2021 年 1 巻 p. 160-
It has been criticized that English education in Japanese schools has been heavily loaded with language-focused learning. As a result, many college students are not even able to carry out basic conversation in English. Nation (2012) suggested a four-strand approach to language learning to balance our different types of learning and maximize their effects. These four strands are meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, fluency development, and language-focused learning. According to Nation, each strand should have approximately one fourth of learning time allocated. The present study applied this approach to university English conversation classes in order to examines its effectiveness. As a result, it has been found that Nation's four-strand approach is quite effective. First, many students improved their fluency significantly and also gained more confidence in speaking English. Secondly, it was found that fluency and accuracy related activities can often go hand in hand; in fact, these two sometimes intertwined and mutually help each other. Thirdly, meaning-focused activities highly motivated the leaners and made learning much more fun. Fourthly, the four-strand approach allowed the instructor to see what was lacking or what was excessive in the teaching plans. The four-strand approach is highly recommended for college English classes.