In this study, we set up an online self-study session for university students in Japan to build English vocabulary during a summer vacation. We divided the session into three courses with different degrees of the teacher’s support to observe the participants’ motivation. This study reveals that many participants overestimated their motivation before the vacation, although part-time jobs, university summer courses, internships and disorganized lifestyle prevented them from keeping their self-study. However, the majority of the participants who answered the post-session questionnaire expressed positive feelings toward the study session. Holding a self-study session during a vacation offers the students opportunities to develop their study habits. Also, securing the sufficient study time is one of the keys to the successful self-study.
This study explores the appropriate use of English reason conjunctions: because, as, since, and for. Japanese high school learners of English often overuse ‘because’ to express reasons in their essays, which often causes inappropriateness in context. Knowing the use of conjunctions according to registers might help students improve logicality in writings. Besides analysis on the frequency of each conjunction in registers, correspondence analysis was performed on sixteen registers from the CORE corpus to clarify how native speakers select conjunctions. Consequently, the obtained results are: (a) Registers affect the frequency of reason conjunctions, (b) ‘Because’ is mostly used for individual opinions, ‘as’and ‘since’ are mostly for explanations, and ‘for’ is the least frequent and rhetorical in use, and (c) Language use may differ depending on the context of reason: subjective or objective.
This paper aims to critically reconsider the discourse of “intercultural understanding” in TEFL in Japan. Drawing on the critique of liberal multiculturalism from a critical perspective, it especially problematizes the liberal form of “intercultural understanding” that excessively emphasizes the superficial words such as diversity and tolerance, and critically discusses its pitfalls. It then uncovers the invisible violence of the liberal assumptions. In the concluding remarks, to overcome the problems of the liberal form of “intercultural understanding” and reframe “intercultural understanding” itself, it finally argues that research on “intercultural understanding” in TEFL should be based on the ideas of critical multiculturalism and critical multicultural education.
The purpose of this study is to explore multiple means (options) to help middle school students who struggle with studying English in a regular English class, and to find the effectiveness of the options. As for the means to help students, we used the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which has become popular in the United States as well as in the EU. In this qualitative study, we conducted close observation of students to consider appropriate options for the students, in cooperation among a middle school English teacher, a teacher of special needs education, and university faculty members.
The result of our questionnaire demonstrates that the students gave high evaluation to most of the options.
This paper is an attempt to describe how to organize a junior high school English class where speaking tasks play important roles in having students actively interact in class without written notes. The description is based on the analysis of the 8th grade student speeches derived through two interactive speaking tasks of different cognitive demands, which were performed in class, as post-reading activities. The main-task of a teaching unit should be preceded with a pre-task whose setting or communicative purposes are similar to those of the main-task. Such pre-task helps activate both the schema of the speech context, to which the students can refer in forming their messages in mind, and the vocabulary with which they express their messages while engaging in the main-task.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of utilizing Flipgrid, an online video discussion platform, in a yearlong on-demand type small-sized English conversation class in a Japanese junior college. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of Flipgrid, the data were obtained from students’ speaking video and questionnaire surveys. The result indicated that using Flipgrid may improve students’ awareness of learning English. In addition to improving students’confidence in speaking and listening by using Flipgrid, students who actively spoke have a positive change in their consciousness about reading and writing. The findings revealed that the quality of learning English through distance learning was maintained and had a positive impact by using Flipgrid.