Published: Investigating the Focus of Advisor Comments in a Written Advising Dialogue

26 09 2012

Eli lecturer Katherine Thornton and SALC Director Dr. Jo Mynard have published the following article:

Thornton, K. and Mynard, J. (2012). Investigating the Focus of Advisor Comments in a Written Advising Dialogue. in C. Ludwig and J. Mynard (Eds.) Autonomy in language learning: Advising in action. Canterbury, Kent: IATEFL. pp. 137 – 153.


“Advising in language learning involves the process and practice of helping students to direct their own paths so as to become more effective and more autonomous language learners” (Carson and Mynard, 2012, p. 4). Promoting reflection on the language learning process is an indispensible part of this process. The study described in this paper, focusing on written advising, examines advisors’ written responses to learners’ work within self-directed learning modules. It aims to establish what advisors choose to focus on and how they attempt to raise awareness of the language learning process with learners. We argue that written advising is not an inferior form of advising, as may be assumed from its relative absence from the field, but is a valuable way of helping students to focus on the metacognitive, cognitive and affective aspects of their learning processes, especially in an L2 context.

Published: The pedagogical benefits of a linguistic landscape project in Japan

19 09 2012

ELI lecturer Luke Rowland recently published the following journal article:

Rowland, L. (2012). The pedagogical benefits of a linguistic landscape project in Japan. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-12.

doi: 10.1080/13670050.2012.708319

This article examines the claims made by various scholars regarding the use of the linguistic landscape as a pedagogical resource within multilingual educational contexts. As an area of increasing interest in sociolinguistic research and with an established pedagogical history in L1 literacy classrooms, the study of publicly displayed texts, such as advertisements and road signs, is now beginning to find favour in L2 classrooms, particularly in English as a Second Language (ESL) contexts. As a point of difference, the current study describes the implementation of an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom project which required students to collect and analyse photographs of English used on signs in Japan. The students’ analyses of their local linguistic landscape are discussed with reference to the claims made in the relevant literature about the benefits of having language learners engage with texts displayed in public. Overall, the study supports the idea that pedagogical linguistic landscape projects can be valuable to EFL students in a variety of ways, particularly in the development of students’ symbolic competence and literacy skills in a multiliteracies sense.

Published: Learning lessons: Implementing the Autonomy Approach

17 07 2012

ELI Lecturer Brian Morrison published the following article:

Morrison, B.R. (2012). Learning lessons: Implementing the Autonomy Approach. IATEFL 2011Conference Selections, pp. 73-75. Canterbury: IATEFL.


Japanese education policy ensures that upon graduating from high school, 18-year-olds will have studied English for six years. If they have done well, they will have learned the vocabulary and grammar taught to them in class and this knowledge will have been applied successfully in gap-fill tests. Students who have gained high grades have thrived within this system. Kanda University, which specializes in languages, receives new undergraduates every year who have been successful in this way. However, the English-only policy in this institute’s English language classes, assessment of skills rather than of traditional grammar and vocabulary tests, and the greater independence expected of students can create a challenge for those who find the strategies that worked so well at high school are no longer fit for purpose. In recognition of this, the university promotes out-of-class learning with a purpose-built self-access centre, discussion areas, a writing centre, a practice centre and full-time learning advisors offering self-access learner-training courses and consultations. In 2010-11 a new elective taught course was piloted in an attempt to support students to become more effective language learners.

Published: From student-centred teaching to learner-led learning

17 07 2012

ELI Lecturer Brian Morrison published the following:

Morrison, B.R. (2012). From student-centred teaching to learner-led learning. Independence IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG Newsletter 54, 10-12.


Perceptible changes in approaches to teaching and learning may be due to experience, the range of professional and academic qualifications, and changes in professional environment. One career pedagogue shares how his approach has changed by considering relevant moments in his career in order to disseminate his narrative with the community that informed him. This ethnographic account provided additional opportunities to reflect on what have been pivotal moments in his professional development.

Spring semester 2012 brings new faces, changes to the ELI

11 07 2012

18 new lecturers joined the ELI at Kanda University of International studies. This cohort is comprised of 17 teachers and one learning advisor. Lecturers arrived from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The lecturers have brought a wealth of educational experience with them. For example, Caroline Hutchinson, of Cardiff, Wales, has taught in Yamaguchi prefecture high schools on the JET Programme, in Budapest, Hungary as a business English teacher, and at RMIT University in Hanoi, Vietnam. Caroline also added, “I used to be a salaryman.”

New members are shaping the future of the ELI with their research interests. James Atcheson, from Forth Worth, Texas, said, “Critical theory is interesting because it provides teachers with a framework to establish a strong link between what’s happening in the classroom and what’s going on in the society outside the classroom, the so-called “real world.”

The management team has changed as well. Dr. Paul Lyddon joined the ELI as the assistant director of curriculum. Dr. Michael Torpey retired and Assistant Director Phil Murphy has been promoted to the Director of the ELI.

2012 marks Phil’s 15th year here. Dr. Murphy explained his top goal as, “to help create the optimal environment for students to develop as language learners and lecturers to grow professionally whether it be teaching, advising, and/or researching.”

The first semester is nearly done. Shawn Hupka, from Windsor, Ontaria comments, “So far, Kanda’s been great. It’s exciting to share ideas and work with so many instructors from all over the world,” said Shawn cheerfully.

Shawn Hupka and Caroline Hutchinson, new ELI lecturers.

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