Published: Student Technology Use in a Self-Access Center

21 10 2011

ELI Lecturers Joachim Castellano and Troy Rubesch and ELI Assistant Director Jo Mynard have published an article in the October 2011 issue of Language Learning & Technology Journal. Publication details are as follows:

Castellano, J., Mynard, J., & Rubesch, T. (2011). Student technology use in a self-access center. Language Learning & Technology Journal, 15(3), 12-27.

Technology has played an increasingly vital role in self-access learning over the past twenty years or so, yet little research has been conducted into learners’ actual use of the technology both for self-directed learning and as part of everyday life. This paper describes an ongoing action research project at a self-access learning center (SALC) at a university in Japan. Previous research has mainly looked at resource availability in a self- access setting (see for example Lázaro & Reinders, 2007) or has evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of various technology tools (for example Ruiz-Madrid, 2006; Mynard, 2009). This paper presents an expansive view of technology-based language learning tools that includes materials design, support, and purchasing decisions. The paper shares findings of a qualitative research study involving a questionnaire and interviews with self- access center users. Concrete, corrective actions to remedy issues and improve language- learning opportunities for SALC users are reported. These include: raising awareness of the materials, improving formal and informal support, developing materials based on students’ patterns of use, and making more strategic purchasing decisions. Broader implications of the research are that technology deployment and support can be improved by focusing careful attention on the students served by a particular self-access center.

http://llt.msu.edu/issues/october2011/index.html





Published: Developing a classroom-based self-access learning course: A course evaluation

21 10 2011

SALC Learning Advisor Tanya McCarthy has published an article in volume 3 of ELTWO Journal. Publication information is as follows:

McCarthy, T. M. (2011). Developing a classroom-based self-access learning course: A course evaluation. ELTWO Journal, volume 3.

This paper is based on the premise that a considerable amount of language can be acquired outside the classroom lesson, and that as educators it is our responsibility to raise awareness of the value of self-directed learning. Self-access language learning (SALL) promotes the idea that as there are different types of learners with different language needs, students learn better if they are actively in control of their own learning. The paper focuses on how a SALL course was integrated into the curriculum at a private university in Japan. A mixed method approach incorporated whole class and small group discussion, reflective diary writing, out-of-class learning and one-to-one meetings with the teacher. Feedback on the course from a questionnaire was used to evaluate learners’ perception of the effectiveness of the program. Results were favorable, showing that learners found this mode of learning helpful in organizing study habits; sustaining motivation; improving specific language skills; and increasing knowledge of self-access resources.

http://blog.nus.edu.sg/eltwo/2011/08/17/developing-a-classroom-based-self-access-learning-course-a-course-evaluation/





Published: Pre-university experience of ICT and self-access learning in Japan

10 10 2011

ELI lecturer Thomas Lockley has published an article in the September 2011 issue of the Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal. Publication information follows:

Lockley, T. (2011). Pre-university experience of ICT and Self-Access Learning in Japan. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(3), 182-194.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can play a key role in self-access
learning and the organization of self-access centres (SACs) (Reinders & Lázaro,
2007). The generation of young people currently at university has been labeled
“digital natives” (Prensky, 2001), yet it would seem that many of these “natives” in
Japan seem to lack the necessary ICT skills to use in the university context
(Castellano, Mynard & Rubesch, 2011; Williams, 2011). This paper assesses the
current situation of Japanese young people’s pre-university ICT experience and its
implications for self-access learning. Do they actually lack the necessary skills to
engage with self-access in an ICT context? Or does the reality in fact show that this
perception is wrong and if so why? This paper will answer the questions through
original research (N=105) and reference to the literature, globally and in Japan. It
finds that students have more competence than previously believed and ventures some
reasons for this previous misperception.

 





Published: The importance of affective factors in self-access language learning Courses

10 10 2011

ELI Assistant Director Jo Mynard has published an article in the June 2011 Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal. Publication information follows:

Valdivia, S., McLoughlin, D., & Mynard, J. (2011). The importance of affective factors in self-access language learning courses. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(2), 91-96.

The Importance of Affective Factors in Self-Access Language Learning Courses

In this short summary, we investigate the importance of learners’ emotional involvement in self-directed learning. We begin by briefly examining the literature related to affective factors in self-access language learning. We then describe two examples of institutions with self-access centres that place particular importance on affective factors in courses of self-directed study. The first example is in a university in Japan, where affective strategies are introduced through self-directed learning modules. The second example is in a university in Mexico, where educators are investigating how feelings about self-access language learning can change over time.





Published: Editorial in SiSAL special issue on skills development and practice

10 10 2011

ELI Assistant Director Jo Mynard has published an article in the March 2011 Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal. Publication information follows:

Mynard, J. (2011). Editorial. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(1), 1 – 3.

Editorial – Special Issue on Skills Development and Practice

The March 2011 issue of SiSAL Journal was a special issue on skills development and practice in the field of self-access learning and this editorial summarizes the contributions. Some contributions were related to language skill areas and other contributors interpreted the theme in a broader sense which led to a very interesting and varied issue. For example, self-directed learning is an important skill area, particularly in the context of self-access learning. This issue touches on both linguistic and non-linguistic development for outside class learning.





Published: Editorial – special issue on learner involvement

10 10 2011

ELI Assistant Director Jo Mynard has published an article in the June 2011 Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal. Publication information follows:

Mynard, J. (2011). Editorial. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 2(2), 48-50.

Editorial – Special Issue on Learner Involvement

The June, 2011 issue of SiSAL Journal had the theme of “Learner Involvement” and the editorial summarizes the contributions and makes distinctions between some of the different ways in which learners can be involved in self-access learning. Learner involvement is relevant to self-access learning in a number of ways and this special issue highlights three of them through its contributions. Firstly, there is a learner’s involvement in his or or her own self-directed learning. Secondly, there is the emotional involvement with learning. Thirdly, there is learner involvement in the actual running of a self-access centre.








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