Year: 2014

January 2015 Creating Meaningful Cross Cultural Discourses: Teachers Helping Teachers : Laos and Japan

Creating Meaningful Cross Cultural Discourses

Teachers Helping Teachers : Laos and Japan



The Lao People`s Democratic Republic, one of the worlds poorest countries in terms of GDP per capita, is rich in terms of natural resources and in the hearts and the culture of its people. Since 2010, Chris Ruddenklau has coordinated a program of short-term visits to Laos by English language teachers from Japan and other countries. By March 2015 over 100 teachers will have visited Laos. The program aims to create dialogues between Lao teachers and teachers from abroad so that they can work together within a framework of valuing each others’ strengths so that they can mutually reflect on each others teaching practice. The heart of this program rests in being able to establish meaningful cross-cultural discourses between the teachers. The program has created a great deal of interest both here in Japan and in Laos.


The first part of this workshop will examine general trends in Lao society and education before looking at the current Lao program. In the second half we will explore some of the actual difficulties both visiting teachers and Lao teachers have faced in order to create discourses which are meaningful and of value to both parties. The workshop will explore these difficulties by looking at a variety of interpersonal challenges that  participants have had. What we may perceive as common sense thoughts and actions may not be common sense to others. Questions about how the program can effectively develop in the future will be asked and by addressing these,  participants will be directly contributing to the development of this worthwhile and exciting program.


Chris Ruddenklau teaches at Kinki University. He established the Lao program in 2010, and as the Lao Program Coordinator he has worked with various Lao universities and secondary schools to allow teachers from Japan to get involved with teacher training as well as working directly in classrooms.  He is a Committee member of Lao TESOL, and is the Program Chair of the Pragmatics SIG of JALT.


Presenter Profile:

Chris Ruddenklau teaches at Kinki University.

He established  the Lao program in 2010

Will be announced more soon.



December 2014 Psychological Investigation of Migration Motivation and Adjustment: A Case Study of Domestic Emigrants to Okinawa

Speaker:        Naoka Maemura, Ph.D.

Date:             December 6, 2014 (Saturday)  

Time:            14:00-16:00

Venue:         Nishinomiya Daigaku Koryu Center (ACTA East Tower 6F, Room 1)

2 minutes from Hankyu Nishinomiya Kitaguchi station, Tel: (0798) 69-3155

Fee:            Free for members and students; 500 yen for non-members.

Language:   Japanese


Social event: We will have  an year-end-party after the session. Please email to by November 27 to make a reservation.


Description of presentation:

Okinawa (Ryukyus), the southernmost prefecture, is one of the most popular tourist sites in Japan. It is surrounded by scenic tropical oceans, and has a warm climate, and unique culture and history, which includes difficult war memories. Since the 1990s, mostly young people from the Japanese mainland have driven an emigration boom to Okinawa. More people from the Japanese mainland were thus convinced to spend time on the southern tropical island, sometimes not just as tourists but also as residents. However, several emigrants experience social and economic difficulties after their move, and some have ended up returning to the mainland. This study qualitatively investigated Japanese emigrants to Okinawa’s motivations for moving, and the relationship between their motivations, and adjustment to Okinawa. She will introduce brief summary of the survey and discuss the participants’ emotional curves while staying in Okinawa.

Profile of Presenter:

Ms. Naoka Maemura is currently a lecturer at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology at Kwansei Gakuin University in 2010. She worked at University of the Ryukyus (located in Okinawa prefecture) as a post-doctoral researcher  and engaged in a research project ‘Human Migration and the 21st Century Global Society’ in 2011. From 2012 to 2013, she taught at the School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University.

*No advance application is required.

*For details, email

November 2014 The SIETAR Student Fair

SIETAR Kansai (Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research)

November 2014 Program

Topic:   The SIETAR Student Fair

Date:  November 16 (Sunday) 14:00 pm-17:00 pm (13:30 presenters)

Presenters: Students from several universities in Kansai

Venue:  Kwansei Gakuin University, Umeda campus Room 1004 (10F)    5 min. from Hankyu Umeda Chayamachi Exit, 10 min. from JR Osaka  Midosuji exit, or 7 min. walk from Midosuji Subway’s Umeda exit and 4  minutes from Nakatsu Station exit.    (19-19 Applause Tower, Chaya machi, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0013)

Fee:  Free for SIETAR members and students    500 yen for non-members

Language:   English and Japanese

Social:  People are welcome to come to dinner after the session at  a reasonably priced Asian restaurant, the Monsoon Cafe.     (¥2,000 without drinks) (

Reservations are required by November 5. Contact:



Last year the SIETAR Student Fair was so successful, we received many requests for another one in 2014. So, this November we are giving the stage to students from Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Kansai University, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Ritsumeikan University and others. Students will share their experiences with volunteer work, service learning, and study abroad programs. Come and see what activities university students in the Kansai area are engaged in, and bring your friends, classmates, colleagues, and family members. This is a great opportunity to support our young participants.