JALT 2009

JASAL Forum at JALT 2009

Saturday, November 21st, 11:10, in Koryu Hall

Teaching-Learning Dialogue in Self-Access Learning
*You can read the Forum report, written by Jo Mynard and Diego Navarro, which has been published in JALT Conference Proceedings.

In the area of self-access language learning the teaching-learning dialogue primarily takes place in the language advising situation. However, the dialogue is not limited to teachers advising learners. Learners also discuss their learning amongst themselves and learn from each other.  In either case, as the word dialogue implies, the conversation is two-way. Learners can learn from language advisors and other learners, and language advisors can learn from learners.  In this forum, educators from different universities talk about the teaching-learning dialogue in their self-access centers.  For example, in one presentation educators outline how a constructivist view of learning informs their work. Another presenter discusses how the teaching-learning dialogue is expressed through multiple feedback channels and collaborative program refinement.  Other presenters elaborate on how the learners’ comments and responses provide advisors with insights enabling them to better meet the needs of those seeking advice.  Yet another presenter illustrates how dialogues between learners as well as learners and language advisors facilitate multiple perspectives that create a collaborative community. Another presentation looks at the necessary steps taken to create an effective advising system that meets students’ needs. The presentations will be followed by a discussion period which will enable the audience to ask questions and to make comments.


Advising at Kanda University of International Studies

Jo Mynard and Diego Navarro , Kanda University of International Studies

This presentation draws on a constructivist framework for learning and describes language advising within the Self Access Learning Centre (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS). A constructivist view of learning emphasises learners’ motivation, aptitude, feelings, ideas and beliefs which stem from their own observations and experiences. Knowledge is then constructed through interaction within a rich learning environment such as the SALC. Advising at KUIS takes the form of face-to-face meetings between learning advisors and students, and also through written dialogue via weekly journals. Interaction also occurs between learners while they work on modules and other projects.

The Teaching-Learning Dialogue at Soka University’s English Forum

Greg Lindeman, Soka University

English Forum (EF) is a discussion-based self-access program at Soka University’s World Language Center in which student/staff facilitate topical discussions. Many EF participants take on the role of “advisor”; staff facilitators and administrators, the faculty coordinator and importantly, the students accessing the facility. All these players are also “learner-users” who recreate EF as a more student-accessible program. The operation of EF is anything but unidirectional – feedback channels flow throughout ensuring constant collaborative reevaluation of the EF’s purpose and practices. These feedback channels, and the dynamism they provide, will be presented.

The Advisor-Learner Dialogue for Successful Independent Language Learning

Daniel Sasaki and Yukiko Ishikawa, Soka UniversityThe way independent learners use advice for English self-study differs, which makes finding the best way to advise learners challenging. At the English Consultation Room at Soka University, one-on-one advisory sessions provide students with an opportunity for dialogue on English self-study. Each session provides the learners with advice, but comments and responses provide the advisor with new insights on the learner. The goal of understanding the needs of our learners and to continue to offer the best possible advice to help them study independently is achieved through dialogue which leads to further improvement of sessions and our program.

Center Dialogues from the Perspective of the Learner

Stacey Vye, Saitama University

By sharing multiple perspectives from the voices of the learner, the presenter will introduce how The English Resource Center (ERC) in the Center for English Education and Development (CEED) at Saitama University facilitates language learning experiences. Our Center is a space for students to interactively engage in various dialogues with fellow peers and educators to construct multiple perspectives about the world, improve in English, and help shape how the ERC is run. Therefore, to illustrate the learning experience from the perspective of the learner, emerging dialogues between peers and language advisors alike will be revealed by the students’ voices themselves.

Establishing a Learning Advising System at a 2-year Vocational College

Herman Bartelen and Hisako Sugawara, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

Learning advising is beginning to play a bigger role in self-access centers.  Thus, the dialogue within an educational institution becomes multi-fold.  Dialogues are created between administrators and advisors, between advisors and teachers, between advisors and learners, and finally, between learners and learners. This presentation will look at the beginning stages of the establishment of a learning advising system at a two-year vocational college.  This presentation will look at the development and improvement of the old advising system at the school, by establishing clear goals, promoting the services within the school, and educating staff.