JALT 2012 Hamamatsu

JASAL Forum 2012
Making a difference through Self Access
at JALT 2012, Hamamatsu

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Forum this year – you really made it a great success! Photos and abstracts can be found below, along with links to the posters and slides from many of the presenters.

You can also read the Forum report, written by Satomi Shibata, which has been published in SiSAL Journal (Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal).

Scene from the Poster Presentation

Effective self access support is one way in which institutions can make a real difference in the lives of their students, helping them to develop the skills to become more successful language learners. While increasing numbers of self-access centres are being established around Japan, many face challenges in being recognized as providing a legitimate approach to language learning by the wider institution and faculty members, and in developing a culture of active self-access use and engagement among the student body. This forum, organized by the Japan Association of Self Access Learning (JASAL), will present several perspectives on the challenges facing those involved in self-access learning, and offer suggestions for ways in which we can improve our learners’ experiences of self-access. Consisting of a poster session, three short presentations and an open forum discussion, contributors will share their professional experiences and results of research investigating a number of issues, including how to foster a culture of self-access learning and promote underused self-access facilities, how to develop understanding of the value of self-access among faculty and administration and how to integrate self-access with the curriculum.


Self-Access Challenges and Solutions
Darrell Wilkinson & Greg Lindeman, Soka University

The value and efficacy of self-access language programs, often existing outside of traditional (classroom-based) learning contexts, is not always clear to the teaching faculty who are not directly involved with them.  Therefore, how can self-access programs be designed and developed in a way that highlights their benefit, and provides faculty with the confidence to promote and support them? This presentation offers some insights and possible solutions to some of the challenges facing self-access programs today.

 Darrell Wilkinson & Greg Lindeman, Soka University

Building a Culture of Self-Access Learning at a Japanese University: An Action Research Project (PDF)
Clair Taylor, Michael Stout, Jerry Talandis Jr, Keiko Omura, Toyo Gakuen University

“This presentation describes ongoing group action research project aiming to promote self-access language learning at a Japanese university. A group of teachers collaborated to encourage their learners to make use of a self-access center and online study materials using a stamp card system. The findings from three cycles of research show that the system has fostered a developing culture of independent learning on campus, with more students engaging in self-access study. ”

Clair Taylor, Michael Stout, Jerry Talandis Jr, Keiko Omura, Toyo Gakuen University

Propel “self-access” into the mainstream of language learning: Integral learning resources to introduce learner autonomy in everyday life (Powerpoint)
Satoko Kato & Hisako Yamashita, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages
Often times, SACs suffer from not getting the desired support from their institutions. Therefore, it is important to spread the concept of self-access learning to those who are not familiar with it. The presenters have created integral learning resources which come in a format of a personalized day planner, a booklet, and a website which learners can use to manage their own learning. This presentation will elaborate on how teachers/advisors can help learners benefit from self-access learning.

Satoko Kato & Hisako Yamashita, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

EFL Peer Advising at the SAC: Issues and Problems (PowerPoint)
Lindsay Mack, Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University

The focus of the presentation is the design and implementation of an exploratory research with the purpose of examining peer writing advisors’ reflective journals for the issues and problems they encounter. Based on observations from this study, she will conclude with suggestions for various strategies to successfully tutor EFL students in English writing.

Lindsay Mack, Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University

Integrating self-access with the English learning curriculum (PDF)
Herman Bartelen, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

This poster will illustrate the influential role that Kanda Institute of Foreign Language’s SAC plays in the English curriculum by providing opportunities and resources for self-directed learning in the classroom.  These include a self-access learning facility that teachers use, a negotiated curriculum class, classes that have access to SAC advisors, an elective SAC course, and a student orientation that introduces the main concepts of self-directed language learning.

Herman Bartelen, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

Authentic Reader; Authentic Self (PDF)
Elizabeth Lammons, Kanda University of International Studies

This poster presentation will offer examples of how students at a four year language university self-assessed their reading strategy use over the course of a 15 week semester and how this impacted their ideas of self-access learning.  The students had the opportunity to choose the authentic materials that they wanted to read and then use different reading strategies to make sense of the texts they chose. Samples of how the students self-accessed their reading strategy use will be provided as well as quotations from the learners themselves on how this process has made a difference in their perceptions and awareness of how they can learn.

 Elizabeth Lammons, Kanda University of International Studies

Fostering Autonomy through Class Reflection (PDF)
Anthony DiGiulio, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

The SAC at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages shares the philosophy of promoting self-access in the curriculum and as Gardner and Miller (1999) assert, “learners using self-access must be encouraged to engage in a process of reflection”. So, how can we promote more autonomous learning? This poster will show that regular, written self-reflections in the classroom can be an effective method in fostering “the first steps” towards learner autonomy.

Anthony DiGiulio, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages

5:00 – 5:20 – Discussion
A chance to discuss issues raised in the presentations & posters, and other matters relating to self-access.


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