2010~ The Department of Foreign Languages set up the English and Chinese Lounge for students and faculty to talk together in English and Chinese.
2012~ Department of Foreign Languages faculty member Clair Taylor uses Research Funds to remodel the lounge, creating a team of student volunteers.
2013~ Department of Foreign Languages faculty member Clair Taylor set up this webpage and used research funds to develop the lounge.
2013 (June) ASEAN 10 scholars enjoy a tea party in the lounge as part of their visit.
2014~ The Department of Foreign Languages fund professional staff to work in the lounge 15 hours per week.
2014 (April) ASEAN scholars from Malaysia visit the lounge.
2015~ Tandem learning activity (Teletandem) is launched, set up by Department of Foreign Languages faculty member Clair Taylor.
2016~ English Volunteer Activity (in which students staff the lounge and organize events) becomes a credit-bearing activity.
2016~ Department of Foreign Languages write a plan to improve the lounge with renovations and an ongoing budget for staff and resources such as magazines. This becomes a Department of Foreign Languages Special Project. The lounge has a new look, with a glass front, and carpeted floors, and it is given a new name: Lounge MELT (Maximum English Learning Together). The students chose this name because it shows the warmth of the lounge and the importance of community, and also because the lounge is a melting pot in which students and faculty from all departments mix together. MELT has staff between 10am and 5pm every day, term time.
2017 (May) Teletandem partner Professor Adelia Peña Clavel from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) visits MELT.
2018 (June) Teletandem partner Professor Noriko Fujioka-Ito from the University of Cincinnati visits MELT.
2019~ Teletandem activity continues to grow, and at the request of the Department of Foreign Languages, the university provides a budget to staff the MELT during the vacations to run teletandem.
2019~ MELT Instagram begins!
2019 (June) “Let's Talk Japanese in MELT!” Lunchtime event for international students from Hotsuma International School Gifu and GSGU students to interact in simple Japanese.
2020~ Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual MELT and advising is set up.
2020~ The Department of Foreign Languages write a plan to renovate an empty room next to MELT to create MELT Annex, a quiet study area, designed by faculty members Clair Taylor and Jun Nagao. Annex opens! The Department of Foreign Languages fund an iMac and other furniture for Annex.
2021~ Japanese-Chinese tandem exchange starts with a new partnership with Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China.
2021~ “Japanese Conversation Corner” starts. This is a regular event in which GSGU students interact online with students in Tianjin Foreign Studies University.
2021 (June) “Let's make friends in Japanese!” First Zoom exchange meeting between the international students studying at Sakura Japanese Language School and GSGU students, which becomes a regular activity.
2022~ Multilingual MELT starts. Short, lunchtime sessions in French and other languages.
Here is a list of research papers and presentations related to MELT:
Taylor, C. & Nagao, J. (2022). A space that speaks to students and supports their learning: A description of a language learning space which incorporates text and video into the design. JASAL Journal 3(1), 47–63.Full text
Taylor, C. & Nagao, J. (2022). Maindo setto to gakushū kankyō—gaikoku-go o manabu gakusei-tachi o seikō eto michibiku gakushū supēsu no kōchiku [Mindsets and learning spaces: Creating a learning space that leads foreign language students to success]. Akademikku daibāshiti no sōzō [Creating Academic Diversity]. Sairyūsha, 161–189.
Taylor, C. (2021). Lounge MELT got even more melty: Unanticipated beneficial outcomes from our COVID-safe measures. JASAL Forum: Serendipities in Self-Access Learning: Positives from the Pandemic. JALT2021. Online.
Taylor, C., & Nagao, J. (2021). Inspiration and aspiration: Designing a learning space that shapes mindsets and behaviors that lead to success. JASAL2021. Online.
Taylor, C. (2020). Building a picture of teletandem experiences to promote the practice. In A. Peña Clavel & K. Thornton (Eds.), Whose autonomy? Voices and agency in language learning. Selected Papers from the 2018 Independent Learning Association Conference. Candlin & Mynard ePublishing Limited. www.candlinandmynard.com/ILA.html
Taylor, C. (2019). Autonomous active learning through teletandem: One undergraduate’s experience. LD SIG Forum: Active learning as a policy for transforming lives JALT2019. Nagoya.
Taylor, C. (2018). Promoting learning beyond the classroom at your institution. JASAL2018xSUTLF5, Kumamoto.
Yamashita, H., Taylor, C.,Thornton, K.,Tweed, A. (2018). Open discussion on self-access learning in practice (Symposium). ILA2018 (Independent Learning Association). Kobe.
Taylor, C. (2018). Building a picture of teletandem experiences to promote the practice. ILA2018 (Independent Learning Association). Kobe.
Taylor, C. & Fujioka-Ito, N. (2018). Factors that made teletandems successful for undergraduate students at two universities. JALTCALL2018. Nagoya.
Taylor, C. (2017). Independent learning in an English lounge: Computer Mediated Communication, individual online study and group online study. Reports on Grants for Innovation in Education, Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University. Gifu.
Taylor, C. (2016). Developing a Social Learning Space Step by Step: An Action Research Project. JASAL 2016 Annual Conference. Kobe.
Taylor, C. (2014). Building up a foreign language conversation lounge for university students: An action research project. CAMTESOL2014. Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Taylor, C. (2014). The transformation of a foreign language conversation lounge: An action research project. The Annals of Shotoku Gakuen University (Faculty of Foreign Languages), 53, 1–16.
Taylor, C., Sakata, N. & Akahane, N. (2014). Volunteer work in English Spaces. Gifu JALT PechaKucha Event. Gifu.
Taylor, C. (2013). Rejuvenating a lifeless lounge: An action research project. JASAL Forum: Self-Access and the Lifelong Voyage of Learning. JALT2013. Kobe.
Taylor, C. (2013). Building a learning community by transforming the learning space. First Annual Brain days 4: Connecting Neuroscience with EFL. Nagoya.