LD SIG Forums

Updated 3rd June May 2018

Welcome to the LD SIG Forums page!

LD SIG Forums in 2018

The LD SIG Programme Team is organizing forums at the following JALT conferences in 2018:

  • PanSIG 2018 – Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo, May 19-20, 2018
  • JALTCALL 2018 – Meijo University, Nagoya, June 8-10, 2018
  • JALT2018 – International Conference at Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center (Granship), Shizuoka City, November 23-26, 2018

We hope to see you at these Learner Development SIG Forums in June and November.


JALT2018 Learner Development SIG Forum: Bringing Learners Together

  • Day: Saturday, November 24th
  • Time: 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM (90 minutes)
  • Room: 1003

at Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center (Granship) Shizuoka City, Shizuoka

Keeping with the 2018 JALT International Conference theme of “Diversity and Inclusion,” this year’s LD SIG Forum on “Bringing Learners Together” will focus on what happens when learners take the opportunity to interact and connect with others both inside and out of the classroom. This year’s topics will include learner explorations of diversity, student fieldwork abroad, peer assessment and feedback, social learning spaces, sociocultural approaches to understanding culture, and other challenges and possibilities with learner development. Timed rounds of poster presentations will be followed by a discussion period where participants will be given an opportunity to reflect on the presentations while sharing their own research experiences, puzzles, and narratives about learner growth coming from encounters and interaction with others.


Lee Arnold: Issues, discoveries, and problem-solving in learner-centricity with peer learner assessment

Tim Ashwell: Structuring presentations, discussions and record-keeping for greater engagement in learning

Andy Barfield: Connecting with others through fieldwork and fieldwriting in Cambodia

Nicole Gallagher: Learner explorations of diversity and inclusion prior to study abroad

Hideo Kojima: Bringing learners together: A sociocultural approach to UK culture understanding

Sakae Onoda: New possibilities and challenges teachers and students are facing in L2 learning

Jenny Morgan:  TBA

Jim Ronald: Social English: Creating social learning spaces within and beyond the classroom

Javier Salazar & Roxana Sandu: (Un)learning the “Learning Pyramid”: Students’ perspectives

JALTCALL 2018 (June 8-10)

(Day, time, and room to be announced – not yet available as of May 7th)

Meijo University, Nagoya Dome-Mae Campus

Navigating Language Development: How Are Learners Evolving with Language Learning Technology?

Presenters: Blair Barr, Daniel Hougham, Brent Milliner

The Learner Development SIG Forum at JALTCALL 2018 is an interactive event featuring innovative approaches for facilitating independent learner development using technology in the classroom and beyond. First, Brett Milliner will report on student engagement with extensive listening exercises and listening logs. Next, Daniel Hougham will present survey findings on learners’ perceptions of a vocabulary-learning program incorporating Quizlet and online vocabulary quizzes (Google Forms and the Flubaroo add-on). Finally, Blair Barr will demonstrate how one particular group of learners in a university Business & TOEIC class engaged in the co-development of Quizlet flashcard sets for both in-class gamification and independent-study for TOEIC. The three presentations will be followed by a discussion period for participants to reflect and share their own research experiences, puzzles, and questions about learner development using technology.

LD Forum at PanSIG 2018 (May 18-19)

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Toyo Gakuen University, Building 4/5, Room 4502

Presenters: Blair Barr, Kate Maher, Marnie Mayse, Sakae Onada, Joseph Tomei, Amanda Yoshida, Keiko Yuyama

The 2018 Learner Development SIG Forum offers a variety of research and practice-based poster presentations. Presenters will share practical insights into encouraging student growth, touching upon areas such as increasing student autonomy (Onoda), the use of video projects on social issues (Yoshida and Mayse), and increasing independence from automated feedback (Barr). Others introduce theory and research related to metaphor pedagogy (Tomei), understanding silent students (Maher), and language commodification (Yuyama). Attendees will have a chance to interact with presenters during the forum, and then follow up in discussion groups to draw connections between the various topics covered in the forum as they relate to their own learner development interests and puzzles.


LD SIG Forums in 2017

The LD SIG Programs Team is holding forums at the following three JALT conferences in 2017:

  • Pan-SIG 2017 – Akita International University, Akita, May 19-21, 2017
  • JALT CALL 2017 – Matsuyama University, Matsuyama, Shikoku, June 16-18, 2017
  • JALT 2017 – Epochal Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, November 17-20, 2017


JALT International – Language Teaching in a Global Age: Shaping the Classroom, Shaping the World

International Communities: Fostering Learner Development on a Global Stage

In the global age, it could be argued that an outward-looking mindset would be an invaluable tool that would embolden students to participate in a worldwide community of English speakers. Teachers can play a role in promoting notions of international awareness, and dialogue with the world outside of Japan. However, if these ideas are to be truly ‘owned’ by students, learners must find their place in the global community. The Learner Development SIG Forum at JALT2017 is based on the theme of fostering international mindsets through autonomous learning both inside and outside the classroom. Presentations in this forum explore teaching and learning both in Japan and abroad, while engaging learners with global issues, contents, language, and experiences that broaden both their global and local perceptions of themselves and other people.

Presenters: Blair Barr – Tamagawa University; Robert Morel – Toyo University; Andy Barfield – Chuo University; Mayumi Abe – Waseda University; Nick Kasparek – Rikkyo University; James Underwood – Gakushuin University; Robert Werner – Ryutsu Keizai University; Martin Cater – J.F. Oberlin University; Nathan Ducker – Miyazaki Municipal University; Debjani Ray – Tokyo University of Science; Jason White – Osaka Gakuin University; Fumiko Kurosawa – Basic English Institute; Colin Rundle – Soka University; Satomi Yoshimuta – International Christian University; Kio Iwai – Rikkyo EDC; Agnes Patko – Kyoto University of Foreign Studies; Ann Flanagan – Ritsumeikan High School; Peter Joun – Tamagawa University

For more details, see the Learner Development Forum page for this event.


PanSIG 2017

Akita International University in Akita from May 19 to 21

Visualizing Learner Development

This year’s Learner Development SIG Forum gives participants a chance to expand their interests by focusing on a variety of topics related to student development. Focusing both on research and practice-based topics, the forum will highlight different aspects of autonomous learning, visual metaphors, meta-cognitive strategies, and important non-cognitive factors in learning. Timed rounds of interactive presentations will be followed by a discussion circle, giving participants the opportunity to synthesize information from the presentations with their own experiences assisting learner growth.

Arnold F. Arao, Non-Cognitive Factors in Student Development

Daniel Hooper, Testing the waters: Gauging the viability of autonomous language learning in an eikaiwa

Mathew Porter, Collaborative Reflection Using a Visual Metaphor

Robert Morel, Student responses to learning strategy instruction



Matsuyama University in Shikoku from June 16 to 18

Learners in the Digital Age

This Learner Development SIG Forum at JALTCALL 2017 is an inclusive, participant-friendly event featuring ideas for integrating language learning technology in the classroom and beyond while maintaining the focus on the learner. In the computer- and mobile-assisted language learning classroom, it is easy to focus on computer applications as solely tools for teaching and easing the management of large groups of students. However, with this focus, teachers can easily lose sight of the individuals adopting these tools as autonomous learners both inside and outside of the class. In this forum, timed rounds of interactive presentations about language learners engaging with CALL tools such as online tests, digital flashcards, blogs, and video-sharing websites will be followed by a discussion circle. At this time, participants will be given an opportunity to reflect on the presentations while sharing their own research experiences, puzzles, and narratives about learner growth and language development through the use of technology.

Lee Arnold (Seigakuin University),  Blogs as informal LMSs for class and course assignment contextualization and publication

Blair Barr & Brett Milliner (Tamagawa University), Online testing for learner feedback and development

David Gann (Tokyo University of Science), Card Trick Instructional Videos and Online Language Learning Resources for Rescuing a Dying Class

Daniel Hougham(Hiroshima University), Using Quizlet to promote learner development