by Amanda Rollins, Japanese Language Program Coordinator
Every year, JFLA staff members attend the largest foreign language education convention in the US, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Convention and World Languages Expo. We go to support Japanese language teachers by distributing goods (posters, badges, stickers galore!), sponsoring sessions, collaborating with other organizations, and bringing together new leaders in the field.
This year was particularly lively! California-based Japanese teachers flocked to the San Diego Convention Center and met with other teachers from all over America (Yes, Alaska and Hawaii too!). Together with colleagues from the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles and the Japan America Society of Washington DC, we met scads of old friends and new acquaintances at our special double booth. We introduced our grants and resources, like our assistant teacher program J-LEAP (now accepting applications!) and our free Hiragana/Katakana Memory Hint app.
Thirteen participants of our annual Leadership Workshop roamed the halls of the Convention Center, presenting sessions, networking, and discussing challenges and solutions in the field of Japanese language education. The workshop, co-organized by the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ), always inspires teachers to get more involved in their local teacher’s associations.