Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba Japan

Mynard, J. (2020). Introduction. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 11(2), 64-66.

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Welcome to the June 2020 issue of SiSAL Journal. The first paper is by Shirin Sadaghian, of Alzahra University, S. Susan Marandi also of Alzahra University, and Hasan Iravani, of Payam-e-Noor University, all in Tehran, Iran. The authors report on a study which investigated learners’ perceptions of an application of the principles of learner autonomy within an online course teaching English to Iranian adult language learners. In order to deliver the English content, the researchers used work-cycles (Legenhausen, 2003) which were completed in the form of student projects. Each cycle involved goal setting, decision making, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Overall, the approach was perceived positively by the participants, although further work is needed in order to develop further self-awareness in the learners.

In the second paper, I discuss how ethnographies could be considered an appropriate research methodology for enhancing research in self-access learning. I give an overview of some ethnographies, autoethnographies, collaborative ethnographies, and duoethnographies, and call for further research drawing on these methodologies.

New Column: Ethnographies of Self-Access Language Learning

Inspired by a fascinating autoethnography by Robert J. Werner (Werner, this issue), we have started a new SiSAL column. The first contribution is an autoethnography of Werner’s experience with the self-directed learning of French, which will continue over several issues. We welcome ethnographies, autoethnographies, collaborative ethnographies, or duoethnographies related to self-access learning from authors to future issues of the journal. Please refer to my paper for examples (Mynard, this issue). The contributions might be published in one issue, but most likely they will be serialised over several issues.

Call for Papers: Special issue on Self-access and the Coronavirus Pandemic

SiSAL Journal is planning to publish a special issue on Self-access and the Coronavirus Pandemic in September 2020 (Volume 11, Issue 3). The special issue will be edited by Jo Mynard (Japan), María de la Paz Adelia Peña Clavel (Mexico), Honggang Liu (China), and Tarik Uzun (Turkey). The deadline for submissions is July 20th, 2020. We are interested in accounts of how colleagues around the world are attempting to overcome significant challenges faced this year. For more information, please see the website ( We are interested in both successful and less successful interventions so that we might learn from our experiences.


Sincere thanks to the authors, reviewers, and editorial team members for their contribution to SiSAL Journal. 

Notes on the Editor

Jo Mynard is a Professor in the English Department, Director of the Self-Access Learning Center, and Director of the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. She holds an M.Phil in Applied Linguistics (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) and an Ed.D. in TEFL (University of Exeter, UK). Her research interests include advising in language learning, the psychology of language learning, and learning beyond the classroom.


Legenhausen, L. (2003). Second language acquisition in an autonomous learning environment. In D. Little, J. Ridley, & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Learner autonomy in the foreign language classroom (pp. 65–77). Authentik.

Mynard, J. (2020). Ethnographies of self-access language learning. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 11(2), 64-92.

Werner, R. J. (2020). A puzzle that needs to be fitted together’: The beginning of my autoethnographic journey of learning French through music. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 11(2), 93-107.