The ELI evaluates iPads and English language education

20 02 2013

The ELI has been pioneering the use of iPads in its EFL classes since the release of the first unit in 2010. Several pilot research projects have gauged the potential of iPads in the learning environment here. Projects headed by members of the Basic English Proficiency Project (BEPP) and the CALL Research Groups have investigated the potential impact of these tablet computers on language education. For instance, one project looked at the impact on the existing  infrastructure. Another tested the media production capability of the iPad. Last month, one of the projects, “The Integration of iPads at a Japanese university,” was published in the December 2012 issue of The JALT CALL Journal. Marnie Brown, ELI lecturer and one of the authors of the study commented, “I think iPads in education is the way forward.” The following is a video of Brown talking about everything iPad. Based on this previous research, starting in April 2013, the ELI will significantly expand the use of iPads in its curriculum.

Published: Integration of iPads into a Japanese university English language curriculum

9 01 2013

Eli lecturers Marnie Brown, Joachim Castellano, Erin Hughes, and Alex Worth’s research on the integration of iPads at KUIS has been published in the December 2012 issue of The JALTCALL Journal.

Abstract follows:

Tablet computers are a growing trend in education that has been gaining momentum since the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010. This paper presents a case study at a Japanese university that investigated the integration of iPads into an existing English language curriculum. It reports on the experience of teachers and students using this particular tablet for several learning tasks in a Freshman English course. The tablets were used as a presentation tool, digital handout, Internet browser, transcription recorder, and media playback device. Data gathered from the study describe benefits and drawbacks of using tablet computers in the Japanese university EFL context. In addition, teacher and student views on using tablets in class activities were gauged. The researchers used direct observations, video recordings of student use, and survey data from teachers and students. It also details the mobile applications that were used for the classroom tasks. While the iPads showed promise in collaborative projects involving media, connectivity, unfamiliarity, and incompatibility issues limited their effectiveness. Although only a few iPads were available for the study, the issues and results are considered from the perspective of tablet technology in general. Furthermore, the lessons learned here might provide additional insights into the broader implementation of mobile devices in language learning environments.

Learning advisor positions available for April 2013

12 12 2012

The English Language Institute (ELI) of Kanda University of International Studies ( has openings for learning advisors. These lecturer positions are for a two-year period commencing April 2013. Applicants should have a background in TESOL/TEFL/Applied linguistics or a related field. There may be options to renew the contract once making a total of four years. Deadline: January 7th, 2013.


The English Language Institute (ELI) was founded in 1989 with 4 full-time members. Since that time it has grown to its current complement of 70 lecturers comprising 60 teachers and 10 learning advisors who have been recruited from around the world. Teachers develop and teach a variety of English proficiency courses, while Learning Advisors provide a range of services through the Self-Access Learning Centre (SALC) [] to promote and encourage learners to become more responsible for their own learning. The ELI is located in a custom-designed, state-of-the-art building which features the award-winning SALC, the Media Education Centre, the ELI Lounge, and Blended Learning Spaces – flexible classrooms in which multi-media can be used to help facilitate instruction.

Members of the ELI are involved in the following types of activity:


Teachers are responsible for teaching English proficiency courses, mainly to first and second year students. A small number of English as a Second Foreign Language classes for other language majors are also taught.


Advising in language learning involves the practices and processes of developing language learner autonomy. Learning advisors (LAs) work with students on personally relevant aspects of their language learning. Advising can occur in one-to-one meetings with learners, in written form via self-directed learning modules, or in classes or workshops specially designed to develop an awareness of the language learning process.


Teachers and learning advisors are assigned to one of the ongoing institutional research projects housed within the ELI. These are collaborative research projects led by a coordinator(s) and typically consist of 7-8 people. These projects are, for the most part, concerned with the systematic development and trialling of instructional materials to be used within and/or outside of the classroom, and research into practices surrounding the use of these materials. We also have projects related to: assessment, self-access and CALL.

Extra-curricular Student Activities

ELI members work with students in a variety of social, cultural, and sporting clubs on campus. The ELI is a gathering point for students who want to engage in informal English discussion. Some students come for help and advice on both academic and other topics.


A. An M. A. Degree (or internationally recognized equivalent) in the area of teaching English as a second / foreign language or some closely related field.

B. Experience in teaching English, particularly at post-secondary level, would be an advantage.

C. A strong interest in working with Japanese students in both formal and extra-curricular settings is essential, together with an interest in Japanese language and culture.

D. An interest and/or some experience with advising language learners would be an advantage, but ongoing training will be provided.

E. An interest in the fields of advising, learner autonomy, self-access, and outside class support for language learners is essential.


Members of the ELI are expected to be at the university for five working days per week during academic terms, normally from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm or 10.30 am to 6.30 pm.

All learning advisors are involved in the following:

1) Working with learners on self-directed learning modules and/or in elective learner development classes. LAs meet students one-to-one, run workshops and provide weekly written feedback on students’ work during two fifteen-week terms per year

2) Maintaining a good understanding of the resources and facilities in the SALC. LAs assist in selecting and developing new self-access resources, promoting the resources and helping students to use materials and facilities appropriately

3) Participating in the ongoing curriculum and materials development related to SALC modules and courses

4) Working at the Learning Help Desk in the SALC in order to be available to advise learners on a drop-in basis for 3-4 hours per week

5) Providing initial and ongoing orientations of SALC services and materials to students

6) Participating as a member of a research team in one of the institute’s research projects

7) Participating in the ELI Professional Development Programme

8) Attending scheduled weekly meetings and activities of the ELI and other special meetings which may be called from time to time

9) Attending special ceremonies and events conducted by the university including entrance exams and ceremonies, for example: the Entrance Ceremony, the Graduation Ceremony and the Open Campus Day in July

10) Participating in functions organized by the ELI including the Freshman Welcome Party and the administrations of the Kanda Assessment Project (KAP)

11) Cooperating with the Public Relations section of the university in the promotion of the university to high schools students and other interested parties.


1. Gross annual amount including bonuses (before tax): Years 1 & 2: ¥ 5,000,000

2. The salary is payable in monthly amounts

3. There are two bonus payments: September and March


1. Private research allowance: ¥ 100,000

2. Transportation: ¥ 100,000 to defray expenses of taking up appointment for overseas appointees

3. Commuting Allowance: Applicable costs of daily travel between residence and University

4. Contract Completion Payment


Please send an email with:

Complete the application form and send it (PDF preferred) together with a covering letter by email to:


For best consideration, please apply by January 7th, 2013.

All applicants will receive an acknowledgement message by email, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted further.


For further information on advising and self-access language learning at Kanda University, please visit the following websites:

  • In 2011, the ELI hosted an IATEFL conference on “Advising for Language Learner Autonomy”. Many of the files and recordings are available on the conference website.
  • Kanda University publishes an international peer-reviewed journal on self-access. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal is freely available online.
  • The SALC website provides information for visitors
  • The website provides information for students.
  • Many KUIS learning advisors have published their work in books and journals. Some recent publications can be found on the publications page.

Published: Shifting roles: From language teachers to learning advisors

21 11 2012

Learning advisors Bob Morrison and Diego Navarro published the following paper in System:

Morrison, B. R., & Navarro, D. (2012). Shifting roles: From language teachers to learning advisors. System 40(3), 349-359.


Although learning advisors are often qualified teachers, the skills they apply, such as those discussed by Kelly (1996), require a significant shift in approach regarding interaction with students. As teachers reorient themselves to advising, their role changes quite markedly from teaching language to advising on learning (Mozzon-McPherson, 2001). This challenging move requires professional development training to support and ease the shift in professional roles (Hafner and Young, 2007). As part of the professional development for advisors at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Japan, advisors undertake a series of ‘observations’ where they record and reflect on advising sessions. An analysis of these reflections was undertaken with a view to identifying common themes which provide important insights and practical implications for teachers considering advising and those involved in professional development for educators. The findings of the study show that the skills most commonly referred to are goal-setting, guiding, questioning and attending. A further skill of negotiation of meaning was also observed as being important in successful advising sessions. A greater understanding of these skills can inform language teachers who take on learning advisor roles.


  • Learner autonomy;
  • Self-directed learning;
  • Advising;
  • Counselling;
  • Professional development;
  • Reflective practice

Video: The ELI Writing Centre

6 11 2012

ELI Lecturers Jennie and Jason explain the ELI Writing Centre. The ELI Writing Centre has been a very popular service for students. Students can receive feedback from any writing assignment, both online and in person.

Guest Lecture: Autonomous approaches to literature and film in the light of new literacies, technologies and culture(s)

2 10 2012

The ELI will be hosting a guest lecture by Christian Ludwig of University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Don’t miss it!

Title: Autonomous approaches to literature and film in the light of new literacies, technologies and culture(s)

Date: Wednesday 10th October, 2012

Time: 5pm

Room: Presentation Room (Building 6)


This talk will deal with the multifaceted role that literature can play in the foreign language classroom at all levels. We will analyse various literary works that present a multi-cultural society and that allow an opening towards the global world, and a new diversity and pluralism in English-speaking countries. There will be both general and more specific discussions of the role of literature in inter-and transcultural learning as well as various (autonomous) approaches to dealing with literature.

About the presenter

Christian Ludwig is a lecturer in the field of Applied Linguistics and EFL Methodology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He holds a teaching qualification for Spanish, English and German and is currently pursuing a further teaching qualification for higher education. His research interests include language learner autonomy, literature in inter- and transcultural learning and language acquisition by using graphic fiction. He is an active member of the IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG and the German Association of Applied Linguistics.


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.