JASAL 2019 Annual Conference

Otemon Gakuin University, Ibaraki City, Osaka, Japan

Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1, 2019 (Pre-conference SAC tour Friday, November 29)

New Beginnings

New beginnings offer hope, excitement, energy, and an opportunity to see with fresh eyes. They can be a time of change or rejuvenation, and a time to aim high and set new goals. They can also be a time of challenge, with unforeseen issues to tackle and needs to support as people face new demands and adapt to unfamiliar environments. In self-access language learning, there are new beginnings for learners every year, as freshers begin their university lives. There are also new beginnings for faculty, learning advisors, and staff as they receive training or orientation, take on new roles, and form new teams. Self-Access Centers (SACs) and Language Learning Spaces (LSS) may be newly opened or redesigned. New projects may be begun, new technologies introduced, or new approaches attempted. We hope that this theme encourages participants to reflect on the ways that new beginnings are approached, managed, cultivated, and supported in their diverse work environments.


Plenary Speaker: Dr. Luke Carson

Stepping Back, Stepping Out and Moving Forward: SALCs as drivers of future focused education
In line with the conference theme of ‘New Beginnings’, this plenary takes the start of a new era, the Reiwa era in Japan, as its inspiration. Rather than focusing on a specific aspect of SALCs themselves, this discussion takes a step back from the day-to-day realities of working within and developing learning spaces, and focuses rather on larger movements happening in society, with a view to what these mean for what SALCs could or should be. 
Exponential change and globalisation are powerful aspects of our present and future existence that arguably require significant adjustments to educational models. My talk will make the case for a transdisciplinary approach to understanding and tackling this situation from the prospective of learner development and future needs. This discussion will be situated in the cultural context of Japan and its educations systems.
In their short history in Japan, SALCs have been a driver for educational change. Although no two SALC are the same, this plenary makes the argument that they can play a central role in promoting and developing future-focused education within their institutions.

Dr. Luke Carson is an Associate Professor in the International Studies Faculty at Hiroshima City University. He also serves as a PhD and doctoral supervisor in the area of learning for a number of universities. Dr. Carson has been involved in Self-Access language learning for the past two decades, working across a variety of SALCs as a Learning Advisor, a SALC coordinator, and a SALC consultant. These experiences have involved developing new SALCs, designing and delivering the educational programmes and opportunities available, the training of staff and the administration of the centres themselves. Examples of his publications in this area are:

Mynard, J., & Carson, L. (2012). (Eds.). Advising in language learning: Dialogue, tools and context. London, UK: Longman.

Carson, L. (2012). Developing a deeper understanding of learning processing during unguided learning tasks. Studies in Self-Access Learning, 3(1), 6-23. Retrieved from https://sisaljournal.org/archives/march12/carson/

Carson, L. (2015). Human resources as a primary consideration for learning space creation. Studies in Self-Access Learning, 6(2), 245-253. Retrieved from https://sisaljournal.org/archives/jun15/carson/

Carson, L. (Forthcoming, 2020). Inside the independent learning experience: Cognition, metacognition, and emotion. Educational Psychology Series. London, UK: Routledge.


The conference will take place at Sojiji campus (circled), which is a 12-minute walk from JR Sojiji station, and a 20-minute walk from Hankyu Sojiji station. Access information in English here.

Registration Fees

Pre-registration (Must have pre-registered and paid* by November 1st)
JASAL Members (includes lunch on Saturday): ¥2500
Nonmembers (includes lunch on Saturday): ¥3000
Undergraduate students (includes lunch on Saturday): ¥500
Late/On-site registration
JASAL Members (does not include lunch on Saturday): ¥3000
Nonmembers (does not include lunch on Saturday): ¥3500
Undergraduate students (does not include lunch on Saturday): ¥0

*Overseas participants may pay cash on the door.
**For those who miss the pre-registration period, it might be possible to purchase lunch from the cafeteria on Saturday, but we cannot guarantee it. There is also a convenience store on campus, or you may bring your own food.

Note that the deadline for presenters to pre-register is October 20th.

Networking Reception 懇親会
Saturday evening, 6 p.m. ¥4,500 (Advanced payment by furikomi only by November 1st. Non-Refundable. Places are limited. Apologies, but this event is not open to undergraduate students as alcohol will be served.)
Venue: 藁焼き 個室居酒屋 た藁や 茨木店
1-chōme-2-10 Ekimae, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0888

Networking Lunch Bento on Sunday ネットワーキングランチ
¥1,100 (Advanced payment by furikomi only by November 1st. Non-Refundable.) Wrap up the conference by eating a bento lunch on-site with other participants. (Optional!)


A detailed schedule will be provided closer to the conference, so these times are subject to change.

Pre-conference SAC tour
Friday, November 29 3 p.m. ~
    1) Ritsumeikan University – Beyond Borders Plaza – Ibaraki campus
    2) Otemon Gakuin University – E-CO (English Cafe at Otemon) – Ai campus

Saturday, November 30 All day: 9:30 a.m. ~ 5 p.m.
Saturday, November 30 6 p.m ~: Networking event
Sunday, December 1 Morning only: 9:30 a.m. ~ 1 p.m.

Family Area

In this area, your partner and child or children can relax while you enjoy the conference. It’s free of charge and, of course, partners and children do not need to pay the conference fee.


Please pre-register by November 1st (October 20th for presenters), using this form.  

Abstract Submission deadline
Sunday, August 4, 2019 (closed). If you submitted, you should have heard back from us around September 14th.