In this paper, I report on the action research that I conducted through three courses of Japanese teaching practices. In the process of self-reflection for the first two periods, I found two major problematic topics related to my teaching; how much the learners utilized vocal Japanese during class and the teacher's feedback. Afterwards, I started to question how those elements contribute to improving learners' speaking ability. After studying earlier literature on teaching methods with emphasis on speaking skill, I came to consider "task-preceded role playing" as an effective way to improve learners' speaking skills, in which the teacher provokes learners' language errors and introduces correct expressions later on. Therefore, I set into practice task-preceded role playing as the goal for the final teaching training course and put it into action with three steps; "understanding of learners' level" , "setting of role playing tasks", and "feedback". As a result, there were some examples that I successfully induced learners' linguistic setbacks and gave them proper feedback. They also showed certain improvements in their speaking ability. However, later analysis revealed that some problems occurred in the task activity. At the end of this paper, I suggest improvements for those problems as a challenge when teaching future classes.
The aim of this paper is to seek possible improvements to my teaching skills by analyzing my teaching activities in the spring practicum whose purpose was to overcome the issue of an "unbalanced amount of utterances among students cased by a teacher's overmuch interventions which prevent their interactions." Reflecting on two practicums conducted in fall 2013 and winter 2014, I realized that I had intervened too much in students' interactions while teaching. Personal goals were set to overcome this issue by conducting classes with a focus on group activities in the spring practicum. However, there were less spontaneous student interactions than expected. To improve my teaching skills for future classes, I have attempted to clarify the problems by applying "Cooperative Learning" theory. The theory is based on a learner-centered educational philosophy focusing on group activities. I suggest that it is possible to provide more effective group activities by focusing on observing students' activities. In this case, teachers should be required to design a well-organized course consisting of essential factors of "Cooperative Learning" theory.
I learned about the importance of interaction for the language education through Japanese language teaching practice in graduate school. I felt that I could not interact with students naturally during teaching practice in fall and winter semester. After the analysis, it was found that my unnatural interactions were caused by my responses to the students. In the teaching practice of spring semester, I felt that I interacted more naturally than before. However, there were big level differences among the students in my class. I talked a lot with the high level students and I neglected to deal with the non- talkative students. In this thesis, I will reflect on my interactions with students and look for the effective improvement method.