RILAE Research Forum: Guest lecture by Hisako Yamashita

We are delighted to announce that we will have a special guest at our upcoming RILAE Research Forum. Hisako Yamashita from Konan Women’s University in Kobe, Japan will give a presentation on affect the the roles of peers in developing learner autonomy. Students and staff welcome! (Visitors, please email us:

Date: Thursday 11th July
Time: 12.20 to 13.00
Location: 8116

Affect and Roles of Peers in Developing Learner Autonomy Continue reading


Visitors from KTH, Sweden, 25-28 June

We are delighted to welcome our research partners from KTH in Stockholm, Sweden will be on campus next week. They will be offering two highly-recommended PD sessions for us in addition to opportunities for us to talk to them about technology and design projects.
Please scroll down for details of the sessions, researchers bios. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please use this form. Please note that the workshop and lecture will be held in classroom 8115 (not the usual room 8116).

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Visit by Hayo Reinders: Two workshops

Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE) workshops
All KUIS faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend two RILAE workshops offered by Professor Hayo Reinders on 8th and 10th May at lunchtime. The theme is analysing learner language and in particular, metaphor analysis. A similar session was offered last year, but is being offered again by popular demand and is part of a series of workshops related to analysing learner language.

In this session we will think about ways of analysing learner language and look at metaphors and their place in learners’ accounts of their language learning journeys. Metaphors are an integral part of how we express ourselves and a reflection of who we are – and how we see ourselves. Continue reading

International forum on self-access

Many thanks to our guest speakers and everyone who attended the international forum on self-access learning on Thursday 13th September. The event was the first event of the semester organised by the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE).

Guests: Giovanna Tassinari (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), Christian Ludwig (University of Education, Karlsruhe, Germany), and Katherine Thornton (English Cafe–E-CO–at Otemon University, Osaka / Japan Association for Self-Access learning)

International Self-Access Forum, September 13

Date: Thursday September 13th
Time: Lunchtime (12.15 to 1.05)
Place: Room 8116
Open to: KUIS faculty, staff and students – all welcome!
Join this informal discussion forum and consider current and future trends in self-access learning. The session will feature short inputs from two international guests who are well known in the field of learner autonomy and self-access. We will also touch on themes that emerge at the Independent Learning Association conference (Kobe, September 5-8, 2018) and discuss questions related to the role of self-access in the promotion of language learner autonomy. If you would like to meet with either of our visiting researchers during their visit, please send an email to indicating your availability.

Special guests

ludwig.2015Dr. Christian Ludwig (University of Education, Karlsruhe, Germany) is the Head of the English Department and Director of the Language Learning Centre. His teaching and research interests include enhancing learner autonomy in the EFL classroom as well as Computer-Assisted Language Learning. His main focus of research lies in the reconstruction of gender and other identities in contemporary young adult dystopias and South African literature. Since 2015 he has been the coordinator of the IATEFL Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group and external consultant for Cornelsen Publishing. He has been a visiting scholar at, among others, Universities in South Africa and Belgium.

Developing students’ writing skills and learner autonomy in a university writing clinic — First insights and future plans

This short input will report on the first results of a small-scale study investigating students’ perceptions of a our university writing clinic. The purpose of the writing clinic is to guide students of English (and other subjects in the future) through their academic writing and help them become more autonomous writers of academic texts. The first results of the pre- and main study show quite positive results and will serve as a basis for further research.

brighton2Dr. Maria Giovanna Tassinari is Director of the Centre for Independent Language Learning at the Language Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research interests are learner autonomy, language advising, and affect in language learning. She is co-editor of several books and author of articles and chapters in German, English and French.

SALCs in Higher Education (in the age of digital communication): Opportunities and challenges

Fostering language learning autonomy in higher education requires a balance between giving students the possibility to take advantage of free spaces for decision-making, and meeting institutional constraints. Although several SALCs provide a variety of resources, such as tandem programmes, learning support, workshops and language advising, the link between SALC / informal learning and institutional learning still needs to be improved. In order to strengthen this link, learner and teacher development is needed to support the shift from a still teacher-centred and formal conception of language learning and teaching to an integrated vision of language learning inside and outside the institution. In this contribution, I will illustrate how these questions are discussed at my institution and as part of the agenda of a network of SALCs in Higher Education in Germany.

Framing interaction: Guest presentation by Dr. Paul Moore, University of Queensland

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Paul Moore back to the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE). Paul will be offering a lunchtime presentation related to learner interaction in task performance. Paul is also happy to talk to colleagues about teaching and research. Please feel free to sign up for a meeting here. Meetings will take place in KUIS 8, Meeting Room 1 (2nd floor).

Presentation: Framing interaction
Date: Wednesday 27 June, 2018
Room: 8116
Time: 12.15 – 13.00


Recent classroom research has investigated how learners frame task-based interaction, including the cognitive focus of their talk and each other’s involvement in the ongoing activity, and the influence of this interaction on task performance. This presentation reports on a study into peer-interaction leading up to oral presentation tasks in a Japanese university EFL classroom. The study investigated how learners in dyads negotiated the procedural, content-related, performance-related and off-task foci of their talk, and how they negotiated intersubjectivity, task control and pedagogic roles. Data from two focal participants and their partners are presented to demonstrate the dynamic relationship found between dialogic activity-framing and task performance, over time and across interlocutors. Implications for task-based language teaching and research are discussed.


2904Paul Moore lectures in Applied Linguistics at the University of Queensland, where he is convenor of the Master’s Dissertation. Paul’s main research interest involves the dynamic influence of learners, tasks and sociocultural context on task-based interaction, performance and development. He is currently revisiting his interest in the role of technology in mediating learning inside and outside the classroom, and has recently edited a special issue of Language Learning & Technology on Qualitative Research in CALL, with Mike Levy.

More details about Paul’s work:

Workshops by visitors from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, June 4-8

We are delighted to be able to host colleagues from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden who are experts in learning design technologies. Our two institutions are planning to collaborate on research related to developing technology for self-directed learning, so we will be setting the groundwork during their visit. While they are here, do take advantage of some of the following opportunities:

  1. Workshop: Design thinking (scroll down for the abstract)

How might we re-imagine the learning ecosystem for today’s self-directed learner?
Open to teachers, LAs, staff and students
Date: Tuesday 5th June
Time: 2.50 to 4.20
Place: The Workshop (KUIS 8)

  1. Workshop: Design Fictions (scroll down for the abstract)

Follow up workshop open to all (participants do not have to be the same)
Date: Wednesday 6th June
Time: 12.15 to 1pm (with an opportunity for an extended discussion for those not rushing off to class)
Place: (8-116)

  1. Consultation meetings

The team would be very happy to meet with staff and students to discuss design and research matters. Please sign up here. The meeting will take place in Meeting Room 1 in KUIS 8 (staff area),

Workshop abstracts Continue reading