3rd - 5th August, 2010
Welcome to the homepage of the LET50 conference, which will be held at Yokohama Science Frontier High School from 3rd - 5th August 2010. This website will be regularly updated with important conference information over the coming months.
Call for papers and poster sessions
Abstracts for papers should be of approximately 300 words in length, with keywords, and should also include (1) a title, (2) the name, status and affiliation of the speaker(s), (3) a contact email address, and (4) a postal address. An abstract should also clearly state what the research question is and also describe the chosen methodology and the text(s)/data that will be discussed.
All conference rooms have a computer, data projector, and screen.
Papers will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with a maximum of 10 minutes for questions.
Please use this linking website to submit your abstract.
Please state in your abstract whether you would like to submit it
for both the conference and poster sessions.
Abstract submission period: between February 1st and March 20th 2010.
Prof. KuniyoshiProf. Kuniyoshi Yasuo (University of Tokyo)
Dr. Stephan BaxDr. Stephan Bax (the CRELLA Research centre, University of Bedfordshire)
Yokohama City Municipal Yokohama Science Frontier High Shool
6 Ono-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0046 JAPAN
Please note that conference participants have to arrange their own accommodation. Hotels in the vicinity of the venue include the following:
What LET Is
Mission Statement: LET encourages the exchange of theories, methods, and knowledge related to the use of educational media among foreign language-teaching professionals with the goals of advancement of the field and sharing of resources among members.
* In response to Japan's rapid globalization, the revolution in information technology and the need for better foreign language education, the Language Laboratory Association of Japan（LLA）, a society with a 40-year history, was reorganized in April 2000 as the Japan Association for Language Education and Technology (LET).
Our membership consists of language instructors from pre-school to college level, teaching predominantly English in addition to other languages such as French, German or Japanese. Language Lab directors and several major textbook publishing companies as well as the researchers of language centers are also among our members. Overall, some 80% of the members are teaching at the college level.
LET has always welcomed teachers from universities, technical colleges, high schools, and elementary schools as well as representatives of research institutes, textbook publishers, and companies producing educational materials and delivery systems. Individuals with student status, scholars and researchers overseas may join as regular members, school libraries as group members, and agents related to hardware / software development as supporting members.
In order to reach out to interested parties in other parts of the world, we try hard to make a good portion of our materials in English. To be more specific, our national conference brochure, more than half of our academic articles and approximately 20% of all presentations at both national and regional conferences are all in English. By doing so, we hope to demonstrate what our research interests are and build contacts with professionals around the globe.
The organization now known as LET was established as the Language Laboratory Association of Japan (LLA) on July 15, 1961 when its first conference was held at Tokyo University of Education. It was a time when criticism of an excessive and exclusive focus upon English reading and translation was on the rise in foreign language education circles, and with the growing influence of American education, there was a strong surge in employing language laboratories with institutions such as Nanzan University, International Christian University, and Tsuda College among the first to do so.
The first president of the LLA, Fumio NAKAJIMA, then the dean of the Faculty of Literature at Tokyo University, wrote in the first issue of the Language Laboratory, "As long as the most primary form of language is the spoken word, it is natural that the oral approach to foreign language learning has come to the forefront, and, therefore, that language laboratories have come into use as a means to improve listening skills as well as pronunciation."
The original 30 founders got together to exchange ideas on setting up such an organization after The International Conference of Phonetics Association held in 1960 in Tokyo. The aim of the association as stated in the regulations of the association at that time was as follows: "the Association aims to study the theory and the actual use of audio-visual educational materials represented by the language laboratory in foreign language education, and to promote exchange of information among the members."
While the LLA Founding Committee was established, there was, coincidently, a similar movement underway in the Kansai (greater Osaka regions) area. In Kansai, study groups had already met a few times when at the convention held at Kobe University of Foreign Studies in November 1960, a move towards initiating the LLA became a central topic of discussion. Consequently, the LLA was established jointly by the Kanto (greater Tokyo regions) Chapter and Kansai Chapter as one organization consisting of two chapters.
In 1970, the Kyushu (South-west part of Japan) Chapter (later to become the Kyushu and Okinawa Chapter in 2002) was established; and in 1971, the Chubu (greater Nagoya region) was also organized. The second president was Takashi KURODA, followed by Kazuo AMANO, Sutesaburo KOMOTO, Yoshinobu NIWA, Hiroyoshi HATORI, Hiroshi ASANO, and the current 8th president, Takeo KUNIYOSHI, and the current 9th president, Hiroto OHYAGI. As of February 2004, the Kanto Chapter has 600 members, Kansai 450, Chubu 250 and Kyushu 200, a total of approximately 1,500 education professionals.
Research Scope: Now and Then
In the early days of the LLA, the grammar/translation method was the standard foreign language methodology in Japan. From the beginning, however, the educators who founded the LLA recognized the importance of oral/aural communication skills in foreign language learning. Thus, these pioneers encouraged scholars from a variety of related fields to come together to share and exchange knowledge and information on research and practice.
According to research conducted in 1962, language laboratories were installed in more than 100 schools, and over 400 participants gathered together at the second LLA national conference held at Tenri University. From the open-reel tape recorder of those days, to cassette players and language laboratories of the late 20th century, to the digital media in use today, LLA/LET has always encouraged effective utilization of the latest technological advances in language classrooms, and in so doing has promoted research along with practical applications in the fields of foreign language, applied linguistics and language acquisition, achieving high recognition as an academic association.
In the 1960s, the main topic was the role of the language lab in foreign language education, the effective usage of the facilities and their association with phonetics. In the 70s, research expanded to include topics such as linguistic theory and LL; LL teaching materials; LL evaluation, incorporating language labs into larger language programs, target setting of LL education and studies into LL classes. At the same time, independent creation of LL teaching materials flourished and their usage in junior highs and high schools increased.
On the other hand, the problems and limits of language labs began to be discussed. In the late 70s and the 80s, interest started to spread to research regarding language cognition and the use of visual teaching materials. The use of videos as teaching materials increased, but even newer technology was looming just in the early 80s, growing interest in the use of computers in applications such as CAI and CALL was rising. Moreover, the development of new LL equipment had become so sophisticated to the point where many felt left behind in the steady stream of new technological advancement. This in turn increased the motivation of new LL staff.
From the late 80s to the 90s, what came to the scene was a backlash against some of the fundamentals of LL as well as surge towards globalization, computerization, and especially the increasing interest in using language labs as a tool to improve communication skills. Also, the need for audio-visual equipment in children's education was drawing more and more attention.
The themes of the annual national conferences reflect the academic trends of the time; "The Changing Environment of Education and Foreign Language Education - How to Adapt to the Internationalization and Computerization" in 1996, "The Relationship between Foreign Language Education and the Media - Towards the 21st Century" in 1997, and "Foreign Language Education in the Age of IT - the Diversification of Students and the Use of Media" in 2002. A clear shift can be detected towards the use of multimedia in foreign language education, particularly towards the use of computers.