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.

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.