Reflective Practice in Advising: Introduction to the Column

Kie Yamamoto, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Yamamoto, K. (2018). Reflective practice in advising: Introduction to the column. Relay Journal, 1(2), 293-295.

Download paginated PDF version

Welcome to the second reflective practice column where we are pleased to share another series of active advisors’ voices with our professional community.  The first column of Reflective Practice in Advising in Volume 1(1) became a prelude for creating a global community of learning advisors with the aim of building a platform to share our professional development experiences and further seek opportunities for growth. As in Issue 1, in this issue of Relay Journal, all the contributors are engaged in a different advising context with various sociocultural backgrounds, but each of the case studies illustrates how their reflective practice enables learning advisors to continue exploring potential growth at any point in their career. In other words, the journey of becoming a learning advisor is ever-lasting, as long as the learning advisor is willingly seeking an opportunity for transformative learning. The post-publication reflective dialogues in Issue 1, although experimental, were a great success. They triggered active discussions among learning advisors, which lead to further reflection-on-action and reflection-for-action (Farrell, 2015) among the contributors. These open and collaborative dialogues across the sociocultural boundaries exemplify professional development for learning advisors.

There are three reflective narratives in this second issue. All of the authors describe their advising training experience as a novice learning advisor but with a different focus. Two colleagues from Yıldırım Beyazıt University (YBU) in Ankara, Turkey – Gamze Güven Yalçın, Hülya Şen – reflect on their advisor-mentoring experience, which took place as part of an advisor education programme offered by RILAE at KUIS.

Gamze Güven Yalçın illustrates her experience as an advisor-mentor with assisting her mentee and how advising strategies promoted reflective dialogues in mentorship. In particular, the use of visual aids as a tool for enhancing the mentee’s reflection provides readers with an inspirational idea for advising practice. Gamze concludes with a great quote from her mentor, “Learners are the sources of advisors”, reminding readers that advising in language learning  is a mutual and interactive process with a learner.

Hülya Şen also highlights the beauty of mutual growth in the mentoring session with her colleague. The use of the ‘best-self’ activity adapted from Kato and Mynard (2016) was also well described as a means of promoting positive emotions and self-confidence in her reflection. Her conclusion illuminates the dynamics of transformational learning experience in her professional development, describing it as “nothing like knowledge transfer”.

Isra Wongsarnpigoon from Kanda University of International Studies describes his active engagement in his professional development in his first year. Taking a micro-analysis approach, he describes how he identified the area for improvement by observing his own video-recorded advising session with his mentor peer. Echoing Hülya, Isra also highlights the importance of positive emotions in advising as a tool to generate in-depth reflective dialogues. In his concluding remarks, it is empowering to see how the experience with his reflective practice in the first year as a learning advisor encouraged him to actively participate in various professional development opportunities.

Each case study presented in this column clearly illustrates the learning trajectory drawn by three learning advisors who have just begun their journey. We believe the detailed description of their analysis invites readers to immerse themselves into the transformational moment in each learning advisor’s reflective practice.

The editorial team wishes to continue interweaving the threads of advisors’ voices and creating an active advisor community. Self-reflection, advisor mentorship, group-based professional development, or other new forms of reflection are all welcome in this column to disseminate your growth and benefit from open and supportive dialogues within the professional community. Your participation in the post-publication reflective dialogues is also truly valuable as a means of promoting further opportunities for professional development. If you wish to share your thoughts with any of the contributors in the future issue, please contact Kie Yamamoto (yamamoto-ki@kanda.kuis.ac.jp).

Notes on the contributor

Kie Yamamoto is a learning advisor at Kanda University of International Studies. She holds an M.S.Ed from Temple University Japan, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D at the University of Bath in the UK. Her research interests are language learner identity, social learning theory, student engagement, and narrative analysis.

References

Farrell, T. S. C., (2015). Reflective language teaching: From research to practice. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Kato, S., & Mynard, J. (2016). Reflective dialogue: Advising in language learning. New York, NY: Routledge.