AILA World Congress Beijing, August 2011

  1. ReNLA Symposium

The AILA Research Network on Learner Autonomy Symposium will be held at the 16th World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics in Beijing on Friday, August 26, from 9:00 – 11:30 in Para Room 7. The theme of the symposium is ‘Social Dimensions of Autonomy’ The names of the presenters and the titles of their papers, accompanied by full abstracts, can be seen here:

2. Other autonomy-related presentations by members

Wednesday, August 24th

11:00-11:30, Para Room 17

Social language learning spaces: Affordances in a community of learners

Naomi Fujishima and Garold Murray

This paper reports on an ethnographic inquiry into the language learning affordances available to English and Japanese foreign language learners through their interactions in a social learning space at a Japanese university.  The authors examine these opportunities and identify the conditions which supported the emergence of a community of learners.

Wednesday, August 24th

11:40-12:40, Para Room 39

Local PLAY Global STOP Autonomy REWIND Questions WRITE

Mike Nix, Kay Irie,  Andy Barfield and Alison Stewart

In researching and writing on learner autonomy in Japan for an imagined global readership, we are concerned with how representations of local multivocal, collaborative autonomy practices can become delocalized. In this workshop we explore how multivocality and diverse perspectives can be protected and promoted in writing for and about autonomy.

Wednesday, August 24th
14:00-14:30, Para Room 31
Issues of autonomy in the transition from learner to teacher
HUANG, Jing (Peter)
This interpretative qualitative study examined issues of autonomy in the transition from foreign language learning to foreign language teaching. Major participants were English majors in a four-year BA TEFL degree programme in a mainland Chinese teacher-education university. Data sources included learners’ autobiographical accounts and interviews focusing on learner experiences. [There will be some comparison with a similar study conducted in a Hong Kong university.]

Thursday, August 25th

8:30-10:30, Para Room 5

Symposium on Learner autonomy in the classroom: Insights from practitioner research

Moderated by Christine O’Leary

This Symposium will focus on practitioner research relating to the promotion of autonomy, within the language classroom, in various formal educational and cultural contexts, from a learner and teacher perspective. It will consider various aspects and issues which impact on the promotion of autonomy in day-to-day practice, including learner identity, the role of new digital technologies, and the role of the teacher.

Saturday, 27 August
14:00-14:30, Para Room 31
The recognition, acknowledgement and inclusion of life-wide learning, i.e. learning outside the classroom, in a language learning programme.
Felicity Kjisik
The concept of life-wide learning embraces experiential learning outside the classroom. This paper uses data based on students’ autobiographical texts written as part of their studies in an autonomous learning module (ALMS) and explores ways of recognizing and including it in language learning contexts.

Saturday, August 27th
17.50-18:20, Para Room 31
Investigating written advice in self-directed modules: The effect on learning
Jo Mynard
This paper reports on a study which investigates the type of written feedback and advice given to learners taking a self-study module and how it effects the learning experience. The aim of the research is to understand more about the complex processes involved in completing a course of independent study.

Sunday, August 28th
09:00-11:00 (paper 10:30-11:00), Para Room 6
Intercultural competence and study abroad: A long-term study of European students in French West Africa [within symposium Towards interculturality through study and residence abroad]

Jim Coleman

Questionnaires and interviews with 45 Europeans who undertook study and work placements in Senegal between 1985 and 2010 provide insights into the challenges (cultural, racial, sexual, affective) of a radically new context, and the intercultural learning which has shaped their subsequent beliefs, attitudes, careers, relationships and movements.

Please check your conference programme after you register for possible time and room changes!

3. ReNLA Dinner, Wednesday, August 24th

If you are interested in attending the ReNLA dinner, please inform Richard Smith before 15th August. Those attending the dinner are requested to meet at the main entrance to the Friendship Hotel at 7:30 p.m. on the evening of Wednesday, August 24th. We will go from there to the restaurant as a group.

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