Oxford Day 2018

Global and Local Trends in Language Education

Oxford Day is our flagship event for educators, researchers and academics in Japan, bringing together leading figures in education to address the most relevant questions facing language teachers and learners today. The talks are followed by a reception providing a unique opportunity to meet the speakers and network with industry peers.

This year’s program includes:

  • What trends and changes are impacting language education in Japan and globally?
  • How important is accuracy in language learning?
  • What kind of professional development has the most impact on teachers and students?

Expert insight, practical advice and invaluable networking opportunities

Plenary speakers

Michael Swan – freelance writer and lecturer, award-wining author, Practical English Usage, The Oxford English Grammar Course and more
Catherine Walter – University of Oxford, researcher and award-winning author, The Oxford English Grammar Course and more

Click here for more details on the program and presenters.

Michael Swan
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Plenary Speakers

Michael Swan
Michael SwanFreelance writer and lecturer, award-winning author, Practical English Usage, Oxford English Grammar Course and more
Michael Swan is a writer specialising in English language teaching and reference materials. His many publications include Practical English Usage, and, with Catherine Walter, Oxford English Grammar Course and The New Cambridge English Course. He has had extensive teaching experience with adult learners, and has worked with teachers in many countries. His academic interests include descriptive and pedagogic grammar, instructed and naturalistic SLA, cross-language influence in acquisition, and the relationship between applied linguistic theory and classroom language-teaching practice.
Presentation Getting things right: how much does it matter?(Language: English)
Right answers are important in education. Learners who get things right do better than those who don’t. But what is meant by ‘getting things right’, and does it always matter? The talk will offer some personal views (not necessarily ‘right answers’!) in three areas.
Language learning and use - how important is correctness (grammatical and other)?
Language teaching - are there right and wrong answers to questions of methodology?
Education in general - when does it make sense to talk about ‘right answers’, and when doesn’t it?
Catherine Walter
Catherine WalterEmeritus Fellow, Linacre College, University of Oxford, researcher and award-winning author, Oxford English Grammar Course and more
Dr Catherine Walter is an Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College, University of Oxford, a member of the University of Oxford Department of Education and a UK National Teaching Fellow. Her research focuses on second language reading and writing, on teacher development and on the acquisition of second language grammar. She is also the co-author with Michael Swan of best-selling books for teachers and learners of English language.
PresentationWhat professional development makes the most difference to teachers?(Language: English)
All over the world, teachers strive to become better at their jobs. In many fortunate cases, their efforts are supported and encouraged by their institutions and employers. This represents a major investment of time and human effort. What is the best use of the precious time and resources devoted to this undertaking? What kind of professional development makes the most difference to teachers and their learners? I will offer some answers to these questions, based on a rigorous review of the literature in the field.
Supporting material


Kunitake Kaneko
Kunitake KanekoAssistant Professor, Department of Information and Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University
Kunitake Kaneko has been Assistant Professor, Department of Information and Computer Science at Keio University since 2012. After completing his Ph. D at the Graduate School of Science Information and Technology, the University of Tokyo, he joined the Research Institute of Digital Media and Content at Keio University in 2006 and from 2008 he has been a Digital Cinema Initiative Compliance Test Officer. His research interests focus on global network of contents. He is also a member of the Keio Museum Commons committee.
Reliable information retrieval using words with fluctuating meaning(Language: Japanese)
The meaning of a word can change depending on context. This is particularly clear when searching online - where using several keywords is often more effective than using just a few. When searching online, information is given a ranking based on keywords, therefore the more keywords we input the more likely that the information retrieved will already be familiar. In this talk, I will share details about our trial and experiments towards "postsearch engine".
George KumazawaShowa Elementary School attached to Showa Women's University
George Kumazawa is an expert on the Japanese education system having worked as a teacher trainer, researcher, lecturer and junior high school and high school teacher. He currently teaches at Showa Elementary School whilst also co-authoring an official MEXT-approved elementary school textbook. He has had a varied career having worked in finance, advertising and software development, in addition to education. He is a graduate of Yokohama International School, an IB DP school since 1986.
PresentationTaming the TOK(Language: English)
The recent surge in the number of Article One schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is a clear sign that the program is settling in as a contender in the current era of disruptive change in education. Yet Japanese teachers on the ground are reportedly struggling with the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), a required subject in the IB DP. The goal of this session is to make TOK less daunting thereby rendering it manageable and rewarding for all teachers.
John C. Maher
John C. MaherProfessor of Linguistics, Department of Society, Culture and Media, International Christian University, Tokyo
John C. Maher is Professor of Linguistics at International Christian University, Tokyo. He studied philosophy and linguistics at the Universities of London, Michigan and Edinburgh. His paper on English as an international language won the English-Speaking Union Prize in 1986.  He has published over 100 papers in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Translation and Applied Linguistics. His books include Introducing Chomsky and Multilingualism. He is a commentator on language for the BBC and is a founding member of the Japan Association of Sociolinguistics.
Presentation The importance of 'Multilingualism' and 'Language Awareness' in language teaching and learning(Language: English)
Language is a means of personal and social knowledge. That is why language education is important and why the 'Language Awareness' movement in European schools recognized the need to enhance awareness about language itself. The presence of various languages in society is termed 'multilingualism' We see languages in action (i.e. multilingualism) in the media and education, in families, in work, in streets and towns. However, there is still a lack of general awareness about multilingualism. How does 'multilingualism' motivate me, help me, and inspire me to learn other languages?
Noriaki SekiDirector of Education at Seijo Gakuen
Noriaki Seki has been in his current role since 2017. He graduated in English Studies from Sophia University and completed a research year at the University of Edinburgh's Graduate School in 1984. He began teaching at Seijo Gakuen in 1977: teaching Junior High until 2006 and Senior High from 2006 to 2016. Since 1985 he has been on the editorial committee for the English language textbook New Horizon, and currently serves as its Senior Editor. He has published several papers in journals including Taishukan Shoten's Eigo Kyouiku.
Presentation Reforming Integrated English Education at Seijo Gakuen(Language: Japanese)
Seijo Gakuen educational institute provides a unified, end-to-end education from kindergarten to graduate school on one campus. Having celebrated its centennial year in 2017, the institute’s vision for educational reform in its next 100 years is guided by three academic pillars: Liberal Arts; International Studies; and Maths and Science. At its core is International Studies, for which I devised the Integrated English Education programme. For Elementary to Senior High, we decided to adopt Oxford University Press textbooks benchmarked to the CEFR; and in 2017 we began using the texts with our 5th and 6th grade Elementary school students. In my talk, I will highlight the issues that need to be addressed by teachers who are grappling with similar educational reforms at present or in the future.
Supporting material: 「英語の授業を英語で行う」ための教室英語と授業例
Hiroyuki TsukamotoThe Comprehensive Education Center of Shizuoka Prefecture
Hiroyuki Tsukamoto has been acting as a guiding principal for training teachers in Shizuoka prefecture since 2015. He completed his degree at the Graduate School of Education at Shizuoka University, and has worked as a teacher at high schools across the region. He undertook a foreign research project for MEXT and has been an English educator, education promotion committee member, education researcher and advisory teacher. He has written several award-winning essays on education including "Using computers to practice and improve communication skills" and "Step-by-step guidance to foster solid English skills".
The role of local administration: changing mindsets for better language teaching(Language: Japanese)
In Shizuoka, every public high school is required to formalize their English language teaching goals in the form of a CAN-DO list which is submitted it to the Education Center. However, teachers rarely attach any importance to their CAN-DO list and the completion of it is merely to fulfill the policy requirements of the local administration. In my talk, I will explain how the Education Center has been working to change teachers` mindsets about CAN-DO lists by making them more accessible, illustrating the role of the Education Center in English education reform. I will also reveal how we explore ways to improve English education for both teachers and students by collaborating on MEXT projects with university professors and other experts.
Presentation Handout
Yohko Watanabe
Yohko WatanabeProfessor and Curator, Keio University Art Center
Yohko Watanabe has been working as a curator at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo for the past 18 years. Since 2006, in addition to organising events and curating exhibitions she has been involved in an archive project at Keio University Art Center. In 2016, she was awarded a Tate Research Centre: Asia Visiting Fellowship to conduct a research project in London. She is the Deputy Chief of Keio Museum Commons and her current research interest is exhibition history studies. She graduated in Aesthetics and Science of Arts from Keio University Graduate School.
Object- description-communication:contact point of art and language(Language: Japanese)
When studying artwork, it is necessary to describe the piece. In my talk, I will examine the relationship between art and language while focusing on the fact that translating visual art into language is the starting point of research. When we think carefully about observing objects and using language to describe and communicate what we see, we find that it is possible to learn through objects. In my talk I will also introduce how the newly planned Keio Museum Commons is linked to this area.


9:00-10:00 Registration
10:00-10:15 Welcome and overview
10:15-11:15 [University of Oxford Plenary]
What professional development makes the most difference to teachers?Catherine Walter(language: English)
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 Reforming Integrated English Education at Seijo GakuenNoriaki Seki (language:Japanese) Taming the TOKGeorge Kumazawa(language:English) Object- description-communication:contact point of art and languageYohko Watanabe(language:Japanese)
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:00 [Plenary] Getting things right: how much does it matter?Michael Swan(language: English)
15:00-15:30 Book signing with Michael Swan, Catherine Walter and John C. Maher
15:30-16:30 The importance of 'Multilingualism' and 'Language Awareness' in language teaching and learningJohn C. Maher(language:English) The role of local administration: changing mindsets for better language teachingHiroyuki Tsukamoto(language:Japanese) Reliable information retrieval using words with fluctuating meaningKunitake Kaneko(language:Japanese)
16:45-18:45 Reception
*Registration for the networking reception is now closed as it has reached full capacity.

※Schedule and content are subject to change without prior notice.
Updated: September 10, 2018


Articles from OUP Blogs

40 Years of Practical English Usageby Michael Swan (April 2017)
Michael Swan, author of Practical English Usage, joins us on the blog today to review his IATEFL talk this year all about the new, fourth edition of PEU and its new features and organisation. If you were unable to attend … Read more
Catherine Walter on the #ELTJ Debate at #IATEFL Liverpoolby Catherine Walter (April 2017)
The ELT Journal debate at IATEFL Liverpool was a lively and well-attended affair. Thanks to the British Council, you can see the whole event online on the IATEFL Liverpool website. Here, Catherine Walter, who opposed the motion, gives her round … Read more
Three Question Interview – Michael Swaninterview with Michael Swan (April 2010)
We have asked top ELT authors the following 3 questions: What’s your favourite ELT book? What or who has had the biggest impact on ELT in the last 25 years? What do you wish you’d known when you started out … Read more

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Partnership with
  • keio University
  • KRGI
Supported by
  • British Embassy Tokyo