Published: Working with textbooks: reconceptualising student and teacher roles in the classroom

3 07 2012

ELI lecturers Luke Rowland and Keith Barrs published the following article in the Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching journal:

Rowland, L., & Barrs, K. (2012). Working with textbooks: reconceptualising student and teacher roles in the classroom. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching [Online version]

Student reactions to different methods of in-class textbook use have received little attention in the literature on English language teaching. This article explores the responses of 57 Japanese university students to the replacement of teacher-led textbook lessons with small group, role- based textbook work in regular English reading classes. Insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by small group, role-based work were gained through a qualitative analysis of the students’ written lesson reflections. The findings reveal that although the students tended to view the new approach favourably, there were underlying issues related to responsibility, pressure and collaboration that emerged from the students’ lesson reflections. Conclusions point to the context-dependent and individually realised nature of classroom enterprise. In this article, the authors also contend that insights into classroom activity are best gained through research methodologies that allow for inquiry into
teaching/learning environments without disturbing pedagogical endeavour.






Published: Fostering computer-mediated L2 interaction beyond the classroom

28 05 2012

In the February 2012 issue of Language Learning and Technology, ELI lecturer Keith Barrs published an article titled,  Fostering computer-mediated L2 interaction beyond the classroom.


In language learning contexts a primary concern is how to maximise target language interaction both inside and outside of the classroom. With the development of digital technologies, the proliferation of language learning applications, and an increased awareness of how technology can assist in language education, educators are being presented with new opportunities to engage learners in innovative ways. This article reports on how technology was used to deal with the issue of an identified lack of English language interactional opportunities outside of the classroom at the author’s university in Japan. An Action Research (AR) project was initiated with a Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) programme being implemented during an eight-week summer vacation period, in order to provide a platform for students to interact in the target language outside of class. The article reports on the action research methodology undertaken and the results of the CMC programme interactions. It shows that a CMC programme can offer students a convenient and useful platform on which to continue to communicate in the target language while outside of their classes, but that the construction of the platform needs input from both teachers and students.

Published: Creative tools that facilitate the advising process

25 05 2012

SALC Learning advisors (past and present) have published a chapter in an edited volume published by IATEFL.

Publication details are as follows:

Yamaguchi, A., Hasegawa, Y., Kato, S., Lammons, E., McCarthy, T., Morrison, B. R., Mynard, J., Navarro, D., Takahashi, K., & Thornton, K. (2012). Creative Tools that Facilitate the Advising Process. In C. Ludwig & J. Mynard (Eds.) Autonomy in language learning: Advising in action (pp. 115-136). Canterbury, UK: IATEFL.


In chapter 8, Atsumi Yamaguchi et al. briefly describe some of the tools used by learning advisors at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan. Tools such as visual models, learning plans, interactive diaries, reflective tasks, learner autobiographies, shared reflections and portfolios of work facilitate the advising process by supporting the advisor-learning dialogue. In this chapter the authors briefly describe a theoretical model for advising in language learning and then provide some examples of advising tools and explain how they are used in practice in order to facilitate the advising process and promote deeper reflection on language learning.

Published: Edited book on advising in language learning

21 05 2012

The following book was published this year:

Mynard, J., & Carson, L. (2012). Advising in Language learning: Dialogue, tools and context. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.


Advising in Language Learning (ALL) brings together examples of advising practice and research from various international contexts in a fast-developing field. A theoretical model based on constructivism and sociocultural theory (the “Dialogue, Tools and Context Model”) is proposed and supported thoughout the book, as each of the contributions focuses on one or more areas of the model. In this volume the editors set out the general aims and understandings of the field, illustrating the innovative manner in which advisors around the world are working with learners and researching the practice of ALL.

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Published: The degree of directiveness in written advising

22 04 2012

KUIS learning advisors Jo Mynard and Katherine Thornton have published an article in the special issue of SiSAL Journal: Advising for language learner autonomy. Details as follows:

Mynard, J., & Thornton, K. (2012). The degree of directiveness in written advising: A preliminary investigation. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(1), 41-58.


In this paper, the researchers analyse written discursive devices that learning advisors (LAs) at their institution use in order to give input to learners on their self-directed work. The researchers analysed written advising approaches by seven LAs throughout an eight-week period and coded the discursive devices according to their degree of directiveness. The results of the research indicate that LAs draw on a range of discursive devices and use varying degrees of directiveness when addressing the needs and learning stage of the students. The results have implications for LA training at the authors’ institution.

Keywords: advising, self-directed learning, written feedback, discursive devices


Published: Transitioning from Teaching to Advising

12 12 2011

KUIS learning advisor Elizabeth Lammons has published a column in the IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG newsletter. Details as follows:

Lammons, E. (2011). Finding my way: Transitioning from teaching to advising. Independence, 53, 27-31.

Elizabeth Lammons, a new Learning Advisor,  wrote a column reflecting on her experiences transitioning from teaching to becoming a learning advisior. In this first column, Liz discusses her previous teaching and how it influenced her decision to become a learning advisor. Also, Liz discusses the challenge she faced in not having a class of my own. Liz comments, “I hope that by sharing these experiences I am able to shed some light on some of the challenges that moving from a classroom to a role that supports learners outside the classroom can have on an educator’s professional development.”

Keywords: advising, professional development

Published: Autonomy in Language Learning: Opening a Can of Worms

12 12 2011

SALC Director Dr. Jo Mynard has co-edited a book with Carol J. Everhard and Richard Smith published by IATEFL. Details are as follows:

Everhard, C.J., & Mynard, J. with Smith, R. (2011) (Eds). Autonomy in language learning: Opening a can of worms. Canterbury: IATEFL.

This volume contains a collection of articles which were originally published between 2006 and 2010 in the Learner Autonomy SIGʼs newsletter Independence. All of the articles were written in connection with a project which likened exploring the multifaceted concept of learner autonomy to opening a metaphorical “can of worms”. Ten “worms” were released into the academic community, resulting in a series of short articles. The following areas are explored in this collection: Assessment, Classroom research, Counselling/advising, Culture, Learner training, Motivation, Self-access, Teacher autonomy, Teacher education, Technology.