Plenary Speakers

We are very pleased to welcome a diverse team of plenary speakers to Kobe for ILA 2018. They are James Lantolf (Pennsylvania State University, USA); Jo Mynard (Kanda University of International Studies, Japan); and Chika Hayashi (Seikei University, Japan) and Leena Karlsson (University of Helsinki, Finland), who will be giving a joint dialogic plenary — a first, we believe, for ILA, and an innovation which we are eagerly looking forward to.

James P. Lantolf, the Greer Professor in Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University. He is Director of the Center for Language Acquisition, and Director of CALPER (Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research) Penn State’s Title VI Language Resource Center. He was president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (2005), served as co-editor of Applied Linguistics (1993-1998), and is founding editor of Language and Sociocultural Theory, Equinox Press. His research focuses on sociocultural theory and second language development in classroom settings. He is co-author of Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development (2006), Oxford University Press. His 2014 co-authored book, Sociocultural theory and the pedagogical imperative: Vygotskian praxis and the L2 research/practice divide (Routledge) was awarded the Mildenberger Prize of the Modern Language Association of America for its contribution to the teaching of language and culture. He edited Sociocultural theory and second language learning (2000), Oxford University Press, and co-edited Vygotskian approaches to second language research (1994), Ablex Press, and Sociocultural theory and the teaching of second languages (2008), Equinox Press, and is currently working on the co-edited Routledge Handbook on Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. In 2016 the Chinese Ministry of Education awarded him the Yangtze River (Chanjiang) Professor in Applied Linguistics at Xi’an JiaoTong University. In the same year, he received the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award of the American Associate for Applied Linguistics. In 2017, the School of Foreign Studies at Xi’an JiaoTong University established the Lantolf Research Center for Second Language Studies in his honor.


Jo Mynard is an associate professor and director of the Self-Access Learning Center at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan. She holds an EdD in TEFL from the University of Exeter, UK and an M.Phil in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. She is the founding editor of Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal and has also co-edited four books related to learner autonomy and advising. She co-authored Reflective Dialogue: Advising in Language Learning with Satoko Kato (published in 2015 by Routledge, NY). She is particularly interested in research related to advising, self-directed learning, learning beyond the classroom / self-access learning, and the affective dimensions of language learning. In 2017, she was appointed Director of the Research Institute of Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE) and is interested in bringing together educators and researchers in order to enrich our understanding of the field, and facilitate the development of a research and professional development agenda.


Chika Hayashi is an Associate Professor at Seikei University in Tokyo, Japan. Her research interests include motivation, learner/teacher autonomy, teacher education, and cultural influences on classroom language learning. Her major publications include “Co-constructive storying of our journey toward autonomy” in Learner Development Working Papers: Different Cases, Different Interests (2014), “Exploring collaborative dialogue in group journal writing” in Collaborative Learning in Learner Development (2014) “Weaving threads of autonomy: the challenge for personal pedagogic change” in Autonomy in Language Learning: Stories of Practice (2013) and “Transformative learning in action: insights from the practice of journal writing” in Realizing Autonomy: Practice and Refection in Language Education Contexts (2012).


Leena Karlsson is University Lecturer in English at the University of Helsinki Language Centre, Finland. Her research and publications focus on learner/teacher autonomy, language advising/counselling, learner diversity, lifewide and lifedeep learning, autobiographical writing in language learning, and narrative inquiry and stories in educational settings. She co-ordinates the Autonomous Learning Modules Programme (ALMS) at the Language Centre and pedagogy for autonomy has been the driving force in her practice for more than 20 years. She co-authored the book From Here to Autonomy. A Helsinki University Language Centre Autonomous Project with Felicity Kjisik and Joan Nordlund in 1997 and has published widely in the field of learner autonomy.


Titles and abstracts for the plenary talks will follow shortly.