JASAL 2017 Annual Conference
Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba
December 16, 2017 10:00-18:10
Thank you to everyone who participated in JASAL 2017. We had the biggest conference ever with 149 participants from 63 different affiliations. We had a full-day conference with 43 presentations and opportunities to network. It was great to see so many passionate and dedicated colleagues, both from established and newer self-access centres, sharing ideas and making connections. Below are presentation abstracts and a link to the actual presentations for those presenters who generously agreed to share with the JASAL community.
JASAL 2017 Annual Conference: Introduction to JASAL and the 2017 Conference
Hisako Yamashita, JASAL President, Konan Women’s University
Link to presentation slides
Welcome message from Director of KUIS 8
Dr. Jo Mynard, Director of KUIS 8 SALC
Introduction to SALC tour App
Erin Frazier & Euan Bonner (Kanda University of International Studies)
Self-Access Environments as Self-Enriching Complex Dynamic Ecosocial Systems
Dr. Garold Murray, Okayama University
Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of self-access learning in Japan. Most self-access centers start off as modest endeavours and over time develop into fully-fledged facilities. Successful self-access centers are in a continuous state of becoming. Change is one of their key features. One major change that has taken place so gradually over the years that it has been barely perceptible is the shift in the fundamental mission of self-access centers from places that support individual self-directed learners to spaces that also embrace the social dimensions of learning.
In my talk, I argue that self-access environments can be enriched by the inclusion of social learning spaces. Self-access centers, which incorporate social learning spaces, have the potential to become complex dynamic ecosocial systems. As such, they can support the emergence of a wide variety of affordances for language learning. While complex dynamic systems cannot be created and the process of emergence cannot be engineered, both can be facilitated. In my talk, I will suggest steps that self-access workers might take to support the emergence of complex dynamic ecosocial systems and affordances for language learning.
To illustrate my views, I draw on data from three research projects, which investigated a social learning space at Okayama University. These projects include a five-year ethnography, a multiple-case study and a narrative inquiry. After describing the social learning space and outlining the studies, I will briefly summarize how the theoretical orientation shifted from a community of practice perspective to a complex dynamic systems approach. I will then share with you what I have learned from these studies and the implications for the development, management and day-to-day operation of self-access learning facilities.
Challenges and Successes in Opening a New Self-Access Center
Robert Werner, Lucius Von Joo (Ryutsu Keizai University)
This presentation will introduce the Community Learning International Plaza (CLIP), a self-access center (SAC) that opened in April 2017 at Ryutsu Keizai University, a sports and economics institution without an English major. We will provide an overview of the space and services offered, and will detail successes and challenges throughout the transition from an empty, attractive lobby to a functioning SAC. This presentation will emphasize creative ways of making something from nothing in the absence of time, resources, staff, and adequate funds. We hope to inspire other educators and gain new perspectives on how to successfully operate a SAC. Link to presentation slides
Online SALC Platforms: If You Build It, Will They Come?
Michael Shawback (Ritsumeikan University)
The design of a successful online learning platform for a SALC is a very different from that for a curriculum-based instructional platform. This presentation chronicles the design process of Ritsumeikan University’s SALSA (Self-Access Language and Support Area) site that will accompany its new three-campus Beyond Borders Plaza SALC complex. Specifically, it will outline features that make a curriculum-based platform successful (including CALL exercises, materials distribution, assignment submission and feedback, progress tracking, and communication). Discussion will then focus on determining which features can be ported to a SALC platform, either directly or modified, and which may need to be abandoned.
Trends and Outcomes of the Innovative Physical Learning Spaces: An International Comparative Approach
John Augeri (Paris Ile-de-France Digital University)
An innovative physical Learning Spaces (Active Learning Classrooms, Learning Commons, Learning Centers, SALC) international comparative study has been launched in October 2016 through an international collaboration between Paris Digital University and Kyoto University. This research project, which is involving more than 50 institutions on 4 continents, aims to study the Learning Spaces phenomenon through different angles: policies, trends, design principles, outcomes on teaching and learning practices, and more globally on campuses transformation. This talk will present the study framework, the criteria used, and the first results that have already been collected in an international comparative approach. Link to presentation slides coming soon.
Crafting the Independent Language Learning Space at a Chinese University
Scott Fisher (Center for Independent Language Learning at Shantou University)
In mainland China, independent learning and the self-access center can be hard sells. In this talk, I will focus on what we do in our Center for Independent Language Learning to “explain” to our visitors both the possibilities in independent learning and the personal uses that can be made of our immersive CILL. The emphasis will be on the physical aspects of the space – layout, color, texture, signage, walls and furniture, sightlines, art, craft, ambient English, whimsy and surprise – elements that lead some to make of our CILL one of the principal “private” spaces of their years at Shantou University. Link to presentation slides coming soon.
International Students Support System as a Learning Environment Fostering Autonomous Japanese Language Learning
古屋憲章 (早稲田大学大学院）& 黒田史彦 （首都大学東京）Noriaki Furuya (Graduate School of Waseda University) & Fumihiko Kuroda (Tokyo Metropolitan University)
自律的日本語学習の実現を支える学習環境の整備にあたり必要となる理念と実践について発表する。日本語を学ぶ人たちが、自己実現に向けた学びを成就するには、豊かな学習環境が欠かせない。学習に資するリソースとなる人・物・事を選び、個別的学習環境を構築・更新することで、学習者は適応学習を実現し、自律的学習者へと成長する。本発表では、早稲田大学における留学生支援システムを事例に、学習環境の整備に関し議論する。Link to presentation slides
A CEFR-J Based Speaking Program for a Self-Access Learning Center
Alexander Worth (Osaka Institute of Technology) & Erik Fritz (Kwansei Gakuin University)
The presentation will summarize how a CEFR-J based Speaking Program of leveled mini-lessons was created for the interactive space (consultation service) at a Self-Access Learning Center (SALC). The presenters will detail how the program responded to a number of challenges faced at their chosen institution, including a high number of one-time users and a general concern about the lack of structure for certain activities in the interactive space. The presentation will conclude with a discussion about how SALC services that pair teachers or learning advisers with students can be managed and structured more efficiently in certain educational contexts, such as at a technical university. Link to presentation slides
Evaluating Counseling-Based TOEIC Program at Japanese University
Tokiko Hori & Kaori Takeuchi (Soka University)
A TOEIC program aiming to get score 730 was provided at the SAC of a Japanese university in 2016. This three-months outside-curricular program in which 53 students participated, successfully ended with 15 students reached the target scores. The main components of the program were a series of one-on-one counseling sessions, mock test meetings and workshops to support autonomous learning of the participants. Researchers explored and evaluated the efficacy of the program focusing on the counseling sessions which were the heart of the program. Expected to find some insights applicable to future programs. Link to presentation slides
Enabling Effective Extracurricular SAC Sessions: Useful Tips and Suggestions
Mürüvvet Senbayrak (Social Sciences University of Ankara, Turkey)
This presentation provides an overview of methods used by the self-access center (SAC) at Social Sciences University of Ankara (SSUA), Turkey, which help the center meet its goals. The center was established in 2016 to improve students’ language learning and independent learning skills. The center offers concurrent sessions designed according to the students’ proficiency level, needs, and interests. To further support language learning, the SAC at SSUA offers extracurricular activities, including English clubs moderated by native speakers, and organizes cultural events and competitions to encourage students to use English outside the classroom. This presentation explains what factors need to be considered to ensure effective extracurricular acitivities at SAC. Link to presentation slides
The Language Policy in the ALL ROOMs, With “San” or Without
Yo Hamada (Akita University), Mikoto Chiba, Ayaka Sato & Hikari Ishizuka (Akita University students)
This study examined the use of adding “san” to friends’ names in our self-access center, ALL ROOMs. We conducted a semi-structured interview to eight students at different ages individually, asking eight questions. Briefly, both younger and older students prefer calling others with “san”. Because they call with “san” in the Japanese culture, they do so in ALL ROOMs too. Also, if they start their relationship using “san” outside ALL ROOMs, they stick to the rule in ALL ROOMs. In the presentation, we will explain more details about each case with our proposal for our future plan.
Categorizing Findings on Language Tutor Autonomy (LTA) Through Interviews
Tomoya Shirakawa (Kanda University of International Studies student)
Language tutor autonomy (LTA) is a new area of research and spans a range of social contexts because anyone can be a tutor, and furthermore, learn by teaching. This mixed form of autonomy can potentially have many applications. In this study, a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was employed to mainly identify unique aspects of LTA and how interviewees’ teaching as tutors influences their learning as students. Based on interview questions concerning four aspects of LTA, the results suggested a model of LTA that can offer a framework for future research and practical applications in self-access learning. Link to presentation slides
Roles and Responsibilities of Administrators: Seeking Effective Collaboration within Language Learning Facilities
Ryosuke Hori (Toyo University)
This presentation introduces case reports on collaboration and coordination between different team members in designing and organizing a self-access learning center. Drawing examples from experiences and observations made at the Language Center at Toyo University, the presentation clarifies the roles and responsibilities of administrative staff in language learning facilities, emphasizing issues and challenges. Interviews and observations suggest that consolidating proper understanding about students’ needs and administrators’ psychological support for students are essential to enriching the learning environment. The presentation concludes with practical suggestions for effective collaboration between teaching and administrative teams in language learning facilities. Link to presentation slides
Collaborative Learning Through Japanese-Spanish Teletandem
Silvia González (Kanda University of International Studies) & Kazuko Nagao (National School of Languages, Linguistics and Translation, National Autonomous University of Mexico)
In order to have a more vivid and natural communication with speakers of the language learned by Mexican and Japanese students, KUIS and UNAM have started a Japanse-Spanish Teletandem during the first semester of 2017. It was a good opportunity to consider social problems in each country, practicing the language of study through conversation sessions between Japanese and Mexican students. Through this interaction students were also able to synthesize basic knowledge of their own country by responding to the expectations of communication with their partners. Link to presentation slides
Push, Don’t Pull: One Self-Access Centre’s Struggle for Identity
Stuart Warrington (Nagoya University of Commerce & Business)
In Japan, there are a number of self-access centres which, through hard work, collaboration and support, have succeeded in establishing unique identities for themselves. However, as encouraging as this is, there are still university-based self-access centres within the country where the opposite is true. In this presentation, one self-access centre’s struggle to form a unique identity for itself will be examined. Discussion will first focus on understanding the underlying reasons for why this problem persists. Thereafter, attention will be turned to ambitious efforts being made to deal with the issue in light of long-standing limitations imposed by the university’s administration.
Understanding What Makes a Community of Practice in an English Conversation Lounge
Daniel Hooper, Michael Burke, Jo Mynard & Phillip Taw (Kanda University of International Studies)
Communities of Practice (CoPs) “are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger-Traynor & Wenger-Traynor, 2015). The presenters uses the CoP framework to understand the activities taking place among frequent users in The English Lounge at their institution near Tokyo. The lounge is a space where students can practice speaking English in an informal setting. Drawing on observation, interview and survey data, the presenters examine the domain (i.e., The English Lounge), the community, and the practice and share some findings. Link to presentation slides
Developing a New Training Program for Language Learning Advisors: A Tentative Version with Three Important Perspectives
Toshinori Yasuda (Waseda University)
This presentation discusses a new advisor training program developed with three perspectives. First, the program is based on the author’s Iceberg Model which could clearly show advisor candidates the ultimate goal of advising in language learning (ALL) focusing on personal well-being beyond learner autonomy. Second, in addition to basic advising strategies, the program encourages advisor candidates to consider their own meaning of language learning and education as a part of overall life narrative. Third, the program includes original semi-structured advising practice which enables advisor candidates to smoothly try what they have learned and efficiently achieve the ultimate goal of ALL.
Pros and Cons of a Small-Scale LLC
Yuki Ota (Seitoku University)
A language learning space (LLS) in a women’s university in Chiba started in 2012. Ever since it began, the layout of the environment has not changed drastically. For this presentation, frequent student users and language advisors participated in a short survey that asked them about the pros and cons of the layout. In this presentation, a thorough description of the current LLS layout will be introduced as well as feedback and results from the surveys. The purpose of this presentation is to share the pros and cons of the current layout of this small-scale LLS. Link to presentation slides
For Implementation of Cyclical Support: A Harmonious System of Group Advising, Diagnostic Test, and Collaboration with Stakeholders
Ryo Moriya & Kana Matsumura (Waseda University)
Within the School of Education’s Department of English Language and Literature at Waseda University, there is an attempt to establish the student support system in order to help them in English-Medium Instruction (EMI) classes. The purpose of its intention is to connect all the stakeholders, facilitating close collaboration and curriculum development. As for the way of support, group advising is accompanied by diagnostic feedback in order to co-construct information about EMI in certain context. Our ongoing efforts will be introduced and concluded by discussing some issues including what struggles students have and how they perceive EMI and advising support.
Creating Student Community in Our SALC, e-space
Erina Kinoshita, Yui Fukushima, Ayumi Tahara & Yukino Watanabe (Konan Women’s University students)
We are student staff working in our SALC, e-space. Last year, we got together wanting to change our e-space and started a project to rebuild e-space with our campaign slogan, “for better e-space”. Since last year, we have been creating an atmosphere so students can improve their English skills.This year, we are focused on making connection with students from different grades and other departments in our university. In this presentation, we will share our observations and the results of the survey, comments of students and how our work improved our e-space with the development of communities.
Enhancing Language Learner Autonomy Through Academic Advising
Chelsea Schwartz (Soka University)
Autonomy is an essential aspect that should be promoted in language learning. Often times, students struggle with utilizing appropriate study materials and techniques that are suitable for their individual learning styles. This presentation aims to show the significance and purpose of the English Consultation Room offered at Soka University of Japan. Moreover, the presentation will demonstrate the necessity of providing academic support to students and helping develop their autonomy. Additionally, professional development integrated into this program will be discussed. Finally, although there are always challenges, suggestions on how to maintain a strong self-access learning center will also be shared.
SALC Self-Guided Tour app
Erin Frazier & Euan Bonner (Kanda University of International Studies)
Self-access Learning Centres include not only the materials learners need but also provide information on how the available facilities can best aid users. However finding a way to introduce these resources to visitors and learners often relies on providing guided tours that by definition do not follow the pedagogy of learner autonomy and limit the experience in order to be of use to the widest variety of users. This poster focuses on three key elements used in creating a mobile self-access tour app that caters to individual learners needs. Firstly an explanation of how the tour app used at JASAL 2017 was created and how the use of Augmented Reality and 360° video enhances user engagement. Secondly, the poster emphasizes the benefits of introducing SALC facilities using technology and finally, how providing location-based information about each area of the SALC can provide each user with the level of detail they desire. Link to presentation poster
Gathering input on a SALC: Design, Administration and Interpretation of a Student Survey
Isra Wongsarnpigoon & Makiko Hori (Kanda University of International Studies)
The Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) at Kanda University of International Studies opened a new purpose-built building this academic year. Following the first semester in the new building, a survey of students was conducted in order to collect their opinions and input regarding the space. In this poster, we present the procedure that a team of advisors and teachers followed in developing and administering the survey. We also present some themes from the results, particularly students perceptions of the new building and findings regarding the revised language policy in the SALC.
SALC in High School – Getting Started
Wataru Matsunaga & Paul Shepherd (Funabashi Municipal High School)
In November 2016, inspired by the SALC at KUIS, a small-scale SALC project was established in Funabashi Municipal High School. This poster session presents ‘the successes and challenges of our SALC story so far’ and the 6 practical aspects of the project that have been developed during our first year based on the pedagogical principles in the ‘Reflective Dialogue’ and ‘The Autonomy Approach’ books. The 6 points are: 1. ‘goal setting’ lessons, 2. ‘self-access learning’ lessons, 3. ‘self-directed learning’ journals, 4. ‘social learning’ houka-go Eikaiwa, 5. e-learning, and 6. advising sessions. Link to presentation poster
Creating an Opportunity for Student Exploration of a Self-Access Language Learning Station
Andre Parsons (Hokkaido University of Education – Hakodate Campus)
Our Self-Access Language Learning Station (SAS) is introduced to first-year students via a brochure and a tour. While these may be useful for raising awareness of the SAS, having students actually visit and explore the SAS firsthand can help them better understand what the SAS is and what its resources are. This presentation will describe a homework assignment that requires students to visit the SAS and answer questions related to it thereby providing them with the opportunity to learn more about the SAS, followed by a discussion of student impressions of the SAS and future directions of the activity.
Revisioning the Self-Access Center
Bjorn Fuisting & Paul Lee Rumme (Sugiyama Jogakuen University)
Self-Access Center (SAC) facilities play an increasingly important role in language education as they allow students to gain autonomy in choosing their preferred type of input. In order for the many aspects of the centers to remain viable, the organizers need to re-evaluate the goals and format of this type of facility periodically. In this presentation, the authors discuss the condition of an existing SAC program at a private women’s university, the students’ attitudes towards using the resources, and suggestions for the facility’s revitalization. The resulting analysis provides clear examples of how to use the SAC to its full potential.
Conducting a Preliminary Evaluation to Starting a SALC
Lorna Asami (Kanda Jogakuen Junior and Senior High School)
Recently, there has been an increased focus on the necessity of evaluating a SALC to determine its efficiency and effectiveness. In most cases, the evaluation is conducted once the SALC is up and running, with the purpose of analyzing its current state and determining the achievements of its learners. In addition to that, we will begin our first evaluation even prior to our SALC’s formal launch. The purpose of conducting this preliminary evaluation is 1) to help stakeholders crystallize their vision for the SALC and 2) allow more collaboration that would enrich the SALC from its outset. Link to presentation poster
The Learning of the Participants in the eTandem Project between Japan and Germany
脇坂 真彩子（九州大学留学生センター） Masako Wakisaka (Kyushu University)
タンデム学習とは異なる母語を話す２人がペアになり、学習者オートノミーと互恵性の原則に基づいて互いの言語や文化を学び合うという学習形態である（Brammerts & Little, 1996）。本発表ではドイツと日本の大学生がインターネットを介して行うEタンデム・プロジェクトの参加者を対象としたアンケート調査から、参加者がどのような学習内容・方法を選択し、パートナーとどのように学習を行ったのかを報告する。
The Merits of Explicit Instruction on Self-Directed Learning in the First Year of Tertiary Education
Agnes Patko (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies)
This presentation is going to introduce a research project in which we compiled a booklet to help students realise who they are as learners, provide guidance in various learning strategies and learning styles, aid learners in planning, tracking and evaluating their study and consequently to help them become self-directed learners. The booklet will be introduced in class in the fall semester. There will be two research groups in which we implement the booklet, one of which will receive detailed instructions, the other will not, and the control group will not use the booklet. We will conduct surveys before using the booklet and after finishing it.
How I Have Grown as a Student and as a Young Woman
Airi Ota (Kanda University of International Studies student) & Kie Yamamoto (Kanda University of International Studies)
I would like to talk about my one year study abroad experience in America and how I grew as a student and as a young woman with my advisor. There are some categories of topics that I will share in my presentation including studying with American students, the way I studied English and other subjects in English, the importance of building relationships with people, and internship experience in English. Moreover, I’m going to explore the change within myself: breaking stereotypes and dealing with the challenges and being able to develop myself from overcoming the difficulties. Lastly I will explain how I feel to be back in Japan after one year living in the US and how my view points towards Japan or my everyday life have been changing.
The History and Experiences of a SALC Student Committee
Mami Nishikawa, Aona Maruyama & Chisato Yoyama (Kanda University of International Studies students)
The SALC at Kanda University of International Studies has a student-run group, known as the SALC Student Committee (SSC), which helps organize and run events. Additionally, the SSC works to promote a positive atmosphere in the SALC and help make it a better place for students. In this poster presentation, SSC members share about the history of the group, the work that they do, difficulties and successes, and personal positive experiences they have encountered as members of the club.
Connecting Programs in SALC: Private English Study Counseling sessions to discover students’ needs to create a better-catered program
Shinobu Nakamura (Musashi University)
The number of SALC is increasing and the purpose and the service at SALC all depends on the facility. Each institute explores the way to achieve its purpose to fulfil the role of the facility. SALC at Musashi University was opened on campus to promote students’ foreign language use in a relaxing and sociable environment. However, we found out that for some students it is extremely intimidating to even step in to our facility. Through English study counseling, we could discover those students’ needs of gaining vocabulary to express themselves before they engage in the activities we were promoting. I will introduce our example of how to utilize different SALC programs to promote the usage of the facility to students. Link to presentation slides
Nihongo Kinshi? Language Policy and Practice in Language Learning Spaces across Japan
Katherine Thornton (Otemon Gakuin University)
The recent shift in Japan towards social learning spaces where peer interaction, target language practice and building a community of learning are emphasised over the provision of physical resources has implications for language policy. Should there be strict guidelines, which may ensure maximum language usage, but risk putting off potential users? If there is no language policy, how can learners be encouraged to use the target language? In this presentation, I will discuss the current state of language policy and practice in Japan using survey data gathered from practitioners, in addition to the views of students from my own institution. Link to presentation slides
Utilising Conversation Partners in Self-Access Centers
Richard Hill & Robert Primeau (Meijo University)
This practical presentation looks at how conversation partners can be utilised in self-access centers. Conducted by two current conversation partners, this talk offers first-hand experiences and issues that are current and informative. There is attention on both conversation partners and students. There will be examples of different approaches with objectives to help the students’ needs whilst conducting conversations. Furthermore, there will be a focus on students with different proficiencies as well as how best to hold conversations with mixed ability partners. Lastly, how conversation partners can aid to student development with themes and more structured conversations will be thoroughly scrutinized.
A Case Study of Debates Run by More than One Teacher in an Economics Class as a Teaching Method for Self-Access Learning
中野 謙 （大阪国際大学） Ken Nakano (Osaka International University)
本研究では、大講義で受講者の自律学習を促すために、複数教員による討論型授業を行った。3回の授業を1セットとし、授業テーマに関する知識を2コマ講義する。これによって受講者に賛否の立場を決めさせ、3コマ目で2人の教員が賛成と反対にわかれて討論を行う。また、3人目の教員が受講者に混じって討論者に質問をすることで、受講者からの発問を促した。その結果から、自律学習の効果が一定程度得られることを明らかにした。Link to presentation slides
Utilizing Advising Skills in Personal Interviews
Anthony DiGiulio (Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages)
Most primary and secondary schools in Japan have a class ‘tannin’ system; sometimes referred to in English as a homeroom teacher, whose job it is to support the students in that class as well as to prevent problems such as truancy and dropouts. One-on-One interviews are held throughout the year to encourage and listen to student concerns which may be personal and/or learning-related. This presentation will discuss how advising skills such as those described by Kelly (1996) can be used by ‘tannin’ to get students thinking about and involved in their own learning. Link to presentation slides
Exploring the experience of broadcasting my Japanese-speaking self playing video games on Niconico Douga: analzying the language learning history of a Japanese language learner from Hong Kong
中井好男 （同志社大学） Yoshio Nakai (Doshisha University)
本発表は、ニコニコ動画を通して理想Ｌ２自己を実現した香港の日本語学習者（Ａさん：仮名）の言語学習史に関するものである。言語学習に関するライフストーリーインタビューを行った結果、ニコニコ動画が持つ機能、日本語学習のライバルとしての友人の存在、経済的に不利な環境など、Ａさんを取り巻く様々な要因が持つアフォーダンスや制限の中で日本語学習を進めており、学習における理想Ｌ２自己の実現の重要性について論じる。Link to presentation slides
Achieving Widespread Engagement in Autonomous Learning
Marcel Van Amelsvoort (Juntendo University)
In order to promote autonomous learning across a program, it is important to have a system that provides sufficient orientation and clear goals. It is also critical that a workable system to monitor progress and ensure compliance is in place. In addition to pre- and post-AL counseling sessions, one liberal arts department at a private university in Japan makes use of XReading and its learner management system to monitor and check the progress of students with extensive reading, and a stamp and worksheet system to do so for other forms of autonomous learning.
Facilitating Dialogues and Self-Reflections Through Learner-Generated SAC Displays
Hisako Yamashita (Konan Women’s University)
One student’s reflection on her language learning process can have “ripple effect” on other learners. The presenter will discuss about the value of displaying learners’ reflective work in SAC as they facilitate the emergence of affordances for one learner, for another learner, and yet another learner for both regular and non-regular SAC users. Displaying their work created a communal supportive atmosphere where learners feel comfortable sharing about their struggles and ideas for managing their learning. Incorporating elements of students’ learning experiences through displays in SAC has contributed in creating a dynamic and an interactive ecology for learners. Link to presentation slides
How Different Students Use and Perceive an English Conversation Lounge: An Ethnographic Study
Jo Mynard, Phoebe Lyon, Bethan Kushida & Ross Sampson (Kanda University of International Studies)
As self-access learning centers are being re-imagined as social learning communities (Murray & Fujishima, 2015), it is becoming common to provide a space where students can practice using the target language. Understanding how students perceive and use such a space guides educators in managing resources in order to serve the needs of different learners. The presenters give an overview of an ethnographic research project which explores the dynamics of the English conversation lounge in the SALC at their university near Tokyo. Drawing on observation, interview and survey data, the research sheds light on what the space means to different users. Link to presentation slides
Making Learning Support Opportunities: Different Approaches
Akiyuki Sakai (Meijo University)
Institutions offer services to support students’ endeavors to become successful users of English and teachers often play an important role in providing them. This study takes a close look at ‘learning support session records’, a work log kept by a team of teachers working as learning advisors at a university self-access center. It reveals different learning advisors have different approaches in finding students to support, as well as different tendencies to what types of support they offer. The findings suggest that language learning advising may be the key for having students engaging in the repeated use of the services. Link to presentation slides.
A VIP Rewards Program to Encourage Self-Access Usage
John Bankier & Jonathan Bolick (Soka University)
The VIP Program at our Self-Access Center (SAC) was established in 2011 to recognize frequent users of self-access facilities including conversation lounges. The presenters will first introduce the SAC, and will then describe the motivation for setting up the VIP program, its day-to-day running and promotion, and challenges faced. Qualitative and quantitative data will demonstrate how more users became motivated to attend more often and becomes “VIPs”. How to implement a similar system in participants’ own contexts will also be considered. Link to presentation slides
Materials Development for Training Student Facilitators in Self-Access Programs
Vijayalakshmi Ramanathan (Soka University)
Learners at different levels of language proficiency can be supported with student peers in order to reduce their affective filter. Student facilitators working in self-access centers require professional training to support the needs of their students and the requirements of their universities. Incorporating the results of needs analysis of the current student facilitators, trainers and center managers, the training materials is prepared with the overall goal of improving student facilitators’ skills in an elementary level self-access center at a Japanese university. The presenter will share the framework and provide recommendations on how to adapt the curriculum to other teaching contexts.