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Establishing & Operating Self-Access Learning Centers (SALCs)
Establishing & Operating Self-Access Learning Centers (SALCs)




Establishing & Operating Self-Access Learning Centers (SALCs)

Two presentations for effective SALCs: The Ins & Outs of Building a SALC in Japan; 2. Supporting Student Staff in a SALC

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Time & Location

2023年9月23日 14:00 – 17:00 JST

Kobe, Mint Kobe 17th floor, Kobe Gakuin University

About the Event

Presentation One: 

The presenter will give a brief overview of the two SALCs she has been involved in developing,

one of which began with the research to the initial pitch, the physical construction, and program

implementation; and the other which involved initial design and construction, a subsequent

remodel with revised program development and curriculum integration. She will share her

experiences on what goes into establishing and maintaining a SALC in negotiating for funds and

faculty positions at the administrative level and when interacting with university administration.

Finally, she will discuss some of the challenges including changing mindsets about language

teaching and learning and the importance of making connections within the entire university


Ann Mayeda teaches at Konan Women’s University in Kobe. Her research interest focuses on

learner development and issues surrounding autonomy as it applies to young learners and young

adult learners. She is currently on the learning advising team and oversees the management of e-

space in the Faculty of Global Studies.

Presentation Two:

Student staff and volunteers can be the lifeblood of a successful self-access learning centre (SALC). By supporting academic and administrative staff, they can make the SALC environment friendly and welcoming for users, and, being students themselves, make sure that SALC services and activities are relevant and engaging for the target students. Working in a SALC also offers students the opportunity to build leadership and teamwork skills. In some SALCs, the role is a paid position, whereas in others all members act as volunteers.

In this presentation, Katherine will explain how the student staff system has evolved at E-CO, the SALC she is the founder and director of, supplemented with examples from other contexts. Chris will then share insights from his own research into student staff experiences. Finally, we will give participants the opportunity to discuss their own ideas about how to foster student engagement and ownership in a SALC environment.

Katherine Thornton is an associate professor and learning advisor at Otemon Gakuin University, Osaka. She is the founder and director of E-CO (English Café at Otemon), the university’s self-access centre, and current president of the Japan Association of Self-Access Learning (JASAL). Her research focuses on multilingualism in self-access environments, and second language identities.

Christopher Phelps is a learning support teacher at Global Commons, the self-access centre at Kyoto Sangyo University. He is currently writing his M.A. dissertation at the University of Birmingham on student staff at self-access centres and their motivation.

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