Course 1

Advising in Language Learning 1: Getting Started
Course Details 

Next course: April 21, 28 May 12, 19 2024 [Registration closed]

  1. Course description, objectives, structure and schedule (scroll down)
  2. Course book (password protected)
  3. Communication tools and protocol
  4. Eligibility, fees, and application procedure
  5. Equipment, textbooks and assessment


Course description

Advising in Language Learning (ALL) is a growing field in language education that focuses on supporting language learners to become more autonomous in their learning (Benson, 2011; Mozzon-McPherson & Vismans, 2001; Mynard & Carson, 2012). ALL focuses on supporting learners through one-on-one reflective dialogue which is intentionally structured to raise learners’ cognitive and metacognitive awareness in their learning. The approaches applied in ALL incorporate strategies and knowledge from various fields such as humanistic counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, life coaching, mentoring, teaching, and reflective practice. The approach to advising introduced in this course draws on humanistic counseling (Rogers, 1951), and many of the introduced techniques are derived from the field of life coaching (Whitworth, Kimsey-House, & Sandahl, 2007).

This is the first in a series of six online courses being offered by RILAE in cooperation with Kanda University Graduate School and begins with the origins of learner autonomy and introduces the definitions of ALL and its theoretical underpinnings. The instructors introduce 12 basic advising strategies and 6 tips to promote reflective dialogue with hands-on online activities. In particular, the course focuses on Transformational Advising (Kato & Mynard, 2016) where an advisor supports a learner in going beyond improving language proficiency in order to make a fundamental change in the nature of learning. The course consists of practical activities where participants will learn how to use the advising strategies in actual dialogues in educational settings and in daily lives. Participants may take this as a stand-alone course or as part of a series in order to earn a Certificate in Advising in Language Learning.  They can also use the credits for the MA TESOL program offered at the KUIS graduate school. There will be a maximum of 20 participants in the course.

Course objectives

At the end of course 1, students should be able to:

  • define advising in language learning (ALL) and explain what advising is and how it is different from teaching.
  • use basic advising strategies and be able to conduct an advising session with learners. 
  • discuss the roles of advisors in promoting learner autonomy.
  • identify ways to research learner autonomy through ALL.

Course structure

  • This course consists of three hours of online live / real-time lectures per week (for the first three weeks) and some recorded lectures. 
  • The live sessions will be held from 2-5pm (Japan standard time) on Sundays. They will also be recorded and made available to participants.
  • Students are asked to watch Video 1, Introduction to the course (recorded lecture), before attending the first online class and read some introductory texts.
  • The online live lectures are designed to be interactive and intentionally facilitate teacher-student and student-student interactions.
  • Students are expected to view recorded lectures and read some materials each week as part of the course requirements.
  • Students are also required to participate in online text discussions via the online forum in order to discuss ideas related to the issues raised in the class and in the recorded/written materials. 
  • Practice and reflection activities will also form part of the weekly assignments


(The actual content is likely to vary slightly)

Before starting

Pre-course assignments (1 hour)

Week 1

Live lesson: 3 hours (weekend)

  • Introduction to Autonomy (40 minutes)
  • Theoretical underpinnings of Advising in Language Learning (ALL) (40 minutes)
  •  Basic advising strategies (1-5) (60 minutes)
    • Repeating, restating, summarizing, empathizing, and complimenting
  • 6 techniques to promote reflective dialogue (40 minutes)

Readings (2 hours)

  • Reading 3: Advising in Language Learning: Dialogue, Tools and Context (Mynard & Carson, 2012), Chapter 2 (Advising mode, p. 26-40)
  • Reading 4: Reflective Dialogue: Advising in Language Learning (Kato & Mynard, 2016), Chapter 1 (pp. 1-28) (From research to implications). And Chapter 2 (pp. 68-105) (From implication to application, Advising in Practice, Part 1: Dialogue in advising)

Pre-recorded videos (1 hour including pauses for reflection and/or activities)

  • Video 2 (Transitioning from teaching to advising)
  • Video 3 (What makes a successful language learner? Case studies) 

Tasks (2 hours)

  • Language learning and teaching history
  • Online discussion related to this week’s content

Week 2:

Live lesson: 3 hours (weekend)

  • Levels of metacognitive awareness (20 minutes)
  • Five more basic advising strategies (60 minutes)
    • Metaview / linking
    • Metaphor
    • Intuiting
    • Challenging
    • Powerful questions
  • Advising demonstration
  • How to formulate reflective questions (40 minutes)
  • Research in advising (60 minutes)

Readings (2 hours)

  • Advising in Language Learning (Mynard & Carson, 2012), Chapter 6 by Tanya McCarthy (pp. 105-126)
  • Reflective Dialogue (Kato & Mynard, 2016), Chapter 4, (From implementation to research) (273-282) 

Videos (1 hour including pauses for reflection and/or activities)

  • Video 4 (Advising demonstration using a full range of strategies)
  • Video 5 (Example research project)

Tasks (2 hours)

  • Analysing an advising session
  • Online discussion related to this week’s content

Week 3

Live lesson: 3 hours (weekend)

  • Guiding learners into a deeper level of reflection. (60 minutes)
  • Using advising tools (60 minutes)
  • Getting ready for a real session (60 minutes)

Reading (2 hours)

  • Reflective Dialogue (Kato & Mynard, 2016), Appendix 1.2 (pp. 29-67)
  • The confidence building diary. Research paper by Mynard & Shelton-Strong.
  • Advising in Language Learning (Mynard & Carson, 2012)
  • Vignette 1 by Yamashita and Kato (pp. 164-169)
  • Creative tools that facilitate the advising process by Yamaguchi et al. (2019).

Videos (1 hour including pauses for reflection and/or activities)

  • Video 6 (Example of an advising tool)
  • Video 7 (Approaches to researching advising)

Tasks (2 hours)

  • Use an advising tool and reflect on the process
  • Online discussion related to this week’s content

Week 4

There is no scheduled live lesson. However, participants may wish to meet informally (possibly with TAs depending on their availability) to discuss the assignment or other aspects of the course.

Final assignment (2 hours)

  • Write a reflection based on your experience of applying what you have learned in this course to your own practice. You will receive feedback from one of the instructors.

Summary of content

  • Pre-course materials: 1 hour
  • Live lectures: 9 hours
  • Reading: 6 hours
  • Recorded video viewing: 3 hours
  • Tasks: 6 hours
  • Final assignment: 2 hours
  • KUIS MA TESOL students only: You need to write a longer reflective paper in order to earn credit. Details to follow.

Total time: 27 hours 


Clemente, M. (2003). Learning cultures and counselling. In D. Palfreyman & R. C. Smith. Learner autonomy across cultures. Palgrave.

Gardner, D., & Miller, L. (1999). Establishing self access: From theory to practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kelly, R. (1996). Language counselling for learner autonomy: The skilled helper in self-access language learning. In R. Pemberton, E. S. L. Li, W. W. F. Or, & H. Pierson (Eds.), Taking control: Autonomy in language learning (pp. 93-113). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

McCarthy, T. (2010) Breaking down the dialogue: Building a framework of advising discourse. Studies in Linguistics and Language Teaching, 21, 39-79.

McCarthy, T. (2012). Advising-in-action: Exploring the inner dialogue of the learning advisor. In J, Mynard & L.Carson (Eds.). Advising in language learning: Dialogue, tools and context (pp. 105-126). Harlow, UK: Longman.

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

Mozzon-McPherson, M. (2003). Language learning advising and advisers: Establishing the profile of an emerging profession. Proceedings of the ninth meeting of self-learning centers. Bellaterra, Spain

Mynard, J. (2012). A suggested model for advising in language learning. In J. Mynard & L Carson (Eds). Advising in language learning: Dialogue, tools and context (pp. 26-40). Harlow, UK: Longman.

Mynard, J. (2012). Written advising strategies in self-directed learning modules and the effect on learning. Studies in Linguistics and Language Teaching, 23, 125-150.

Mynard, J., & Thornton, K. (2012). The degree of directiveness in written advising: A preliminary investigation. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(1), 41-58.

Rogers, C. (1951). Client-centred therapy. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Thornton, K., & Mynard, J. (2019). Investigating the focus of advisor comments in a written advising dialogue. In C. Ludwig & J. Mynard (Eds.). Autonomy in language learning: Advising in action (pp. 138-156). Hong Kong: Candlin & Mynard.

Yamaguchi, A., Hasegawa, Y., Kato, S., Lammons, E., McCarthy, T., Morrison, B. R., Mynard, J., Navarro, D., Takahashi, K., & Thornton, K. Creative tools that facilitate the advising process. In C. Ludwig & J. Mynard (Eds.). Autonomy in language learning: Advising in action (pp. 113-137). Hong Kong: Candlin & Mynard.

Yamashita, H., & Kato, S. (2012). The Wheel of Language Learning: A tool to facilitate learner awareness, reflection and action. In J. Mynard & L Carson (Eds). Advising in language learning: Dialogue, tools and context (pp. 164-169). Harlow, UK: Longman.