Every summer a private university in Yamaguchi Prefecture conducts a one-month language program in the Philippines. This paper aims to discuss the characteristics of the program and its current state of operation. It also attempts to understand the effectiveness of the program at improving the students’ English ability, which was measured using TOEIC scores. The scores of the 130 participants and the 70 non-participants who took TOEIC before and after the program from 2015 to 2017 were analyzed using one-way ANOVA to observe the difference in improvement between the two groups in their listening, reading, and total scores. The results of the analysis show that the improvements of the participants in their listening and total scores were significantly greater than those of the non-participants. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the reading scores between the two groups.
Under MEXT’s basic educational promotion plan, half of Japan’s high school students should have an English proficiency equivalent to the EIKEN test Grade 2 or Pre-2 by graduation. However, target attainment rates to date are quite unsatisfactory, especially for speaking. The purpose of this research is to analyze the topical and linguistic characteristics of EIKEN Grade 2 ‘Passage’ topics and interview test items #3 and #4 used between 2007 and 2016. Sixty interviews were analyzed in total. The paper categorized and tallied the topics employed, and used Word Level Checker, AntConc, and Microsoft Word software to analyze linguistic features. These research findings concerning commonly used topics, linguistic forms, and vocabulary level in the EIKEN Grade 2 interview test could help Japanese learners of English prepare for the examination.
This study discusses a new online system that allows Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) to reflect on their internal speaking assessment criteria. The user (an English teacher) watches three movie clips of student speaking performances and then rates them using vocabulary, accuracy, fluency, and pronunciation scales. The system then employs the Many-facet Rasch Measurement (MFRM) to immediately analyze the user ratings by accessing a database developed from JTE mass speech sample ratings data (approximately 7,500 ratings). Sixteen English teacher trainees were analyzed using both the new system and FACETS (an MFRM statistical software), and the results were compared. It was confirmed that the newly developed system was able to accurately detect any deviations in the user ratings.
This paper describes actual distributions of indirect speech acts in three frequent canonical constructions (States/SVC, Location/SV, and Possession/SVO) through the spoken corpus and discusses their pedagogical significances to function-based pedagogical grammar introducing typical speech acts.In the current study, one thousand exemplars for each construction were randomly selected from the Spoken BNC2014 corpus. Then, indirect speech acts in exemplars were interpreted and coded according to van Ek & Trim’s (1998) six language functions: (1) imparting and seeking factual information, (2) expressing and finding out attitudes, (3) getting things done, (4) socializing, (5) structuring discourse, and (6) communication repair.As a result, it was found that indirect speech acts related to language functions (1) and (2) were most often seen in three frequent canonical constructions; furthermore, the relationships between three canonical constructions and twenty-six indirect speech actsemerged through the correspondence analysis. Finally, based on the results, indirect speech acts instructions were explored.
This study aims to examine the effects of introducing team-based learning (TBL) for acquiring knowledge and understanding concepts in English Linguistics(phonology and morphology) classes, a university-level subject. The subject was taught in two different ways, through a lecture method in 2016 and through TBL in 2017. The effects of introducing TBL on students’ knowledge acquisition and conceptual understanding were examined in comparison with those of students who underwent the lecture method. The results showed that TBL had a greater influence on knowledge acquisition and conceptual understanding than did the lecture method. The combination of these findings and the amount of time that the students spent on this subject implies that TBL does not necessarily influence the quantity of learning but does improve the efficiency of learning.
This study tries to clarify what attitudes pre-service elementary school teachers have toward teaching English in English (TEE) and how they are thinking of teaching English at an elementary school. Twenty-five teacher training course students, who took a course taught by the author, were employed as the participants. The course was basically taught in English and each lesson was designed to include input, interaction and output. To investigate their preferences for TEE, the author asked them to answer a questionnaire. They were also asked to write a report to explain how they would like to teach English to elementary school children in the future. The results are: 1) the participants’ preferences for TEE vary and they do not necessarily have a positive attitude toward TEE and 2) they are likely to show an interest in introducing opportunities to negotiate for meaning into class in the future. Based on the results, the author suggests that elementary school teachers do not have to stick to TEE necessarily and argues that input, interaction and output can be assured even if teachers’ use of English in class is limited.
The aim of this paper is to do a case study of consistency in English learning from primary through junior high schools with local materials such as “Crab Festival” and Evacuation Drills. As a theoretical background, CLIL (content and language integrated learning) which has become increasingly popular in Europe and Japan is applied to this study. After practicing some CLIL classes in two schools of the same area in Kure City, we conducted a survey from the viewpoints of 4Cs in CLIL. The result of the questionnaire will reveal how effective these practices are in content, communication, cognition and community.
How do students feel when the rate of English usage increases from 60% to 90%? This study showed that those students increased the scores of their self-efficacy scale, their reproductions of reading and the item which says “you can keep up with the difficulty of the class.” However, canonical correlation analysis revealed that there were two types, the highly-motivated students and the well-performing students, at a rate of 60 % and 90 %. The characteristics of the two types at the rate of 60 % were found to be different than those at 90%. It proved that the students managed to adapt themselves to their learning environment, where they struggled to understand the meaning of the CE. Those who were weak in English used the patterned procedure as a clue to improve in the classroom. Furthermore, another result proved that the experience of CE in elementary school influenced their mindsets toward classroom English.
Language play is claimed to be beneficial for second language learning in many studies, and Harada (2005) offers various language play activities which can be utilized in English teaching in Japan. However, sufficient theoretical consideration is missing in these studies. The author describes a short lesson based on language play and analyzes conversations of three participants (female junior high school students) to investigate the characteristics of leaners’ behavior when they engage in language play. The result shows that in language play focused lesson, learners can focus on language forms and meanings, actively engage in learning, and make use of previously learned language knowledge in creative ways.
The author has worked as an English teacher at a junior high school, high school, and university for more than 30 years. Ten years after beginning work as an English teacher, his main focus in teaching and research has been 4-skill-integrated teaching methods centering on oral reading. In this paper, he poses the question : Is teaching through oral reading heading in a desirable direction? According to the Benesse Corporation (2015), oral reading is the most-used activity for both junior high school and senior high school teachers. However, following the oral readings, output activities such as summary making, speeches, and discussions are not conducted. The author would like to review what he has done to develop a methodology of sequencing oral reading with output activities. The author will report what has been achieved and not achieved in his own teaching through oral reading.