The theory-practice nexus has always been at the heart of the SILC project and research performs an essential role in evaluating and informing the center’s procedures, curricula, and resources.
Over recent years, doctoral projects have been conducted by SILC members in diverse areas such as the impact of loanwords on English teaching in Japan, the suitability of instruments for measuring learner autonomy in Japanese contexts, the measurement of language learners’ metacognitive awareness, the development of intercultural awareness through short-term study abroad programs, and how learners enact agency through self-directed language learning.
In addition, projects have been approved for funding via the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKEN: 科学研究費補助金) program in areas such the effect of auto-scrolling text on reading speed and comprehension rates, English language training for elementary school teachers, the development of an online formative assessment tool for foreign language development, the creation of a MOOC to support intercultural education, and the randomized delivery of online quizzes.
Alongside these longer-term projects, there have been countless smaller scale studies conducted by SILC members investigating areas such as computer-assisted language learning, instructional design, teacher and learner roles, communication strategies, language learner motivation, oral reading fluency, foreign language listening, learner enjoyment and anxiety, extensive reading, and language learner assessment.
The SILC publishes its own annual research bulletin, SILC Journal, which provides SILC teachers and associates with the opportunity to share educational research, showcase learning tools, and report on teaching or professional development experiences. Papers from the journal can be accessed via the Sojo University Repository.
The Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics Community
SILC teachers are active in the language teaching and applied linguistics community both within and beyond Japan. Many of them hold positions of responsibility in JALT（全国語学教育学会） and its Special Interest Groups, as well as in other professional organisations such as the Japan Association of Self-Access Learning (JASAL日本自律学習学会).
In addition, the SILC hosts an annual conference, Sojo University Teaching and Learning Forum (SUTLF), jointly sponsored by Sojo University and the South Kyushu (Nankyu) chapter of the Japan Association of Language Teaching (JALT). Further information about the conference can be found via the JALT Nankyu website: https://www.nankyujalt.org/events/sutlf
SILC members have opportunities to give short, informal presentations to colleagues throughout the year, known as SILC Pioneers’ Educational Chats (SPECs), which take place several times a month throughout the academic year.