About Us

The Learner Development SIG is a network with around 150 members around the world who have an interest in developing and researching practices that aim to support autonomous learning and teaching. We share a commitment to exploring connections between:

  • our experiences as learners & our practices as teachers.
  • learners’ experiences inside & outside the classroom.

We offer chances to get connected with other teachers, students and researchers through:

  • our twice-a-year newsletter Learning Learning
  • an email announcements list and other online resources
  • our once-a-year journal The Learner Development Journal
  • online get-togethers a forum (and great party!) at the annual JALT conference
  • links with similar groups in other parts of the world.

Our research-based publications include Autonomy You Ask! (2003), More Autonomy You Ask! (2006), Realizing Autonomy (2011), Learner Development: Different Cases, Different Interests (2014), and Collaborative Learning in Learner Development (2014), as well as The Learner Development Journal (2017~).

We also provide a variety of grants to help educators without institutional support to attend the JALT CALL conference, PanSIG, and annual JALT international conference, conduct research, and carry out projects.

The Learner Development SIG’s activities are the work of officer teams committed to a collaborative approach to personal and professional development. LD committee members work in pairs and groups to share ideas, talk, and learn together through organising the SIG’s activities.

These include putting on learner development events through the year (forums at various conferences, and online get-togethers), producing regular publications (a biannual newsletter, Learning Learning, as well as an annual journal (The Learner Development Journal), and providing various grants (conference, project, research) for SIG members without institutional support. Other key areas of committee activity involve publicity, membership, treasury, and maintaining the SIG’s different websites and online presence (for example, Facebook, mailing lists).

For 2024 we look forward to another exciting year of learning together. We hope that many members will take an active part in the PanSIG, JALTCALL, and JALT International conferences, as well as online get-togethers, and contribute to the SIG’s newsletter and journal.

If you are interested in joining the LD committee and helping the SIG continue developing its many different activities, please contact any committee member or one of the co-coordinators. Many thanks – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

“learner development” isn’t a prepackaged formula of any kind, and instead seems to allow for a certain flexibility of interpretation.

Richard Smith, 1994

Richard Smith

Some Thoughts on the Formation of the JALT Learner Development N-SIG

What is “learner development”? And what’s the point of devoting a special interest group to it within JALT? I’ll try to address, if not fully answer these two questions in the suggestions which follow….

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