ALT Training Online is collective of amazing people working together to empower ALTs in the classroom.

Here are the women and men behind the curtain, from the team of people running the site to the many course writers. After completing a training course, share your thoughts on our Facebook page, and please complete the feedback form you will find at the end of each course for writers to keep content relevant. Below, some of our writers share their contact information to ask you for your impressions and comments directly. Your feedback is invaluable to understand your needs and to help us reach better results!

Nathaniel Reed

Founder, Visionary & PR

Nathaniel Reed has been teaching English in Japan since 2009. In 2015 he completed his MA in Applied Linguistics, writing his dissertation on the roles of ALTs. During this research, he started to understand how deep the unclear objectives of ALTs are, and at the same time an appreciation of how much potential ALTs have to improve educational quality and learner lives. He embarked on a journey to bring ALTs together and collaborate constructively. This graduate course and people he met, with similar interests, gave birth to the ALT Training Online idea. Along the way of putting the ALT online training course together, he has met the finest educators in Japan specializing in language education in Japan – and convinced everyone to help create an open-access training for us all. Together with these people, the course, website, guest blogs, resources, Facebook group etc. have just been growing and growing. Hundreds of ALTs have been involved in various ways to date (I hope you get involved too).

Nicholas J. Wilson

Website & Moodle Admin, Founder of ALT Agorà

Nicholas J. Wilson is an elementary and junior high school English teacher and curriculum developer fostering students’ digital literacy through foreign language education. He is a Level 1 & 2 Google Certified Educator and Level 1 Adobe Creative Educator in charge of supporting the professional development of English and Japanese teachers as a mentor, area leader, and member of the local board of education’s Digital Transformation Committee. His current research focuses on exploring the potential of the metaverse as a learning environment. He is also an active JALT officer involved in planning, promoting, and coordinating regional events and national conferences, and the founder and organizer of ALT Agorà, a series of monthly webinars designed for assistant language teachers, part of the ALT Training Online grassroots initiative.

Alex Crockett

Agora Facilitator

Alex is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, where he studied computational physics with a minor in mathematics. He is a CELTA-certified English teacher and has been working as a high-school ALT in Japan since 2018. His professional interests include integrating technology with education and using games, drama, debate, and public speaking for language learning.

Kelsey Halbach

Agora Program Coordinator

Kelsey studied at the University of Regina (Canada) where she received her B.A. Hons. in philosophy and B.A. in Japanese. In addition to her degrees, she is a certified TESOL/TESL/TEFL teacher with a specialization in teaching Business English and IELTS & TOEFL Preparation. She began her teaching career as a personal tutor and has been an ALT since 2018. Her academic interests include ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of education.

Elizabeth Scally

ALTTO Community Media Genius

Elizabeth Scally began her TESOL career in Canada in 1994. She taught English to study abroad students, new Canadians and refugees in academic and community organizations. Her first experience of Japan was the JET Programme for a year as an ALT. Since then, she’s been a coordinator for ALTs at a municipal school board and taught English in private high schools. Her primary interests are composition and oral communication.

Jara Villanueva-Frio

Agora Community Media Genius

Jara Villanueva-Frio studied Food Technology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. After two years of working as a quality assurance analyst for a food manufacturing company, she started her career as an online ESL tutor. She taught English online for more than six years before coming to Japan in 2019 through the JET Programme. Currently, she is in her 4th year of teaching at a senior high school in Nara. She is also a TESOL-certified teacher and holds a TESOL Trainer’s Certificate. Her interests include task-based language teaching, game-based learning, and digital realia.

Chelanna White


Chelanna has lived in Japan since 2017. She came over on the JET Programme and became the Prefectural Advisor for Kyoto in 2020. She is also the Co-chair of Programming for the Kyoto JALT chapter. She hopes to become a university instructor after her time on JET. When she is not performing her duties as a “professional good Englisher”, she is knitting, playing video games, or pretending to study Japanese.

Meet The Team

Course writers

Charles Browne

Professor at Meiji Gakuin University. Technology in Teaching Course

Dr. Charles Browne is Professor of Applied Linguistics & TESOL and Head of the EFL Teacher-Training Program at Meiji Gakuin University. He served as the first National Chairman of the JET Program from 1987-88 as well as on many MEXT committees including a national committee on teacher training, a national steering committee for the JET Program and the national English textbook advisory committee. He is a specialist in Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition and Extensive Reading, especially as they apply to online learning environments. In addition to his work in creating several important new corpus-based word lists for second language learners (known as the NGSL, NAWL, TSL and BSL), and a wide range of free online tools to teach, learn and create texts based on these lists, he has also developed a variety of research-based language learning and analysis tools including free ER and EL-focused websites such as ER-Central, OGTE (Online Graded Text Editor), more than a dozen free word learning apps such as NGSL Builder, and works hard to share this knowledge with teachers, authors, students and researchers through countless presentations, seminars and hand-on workshops around the world.

Watch his presentation at TEDxTokyoTeachers

Peter J Collins

Tokai University, team-teaching module

After teaching English at secondary schools in Kenya, Taiwan, and Mexico, Peter received his MA in TEFL at the School for International Training in Vermont. He came to Japan in 1995, and in 1998 started at Tokai University’s Foreign Language Center. In 2004 joined Tokai’s Higher Research Institute of Educational Development, which supported and advised JTEs and ALTs at junior and senior high schools around the country. He has contributed to three MEXT-approved textbooks: empathy Oral Communication I and Magic Hat English I and II, and One World English for junior high. In 2014, Peter started at Tokai University’s International Education Center. His research interests include teacher collegiality, learner autonomy and ways to extend secondary textbook units with communication activities.

Steve MacWhinnie

Lecturer at Hirosaki Gakuin University. Working in Public Schools Course

Steven MacWhinnie is a lecturer at Hirosaki Gakuin University and a doctoral candidate at the University of Leicester. He holds a Master of TESOL from Shenandoah University. He has been living and working in Aomori Prefecture since 2007, first on the JET Programme, then as an Eikaiwa school owner and part-time university lecturer. His research interests include motivation, engagement, and language awareness. He has published articles on motivation and is now engaged in research on the intersection of motivation and engagement.

David Coulson

Professor at Ritsumeikan University. Vocabulary Course

David Coulson teaches and supervises research projects in the MA TESOL program at Ritsumeikan Graduate School, Kyoto. He is particularly interested in issues related to vocabulary research and instruction. He also teaches in conjunction with University of British Columbia in their teacher training programme conducted in Kyoto. He has an MA in Japanese Studies, MSc in TESOL and a PhD in applied linguistics.

John Adamson

Professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture. CLIL Course

John Adamson is a Professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture in Japan. As Chief Editor of Asian EFL Journal, he is active in editorial work. He received his Ed.D. from Leicester University in the U.K. focusing on a discourse analysis of interviews with Thai college students on their learning strategies. Currently he is interested in EAP/ESP provision at the university level, interdisciplinarity, and journal editing. He is a co-editor of Innovating EFL Teaching in Asia (2011) and Exploring EFL Fluency in Asia (2014) by Palgrave Macmillan.

Rob Waring

Professor at Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama. Reading Course

Dr. Rob Waring, is Professor at Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama. He is an acknowledged expert in Extensive Reading and vocabulary acquisition. He has published over 80 articles and has given hundreds of lectures, plenaries and featured speaker presentations in over 20 countries. He is an Executive Board member of the Extensive Reading Foundation responsible for the promotion of Extensive Reading globally He is also author and series editor of a six series of graded readers by various publishers and has recently published Teaching Extensive Reading in Another Language with Paul Nation.

Sean Mahoney

Fukushima University. Doing Research Course

Sean Mahoney is an associate professor of English at Fukushima University. He has published on foreign language acquisition, including error gravity, mutual intelligibility, and team-teaching issues. His current MEXT-supported research centres on non-native English speaking assistants, young learners, and language policy implementation. He was a JET Programme ALT from 1995-97. 

Cameron Romney

Assistant Professor at Doshisha University. Materials Development Course

Cameron Romney has been teaching ESL/EFL in both the United States and Japan since 1998. He has a BA in Creative Writing from Metropolitan State College of Denver, an MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Colorado at Denver, and a graduate certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin at Stout. He has written five textbooks (all institutionally published) as well as hundreds of pages of handouts. His primary research interest is how the visual elements of language learning materials contribute to, or detract from, language learning. In 2017 (when this module was written) he was an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Global Communication at Doshisha University in Kyoto.

Joseph Shaules

Keio University. Intercultural Communication Course

Joseph Shaules is a Specially Appointed Professor at the Center for Global Interdisciplinary Courses at Keio University, Tokyo, a faculty member of the Tsuda University Graduate Program in TESOL, and the Director of the Japan Intercultural Institute. His work bridges theory and practice in the areas of intercultural education, the psychology of intercultural experiences, and foreign language pedagogy. His most recent book is Language, Culture and the Embodied Mind: A Developmental Model of Linguaculture Learning (Springer, 2019). 

Daniel Roy Pearce

Full time Lecturer at Kyoto Notre Dame University

Daniel Roy Pearce was an ALT in several high schools of the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture between 2008 until 2013, during which time he achieved level pre-1 in the kanji kentei examination. In 2015 he entered the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies at Kyoto University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in foreign language acquisition and education while lecturing full time at Kyoto Notre Dame University. During his time at Kyoto University, he completed the teacher’s licensing course for secondary school English, and has been involved in various projects with local schools. He has published several articles and book chapters related to ALTs and team teachers, and his present research interests include language education policy, plurilingualism, teacher training, young learners and team teaching.

Melodie Lorie Cook

Professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture. Getting Published Course

Dr. Melodie Lorie Cook has been teaching at the tertiary level both in Canada and Japan for over 20 years. She has published research on teacher education and expatriate experiences of education in Japan. She has been Associate Editor and Editor of JALT Journal and is currently a senior editor for JALT’s Post-Conference Publication.

Richard Graham

CEO of Genki English. Speaking Course

He has provided training sponsored by Ministries of Education, universities, boards of education and schools throughout the world as well as appearing on TV, TEDx and in numerous press articles. His materials are now used in over 190 countries by millions of teachers & students both in the developed and developing worlds. Take any problem in the world and it’s invariably caused (or made worse) by a lack of education. Genki English solves this by finding out what students want to say and then teaches them how to say it with energy, passion and confidence. He has provided training sponsored by Ministries of Education, universities, boards of education and schools throughout the world as well as appearing on TV, TEDx and in numerous press articles. His materials are now used in over 190 countries by millions of teachers & students both in the developed and developing worlds. Take any problem in the world and it’s invariably caused (or made worse) by a lack of education. Genki English solves this by finding out what students want to say and then teaches them how to say it with energy, passion and confidence.

Sam Gledhill

Founder of Listening Course

Sam Gledhill has been teaching as an ALT in Japan’s public school system since 2007. Since 2014 he has been working in a town taking part in a national study leading up to the planned 2020 formalization of English as a subject in Elementary schools. He administers which welcomes contributions from all.

Catori Sarmiento

Writer and Educator. Teaching Special Needs Course

Catori Sarmiento is a writer and educator dedicated to language and learning.  After graduating from the University of Maryland with a Masters of Arts in Education, she went on to study writing in a graduate program at National University of San Diego while also living in Tokyo, Japan. While in Tokyo, she worked at private English language facilities, special education schools, and in public education. Her experiences teaching special education inspired her to write and publish her research paper “The Benefits of Equity and English” which was featured at the World Congress on Education in 2019. Besides her academic career, Catori Sarmiento is also an author of fiction. Her writing has garnered a first place Cygnus Award for her novel , The Fortune Follies, and a place on the Drunken Druid International Award shortlist for her second novel, Carnival Panic.

Armando Duarte

Lecturer, Kwansei Gakuin University

Armando Duarte is teaching at Kwansei Gakuin University’s Sanda Campus. He worked as an ALT since the fall of 2011 to 2017. His first entry in the classroom was at a public high school in Takatsuki, Osaka through a dispatch company known as Intersquare. He held that position until the spring of 2012 when he found an ALT position at a public junior high school in Kakogawa, Hyogo through a dispatch company known as Minerva. He held this position from the spring of 2012 until the end of the 2017 academic year. Armando completed his MAT TESOL through the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2016. His research interests are broad and include speaking assessments, integration of literature in the classroom, and CALL. His publications have appeared in The Language Teacher, Shiken: JALT Testing and Evaluation SIG Journal, and The School House: JALT Teaching Younger Learners SIG Journal.

Martin Sedaghat

English Instructor. Working in Public Schools Course

Martin Sedaghat has worked as an English teacher in Niigata, Japan, for the past 14 years. A native of San Diego, California, he received TEFL certification from the American Language Institute at San Diego State University and worked as both a JET and private ALT for the Niigata City BOE (board of education). Following that he was a homeroom teacher and English instructor at an international high school for 2 years. Since 2018 he has been working at an English language preschool, teaching children from the ages of 0 to 3 and developing an original curriculum based on the theory of multiple intelligences. Beyond teaching, his interests include video games, tabletop games, and illustration.

Elliot Carson

English Instructor. Working in Public Schools Course

Elliot Carson has been living in Japan and teaching English there since 2009. He has worked as an ALT at the elementary and secondary level since 2014. Prior to that, he worked with a variety of age groups while teaching English primarily at Japanese eikaiwa schools. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Emmaline Conover

International Education. Working in Public Schools Course

Emmaline was a JET ALT for 3 years and lived an hour north of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture. She taught at three senior high schools and at special needs schools. Her favorite parts of being an ALT were coaching students through speech contests and developing curriculum.  Her undergraduate education was in East Asian Studies and French. During her time in Japan, she completed an online TEFL course. Post-JET, she earned an MA in International Education Management and now works in the international education field in the U.S.

Jocelyn Russell

English Instructor. Working in Public Schools Course

Jocelyn Russell hails from Chicago, IL, USA and worked as an ALT in Gunma Prefecture for 4 years (2015 – 2019). Prior to becoming an ALT, she graduated from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin with a degree in International Studies and experienced working with students and staff in the on-campus ESL institute. During her time as an undergraduate, she spent 6 months in Yamanashi Prefecture studying Japanese and worked alongside a local ALT on a weekly basis in order to learn more about the profession. Jocelyn is now working as an English instructor in the US.

Amon Bradshaw

English Instructor. Working in Public Schools Course

Amon worked as an ALT for three years in the small rural town of Otoyo in Kochi Prefecture, from 2014 to 2017. Before coming on JET Amon worked as an outdoor education instructor and primary (elementary) school teacher in Australia. Amon loves the mountains and outdoor areas of Japan. Amon believes that having more ongoing training and development opportunities for ALTs and JTEs is an important step in improving English education in Japan.

Meet The Team


Since 2015 many have joined and left this project. ALTTO wouldn’t be what it is now without these people so we want to credit them for their effort towards our goal while hoping our roads meet again!

David Logan Hayter

ALTTO Blog Editor, Graphic Designer, & Digital Marketer

David is a Social Studies teacher and freelance writer based out of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was one of the earliest team members to work on the ALTTO project when he started working with Nathaniel Reed in October of 2017.

He first gained experience in education by working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) in Japan from 2014-2019. Although he primarily taught junior high school, he has taught all the grades from kindergarten through ninth grade.

During his time as an ALT, he worked in 11 junior high schools, 2 elementary schools, dozens of kindergartens with hundreds of Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) to teach thousands of students.

Aside from teaching, his other duties included training and managing new ALTs, designing and delivering teacher training workshops, and performing other duties for his local Board of Education.

Outside of work, he actively volunteers in his community, enjoys playing video games, loves to cook, trains hard, and loves learning new things. He passed the torch on running the blog in March of 2021.

Miguel Mision

Graphic Designer

Hi my name’s Miguel I’ve been in Japan for more than 8 years and have taught English at every level from kindergarten to university. My main hobby is photography but I have some volunteer experience with design work. I’ll (ideally) be making the site a little more easy on the eyes and more interesting for all our readers. I hope me and the team can provide you with a learning experience that is engaging and professionally appealing to all curious individuals. Please feel free to give us your feedback on the (un?)attractiveness of the site, we’re always eager to hear how we can improve the ALTTO experience for you.

Caitlin Heber

Operations Manager

After graduating college in 2016 with a bachelor’s in mathematics, Caitlin started her professional career as a research analyst for an economic consulting firm and spent her weekends working with adult English learners. In the summer of 2019, she turned her love of teaching into her occupation and became an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). She teaches at six schools – one junior high school, four elementary schools, and one regional special needs school – in the heart of in Kyoto City. Caitlin’s passion lies in combining soft and hard skills to create better, more informed educators.
In her free time, Caitlin enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons (DnD), learning new things (current she’s trying her hand at bread-making), practicing Japanese Tea Ceremony (茶道), and travelling Japan to collect goshuin (御朱印).

Samikshya Bidari

Social Media Coordinator

Samikshya Bidari comes from Nepal and has been teaching for many years. She is currently pursuing a MA in TESOL at Soka University, Japan as a full-time student while working as a homeroom teacher for the weekend programs at LCA international school in Hashimoto, Kanagawa. She holds a TEFL certification and a MBA from Bangalore University, India. During the years she worked as an ALT in Japanese schools she had the chance to explore numerous teaching philosophies. Her current research involves finding ways to empower young learners with 21st-century learning skills incorporated in the cross-cultural situation. She fell in love at first sight with “Kamishibai,” the traditional Japanese method of storytelling, and is now focused on collecting practical pedagogical ideas from Japan and introduce them to schools in Nepal.