An Example to the Foreign Language Teaching World

Original print publication: Matsuyama JALT Newsletter,
No. 2, 1-2 (March 1997).

An Example to the Foreign Language Teaching World

by Steve McCarty

Getting Reacquainted

Greetings from your neighboring prefecture. Since leaving
Matsuyama in 1985 I have been at Kagawa Junior College,
and was promoted to full Professor in 1993. I married a
maternity nurse from Nagoya in 1988, and our sons were
born in 1989 and 1992. We own a house in Kokubunji Town,
five minutes west of Takamatsu by car. Nowadays I am
most active in publishing and communicating globally
through the Internet. My Japanese language home page is
at <> and my
latest English home page, as _Asia-Pacific Exchange
Electronic Journal_ Contributing Editor, is at

Founding JALT*-Matsuyama

(* The Japan Association for Language Teaching)

In retrospect, did I found the Matsuyama Chapter in 1983
or just find it?! Foreign language teachers at various
institutions, practitioners of English and other languages
for international communication were networking to an
extent in Matsuyama, but there was no organization (学会)
to bring them all together. Perhaps the difficult part was
the non-Japanese residents of Ehime Prefecture, who felt
they were too few to form a JALT Chapter. College teachers
could have their way paid to Hiroshima Chapter meetings;
and after all, conducting an organization is a lot of work.

Fortunately I was more concerned about serving the
community (Inoue, 1985), as I have never been interested
in JALT as a network or outlet (McCarty, 1996) for
expatriates alone (外国人同志). The reason may have been
that my background was as a Japanologist, so I was eager
to meet Japanese people and to use the language that I had
studied in graduate school. I came to Japan to stay in my
area of specialization, to acculturate, to be a U.S.-Japan
bridge, and--in defiance of Kipling's "never the twain
shall meet"--to forge an East-West cultural identity.

Bilingualism and Community Service

This attitude of mine led to an approach different from
other JALT chapters in some respects (McCarty, 1984a;
Wada, 1984). I was apparently the first one in JALT to
make bilingual meeting notices (using the kind of
word-processor available in 1984), according to
Yamamoto Masayo, co-founder of the JALT Bilingualism
National Special Interest Group (N-SIG). I was also
willing to conduct some meetings in Japanese or
bilingually, for example with a Japanese-style panel
discussion (Inoue & McCarty, 1984).

I also felt that secondary schoolteachers of English were
particularly important, because through them a great
many children would be exposed to a foreign language, for
aural/oral communication or else merely to pass paper
exams. I was willing to do volunteer work for no pay, and
founded the Ehime Summer Seminar for the in-service
training of English schoolteachers (Aono et al., 1985).

Discovering the Needs of the Community

Another fruitful approach was enquiring as to the needs
of the community that native speakers of English and
other foreign or second language teachers might serve.
Part of this was learning about the history of foreign
language education in Japan (Wada & McCarty, 1984)
and Ehime in particular. For a panel discussion by local
educators on this subject, Tsuyoshi Aono prepared a
chart of the history of foreign language education in
Japan and Ehime.

This line of enquiry in turn led to the discovery that a
world leader in TESL/TEFL, Shigeo Imamura, had been
raised in Botchan-era Matsuyama. He was the reason
that the level of communicative English among
teachers in Ehime was already above that of many
prefectures. He was therefore brought back to speak
at the Matsuyama Chapter (McCarty, 1984b), and he
later became President of JALT. In 1996 he retired
from Himeji Dokkyo University after 50 years of
contributing to the English teaching profession in
the U.S. and Japan.

An Exemplary JALT Chapter

The Matsuyama Chapter received high praise from
the JALT President (White, 1984) and Vice-President
(Kitao, 1984). A report on the founding of the
Matsuyama Chapter became a chapter in the _JALT
Administrative Handbook_ (McCarty, 1985). As the
most indigenized of all JALT chapters, historically
with the highest ratio of members to population base
served, the Matsuyama Chapter still serves as an
example to the foreign language teaching world.


青野つよし・池田哲夫・正岡建雄・町田けい [Aono, T., T. Ikeda,
T. Masaoka, & K. Machida] (1985). 「中学・高校英語研修のため
の JALT 愛媛サマーセミナー」[JALT Ehime Summer Seminar
for Junior and Senior High School English In-Service
Training]. 北尾謙治監修 [In K. Kitao (Ed.),]『TEFL in Japan:
JALT 10 周年記念論文集』[JALT 10th Anniversary Collected
Papers], pp. 295-296. 京都 [Kyoto]: JALT.

井上貴美子 [Inoue, K.] (1985). 「2か国語のコミュニティー
サービスの哲学」[A Bilingual, Community Service Philosophy].
北尾謙治監修 [In K. Kitao (Ed.),]『TEFL in Japan: JALT 10 周年
記念論文集』[JALT 10th Anniversary Collected Papers],
pp. 335-336. 京都 [Kyoto]: JALT.

井上貴美子 [Inoue, K.] & S. McCarty (1984). 「松山は国際都市
として足りうるか」[Can Matsuyama endeavor to become an
International City?]. _The Language Teacher, 8_ (9), 42-43.

北尾謙治 [Kitao, K.] (1984). 「JALT きのう・きょう・あす (7)」
[JALT: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (7)]. _The Language
Teacher, 8_ (7), 27-28.

McCarty, S. (1984a). "Involving JALT in the Community."
_JALT Newsletter, 8_ (3), 7-9.

McCarty, S. (1984b). "Theory and Practice in TESL." _The
Language Teacher, 8_ (12).

McCarty, S. (1985). "Starting a Successful Chapter." In
J. White (Ed.), _Chapter President's Handbook_, pp. 32-34.

McCarty, S. (1996). "The English Teaching Profession in
Japan: Native Speakers versus Natives of the Culture."
A paper presented at the Knowledge and Discourse
Conference, The University of Hong Kong, 18 June 1996.

Wada, A. [和田明子] (1984). "Matsuyama Chapter Inaugural
Meeting." _JALT Newsletter, 8_ (3), 19.

Wada, A. [和田明子] & S. McCarty (1984). "History of Foreign
Language Education in Japan. _The Language Teacher, 8_ (5).

White, J. (1984). "Chapter formed in Matsuyama."
_JALT Newsletter, 8_ (3), 6-7.


Updated on 3 December 2001