28 June 2019 LAb

June 28, 2019
Teacher/Advisor Education for Learner Autonomy

Presentations (recordings edited by Jacob Mahaffey))
(Scroll down for bios and abstracts)

Maria Giovanna TassinariFreie Universität Berlin. Complexity in Advising for Autonomous Language Learning: From Theory to Practice. [Slides] [Recording]

Larissa Dantas Rodrigues BorgesFederal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil. The Autonomization Process under the Lens of Complexity [Slides] [Recording]

Phillip Bennett, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan. A brief summary of Ryan and Deci’s (2017) Self-Determination Theory chapter ‘Schools as Contexts of Learning and Social Development’ [Slides] [Recording]

Albert WongThe University of Hong Kong. (Re-)envisioning Language Advisor Development in Response to Changing ALL Provisions [Slides] [coming soon]

Sin Wang ChongThe Education University of Hong Kong. Language Learner Autonomy: A Scoping Review (LASER Phase 1) [Slides] [Recording]

Quint Oga-Baldwin, Waseda University, Japan; Katarzyna Morena, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny, Krakow, Poland; and Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan. Review of the Self-Determination Theory Conference in the Netherlands, May 2019 [Recording]

Satoko Kato, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan. Reflective Dialogue in Teacher/Advisor Education [Slides] [Recording]

Huw Davies, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan. An Evaluation of an Advisor Professional Development Programme [Slides] [Recording]

Featured interview with Sarah Mercer, University of Graz, Austria on the topic of teacher and learner wellbeing. Interviewer: Sam Morris, Kanda University of International Studies. [Recording]

Katja Heim, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Practise what you Preach: Projects within Projects. [Slides] [Recording]

Session facilitators: Satoko Kato, Jo Mynard, Scott Shelton-Strong, Ward Peeters

In our fourth LAb session, we explored the theme of teacher/advisor education for learner autonomy. This could include a focus on pre-sessional or ongoing training, ongoing professional development, teacher/advisor wellbeing, the links between theory and practice, and research related to training and uptake. Through a series of short presentations, we shared ideas and engaged in discussion about an area that really drives the ways in which we work with students.


Katja Heim, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany  


Practise what you Preach: Projects within Projects


Practise what you preach has been a claim in EFL didactics for quite a while (e.g. Müller-Hartmann & Schocker-von Ditfurth, 2004) and has also influenced my teaching practice throughout the years. BUT: When I discuss Learner Autonomy (Little et al., 2017) and Task- and Project-Based Learning (e.g. Willis, 1996; Müller-Hartmann & Schocker-von Ditfurth, 2011; Stoller, 2002) or Authenticity (Rüschoff, 2018) with students within our university based teacher education setting, in how far do I adhere to these very same principles that I have preached? ? In my brief talk, I will share some puzzling (Hanks, 2017) on one of my course formats with you. Within this format, I use the above-mentioned principles for planning and organizing my seminar, always with the presumption that our university students are more likely to use methods and approaches that they themselves have experienced (Edelhoff, 1984; Gabel & Schmidt, 2016).


Edelhoff, C. (1984). Purposes and Needs for Teacher training. In: Van Ek, J.A. & Trim, J. Across the Threshold: Readings from the Modern Languages Projects of the Council of Europe, pp. 187-190. Oxford: Pergamon.

Gabel, S., Heim, K. (2019). Action Research in Pre-Service Teacher Education: A Step towards Autonomy? In: ELT Research, Issue 34, pp. 7-10.

Gabel, S. & Schmidt, J. (2016). Developing teacher autonomy through practical learning experiences. In Schwienhorst, K. (Ed.). Learner Autonomy in Second Language Pedagogy and Research – Challenges and Issues, pp. 114-130. Faversham: IATEFL.

Hanks, J. (2017). Exploratory Practice in Language Teaching. London: Macmillan.

Little, D., Dam, L. & Legenhausen, L. (2017). Language Learner Autonomy. Theory, Practice and Research. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Müller-Hartmann, A., Schocker-von Ditfurth, M. (2011). Task Supported Language Learning. Paderborn: Schöningh.

Müller-Hartmann, A., Schocker-von Ditfurth, M. (2004). Introduction to Englisch Language Teaching. Stuttgart: Klett.

Rüschoff, B. (2018) Authentic Language Use. In: Liontas, J. (2018). The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. DOI: 10.1002/9781118784235.eelt0189

Stoller, F. (2012). Project Work: A Means to Promote Language and Content. In: Richards, J.C., Renandya, W.A. (2002). Methodology in Language Teaching, pp. 107-120. Cambridge: CUP.

Katja Heim (katja.heim@uni-due.de) is a Senior Lecturer (Akademische Rätin) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. In 2007, she received her PhD in the field of EFL Methodology. Her research interests include aspects of Learner Autonomy, the use of Digital Media in English lessons, Practitioner Research in Teacher Education and Inclusive Practices.

Albert Wong, Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong 

(Re-)envisioning language advisor development in response to changing ALL provisions

Following a major overhaul of the communication support services at the University of Hong Kong, Advising in language learning (ALL) provisions have been undergoing a process of restructuring leading to significant changes in how our General Language Advising is conceptualised in relation to more specialised forms of writing, speaking and digital literacy support. Specifically, General Language Advising (GLA) at HKU has begun to focus on longer-term ALL with the expectation that advising sessions would not be unstructured and one-off but involving students in making an effort to enter into what Mozzon-McPherson (2007) would term a “long-term partnership” with their language advisor.

With the GLA service currently entering a second phase of developmental fine-tuning, it will focus on addressing the needs of lower proficiency learners undertaking compulsory EAP courses. This calls for the adoption of dialogic advising strategies that would enable learners to plan, develop strategies and working out their longer term learning goals (Mynard & Carson, 2012; Reinders, 2008; Tassinari & Ciekanski, 2011). Given the tradition of offering less structured and ad-hoc sessions as are common in many university settings (Reinders, Hacker & Lewis, 2004), GLA advisors are now having to develop as advising professionals with the capacity of assisting learners in reflecting on their learning experiences and strategies as well as evaluating progress over time (Tassainari, 2016).

This session will document the challenges of developing an ALL guidebook in the last three years to support the professional development of language advisors at HKU and engaging in a teaching development grant (TDG) project to investigate possible forms of advisor development frameworks. It will also highlight recent efforts to introduce an advisor mentorship scheme based on the expertise of the language advising TDG project leaders and discuss possible ways forward in response to recent changes in general language advising at the university insofar as GLA advisors’ ongoing professional needs are concerned.

Albert Wong coordinates the General Language Advising (GLA) programme at the Centre for Applied English Studies, the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include dialogic pedagogy, classroom interaction and classroom discourse analysis, language advising discourse, the discourse of peer review and the development of evaluative capabilities in language learning.

Huw Davies, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan 

An Evaluation of an Advisor Professional Development Programme

This is a report on an evaluation of the professional development (PD) programme for learning advisors in a self-access centre at a university in Japan. The research issue investigated was whether the PD activities of advisors allow them to provide appropriate support to students at the university. Results suggest that initial advisor training benefits from being delivered in a variety of ways, but that future implementation decisions are needed for the mentoring element of the programme, and a shared advising philosophy needs discussion. Implications that may be informative for other teacher and advisor education settings is that informal discussion among the workgroup and the freedom to choose personal PD journeys are fundamental drivers of effective practice.

Huw Davies is a learning advisor at Kanda University of International Studies and a PhD student at Lancaster University. He holds a MEd in Applied Linguistics from the Open University. He has published papers concerning learning strategies and learner autonomy.

Larissa Dantas Rodrigues Borges, Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil

The autonomization process under the lens of complexity

In this presentation, I propose a Dynamic Model of Autonomy Development as a Complex Phenomenon. This model represents the autonomization process as a web, accounting for multiple possibilities of interactions and mutual influence among all its components along time. Autonomy is understood as a complex, dynamic and multidimensional phenomenon, developed over one’s lifetime (Freire, 1996;Paiva, 2006; Benson, 2011; 2013), subject to setbacks, stability, and advances. The model illustrates the influence of nested subsystems such as motivation, beliefs, identities, and emotions, which may enhance or inhibit the autonomization process.

Larissa Borges is a tenured Professor at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), in the Brazilian Amazon. She is also a language adviser in the self-access center at this institution. She has recently concluded her doctoral studies at UFPA on autonomy and complex dynamic systems theory. Her research interests include learner and teacher autonomy, complex dynamic systems, and teacher education.

Maria Giovanna Tassinari, Freie Universität Berlin.

Complexity in advising for autonomous language learning: from theory to practice.

Researchers in the field of second language acquisition have been increasingly advocate for analyzing language learning and teaching processes through the lens of the theory of complex dynamic systems (CDSs). The theory offers deeper insights and a different approach to the description of the dynamic interaction between individuals (learners, teachers, advisors, peers), internal factors (beliefs, attitudes, disposition, emotions and feelings), and external factors (institutional constraints, personal and social environment, wider cultural context) and the way these influence the learning process itself, and autonomous learning in particular (see, among others, Paiva, 2006; Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008; Magno e Silva & Borges, 2016). Recent research on language learning advising from the perspective of CDSs (Magno e Silva & Castro, 2016; Castro, 2018) revealed which factors may hinder or enhance change in the advisor-advisee relationship, in the learning process and also in the personal and professional development of advisors (Magno e Silva, 2016).

Starting from these researches, I began to reflect anew upon my own advising practice, to find how I could transfer the insights gained from CDSs theory to my actions as an advisor: a different way of looking at the advisees, of listening to them, new perspectives for the questions I ask.

In this contribution I would like to briefly reflect upon this experience, identify some principles of the CDSs theory, and see how they can contribute to change my advising practice. Furthermore, I hope to discuss about possible implications for teacher and advisor education.


Castro, E. (2018). Complex adaptive systems, language advising, and motivation: A longitudinal case study with a Brazilian student of English. System, 74, 138-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2018.03.004

Castro, E., & Magno e Silva, W. (2016). O efeito do aconselhamento na trajetória de aprendizagem de uma estudante de inglês [The effect of advising on the learning trajectory of a student of English]. In W. Magno e Silva & E. F. do V. Borges (Eds.), Complexidade em ambientes de ensino e aprendizagem de línguas adicionais (pp. 139-158). Curitiba: Editora CRV.

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Cameron, L. (2008). Research methodology in language development from a complex system perspective. Modern Language Journal, 92(2), 200-213.

Magno e Silva, W. (2016). Conselheiros linguageiros como potenciais perturbadores de suas próprias trajetórias no sistema de aprendizajem. In ]. In W. Magno e Silva & E. F. do V. Borges (Eds.), Complexidade em ambientes de ensino e aprendizagem de línguas adicionais (pp. 199-220). Curitiba: Editora CRV.

Magno e Silva, W., & Borges, E. F. do V. (Eds.) (2016). Complexidade em ambientes de ensino e de aprendizagem de línguas adicionais [Complexity in environments of additional language learning]. Curitiba: Editora CRV.

PAIVA, V.L.M. de O. (2006). Autonomia e complexidade. Linguagem e Ensino, 9 (1): 77-127.

Maria Giovanna Tassinari is Director of the Centre for Independent Language Learning at the Language Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. She is committee member of the IATEFL Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group. In her PhD she developed a dynamic model of learner autonomy for self-assessment and reflection. She has co-edited several books and special issues of academic journals and published in English, German and French. Her research interests are learner and teacher autonomy, language advising, emotions and feelings in language learning, teaching, and advising.

Phillip Bennett, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan 

A brief summary of Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory chapter Schools as Contexts of Learning and Social Development

In this presentation I will briefly summarize Self-Determination Theory’s (Ryan & Deci, 2017)  Chapter 14: Schools as Contexts for Learning as Social Development. In addition to the summary, I will detail what I found of salience in regard to how autonomous support of and by teachers is essential for effective learning.

Phillip A. Bennett is a Learning Advisor at Kanda University of International Studies as well as a long-term resident in Japan. He has over a decade of productive work experience in Japanese secondary school learning environments. His research interests are the affective factors in teaching and learning and learner autonomy.

Quint Oga-Baldwin, Waseda University, Japan

Katarzyna Morena, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny, Krakow, Poland

Alastair Graham-Marr, Tokyo University of Science, Japan

Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Review of the Self-Determination Theory Conference in the Netherlands, May 2019

The self determination theory (SDT) conference takes place every three years and we were lucky to be able to attend the 7th conference which was held near Amsterdam in May 2019. We will give some brief impressions of the conference and share some highlights with you. SDT is applied to many spheres of life and substantial research shows us that a supportive environment is necessary in order for people to thrive. The research has many implications for language teaching and learning.  https://sdt2019.org/

Quint Oga-Baldwin is a Professor in the School of Education and Waseda University in Japan.

Katarzyna Morena studies applied linguistics at Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny in Krakow, Poland.

Alastair Graham-Marr is a Professor at Tokyo University of Science, Japan.

Jo Mynard is a Professor and the Director of the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education and Director of the Self-Access Learning Center at Kanda University of International studies in Japan.

Sarah Mercer, University of Graz, Austria 

The RILAE team will be talking to Sarah live during the LAb session and asking her about her research in the areas of teacher and learner wellbeing.

Sarah Mercer is Professor of Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Graz, Austria, where she is Head of ELT methodology. Her research interests include all aspects of the psychology surrounding the foreign language learning experience, focusing in particular on self-concept, language teacher wellbeing, and positive psychology. She is the author, co-author and co-editor of several books in this area including, Towards an Understanding of Language Learner Self-Concept, Psychology for Language Learning, Multiple Perspectives on the Self’ in SLA, New Directions in Language Learning Psychology, Positive Psychology in SLA, Exploring Psychology for Language Teachers (Winner of the IH Ben Warren Prize), and Language Teacher Psychology. At present, she is Principal Investigator of two major funded research projects examining language teacher wellbeing. She works on the editorial board of various journals, was co-editor of the journal System for several years, is currently vice-president of the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning (IAPLL), and serves as a consultant on several international projects. In 2018, she was awarded the Robert C Gardner Award for excellence in second language research by the International Association of Language and Social Psychology (IALSP).

Satoko Kato, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

Reflective Dialogue in Teacher/Advisor Education

This talk draws on work in the fields of Advising in Language Learning (ALL), where ‘reflective dialogue’ between a learner and a learning advisor is structured intentionally with the purpose of promoting autonomous learning (Mynard & Carson, 2012, Kato & Mynard, 2016). To promote learner autonomy, educators need to help learners engage in reflection, and at the same time, help themselves engage in reflection on their own practice. However, it is often the case that educators are too busy to do this effectively. In recent years, more attention has been paid to teachers’ psychology and well-being (Mercer & Kostoulas, 2018), and more importance is placed upon supporting teachers by addressing their stress, emotions, motivation and professional well-being.  In this talk, I will share how we promote teacher/advisor education at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) by focusing on promoting autonomy and professional well-being through reflective dialogue.

Satoko Kato is a Senior Education Coordinator, at Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education, Kanda University of International Studies in Japan. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Education from Hiroshima University and a Master’s degree in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY. She has conducted over 3,800 advising sessions in the past 12 years working on promoting learner autonomy. She is also developing and implementing advisor education programs domestically and internationally. She co-authored a book “Reflective Dialogue: Advising in language” with Jo Mynard, published by Routledge NY, 2016.

Sin Wang Chong, The Education University of Hong Kong 

This short presentation reports on the preliminary findings of a scoping review on language learner autonomy (LLA). The methodology of this scoping review follows the five-stage framework by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). Focusing on 16 studies published in two international refereed journals between 2000 and 2018: Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching (Taylor & Francis) and System (Elsevier), the findings address two research questions, one theoretical and one practical: (1) What is known about the conceptual framework of LLA? and (2) How can LLA be developed? This presentation ends with a second call to contribute to LASER (https://kuis.kandagaigo.ac.jp/rilae/repository/).

Dr Sin Wang Chong is Lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong and the project manager and co-investigator of a RILAE project, “Learner Autonomy Search Engine & Repository” (LASER). His research interests include language assessment,  learner autonomy, CALL, feedback, and second language writing. His publications have appeared in some of the leading journals in (language) assessment, including Assessing Writing, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Language Assessment Quarterly. He is currently working on two book projects with Routledge on metacognitive knowledge and language testing. Sin Wang is Associate Editor of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.