Learning Advisor Transformation: A Collaborative and Reflective Collage

Mümin Şen, Hatice Karaaslan, Müge Akgedik-Can, Tarık Uzun, Gamze Güven-Yalçın, Gökçe Arslan, Ebru Sinar Okutucu, and Stephanie Lea Howard, and Abdulkadir Güllü, Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara, Turkey

Şen, M., Karaaslan, H., Akgedik-Can, M., Uzun, T., Güven-Yalçın, G., Arslan, G., Okutucu, E. S., Howard, S. L., & Güllü, A. (2018). Learning advisor transformation: A collaborative and reflective collage. Relay Journal, 1(1), 113-127.

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Abstract

Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) and Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University (AYBU) are collaborating on a learning advisory education program consisting of the modules of Getting Started, Going Deeper, Becoming Aware and Transformation. This training has been made possible with support from the 3934 BAP (Scientific Research Fund) at AYBU. The first module was taken by the participants face-to-face at KUIS and the second was completed with live online lectures or recorded sessions, set readings, practice tasks and online forum discussions. The aim of this document is to provide an account of the transformation process of instructors of English. The authors have focused on reviewing and reflecting on their recorded advising sessions, tools for advising, intentional reflective dialogue (IRD), dealing with emotions, giving positive feedback and researching advising in Module 2.

Keywords: Reflective dialogue, advising, reflections, transformations

Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) and Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University (AYBU) have collaborated on a learning advisory education program provided by the SALC (Self-Access Learning Center) and RILAE (Research Institute of Learner Autonomy Education; see kuis.kandagaigo.ac.jp/rilae). Members of AYBU School of Foreign Languages (SFL) Learning Advisory Program (LAP) (see http://ybu.edu.tr/yabancidiller/custom_page-477-ogrenme-danismanligi-programi-(lap).html) have been attending this advisor education through face-to-face and online courses. This document is to provide an account of the transformation process of instructors of English into learning advisors. The KUIS SALC RILAE Advisor Education Program is conducted by Yasushi Iida, Dr. Jo Mynard, Satoko Kato and Yuko Momata. Program participants from AYBU SFL LAP team are Mümin Şen, Dr. Hatice Karaaslan, Gökçe Arslan, Müge Akgedik Can, Stephanie Lea Howard, Abdülkadir Güllü, Gamze Güven Yalçın, Ebru Sınar Okutucu and Tarık Uzun.

The program consists of four modules: Getting Started, Going Deeper, Becoming Aware and Transformation. The first module was taken by the participants face-to-face at KUIS and the second has also been completed with online or recorded live lessons, set readings, practice tasks for participants to try out and online forum discussions. The participants have focused on reviewing and reflecting on their recorded advising sessions, tools for advising, intentional reflective dialogue, dealing with emotions, giving positive feedback and researching advising in Course 2. Trainees’ works and reflections on various aspects of the program will be presented in this document. Each piece in this document is a different voice each time. This work was supported by the Scientific Research Fund (BAP) at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Turkey, as part of Project 3934.

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Notes on the Contributors

Mümin ŞEN is the acting director of AYBU-SFL. As a Ph.D candidate in the field of Special Education, he is interested in disability research, IEP, advising, self-determined learning and learner autonomy. msen@ybu.edu.tr

Hatice KARAASLAN, Ph.D. from CogSci-METU, works as blended learning (BL) coordinator and learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. Her interests include corpus linguistics, critical thinking, advising in language learning and BL. hkaraaslan@ybu.edu.tr

Müge AKGEDIK-CAN works as the assistant director and learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. Her interests include learning technologies, professional development, management, advising in language learning. makgedik@ybu.edu.tr

Tarık UZUN is the Coordinator of the Independent Learning Center (ILC) and a learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. His research interests include second language pronunciation, self-access learning and advising. tuzun@ybu.edu.tr

Gamze GÜVEN-YALÇIN is an EL instructor, a learning advisor at AYBU-SFL, and a certified live online trainer with the interests of advising in language learning and BL, gamification and a/synchronous online teaching. gamzegamzeg@gmail.com

Gökçe ARSLAN works as Professional Development Unit (PDU) coordinator and a learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. Her interests include teacher education, educational technology and advising in language learning. gokcearsllan@gmail.com

Ebru SINAR OKUTUCU, with an MA in Educational Leadership, is a PDU member and a learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. Her interests include teacher education, educational leadership, advising in language learning, and creativity in language teaching. esokutucu@ybu.edu.tr

Stephanie Lea HOWARD is the assistant coordinator of the Independent Learning Center (ILC), an EL instructor and learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. Her interests include advising in language learning, shadow-reading, and designing EL games. showard@ybu.edu.tr

Abdulkadir GÜLLÜ works as IT coordinator and learning advisor at AYBU-SFL. His research interests are educational technologies, advising in language learning, and blended learning. agullu@ybu.edu.tr

 

One thought on “Learning Advisor Transformation: A Collaborative and Reflective Collage”

  1. The idea of expressing your reflection as a ‘collaborative collage’ is wonderful! Your article is a great example of showing an innovative way to submit an article to this journal. The photos and images support the readers visualize authors’ ideas, thoughts, and feelings. It also brings joy to the article. I assume the ‘collage’ also guided the authors of this article to a deeper level of reflection during the writing process.

    The article consists of six parts: Introduction, Reflections, Advising tools, Research, Emotion, and Transformational Journey. Each reflection is unique and the writing goes well together with the images. Some of your expressions in the article are very poetic and they also match the photos and images.

    In the ‘Introduction’ section, you mentioned the Advisor Education program provided by RILAE at Kanda University of International Studies, which the authors have participated in Japan. The program is divided into 4 modules based on Kato & Mynard (2015). The pictures on the cover page show that the authors have completed the first two modules (by crossing off the word ‘completed’) and we can see that the authors are waiting to take the third module like the ‘loading bar’ indicates!

    In the ‘Reflections’ section, you mentioned that having experience in teaching and having knowledge in education was not enough for becoming an advisor. You mentioned how important and difficult it was to face learners’ silence, to build learner’s confidence, and to deal with learner’s emotions. Advising strategies such as mirroring, meta-viewing, using metaphors, asking ‘what if’ questions were introduced in order to listen to learners with your body, mind, and soul. It seems that what you have learned in this course was only the concept and strategies of advising but something which influenced your professional and personal lives!

    In the ‘Advising tools” section, a viewpoint switching sheet, learning diary, the wheel of language learning, and other tools were introduced with your great insights. It would be helpful for the readers of this article if they can see the examples. You may find more ideas in Mynard & Carson (2012) about using tools and dialogue.

    The “Emotions” section contains full of innovative ideas. You adapted some advising tools and strategies into a classroom activity to build students confidence. You had each of your students memorize a line from a motivational poem, and you recorded their voices. I could hear your students had the ‘moment’ with you in the class! One of the authors also wrote about her experience on holding an advising session with her teacher colleague. As the author attentively listened to the colleague and created a safe place to self-disclose, the colleague was able to show her emotions which guided her to her turning point in the dialogue. You showed excellent examples of how to apply the advising approaches outside the advising settings! You might want to refer to Yamashita (2018) to learn more about learners’ affective spect, and Morrison and Navarro (2012) for promoting autonomy in the classroom and beyond.

    Finally, in the ‘Transformational Journey’ section, you used a metaphor to describe a teacher becoming an advisor as a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. You expressed it as ‘Transformation from TeachERPILLAR to AdvisERFLY” and put an image of word-cloud in a shape of a butterfly! It expresses how you connected to advising, what you have learned, and how advising influenced you. As the words next to the butterfly are beautiful, I wish the image was bigger as it was hard to read!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful work and it was our pleasure to get to know you in our Advisor Education program. As one of the instructors of this course, I was amazed at your enormous passion, insights, creativity, and a warm sense of humanity. You attended all the activities with your open minds and that was why the program was fruitful. Thank you again for being part of the ‘advising word’ and we are looking forward to your future success!

    References
    Kato, S., & Mynard, J. (2015). Reflective dialogue: Advising in language learning. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Morrison, B. R. & Navarro D. (2014). The Autonomy Approach. Peaslake: Delta Publishing.
    Mynard, J., & Carson, L. (Eds.). Advising in language learning: Dialogue, tools and context. Harlow, UK: Pearson.
    Yamashita, H. (2015). Affect and the development of learner autonomy through advising. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 6(1), 62-85.

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