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Sponsored Presentation Learner Development Forum

Reimagining learning communities online

Sat, Jun 5, 16:15-17:30 Asia/Tokyo Room G

Connecting with the theme of the last year of emergency remote teaching, presenters explore the development of language learning communities during online classes. In the spring of 2020, we were all suddenly faced with the obstacle of bringing our institutions of learning to a fully online environment. This undoubtedly challenged the way we interacted, worked, and learned. How did learners and teachers first respond to the emergency? What problems and questions were encountered? How did learning evolve into a “new normal”? What aspects of this new normal will affect the ways the community will return to classroom learning? In this Learner Development SIG Forum at JALTCALL 2021, we will hear both teacher and student narratives into the social constructs that developed with online learning. Digital presentations will explore the evolution of communities in synchronous online learning platforms. In addition, the attitudes of learners and teachers to both their devices, learning management systems, and even particular game-based learning applications will be discussed. Presenters and participants will have time to share both the rewards and barriers that they encountered in this period of online teaching. We will also explore how these experiences could challenge future directions to learning and learner development.

For detailed abstracts for the individual presenters, please visit the Learner Development SIG Forums page at


Creating Learner Ecologies Online

Download PDF: Creating Learner Ecologies Online

  • Blair Barr

    Is the Programmes Chair for the JALT Learner Development SIG, and will be hosting the Learner Development SIG Forum at JALTCALL on Saturday afternoon. Interests include online resource development and attitudes towards world Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca.


    Dr. Leticia Vicente-Rasoamalala is a Spanish lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her B.A. in English Philology, B.A. in French Philology, and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain; Postgraduate Diploma in Translation (Dual Translator: Spanish-English and French-English) from University of Bristol, United Kingdom. She also holds a B.A. in Modern Letters from the Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier III, France. She was Visiting Associate Professor of Spanish at Aichi Prefectural University, Japan, and AECID Visiting Lecturer of Spanish at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. She also taught foreign languages at high schools in Spain and France. She was a researcher at the CLiC-the Language and Computation Center of the Universitat de Barcelona in Spain, and is currently a member of the research group COLE ALLENCAM of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.

  • Martin Mullen

    University of Limerick tutor, language teacher, and mobile-assisted language learning researcher.

  • Satoko Watkins

    Satoko Watkins is a Principal Learning Advisor in the Self-Access Learning Center at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan. Her responsibilities at the institution include student-led learning communities and events, tandem language exchange programs, peer advising, and student leader training. Her research interests are learner autonomy, self-directed language learning, learning communities, and empowerment of students.

  • Dominique Vola Ambinintsoa Razafindratsimba

    Dr Dominique Vola Ambinintsoa is a learning advisor at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics, focusing on fostering learner autonomy in a Malagasy EFL context (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) and a Master of Education in TESOL (State University of New York at Buffalo, US). She has a particular interest in learner autonomy, self-access language learning, advising in language learning, and positive psychology in education.

  • Gareth Barnes

    Gareth Barnes is a lecturer at Ochanomizu Women's University and Tokai University who specializes in TESOL and learner development. He is a language development enthusiast, whose Master of Research thesis at Macquarie University examines the emergence of language learner ecologies for 3rd Age learners, looking at the insights into language development that can be gained from researching language learners throughout the life course. He serves as the Publicity Officer for the Yokohama JALT Chapter and has been actively involved in TESOL for over 18 years.

  • Lee Arnold

    In teaching among four different insitutions in the Tokyo-Saitama area, I come across a variety of learners with diverse interests. Many of them are engaged in STEM majors and are looking towards future research within these challenging and fascinating areas. I enjoy the caliber and sense of strong motivation among them, and while the COVID-19 pandemic has upended many of our assumptions about the classroom and what occurs in it and from it, it has created opportunities for us to step back and re-imagine what the learning space is, and how our learners can adjust to what is still a new frontier of learning, and discover new avenues within it.

  • Yuta Sato

    A student at the Kanda University of International Studies and, the junior and English department.