Professor Thomas Robb (Kyoto Sangyo University)

Thomas Robb is professor emeritus, Kyoto Sangyo University, where he was Chair of the Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages until he retired in March of 2017. He is a long-time user of CALL and the Internet, and has created a number of websites for various student projects, interactive learning and professional exchange. He is currently Chief Developer for the software which administers quizzes on “graded” and “youth” readers to students under controlled conditions. He also helped with the development of the Moodle platform in its early days, contributing a number of functions to assist better language learning. His main interest these days is the development of online software for language learning, particularly for Extensive Reading. He is Co-Editor of TESL-EJ, the first Electronic Journal for English as Second or Foreign Language, and is a reviewer for many other professional journals. His publications include, • “CALL and the Non-autonomous Learner: Build It, But Will They Come?” in E Hanson-Smith & S Rilling, Learning Languages through Technology, TESOL, pp. 69-76. (2006). • “Helping teachers to help themselves,” in Teacher Education in CALL, P. Hubbard & M. Levy, (Eds.), John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 335–347. (2006). • Computer Literacy and Competency: A Survey of Indonesian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, with Jong-Bae Son and Indra Charismiadji, CALL-EJ, 12(1), 31-42. (2010). • Effective extensive reading outside the classroom: A large-scale experiment. Reading in a Foreign Language, 25(2), 234-247, with M. Kano. (2013). • Extensive Reading, in Language Learning Beyond the Classroom (Chapter 1), D. Nunan & J. Richards, Eds, Routledge, pp. 3-12, with R. Day. (2014). He has been President of JALT, the Japan Association for Language Teaching, has been on the Board of Directors of International TESOL, a past president Pacific CALL and the founder of the annual GLoCALL conference. He is also a founding member of the Extensive Reading Foundation and currently, its Chair.


Extensive Reading Under Difficult Circumstances

While extensive reading has been demonstrated to be an effective means to improve one’s language proficiency, there are a number of barriers to implementing an effective program.

Today, we will first review the main characteristics of an extensive reading program and look at some of the scholarship that demonstrates its effectiveness.

Next we will discuss oneof the main barriers to implementing ER — finding suitable graded materials. This is particularly problematic when the finances are not there for purchasing published graded readers or managing them once they are available to students. In this plenary session, we will survey the possible work-arounds for doing ER without having Graded Readers readily available.

Another problem concerns how to hold students accountable for their reading. This speaker’s online quiz program,, can be used if the students are reading any most graded or “leveled readers” but other materials that are freely available online do not have quizzes, which makes it difficult for the teacher to track the students’ progress. We will look at how teachers can keep on top of their students’ progress without having to spend too much additional time doing so.  Some useful online resources will be demonstrated.

Professor Dr Stephen J Hall (Sunway University)

Stephen J Hall is Director, Centre for English Language Studies, Sunway University. He was an Inservice Teacher Training nation-wide Project Manager in Malaysia for four years and has served on Ministry Of Education, Malaysia advisory committees for TESOL pedagogy standards and curriculum development. Previously, he was a corporate trainer with his own business whose clients included Changi airport, Singapore airlines, Visa-Asia Pacific and HBO Asia. Earlier he managed Language and Communication, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore.

Stephen has trained teachers for the ASEAN wide RELC, contributed to teacher development materials for Vietnam and has taught at tertiary, secondary and primary levels. Stephen’s doctorate on teacher education analyses early phases interaction during rural Malaysian in-service courses. His recent academic writing focuses on reflective practice and teacher education. Stephen has authored English for tourism textbooks and numerous academic articles. He enjoys wine tasting and wine writing for some balance. More at


What Language Phone Apps and the Success of Pokemon-Go can Teach us about Autonomous Vocabulary Learning

When game and language learning phone application designers create their popular aps they depend on learners making their own choices as autonomous learners. The designers understand developing self-driven learning and draw on understanding vocabulary acquisition. They exploit how we learn, internalise and gain productive concepts and vocabulary. Some research-based principles may be very evident in online learning tools, yet neglected in classrooms in which the teacher is the front and centre controller who often may not focus on the autonomy which many teenage learners crave. This paper will argue that we can apply the underlying systems and pedagogy of augmented reality games, such as Pokemon Go Gen 2 and widespread language learning applications such as Duolingo, Busu and Memrise to motivating our learners. Vocabulary learning techniques which can work even in lo-tech, large class environments will centre on principled vocabulary learning to develop learner ownership of learning.

Paulus Kuswandono, Ph.D (Sanata Dharma University)

Paulus Kuswandono, Ph.D, a lecturer in the English Language Education Study Program, specialising in teaching Language Learning Assessment; Approaches, Methods, and Techniques; Introduction to Education; Microteaching; and Research Methods.


Learners’ autonomy for Meaningful Learning

Studies on learners’ autonomy have intensified at least in the past three decades (Holec, 1981; Zimmerman, 1986; Little, 1991) due to the pervasive external forces of technology invention (and intervention for few people). The notion of invention looks on opportunities, whereas intervention perceives technology as threats (for the status quo). With technology being a daily need rather than an imagined desire, learner autonomy is not an option at present. Nevertheless, some education practitioners may often misinterpret the concept of autonomy as providing more learning opportunities on the learners’ shoulders and less teachers’ responsibility for explicit instruction and guidance on their direction of learning. This paper seeks to locate where autonomous learning can fulfil both teachers’ and students’ learning expectations and negotiate how the Indonesian governments’ regulations on the prescribed curriculum can fill the niche to nourish meaningful learning.