Archiving Self-Access: Methodological considerations

| June 11, 2011
Title
Archiving Self-Access: Methodological considerations

Keywords: Self-Access Learning, Methodology, Ethnography, Archive

Authors
John Adamson, Howard Brown and Naoki Fujimoto-Adamson
University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan
Bio Data

John Adamson received his Doctorate of Education from Leicester University. He teaches English for Academic Purposes at the University of Niigata Prefecture in Japan. His research has focused on interview discourse, learning strategies, Teacher Development, and Business English methodology. His current interest is in the area of interdisciplinarity .

Howard Brown is an assistant professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture in Japan. His teaching interests are in English for Academic Purposes and Content Based Instruction. His current research interests include issues in self access and Content and Language Integrated Learning. He is also involved in faculty development.

Naoki Fujimoto-Adamson is currently completing her Ed.D. thesis from Leicester University, U.K., on team-teaching in Japanese junior high schools. She works at the Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) in University of Niigata Prefecture. Her research interests are in the fields of team-teaching, and the history of ELT in Japan.

Abstract
This study has illustrated how a long-term ethnographic approach of archiving data and profiling its key participants represents an effective means of revealing perceptions of a new Self-Access Learning Center (SALC) within a university in Japan. This on-going process of conducting qualitative interviews and conversational narratives with center staff, accompanied by student questionnaires, has required methodological reduction of the large amount of ensuing data. Such a process is achieved by a combination of crystallization of themes emerging from dialogues, and analysis of questionnaire data from various perspectives. This methodology reflects the researchers wishes to investigate the self-access center where they work in a manner more locally situated, co-constructive and, importantly, in one which accords voice and agency to peripheral SALC stakeholders. As a study for the purpose of the continuous improvement of practice, the triangulated methodology employed to gather and analyze data can be adopted by other self-access centers seeking a rich, diverse body of evidence and an analytical framework to respond to the pedagogical and institutional environment where they operate.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 13 Issue 2