JASAL 10th Anniversary Conference
Sat. December 12, 2015 10:00-16:00
Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages, Tokyo
Thanks to everyone who participated in our first ever stand-alone conference, on the occasion of JASAL’s 10th Anniversary. We had over 50 participants join us! The day started with an hour of tour of the VISTA Self-Access Learning and Advising Center and a discussion session. Then, we had 12 wide variety of presentations and pecha-kucha presentations from institutions all over Japan. We will later have links to the presentation slides.
Tour of the VISTA Self-Access Learning and Advising Center & MOVE
Herman Bartelen (Director of VISTA, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages) & Megumi Okunaga (VISTA Staff)
Language Learning Foundations
Herman Bartelen (Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages)
The curriculum for first-year students at Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages includes a major focus on self-directed learning with a course titled, “Language Learning Foundations’. This course focuses on how to be a good learner, goal-setting, time management, learning strategies, motivation and reflection. This presentation will reflect on how the course was received and managed in its first year. Presentation slides here.
English World: An English Space for Elementary School Students
Clair Taylor (Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University)
Many universities in Japan now have English or Plurilingual Conversation Lounges for students to gather and speak English in a relaxed environment, often staffed (in part) by fluent students. This presentation outlines the process of setting up and running a similar kind of English Space at an elementary school, staffed largely by university student volunteers. Both current issues and possible directions for future research and development will be discussed. Presentation slides here.
Pecha-kucha Presentation 3:
The Seven Year Itch? Reflections on establishing and maintaining a Self Access Program
Keiko Omura (Toyo Gakuen University)
This presentation will highlight the highs and lows of developing a culture of self access at a small, private university. The presenter will provide a reflection on data collected over the last seven years, providing suggestions for others based on our experience and making predictions and recommendations for the future. Presentation slides here.
Pecha-kucha Presentation 4:
Integrating self-access into two courses via a stamp rally and extensive reading program
Dirk MacKenzie & Brian Nuspliger (Konan Women’s University)
In 2013, it was decided that self-access would be integrated into certain core courses in the Department of English Language and Culture at Konan Women’s University in order to give all English majors a chance to make use of the resources available in its self-access centre. In 2014, the department mandated that 20% of the grade for a first- and second-year core class be allotted to SAC activities and extensive reading. A stamp rally was developed so that students could get credit for activities completed, and mreader.org was used for monitoring their reading progress. At the end of the year, stamp cards were collected and mreader.org data compiled, and student feedback was solicited via an online survey. Presentation slides here.
Pecha-kucha Presentation 5:
The Autonomous Language Rooms (ALL Rooms) in Akita University
Yo Hamada (Akita University)
Akita University has run a unique self-access center, named the ALL ROOMs (Autonomous Language Learning Rooms) for 5 years. A total of 10 student staff, including both Japanese and exchange students, and three teachers run the ALL ROOMs. The presenter will briefly talk about its history, how its run, and occasional events. This year the students and one of the teachers are going to high schools to hold a workshop for the purpose of building a “bridge between high school and university.
Pecha-kucha Presentation 6:
Establishing a Self-Access Center and Supported, Self-Directed Language Program
Kirby Record, Makiko Hori, Ryosuke Saito (Yamanashi Gakuin University)
The Language Acquisition Center (LAC) at Yamanashi Gakuin University was established in April 2015 together with the opening of International College of Liberal Arts, an English-medium liberal arts department. While the LAC is a self-access center that aims at promoting autonomous language learning in genuine sense, the Center also offers a unique program for liberal arts students, blending classroom teaching and supported independent learning. In this presentation, we will share our experience in 1) establishing the LAC introducing issues and difficulties we have faced; 2) start-up of the actual operation; and 3) supported self-directed learning program.
Pecha-kucha Presentation 7:
Pathways to Cultural Awareness: Linking Self Access and the Curriculum
Kayoko Horai (Sojo University)
This project is an effort to give students opportunities to interact with teachers and to learn about other cultures. In a presentation contest last year, students noted that there are few opportunities to gain cultural knowledge both in and out of the classroom, despite a self-access learning center that is staffed with nearly 20 native teachers. The project involved collecting information from teachers, creating posters, planning events, creating classroom activities, and collecting feedback. It has strengthened ties between the teachers, learning advisors, students, curriculum, and the self-access center. This presentation will detail the planning, execution and engagement of the project.
Conceptualizing LLC: Identifying needs and problems
Yaoko Matsuoka (Kokugakuin University)
Since acquiring foreign/second language requires both knowledge input and practice, a supportive environment, such as SALC, is indispensable for learners to gain fluency. This paper reports on the establishment of LLC, a new SALC at Kokugakuin University, and investigates the role of student support in university education. It describes facilities, services, activities, and future prospects of LLC, with reference to the results of a preliminary survey and problems revealed in the advising records.
Magical Workshop for Better Self-study: are there any “magical” ways for self-study?
Seiko Oguri & Tetsuo Kato(Chubu University)
Seiko Oguri has been organizing Magical Workshop for better self-study since Feb 2011. The aim of the workshop is mainly to introduce ways to use materials we store in our language self-study room, the SI (self-instruction) Room at Chubu University. Instead of providing teaching or tutoring services in the SI Room, we hold workshops on particular topics according to the needs we hear from the students using the SI Room. The presentation talks about poster presents how we choose topic, what we do in each workshop as well as the outcomes of the workshop. Presentation slides here.
Advising in Language Learning: What can conversation analysis tell us?
Yukari Rutson-Griffiths (Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University) & Mathew Porter (Fukuoka Jo Gakuin Nursing College)
The presenters used conversation analysis to examine a face-to-face advising session conducted in Japanese between an experienced learning advisor and a fourth-year non-English major. Conversation analysis revealed steps that the experienced advisor took to gather accurate information, confirm her interpretations, and maintain intersubjectivity. The presenters will give examples of these steps and discuss their relevance in relation to Kelly’s skills. Presentation slides here.
Adapting speaking and writing sessions to suit the context of a newly established Self Access Centre
Chris Fitzgerald & Rachelle Meilleur (Kyoto university of Foreign Studies)
This presentation will outline how the presenters adapted in how they facilitated speaking and writing sessions in a newly established self access centre. They will describe the challenges that arose in this ever-evolving context and give practical suggestions on how these can be overcome. This presentation might be of particular value to those who may be in a position to open a new self access centre.
One Learner, Many Stories: Before and After Self-Access Language Learning
Umida Ashurova & Risa Hayashi (Nanzan University)
Stories are a rich source of data and can yield new insights each time they are revisited. In this talk, a teacher and her former student will reflect on their four-year-long self-access language learning/ teaching journey. Together they will analyse one learner’s cognitive and emotional activity of mastering a foreign language. What opportunities and limitations did the learner have in university environment? How did her learning beliefs change? Are there any learning tools still used by the learner three years after graduation? What can SALL researchers and practitioners learn from her stories?
Conference Organizers thank all the presenters and participants for the successful Conference!