Special Issues

Updated February 2024

In addition to the regular Spring and Autumn issues of Learning Learning, groups of editors and writers form occasional communities of writing around presentations from different Learner Development SIG conferences and forums. These special issues of Learning Learning provide supportive environments for writers, both new and experienced, to develop short articles and papers through to publication, as well as opportunities for SIG members to learn together about co-editing and responding to writers in a collaborative and constructive fashion.

Winter 2024 Special Issue, Volume 31, No. 1, featuring articles and reflections by teachers and students who attended the Learner Development SIG’s 30th Anniversary Conference (LD30) in October 2023 on “Learning for Change and Action, Making a Difference for the Future.”

Editor: Tim Ashwell
Reviewers: Amelia Yarwood, Henry Foster, Ivan Lombardi, & Lynda-Gay McFarlane
Layout & design: Ivan Lombardi 

This special issue includes 18 articles and reflections written by teachers and students who attended the LD30 conference in October 2023 at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. For this special issue authors were encouraged to create a strong sense of their teaching/learning context by introducing themselves and making clear what puzzle, knot, or conundrum got them started on their investigation. Working collaboratively, contributors took part in peer-support groups to develop the first drafts of their articles or reflections. These were then passed to four reviewers who either responded “blind” or dialogued openly with authors in line with each writer’s choice of “blind peer review” or “open review.” Authors then received editor feedback as they finalized their writing for publication.

Summer 2017 Special Issue, Volume 24, No. 2, featuring short reflective articles of about 2,500 words from the JALT2016 LD Forum and the 2016 “Creating Community: Learning Together 3” informal afternoon conference, and including two 500-word reader responses to each article.

Editors: Andy Barfield, Dominic Edsall, Chika Hayashi, Trevor Raichura, and Sean Toland This special issue of Learning Learning brings together nine short reflective articles by authors who presented at the Learner Development Forum on Learner Transformation as Personal Maturation at JALT2016 in November last year or at the informal afternoon conference Creating Community: Learning Together 3 (CCLT3) held in December 2016 in Tokyo. Presenters were invited to write reflectively about their learner development work and research within about 2,500 words. Over three or four drafts a small team of editors worked in pairs with each writer on the reflective quality of their writing, encouraging writers to develop a personal voice, consider different perspectives on the topics explored, and take a questioning stance. Once finalised, a writer’s article was shared with two reader responders who each wrote a response of approximately 500 words, connecting themes, contradictions, questions to their own learning, teaching, or research, and exploring relevant wider questions and puzzles to do with learner development.

Fall 2016 Special Issue, Volume 23, No. 2, featuring work from the 2015 LD Forum on “Learners as Teachers: What Teachers Learn From Their Learners” and the 2015 “Creating Community: Learning Together 2” informal afternoon conference

Editors:  Lee Arnold, Andy Barfield, Charlotte Murakami, and Alison Stewart   At the end of 2015, the Learner Development SIG (LD SIG) organized two events—a Forum at the JALT 2015 International Conference in Shizuoka on the theme of Learners as Teachers: What Teachers Learn From Their Learners and an informal afternoon conference, Creating Community: Learning Together 2 (CCLT2), at Otsuma Women’s University in Tokyo. The writing in this third Special Issue of Learning Learning features eight short papers from presentations at those two events. The editors hope that reading the work in this special issue of Learning Learning will prompt readers to respond with insights from their own experiences or to embark on research of their own to continue to create new understandings of learner development.

Fall 2015 Special Issue, Volume 22, No. 2, Proceedings of the JALT Learner Development 20th Anniversary “Exploring Learning Development: Practices, Pedagogies, Puzzles and Research” Conference          

Editors: Tim Ashwell and Glenn Magee   The JALT Learner Development SIG’s 20th anniversary conference (“LD20”), Exploring Learner Development: Practices, Pedagogies, Puzzles and Research, was held at Gakushuin University, Tokyo on November 23-24 2013 to explore issues in learner development and to celebrate the achievements of the SIG over the previous 20 years. Guest speakers included two founding members of the group, Naoko Aoki and Richard Smith, as well as Kensaku Yoshida, Professor and Director, Center of Language Education and Research, Sophia University, and Phil Benson, Professor in Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities, Hong Kong Institute of Education. In addition to the plenary sessions, more than 50 concurrent sessions ran over the two days in presentation, colloquium, forum, discussion, workshop and poster formats. The papers in this second Special Issue of Learning Learning are written by presenters at six of these sessions and reflect the diversity of themes explored at the conference and the range of interests among the LD SIG community.

Summer 2012 Special Issue, Volume 19, No. 2, 2012, Proceedings of the JALT Learner Development SIG Realizing Autonomy Conference          

Editors: Alison Stewart & Kay Irie  The “Realizing Autonomy” Conference, which was held on October 29th, 2011 at Nanzan University, Nagoya, marked the publication by Palgrave Macmillan of the Learner Development Special Interest Group’s book, Realizing Autonomy: Practice and Reflection in Language Education Contexts (2012). The conference provided not only an occasion for teachers to share current and past practices and insights, but also to look to the future and consider new aspects of and directions for enhancing learning. Each of the articles that appears in this first Special Issue of Learning Learning represents the wide range of interests and types of presentation at the conference and offers insights and departures for practice and research of autonomy and development in language education that are quite different and new. The issue also includes a profile of Richard Pemberton’s life and work, and this stands as the final entry in these Proceedings.