Educational Practitioner Interviews

Beyond The Abstracts: Developing a New Self Access Learning Center – Isobel Hook (December, 2023)

In this Beyond The Abstracts conversation I speak with Isobel Hook. In addition to being an experienced language instructor, Isobel is currently the Coordinator of the Self-Access Learning Center, also known as the i-Space, which is part of the International Education Center at Kyoto Notre Dame University in Japan. 

Click the image to watch the conversation:

Alongside developing and promoting the i-Space, Isobel’s research interests span the roles of identity, technology, autonomy, and self access in language teaching and learning. In this conversation we explore the creation of the i-Space, how it was developed, learning materials, the impact of space and place, the role of collaboration and community, issues of gender, and current and future challenges with coordinating and evaluating a Self-Access Learning Center, including how to overcome resource limitations. This conversation should be of particular interest to educational practitioners, and in particular to current or prospective SALC Co-ordinators.

You can also check out the i-Space on Instagram by clicking the image below.

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An Interview on Language Learner Autonomy- ChatGPT4 (November, 2023)

In this experimental interview, I have a conversation with ChatGPT 4 exploring the topic of language learner autonomy. The conversation goes both deep and broad.

We cover a wide range of topics of interest to practitioners, including:

  • the nature of autonomy
  • language difference
  • the role of motivation and educators
  • technology and AI
  • forms of assessment for autonomy
  • future trends in research, theory, and practice.

As a purely technological demonstration, this was an amazing experience. Also, for educators or other interested parties new to the field, the potential for technologies like ChatGPT to summarise and redeliver complex information in increasingly palatable forms is likely something that will have a large impact on autonomy research and practice, and on education more broadly. However, its formulaic and generalist responses also showed the current limitations of the technology. Regardless, I hope this can serve as a useful starting point to the field, and also as a bit of fun.

Enjoyed this interview? Let me know what you think! Credit is due to Paul Raine over at Emerging Technologies in Language Education for the inspiration, and of course to ChatGPT itself!

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