In a report by the Central Education Council titled "Toward the Formulation of a Baccalaureate Degree Program" (2008), a distinction was made between "the first-year experience" and "remedial education," which determined the scope of each concept. This report was based on the arguments by Hamana at the round-table symposiums about the first-year experience/introductory education in the 26th (2004) and the 28th (2006) conventions of the Liberal and General Education Society of Japan. According to the report, the distinction between "the first year experience" and "remedial education" lies in the credit approvability of the content. The implication of this is that "the first-year experience" should be included in a regular curriculum while "remedial education" should not because it covers the contents of secondary education. In reality, however, this distinction does not explain the overlap of activities of the Japanese Association of First-Year Experience at Universities and Colleges (JAFYE) and the Japan Association for Developmental Education (JADE). In this study, the author reexamines the concepts of "the first-year experience" and "remedial education", and tries to reinvent the distinction between them so that the confusion in using these concepts in learning assistance settings at higher education institutes will decrease.
In this paper, I describe the careers of historical characters, such as Soseki NATSUME, Daisetsu SUZUKI, and Bunyu NANJO, who were involved in higher education in early stages of the Meiji period. With reference to specific cases, I describe the system used to articulate between secondary education and higher education at that time. In those days, it was considered crucial for students to become acquainted with foreign languages, because they had to attend classes taught by hired foreigners, where only foreign languages were used. Since university education in Japan is now universally conducted in Japanese, the kind of linguistic ability which is necessary for students nowadays differs from that required in the Meiji period. I illustrate the importance, then, of eradicating prejudices that have prevailed since the Meiji period from consideration, in the context of remedial education, of the common content which students have to master by the time they finish high school.
Lowly-performing students are created probably because Japanese school systems, often using passive ways of teaching and tests, are ineffective at helping students understand and internalize the knowledge of a subjects that the teachers have taught in classes and internalizing the knowledge into the students' minds. Those students perceive an awareness that they feel hard to deal with the subjects as "difficult". During their education, these students are divided according to their scores on placement tests and provided with the necessary knowledge. This education, however, may be ineffective unless the students can reduce overcome this awareness perception and become interested in the content of the subjects. As for the instruction for low-performers, at first, the teachers should prepare the students' mind-sets for learning. Then, teachers should offer the interesting content. Finally, the students should think about their eyes toward their career planning and improving their ability for job hunting. One of the main capabilities provided by universities should provide can include the Key Competencies suggested by the OECD.
This longitudinal study examined the development of Japanese college students' writing proficiency by observing short essays written by them when they entered college, in their third year and in their fourth year. The essays were analyzed quantitatively over time, in terms of 1) the incidences of kanji misuse, spoken-style use, and subject-verb agreement problems, 2) changes in stylistic manners and 3) changes in logical development. As they advanced from first through third to fourth year, misuse decreased, the range of expressions increased, and the level of agreement between claims and reasons in logical development increased.The results showed an improvement in all kinds of problems, and we draw the conclusion that as the students progressed through college, their writing proficiency developed.
Despite the wide range of research on motivation, existing research theories as well as their conclusions do not appear to have significantly contributed to classroom teaching methodology. This study aims to provide language teachers with practical techniques by focusing on preventing demotivation. A questionnaire survey was conducted among Japanese high school English learners in the form of a forty-six item questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to 336 students from 4 different high schools in different parts of Japan. The research questions were as follows. (1) Are there any differences in the teaching strategies' strengths between more-motivated and less-motivated learners? (2) What strategies are effective for preventing demotivation in each group? and (3) Are there any differences in the teaching strategies' strengths between more-motivated learners and those who like English, and less-motivated learners and those who do not like English? After statistical analysis, the study concluded that most of the strategies appear to be more effective for more-motivated learners with some strategies appearing to be more effective than others. Sensitivity appears to be the most useful for all learners. In terms of which strategies are effective, there does not seem to be a significant difference between more-motivated learners and those who like English, and less motivated learners and those who do not like English.
In cases where the learning effect of preparatory education is measured by pre-test, e-testing is considered to be effective because these tests are conducted at remote places. We conducted preparatory education that combined distance education and a pre-test. On the basis of the results, the meaning of the pre-test is analyzed in this paper. First, we discuss the reliability and the validity of the testing method. Second, we clarify the differences in characteristics of the students who took the pre-test. Third, we prove that the pre-test can accommodate students with a variety of academic achievement levels. Finally, we show how the data obtained from the pre-test can help improve education in various aspects.
The purposes of conducting this study are twofold. The first is to develop a regression model for analyzing first year university students' final exam scores in basic science subjects. The second is to test hypotheses for factors that affect such scores. On the basis of data from a questionnaire survey, we statistically investigate the effects on final exam scores of students' interest in lectures, their incentives for obtaining higher scores on the final exams, and their information networks.
This paper consists of four parts. Firstly, the aspects of communication abilities that are necessary for students to study in higher education, where active learning is demanded nowadays, are considered. Secondly, the reason for constructing a questionnaire for the purpose of measuring communication abilities and the way in which the questionnaire was constructed are explained. Thirdly, the answers obtained through the questionnaire are analyzed. Four factors of communication abilities are extracted by the method of factor analysis, and the relationships between the four factors and some psychological traits are investigated by using multiple regression analysis. The results show that the trait of shyness affects the factors most significantly. Fourthly, the effectiveness of training courses whose purpose is to foster communication abilities is confirmed by utilizing the factor scores calculated from the questionnaire answers.
Junior colleges in Japan are experiencing a rapid decrease in enrollment. As one of the countermeasures being implemented to combat this situation, most junior colleges are introducing first year experience or career education programs of some sort. In this paper, the author describes the current state of, and problems facing, the first year experience programs at the English departments of Japanese junior colleges suffering a significant decrease in enrollment, and, referring to standards for the establishment of universities and junior colleges, industrial expectations for university and junior college graduates, and statements by the Association of Private Junior Colleges in Japan, points out the existence of a critical identity problem in Japanese junior colleges. In conclusion, the author stresses the importance of supporting the development of fundamental competencies for working persons, and makes some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
In general, low English proficiency university students lack confidence in learning English. They have not known the pleasure of learning English because they have been taught in archaic and monotonous ways. Thus, they tend to dislike learning English. In this study, the author attempted to design a class for students to improve their impression of the approaches of learning English. As a result of the various approaches, these students enjoyed the class and their impression toward the class turned into a delightful experience. Furthermore, their self-efficacy and English proficiency improved significantly. This paper reports the approaches that the author carried out to engage students in learning English.