June, 2017

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Special Issue: Papers from the 7th Independent Learning Association Conference in Wuhan, China, 4-7 November 2016 

Edited by Kerstin Dofs and Moira Hobbs



Introductory Papers by Guest Editors Moira Hobbs and Kerstin Dofs

  • Foreword (84-85) [full text] [PDF]
  • Opening Speech (86-87) [full text] [PDF]
  • Self-Access Centre and Autonomous Learning Management: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going? (88-101) [full text] [PDF]

Papers by Keynote Speakers

  • The Pedagogy of Learner Autonomy: Lessons from the Classroom by Sara Cotterall (102-115) [full text] [PDF]
  • Autonomy in the Time of Complexity: Lessons from Beyond the Classroom by Garold Murray (116-134) [full text] [PDF]
  • Language Learning Beyond the Classroom: Access all Areas by Phil Benson (135-146) [full text] [PDF]

Papers by Presenters at the Symposium on Self-Access Learning

  • The Evolution and Devolution of Management and Training Needs for Self-Access Centre Staff by David Gardner (147-156) [full text] [PDF]
  • Encouraging Autonomy Through a Community of Practice: The Role of a Self-Access Centre by Maria Giovanna Tassinari (157-168) [full text] [PDF]
  • Promoting Learner Autonomy and Self-Directed Learning: The Evolution of a SALC Curriculum by Jo Mynard and Rob Stevenson (169-182) [full text] [PDFPDF]
  • Autonomy and Complexity in Social Learning Space Management  by Garold Murray (183-193) [full text] [PDF]

Press Release 

  • Interview with Jianying Du, Kerstin Dofs and Moira Hobbs on Friday, November 4th, 2016, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) by Wen Shanshan (194-198) [full text] [PDF]

Calls for papers 

Conference: The Japan Association on Self-Access Learning (JASAL) Annual Conference on 16th December, 2017 in Chiba, Japan. Deadline for submissions: September 3rd. https://jasalorg.com/2017/06/08/call-for-presentations-jasal-2017/

Special Issue of SiSAL Journal. December 2017 issue on student leadership in self-access to be edited by Kevin Knight, Jo Mynard and Erin Okamoto. Deadline for papers: September 10th. https://sisaljournal.org/for-authors/cfp-leadership/

Copyright © 2017 Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, ISSN 2185-3762. Copyright held by individual authors.


Call for Papers: Special Issue on Student Leadership in Self-Access

Call for papers. SiSAL Journal is planning to publish a special issue on student leadership in self-access in December 2017 (Volume 8, Issue 4) edited by Kevin Knight, Jo Mynard, and Erin Okamoto. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: September 10th, 2017.

Information for potential contributors

The editors take view that language learner autonomy and self-access learning can be applied  to other areas of students’ lives and not just the process of language learning. Equally, by engaging in leadership roles, learners take charge of not only aspects of their lives but also their language learning. Further, we believe that a Self-Access Learning center (SALC) can and does promote student leadership development. Until now the bodies of work on language learner autonomy / self-access and on student leadership have taken two separate academic paths, yet there are benefits for combining the two fields. A closer examination of the literature alongside an investigation of how leadership is conceptualized in self-access learning could shed light on our understanding of language learner autonomy. In this special issue, we hope to explore the two overlapping fields by featuring contributions from different contexts and perspectives. One such perspective may be where self-access learners are engaged in leadership roles. These roles might include students working or volunteering in a SALC, students organizing events, or students taking charge of other aspects of SALCs. Another perspective may be how self-access learning makes it possible for individual students or groups of students to achieve shared visions or create social change. A third perspective may be how self-access learners conceptualize leadership.  Finally, how do SALC leaders’ conceptualizations of  leadership and self-access learning influence SALC design and operations? Continue reading

Invitation for Guest Editors for new Multilingual Column in SiSAL Journal

The field of self-access language learning, and related fields such as language learning advising and self-directed language learning, is a growing and dynamic field of scholarly research and pedagogical practice. This research is conducted all over the world, and in many languages. The early groundbreaking work in the wider field of learner autonomy in the 1980s was led by Henri Holec at the Council of Europe working predominantly in French. In Mexico, the field has a very active research community working in Spanish. However, the majority of the research is often published in English.

At SiSAL Journal, we would like to recognise and highlight the hugely valuable contributions being made by colleagues in all contexts and provide a platform for those researchers working languages other than English to connect to others in their field in their own language. SiSAL often features articles about research in non-English speaking contexts, and has always welcomed submissions in languages other than English, but there is no mistaking that English is often assumed as the dominant language of educational (and other academic) research, and few such submissions have been received. Therefore, we would would like to announce a new multilingual SiSAL column and are putting out this Call for Editors. If you are working in self-access in a language other than English and would be interested in editing a column of several papers in that language to appear in an upcoming issue of SiSAL Journal, please get in touch.

The column
Each column instalment will feature three papers about self-access language learning in the featured language of that instalment. The papers can be any format from the SiSAL guidelines, but at least one should be a substantial research paper, perspective or literature review.

The editor(s) of each instalment will be responsible for:

  • Writing a call for papers in the featured language
  • Organising a double blind review of manuscripts (this includes finding and offering guidelines to reviewers)
  • Suggesting revisions to authors
  • Accepting or rejecting papers
  • Proofreading final manuscripts

The regular SiSAL Journal editorial team will offer advice and support throughout the process, but the instalment editor will be in charge of making editorial and content decisions. Editors may like to refer to the following previous Calls for Papers when writing their own Calls:

Column Timelines


Later dates are also possible.

Next steps

Potential editors should contact Chief Column Editor Katherine Thornton at columns@sisaljournal.org and state the following (in English):

  • Your interest in self-access
  • The country (or countries) that you are working in
  • The language that you would like to publish in
  • The proposed focus of your column (this can be in the form of a Call for Papers, or a more general outline)
  • Details of your own publishing and editing experience
  • Which issue of SiSAL you would like to publish in (if you have a preference)

If you would like to make an informal inquiry before submitting these details, feel free to do so.

SiSAL Journal issue 7(3)

coverpagesep2016smallVolume 7, Number 3, September 2016

A general issue edited by Jo Mynard

[Download complete PDF version]   /  [Access complete issue via ISSUU]


Full articles

  • Self-Access Centres in South Korea: Bridging Physical and Online Spaces by Seanan Clifford (237-259) [full text] [PDF]
  • Advising in Language Learning: Confirmation Requests for Successful Advice-Giving by Yukari Rutson­-Griffiths and Mathew Porter (260-286) [full text] [PDF]

Edited by Hisako Yamashita

  • New Scenarios in Autonomy for Foreign Language Learning: Conference Summary and Reflections by Phil Benson, Marina del Carmen Chávez Sánchez, David McLoughlin, Jo Mynard, and María de la Paz Adelia Peña Clavel (287-296) [full text] [PDF]

Language Learning Spaces: Self-Access in Action
Edited by Katherine Thornton

Part 6: Attracting users

  • Introduction: Promoting Engagement with Language Learning Spaces: How to Attract Users and Create a Community of Practice by Katherine Thornton (297-300) [full text] [PDF]
  • Increasing Attendance in a Self-Access Language Lounge by Simon Bibby, Kym Jolley, and Frances Shiobara (301-311) [full text] [PDF]
  • Extensive Reading as the First Step to Use the SALC: The Acclimation Period and a Community of Language Learners by Satomi Shibata (312-321) [full text] [PDF]
  • Promoting Independent English Language Learning within an Asian Tertiary Institution: The Lingnan Experience by Marc C. LeBane, Mariel Shilling, and Austin Harris (322-330) [full text] [PDF]

Upcoming event

  • Student conference: Empowering Students in Self-Access Learning Conference (ESSALC) on October 15th. More details.

Cover photo: Taken in the SALC at Hiroshima Bunkyo Women’s University, Japan.

Copyright © 2016 Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, ISSN 2185-3762. Copyright held by individual authors.

SiSAL Journal Issue 7(2)

miniVolume 7, Number 2, June 2016

Special Issue on Virtual and Other Learning Spaces

Edited by Curtis Edlin and Jo Mynard

[Access complete issue online on ISSUU]



  • Virtual and Other Learning Spaces: Introduction to the Special Issue by Jo Mynard and Curtis Edlin (110-114) [full text] [PDF]
  • Informed Eclecticism in the Design of Self-Access Language Learning Environments by Curtis Edlin (115-135) [full text][PDF]
  • Design and Management of a Self-Access Language Learning Space Integrated into a Taught Course by Sahar Alzahrani and Vicky Wright (136-151) [full text][PDF]
  • Exaptating Students’ Social Networks as Affinity Spaces for Teaching and Learning by Tim Murphey, Yoshifumi Fukada, and Joseph Falout (152-167) [full text][PDF]
  • How do Learners Make Use of a Space for Self-Directed Learning? Translating the Past, Understanding the Present, and Strategizing for the Future by Yoshio Nakai (168-181) [full text][PDF]

Discussion Article

Edited by Hisako Yamashita

  • Best Practice Ideas for Learner Advising in New Zealand by Moira Hobbs and Kerstin Dofs (182-192) [full text][PDF]

Language Learning Spaces Part 5: Developing Learner Autonomy Through Integrating the Physical Learning Space with Curriculum

Edited by Katherine Thornton

  • Introduction: Learning Spaces and Curricula: Models for Enhancing LLS Usage and Learner Autonomy Development Through Integration by Katherine Thornton (193-196) [full text][PDF]
  • Raising Awareness: Learning Advising as an In-Class Activity by Kayoko Horai and Elaine Wright (197-209) [full text][PDF]
  • Developing “SotonSmartSkills”: A Reflection on Scaffolded Independent Learning Programmes by Vanessa Mar-Molinero and Christian Lewis (209-219) [full text][PDF]
  • Integrating Self-Access Center Components into Core English Classes by Ann Mayeda, Dirk MacKenzie, and Brian Nuspliger (220-233) [full text][PDF]


Upcoming Event: Empowering Students in Self-Access Learning Conference (ESSALC)

  • Student event to be held at Kanda University of International Studies, Japan on October 15, 2016 (details to follow). Conveners: Kie Yamamoto, Neil Curry and Rob Stevenson. Details on the event Facebook page.

Cover art by Curtis Edlin

SiSAL Journal 7(1) Published

JournalcoverpageMarch2016miniVolume 7, Number 1, March 2016

Edited by Jo Mynard

Download complete PDF version


Regular papers

  • The Impact of Online Training on Saudi Medical Students’ Attitudes, Awareness, and Use of Language Learning Strategies in Relation to their Developing Autonomy by Sahar Alzahrani and Julie Watson (4-15) [full text] [PDF]
  • Considerations in Developing a Peer Mentoring Programme for a Self-Access Centre by Neil Curry and Satoko Watkins (16-29)  [full text] [PDF]
  • Youth and the Disruption of Power: Student-Run Conversation Workshops in a Mexican Self-Access Centre by James Simmonds (30-45)  [full text] [PDF]

Work in progress

  • Balancing Competing Needs among Stakeholders: Lessons from the Self-access Language Learning Centre (SALL) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) by Kwan-yee Sarah Ng and Yang Gu (46-55)  [full text] [PDF]

Edited by Hisako Yamashita

  • Book Review: Assessment and Autonomy in Language Learning. Edited by Carol J. Everhard and Linda Murphy by Marilyn Lewis (56-59)  [full text] [PDF]
  • Report on the JASAL 10th Anniversary Conference, 2015 by Andrew D. Tweed (60-68)  [full text] [PDF]

Language Learning Spaces: Self-Access in Action
Edited by Katherine Thornton

Part 4: Scaffolding the Development of Learner Autonomy Through Facility-Based Initiatives

  • Introduction: Learning Space-Based Initiatives for Developing Learner Autonomy: Design And Implementation by Katherine Thornton (69-71)  [full text] [PDF]
  • Autonomous Language Learning In Self-Access Spaces: Moodle in Action by Kerstin Dofs and Moira Hobbs (72-83)  [full text] [PDF]
  • On the Road to Developing a Learning Advisory Program (LAP)by Tarık Uzun, Hatice Karaaslan, and Mümin Şen (84-95)  [full text] [PDF]
  • Implementing a Language Learning Advising Service at a Self-Access Center in Cambodia by Andrew D. Tweed (96-109)  [full text] [PDF]

Cover image: The ILC at Yildrim Beyazit University, Ankara, Turkey

Second call for papers: SiSAL Journal special issue on virtual and other learning spaces

Second call for papers. SiSAL Journal is planning to publish a special issue on virtual and other learning spaces in June 2016 (Volume 7, Issue 2). DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: January 15th, 2016.

Editors of the special issue: Curtis Edlin and Jo Mynard

Information for potential contributors

Learning environments have been long studied in classroom contexts, and we know that environmental factors play a role in students’ learning: temperature, space, seating arrangement and types of seating, flexibility of layout, and orientation all play a role in influencing activity and learning in classroom contexts. Though one might expect that environmental factors influence activity and learning to an even greater degree outside the classroom with no teacher to mediate activity, the topic has received little treatment to date. Fortunately, over the past few years there has been growing interest in space design for autonomous language learning. For example, the theme of an AILA RenLA symposium at the World Congress in Brisbane in 2014 convened by Terry Lamb and Garold Murray was ‘space, place and autonomy in language learning and teaching’.

In this special issue, the editors would like to explore aspects of both physical and virtual spaces that influence activities and learning within them. The editors invite submissions from colleagues who are interested in the use of space and design to support self-access learning. The papers can be research papers, theoretical papers, and/or practical papers. Themes may include (but are not restricted to):

  1. Space design principles for supporting language learners in self-access settings.
  2. Online space design and e-learning for language learners.
  3. The role of social spaces in language learning.
  4. Metaphorical spaces in learning (such as Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development – ZPD, or Murphey’s zones of proximal adjusting – ZPA (Murphey, 1996; 2013).
  5. Other topics related to space, place, or learning environments in self access learning learning (please check with us first).

This special issue will publish the following:

  1. Research papers (around 4000 words)
  2. Summaries and works in progress (around 2000 words)
  3. Descriptions of practice and practical applications based on research (up to 3500 words)
  4. Perspectives (opinions and reflections) (around 2000 words)
  5. Reviews of events, academic books, articles, and learning resources (around 2000 words)

Submissions will follow the usual blind peer review process. Please refer to the following page for a detailed description of submission types and format:


Deadline for submissions: January 15th, 2016

Articles can be submitted via the usual channels outlined on the SiSAL Journal website: https://sisaljournal.org/


Murphey T. (1996). Proactive adjusting to the zone of proximal development: Learner and teacher strategies. Paper presented at the 2nd Conference for Socio-Cultural Research Vygotsky and Piaget; Geneva, Switzerland: September 1996, Psychological Sciences Research Institute: Geneva, Switzerland.

Murphey, T. (2013). Adapting ways for meaningful action: ZPDs and ZPAs. In J. Arnold & T. Murphey (Eds.), Meaningful action: Earl Stevick’s influence on language teaching (pp. 172-189). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.