attending either online or in person when you register. 

Hope to see you in February!

Plenary Speaker

Glenn Magee

Plenary title: Hidden Connections: Relationships, Neuroscience and Language Teaching 

Abstract: Focusing solely on academic achievement in teaching can lead to missing out on important emotional and relational factors that significantly impact learning. These factors are always present in the classroom and are crucial to students' progress. How educators engage with students can affect the neurological and human connections that influence teaching, which can either facilitate or impede language learning. This presentation aims to highlight these hidden factors so that we can address them in ways that foster effective teaching and learning.  

Bio: Glenn Magee is one of the founding members of JALT BRAIN SIG. His expertise lies in Mind, Brain, and Education, where he explores the intersection between biological processes and educational practice. Specifically, his research centers on student and teacher well-being in English as a Foreign Language classrooms to promote healthy relationships that create optimal learning conditions. To achieve this, he draws upon the latest findings from positive psychology, educational psychology, and the neuroscience of learning and motivation. 

Friday Workshop

Taboo Language and it's place in Language Learning

Jennifer Green

Bio: Ready to take on any topic with her students, Jennifer Green has been encouraging students to explore under-discussed topics in the classroom with sensitivity during her nine years as an educator of English in Japan. Currently teaching at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University, she takes a special research interest in taboo language and its place in language learning.

Amanda Gillis-Furutaka


Bio: Amanda Gillis-Furutaka is a professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyoto Sangyo University and is currently the coordinator of the JALT Mind, Brain, and Education SIG. Her interest in psychology and the brain has led her along several fascinating research paths, the most recent of which is her own involuntary use of profane language – why do expletives burst unbidden from her mouth? She is excited to discuss what she has discovered about why we swear, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and what approach we should take to swearwords with our children and students.

View or Download the Digital Handbook Here

SUTLF 2024 Program.pdf

Sunday Fun-Day

A Guided Tour at Kumamoto Castle

Join us for an hour at Kumamoto Castle


Discovery Kumamoto will guide interested participants from Josaien up to Kumamoto Castle, imparting their wealth of knowledge on the history of the castle, as well as it's restoration since 2016, on the way. This is a highly recommended event for out-of-towners (though interested locals are more than welcome!).

Tour will begin at Josaien at 10:30 and will finish in front of the castle building. You can explore the castle on your own.

Tour fee: 550 yen

Castle fee: 800 yen

Check out Discovery Kumamoto's video here.

Please let us know if you would like to participate by indicating as such when you register. You can register early here.

If you have further questions about this event, please feel free to email our team:

Call for Proposals

The following types of presentations are accepted. 

Research-oriented presentation (25 minutes) 研究や論文発表(25分) 

Practice-focused presentation (25 minutes) 実践報告発表(25分) 

Student presentation (25 minutes)  学生発表(25分)

Practice-focused workshop (45 minutes) 実践報告ワークショップ(45分)

 Poster (45 minutes, onsite only) ポスター(45分、対面のみ)

Please submit your proposal on our event site on Indico!

Call for Proposals closes Tuesday, 8 January 2024

Conference Dates

Friday, 2 February 2024

Meet & Greet 17:30-18:00

Workshop 18:00-19:00

Networking Reception 19:00-20:00

Saturday, 3 February 2024

Plenary and presentations

Networking dinner

Sunday, 4 February 2024

A visit to Kumamoto Castle

Registration Fees

Registration and payment is handled from our Indico site. This year you can pay with Credit Card, ATM, or bank transfer.

Please note that the website will not allow purchase of multiple items at once. Please pay for items such as event ticket, lunch bento, and dinner tickets separately. You will also recieve separate receipts for each item upon payment.

This event is 100% hybrid. All sessions can be attended in person or online. Please choose the appropriate ticket.

Please purchase your cafeteria bento lunches (¥500) and dinner tickets (¥4500) in advance. Availability of cafeteria lunches cannot be guaranteed for on-site registrants. Please note that the nearest open convenience store is a ten-minute walk. 

Indico Registration


¥2000 for JALT Members

¥2500 for non-members

Free for students

Cash Registration

(February 3 at Sojo University)

¥2500 for JALT Members

¥3000 for non-members

FREE for students


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, ¥1000).

Coffee provided by Warm Hearts Coffee

Networking Dinner

Join us for a post-conference evening of socializing downtown at Ichinosoko! Buy your ticket from Indico.

(? courses + nomihodai for ¥4000!)