Executive Committee election – voting opens

Please read the following information about each of the candidates for the posts of President and Vice President of JASAL, then cast your vote here.

Candidates for JASAL President

Herman Bartelen

About Herman
My name is Herman Bartelen and I am currently director of the self-access center, VISTA, at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in Tokyo.  Kanda is a two-year vocational college with an emphasis on language teaching.  I have been involved in the field of learner autonomy and self-access since 1995 when I was first appointed director of our school’s self-access center.  Presently, our center is involved in creating materials for the school’s English language curriculum and self-access listening center, as well as maintaining an advising and writing center.
I have given many self-access and other language workshops throughout my career in Japan.  Some workshops include: ‘The Why’s and How’s of Self-access Learning (JALT, 1997), ‘Self-access Language Learning: Theory and Practise’ (JALT 2004), ‘The Top 10 Generic Study Sheets for Self-access Study’ (Poster Session, JALT 2004), ‘How to Use Self-access in Classes and at Schools’ (Kanda Gaigo Summer English Education Seminar, 2009), and I also presented at the JASAL plenaries at JALT in 2008 and 2009. I am now in the midst of organizing the Symposium on Writing Centers in Japan for 2011.

Herman’s vision for JASAL
My plans for JASAL would be twofold.  I would look to organize one or two main international or national symposiums for learner autonomy and self-access learning.  I would also look to further JASAL’s presence on the national scene by helping spread the goals and ideals of autonomous learning, and by seeking out more supporters and members for JASAL.

Daniel Sasaki

About Daniel
My name is Daniel Sasaki. I am currently a lecturer and coordinator of self-access programs at Soka University (Tokyo, Japan). I have been associated with self-access as a student staff, assistant, and now as a coordinator for nearly 10 years. I have had the privilege of being a part of the growing process from very small and little recognized areas for English and foreign language learning located in the back of the main building to where our self-access programs are now established and recognized by the university and our students as the places to further improve language skills in the four skill areas.
I have been a member of JASAL since 2006 and during that time, I have been fortunate to meet, learn, and share the growing pains of self-access language learning, and managing programs and centers with many you. Your efforts and ideas were always encouraging and pushed me and my colleagues to continually modify old ideas or search for innovative ways to improve our program and support the students.

Daniel’s vision for JASAL
I hope to continue to find, connect, and share knowledge and experience with everyone working in self-access centers throughout Japan or who are planning to create self-access programs or centers in their respective institutions in the future. We all have common goals in JASAL and everyone’s work is best seen through our students who will benefit by the endless hours spent trying to make self- initiated language learning easier for them, or in other words to become autonomous learners.

Katherine Thornton

About Katherine
In my position as a full-time Learning Advisor in the Self Access Learning Centre (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies, I have become well acquainted with the field of self access and learner autonomy. As well as advising students on their learning, I’m also involved in in-house materials development projects and the day to day running of the centre. My main areas of interest are how to promote our services effectively and encourage a sense of ownership of the SALC among students. I am also on the editorial team of the new online journal for self access, SiSAL (Studies in Self Access Learning).

Katherine’s vision for JASAL
As seen at the recent JASAL forum at JALT 2010, different centres work in different contexts and may have different approaches and different levels of resources, but I believe we can all benefit from learning about each other. Through communicating with each other and sharing best practice, new SACs can learn from the experiences of more established centres and existing centres can move forward by responding to the innovations and approaches of newer SACs.
To enable this to happen, I would encourage existing members to contribute to JASAL by sharing links and practical resources, such as mission statements, floor plans, details of administration systems and materials/software recommendations and set up a more interactive email-based discussion group to get the dialogue flowing.

Candidates for JASAL Vice President

Yukiko Ishikawa

About Yukiko
I am currently working as a full-time advisor at the World Language Center at Soka University, Tokyo.  After completing a Masters in Second and Foreign Language Education at Soka University of America, I have been engaged in advising for students’ self-study in English since 2006.  I became a member of JASAL in 2007.  Since then, I have enjoyed idea exchanges with other members at various conferences, forums and visiting other self-access centers.

Yukiko’s vision for JASAL
I would like to contribute to continue this wonderful community actively in helping each other to improve our self-access centers and further to develop the association to promote self-access language learning throughout Japan.

Dirk MacKenzie

About Dirk
I am a senior lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba.
I became interested in self access during my M.A. studies at Carleton University, where I did a teaching assistantship in the Academic Writing Centre and a research essay on learner autonomy in foreign language acquisition.
At KUIS, I have worked closely with the Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) team in a variety of capacities. I have helped coordinate writing support services such as the SALC Writing Forum, the Writing Centre, and the Online Writing Centre. As CALL Research Group Coordinator, I am currently facilitating an initiative to make a multitude of CALL materials available online for self access by students and teachers.
In April I am moving to Kobe to begin a lectureship at Konan Women’s University, where a self-access centre is in the final stages of development. I look forward to working as a learning advisor as well as a classroom teacher, and connecting more with colleagues in the Kansai area.

Dirk’s vision for JASAL
I think JASAL membership will continue to grow as more SACs spring up, and that our challenge will be facilitating effective communication between members across the country. Also, as self-access practitioners, we will see our students continue to access the Internet more off campus, which we will need to respond to by providing more engaging self-access materials online. I think my experience in the CALL field will allow me to make valuable contributions in this direction.

Now please cast your vote here. If you experience difficulties with the voting process, please email a member of the current Executive Committee: Garold, Lucy, or Hisako, by emailing jasalorg@gmail.com.

Thank you for participating in the JASAL Executive Committee election.


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