Sin Wang Chong, The Education University of Hong Kong
Hülya Şen, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Chong, S. W., & Şen,H. (2019). Editorial. Relay Journal, 2(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.37237/relay/020101

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We are excited to announce that Volume 2 Issue 1 of Relay Journal has been published. In this issue, we explore the interplay between a number of individual difference (ID) factors and autonomy in three featured articles. In addition, this issue is packed with case studies, and project and research reports on a range of issues related to learner and teacher autonomy. The publication of this issue comes to fruition because of the collaborative efforts of our editorial team and reviewers who have selflessly devoted their time to proofreading and reviewing articles. Their contributions not only uphold the quality of the articles published in the journal but also facilitate the dialogic, professional exchange in the field of learner/teacher autonomy. Adhering to the post-publication peer review system of Relay Journal, we encourage you to not only read the articles and comments which are publicly available, but also participate in this professional dialogue by offering your own reflections and feedback. Lastly, we would like to express our appreciation to the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RIILAE) at Kanda University of International Studies, which makes the experience of editing this issue so enjoyable by offering timely editorial and administrative support throughout the process.

Content of this Issue

Featured articles

There are three papers in this section starting with an account of addressing music as a medium for learner choice by Phillip A. Bennett, who details the benefits of music on foreign language learner cognition, affect, motivation, and identity. The author argues that the introduction of music into the classroom can be a catalyst for learner and teacher autonomy.

In the second paper, Tetsushi Ohara uses sociocultural theory as the theoretical framework to better understand how students take charge of their learning in the language classroom and argues that by understanding mediational means that students employ and are appropriate in the classroom, we are better able to track the students’ ability to take charge of their own learning.

In the third paper in this column, in an attempt to describe the common factors of motivated individuals, Joshua McMillan outlines the findings of a survey he conducted among junior high school students about their study practices, interest, and outlook on English.

Reflective Practice

The reflective practice column is edited by Kie Yammamoto. This column opens with the column editor’s introduction of the contributions in this section. In this issue, Kie Yammamoto and her associates take us ‘behind the scenes’ of language advising sessions to unravel, from the advisors’ perspectives, innovative practices of language advising.

Curriculum-Based Approaches

The curriculum-based approaches column is edited by Neil Curry, who summarizes the contributions in this section. The two contributions of this column report on projects related to developing learners’ self-directed learning skills and time management.

Case Studies

Jason Brown and Huw Davies edit the case studies column and they summarize the contributions in this section. In the six articles in this column, a plethora of ID factors are examined, including motivation, learners’ beliefs, language learning strategies, and personality.


There are four papers in this column, starting with an account by Kyoko Gruendel with an attempt to reflect on different types of successful recast and uptake of a motivated adult learner. The author also discusses the importance of developing teacher autonomy in order to better interact with learners in the classrooms and develop learner autonomy.

In the second paper, Andrew D. Tweed provides details of a speaking practice service at a SALC and discusses the unique perspectives and skills that learning advisors bring to this pedagogical practice.

In the third paper in this column, Joshua McMillan explores the logic behind conversation by taking a look at the Japanese and the American minds in an attempt to find out why one is more direct than the other.

In the fourth paper, James Wang attempts to answer the question whether speaking a pidgin (or “nonstandard” English) is detrimental in the classroom by providing an overview of a brief history of pidgin and creoles as well as the beliefs towards them. The author also introduces educational programs and research in second language acquisition that have become beneficial and supportive of pidgin in the classroom.

 Project Summaries

The only paper in this column gives an overview of an on-going project being conducted by Sin Wang Chong, Jo Mynard and Hayo Reinders which aims to develop a digital repository that makes available research instruments, materials, and primary data on second/foreign language learner autonomy. The digital repository will also contribute to the field by collating and disseminating such materials on learner autonomy.

Research in Progress

The three papers in this section present research reports from on-going projects currently being carried out in the SALC at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan.

The first paper is by Paul J. Moore, Jo Mynard, Isra Wongsarnpigoon and Kie Yamamato, who provide the background of a study designed to explore ways in which Japanese learners of foreign languages make use of online and offline resources during a period of self-directed study. The authors also focus on the tasks and resources learners choose in developing learner autonomy.

In the second paper, Paul J. Moore, Phil Murphy, Luann Pascucci and Scott Sustenance report on an on-going study into the affordances of free online machine translation for students learning English as a foreign language at the tertiary level in Japan. The paper also provides some applications of machine translation technology for foreign language learning.

In the third paper, Amelia Yarwood, Andria Lorentzen, Alecia Wallingford and Isra Wongsarnpigoon evaluate the effect of the three main components of Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT); autonomy, relatedness and competence to determine the autonomy-supportiveness of a Japanese self-access learning centre (SALC). They also discuss some future interventions to outline actions the SALC can take in order to further develop the autonomy-supportive nature of the self-access environment.