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Neurodiversity in Education: A Yokohama and Kobe JALT Joint Event

Alex Burke and Amanda Gillis-Furutaka explore neurodiversity in the classroom. What is neurodiversity and how do we unlock its potential?

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Time & Location

2021年7月03日 13:00 – 16:30 JST


About the Event

Speaker 1: Alex Burke 

Teaching all of the students - unlocking the potential of the neurodiverse students 

hidden in your language classroom 

This workshop will give an introduction to what neurodiversity means, some hands-on experiences to understand what it’s like to be a neurodiverse person, hear some first-hand accounts, and then the chance to talk and share about how you might use this in your classrooms.

Alexandra Burke has taught every level of the Japanese public education system from kindergarten to university since 2005, including thousands of hours of team and solo teaching. Burke has closely observed classroom interactions, and talked with students about what helps or blocks their autonomy and confidence. Based on a wide reading of international best practices on neurodiversity and inclusion, in collaboration with Japanese colleagues, she has trialed a number of culturally appropriate changes to methods and classroom management. Her professional background is how government systems are designed and used to turn goals into services that reach the populations who need them. She has presented within Japan, overseas and is currently teaching English to future teachers and non-English majors at three universities in central Japan. At JALT 2020 she won two Michele Steele Best of JALT Chapter Awards for inclusive teaching presentations. She also won Best Poster awards at the 2019 and 2020 JALT International.

 Speaker 2: Amanda Gillis-Furutaka 

Music in our brain and in the language classroom 

What is music? How and why do we respond to music in different ways? Why do some people think that they are not “musical”? Why should we all use music when teaching languages? This workshop will challenge you to explore these questions. The presenter will explain how our brains process music, provide suggestions for original ways to include music in language lessons and invite everyone to share their own insights and recommendations. 

Amanda Gillis-Furutaka is a professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyoto Sangyo University. She has an MA in TESOL from the University of Birmingham and a Ph.D. in Music from the University of London. She is also Program Chair of the JALT Mind, Brain, and Education (BRAIN) SIG. She enjoys nothing better than the chance to combine her three passions: learning about the brain, teaching languages, and exploring music of all genres.

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