Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

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Welcome to issue 6(2) of SiSAL Journal, which is a general issue. It contains three research articles followed by three ‘stories’, related to language learning spaces, which form the first installment of the new column edited by Katherine Thornton.

Research Papers

The first paper by Junko Noguchi from Kanda University of International Studies in Japan, is a preliminary study examining the attitudes of students working in a self-access centre with regards to communicating in English with their peers. The research indicates that the SALC working environment appears to enhance the learners’ willingness to communicate due to the sense of community that they feel.

The second paper by Ward Peeters from the University of Antwerp in Belgium looks at outside-class peer collaboration using Facebook. The research indicates that socio-communicative aspects of the Facebook group motivated the participants to collaborate outside the classroom.

The third research paper by Jing Wu investigates the utilisation of computer technology for vocabulary strategies in order to enhance self-directed vocabulary learning. The research indicates that the CALL mode was more effective than the paper-based version when comparing an analysis of students’ performances.

Language Learning Spaces: Self-Access in Action

Sometime last year, Katherine Thornton wrote to me with an idea for a new series. Whereas the previous two columns she has edited have centred around one institution’s story or ongoing development, the new series (that starts in this issue) centres around a common self-access theme and explores this through stories from several institutions. The first theme is “Creating a Learning Space”, which Katherine summarises in her introduction to the project and the instalment. The three contributions in this issue come from Marina Chavez and Adelia Peña from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Kate Allert from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and Luke Carson, from Hiroshima City University. I have enjoyed seeing this project come together and have already learned a lot from the first three papers in the series.

Upcoming Issues

The next issue of SiSAL Journal (September, 2015) is again a general issue. The December 2015 issue will be a special issue on self-access and young learners edited by Annamaria Pinter, Robert J. Werner and myself. We welcome submissions from colleagues around the world in this relatively unexplored aspect of self-access learning. Further information can be found at https://sisaljournal.org/for-authors/call-younglearners/ and the deadline for submission is August 10th, 2015.

The March 2016 (issue 7-1) will be a general issue, and the June 2016 (issue 7-2) will be a special issue on Virtual Learning Spaces. More information about the special issue will follow. A summary of the upcoming issues is shown below. If you are interested in guest-editing a future general or special issue, please get in touch.


All that remains for me to say now is ‘thank you’ to the authors for choosing to publish their work in SiSAL Journal and to the reviewers and editorial team members who have helped to put this issue together.