Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan
Hisako Yamashita, Kobe Shoin Women’s University, Japan
Mynard, J., & Yamashita, H. (2022). Introduction. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 13(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.37237/130101
Welcome to the first issue of SiSAL journal for 2022. We are delighted to feature 11 papers from 29 colleagues based in seven countries. There are five research-focussed regular papers, two accounts of how self-access services and programs are being established, and three reviews. As always, we owe our heartfelt thanks to all of the reviewers that make it possible to publish this journal four times per year.
The first paper by Mátyás Bánhegyi and Balázs Fajt from Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences in Hungary explores students’ autonomous learning behaviors during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hungary. Using quantitative measures, the results showed that participants had different perceptions of different ICT teaching modes which influenced the learner autonomy they exercised.
The second paper, by 14 authors working as educators at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan, documents part of the process of revising the SALC’s mission statement. The authors examine the literature from eight perspectives outside the usual reference points for self-access in order to make the mission more theoretically robust and specific, acting as a guide for SALC services for a new era.
The third paper by Guy Redmer from Tamkang University, Taiwan explores the language learning strategies of an advanced learner of Thai through the lens of Strategic Self-Regulation (S2R). Based on interviews, the author identified elements of the S2R model and noted fluidity between personal attributes, goals, tasks, situational contexts, and strategy regulation.
The fourth paper is by Daidrah Telfer, Michelle Stewart-McKoy, Tashieka Burris-Melville and Maribel Alao. The authors present the results of a cross-sectional survey of 278 students at University of Technology in Jamaica. Based on the results, they present learner profiles of prototypical students and the implications of such profiles for the creation of the virtual SALC.
The fifth paper is by Stuart D. Warrington from Nagoya University of Commerce and Business in Nagoya, Japan. The author makes sense of the relationship between self-access learning and active learning by drawing on open-ended survey responses by 53 students majoring in English. The results indicate that learners have a vague conception of self-access learning and have no clear learning plans. The author suggests that active learning is unlikely to emerge without initial learner comprehension and acceptance of self-access learning or administrative support.
We have included two papers in a special section containing contributions related to establishing self-access services and systems. The first is from John R. Baker who examines an alternative self-access solution for students at Ton Duc Thang University in Taiwan using models associated with the business world. The second paper in this section is by Viorel Ristea from the Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan. The author examines the challenges of creating a new SALC at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic along with some solutions that might be useful for other practitioners.
There are three contributions to the Reviews section. The first review by Denisse Alejandra Vargas Montiel, a graduate student at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, is of the 5th JASAL Student Conference hosted by the Japan Association for Self-Access Learning in November 2021. The author shares her experiences of attending the conference with students from 13 universities.
The second paper is a review of The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (editedby Mark Dressman and Randall William Sadler)by Abd Rahman and Suharmoko from Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Sorong, West Papua, Indonesia. The authors found that this book helps readers greatly in understanding informal language learning as an emerging field in applied linguistics.
Finally, there is a review of Pear Deck interactive slidesby Kiki J. Anggoro and Uswatun Khasanah and of Walailak University in Thailand. The authors review Pear Deck, a technology-enabled learning environment that can be used to provide a variety of self-study activities for students.
We hope you enjoy the diversity of contributions to this issue as much as we did. The next issue will be published in June 2022 and will be guest-edited by Kerstin Dofs, Diego Mideros and Andy Gao, the former conveners of the AILA (Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée – International Association of Applied Linguistics) Research Network Learner Autonomy (AILA-ReNLA). The theme is autonomy in the time of complexity in a changing world which was the theme of the 2021 AILA-ReNLA symposium held in August 2021 as part of the AILA Word Congress.
Notes on the Editors
Jo Mynard is a professor in the Faculty of Global Liberal Arts, 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.
Hisako Yamashita is an associate professor at Kobe Shoin Women’s University, Japan, and a lecturer at the Graduate School of Language Sciences, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan. She holds an MATFL (Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA). Her research interests include peer interactions in developing learner autonomy, advising in language learning and its classroom applications. She is the former president of the Japan Association for Self-Access Learning (JASAL).