April 14, 2021 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

HKCPD Hub and AHKLC joint event

Re-examining Self-Access Language Learning in the context of today

Speaker: Dr. Ellie Law, Hong Kong Baptist University

Online Session via Zoom.


A link with password will be emailed to successful registrants the day before the event.


Self-Access Language Learning (SALL) promotes a learning approach by which “individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes” (Knowles, 1975, p. 18). The ultimate goal of SALL is to foster learner autonomy, which is essential for lifelong learning. Since the 1990s, there has been considerable interest within the second language education community regarding the potential for SALL to support English language teaching. One common approach to developing SALL is establishing self-access or independent learning centres (Gardner & Miller, 1999; Morrison, 2008) which provide a physical learning space, human and material resources, and language learning support services for learners to improve linguistic proficiency and develop independent learning skills at their own pace. However, increasingly advanced technology provides a multitude of affordances to support the exercise and development of learner autonomy (Lai, 2017; Reinders & White, 2016). The recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic globally has underscored the inability of many traditional approaches to SALL implementation to enable learners to overcome the new challenges posed by the COVID, and post-COVID world. It is indeed critical to innovate and explore new possibilities in the realm of SALL. Thus, the challenge facing language centres is to identify effective means to leverage existing resources and burgeoning technology to meet the language needs of their students.

In this talk, theories on SALL and learner autonomy will be briefly covered. Examples of innovative approaches to implementing SALL such as establishing a social learning space (Hughes, Krug & Vye, 2011; Murray, Fujishima & Uzuka, 2014; Murray, 2017; Tassinari, 2017), making use of the online community of practice (Anas, Amansyyah, Musdariah, & Irmawati, 2020; Kelly, Johnston, & Matthews, 2020), deploying technology-based language learning tools (Dal-Bianco, 2014; Eisenmann & Ludwig, 2014; Lai, Shum &Tian, 2016), and using an ethnographic approach in SALL (Mynard, 2020) will be discussed. The talk will also engage participants in reflecting on their roles as teachers in promoting SALL and exploring context-specific approaches for its implementation.

About the speaker:

Dr. Ellie Law is a Senior Lecturer at the Language Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University. She has taught a range of academic and discipline-specific English courses at various tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. She is interested in researching learner autonomy and self-access language learning.

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