Saturday, 30 May 2009

Niigata Conference - JALT

Another early morning departure and this time a quick cruise up the expressway to Niigata.

I was attending the inaugural N.E.A.R. Language Education Conference at the University of Niigata Prefecture, trying to help out a colleague promote his product Wordpress and at the same time get some mileage for our Cambridge ESOL exams.

This is the first time I've set up & manned a display at one of these events (after my debut last week presenting in Sapporo, seem to be on a roll), so I was not at all sure what to expect. I was confident, after all the conferences, workshops etc I have been to over the years that I could do a lot better than a good number of the sales reps I have seen 'in action'. Unfortunately, I was located in such a crummy place barely five people found me before lunch - and there was no 'lunch' around. The afternoon was no better so I decided to go find people instead. Bizarrely, I met people from Shikoku, Hokkaido, Sendai, Ibaraki, Sado island.

Also met Theron Muller, who I have a lot of time for and admire his undying enthusiasm for teaching and professional development; less so Shinshu JALT attendees who are either blind or just plain rude.

I really hope this Conference kicks on next year and in years to come; it seems to me the organisers are keen and well intentioned. It is always good to meet teachers who are really trying to make a difference. Well worth a 600km round trip for the day!