Managing Self-Access and Social Learning Spaces

  • Presenter: Garold Murray
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 7 (2:00-3:30)
  • Online event registration.

Abstract:

In this presentation I summarize what I have learned about developing and managing self-access and social spaces for language learning through my research and work experience. I draw on the first-hand knowledge I gained through establishing and overseeing the daily operation of two self-access centers. One of these was located on a university campus and the other, which catered to the general public, in the heart of a city in northern Japan. To support my points, I also make reference to three research projects which sought to identify language learning opportunities available in the L-café, the social learning space at Okayama University. These studies, which were carried out over an eight-year time span, included an ethnography, a multiple case study, and a narrative inquiry. After providing an overview of my experience, I address several considerations that I see as crucial to the successful development and management of self-access and social spaces for language learning. Following the presentation, participants will be invited to ask questions and share their concerns.

Presenter Bio:

Garold Murray holds a PhD in language education from the University of British Columbia, Canada. In addition to having taught EFL courses in junior high school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and teacher education programs, he established and managed two self-access centres in Japan – one of which was open to the general public. He has served as convener of the AILA Research Network on Learner Autonomy in Language Learning (2005-2011) and president of the Japan Association of Self-Access Language Learning (2005-2010). His research interests focus on learner autonomy, social learning spaces, narrative inquiry and complexity. He is editor of the book The Social Dimensions of Learner Autonomy (2014) and co-editor of the books Identity, Motivation, and Autonomy in Language Learning (2011), Social Spaces for Language Learning: Stories from the L-café (2016), and Space, place and autonomy in language learning (2018).

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