The role of student tutors is to support new students, as well as other students who are having trouble with learning, so as these students can teach themselves. In Japan, however, there are but a few case examples that verify the quality of these tutors. Therefore, for the purpose of this research an examination of established peer support learning guidelines and other guidelines applied by North American universities was conducted in order to manifest new guidelines. In order to establish the guidelines, elements required of tutoring were extracted from various tutor handbooks, guidelines, and manuals used by twenty-six institutions and universities in Japan and the United States. These extrapolated elements were then integrated to complete the guidelines. Furthermore, the guidelines were revised through a two-step formative evaluation. Finally, the guidelines were tested in order to evaluate their effectiveness in improving the quality of tutors. To conclude this paper, future topics for consideration are discussed.
This study explores the possibility of incidental vocabulary learning by English learners with lower proficiency levels. The study used a high-frequency polysemous word as a target word and examined whether learners could acquire the word meanings when they already knew certain meanings (partially known words). In total, 69 undergraduate students translated five sentences including a target word. They then read short passages that included one of the five meanings of a target word. By doing so, we sought to determine whether the participants could acquire the target word meaning through reading. After that, they answered the comprehension questions, followed by another five translation questions as found in the pre-test. The results showed that on the whole, they scored better in the post-test than the pre-test. However, in some cases, we could not observe this tendency, which we instead tried to explain from the perspective of whether or not they could comprehend the content of the reading materials. Overall, the results indicated the possibility that low proficiency learners acquire vocabulary knowledge incidentally.
English remedial education has become an important issue in the field of English as a second language, as approximately 80% and 60% of state and private universities, respectively, are currently conducting remedial education. However, since most universities do not have specific goals, curriculums, or methods, there is no sense of unity among these crucial ingredients of education, allowing individual teachers to do what they believe important for students to learn. Some teach basic grammar believing this is the basis of English ability while others focus more on communicative English in order to show the interesting aspects of English learning to unmotivated learners. To reveal the current state of English remedial education, the authors have conducted a preliminary study targeting teachers on their goals, activities, difficulties, and beliefs in relation to English remedial education. Findings show that many teachers focus on basic grammar and vocabulary believing learners must at least understand junior high school level English, and that some teachers feel the need for a well-planned curriculum with specific goals, plans, and activities to lead learners through a unified, focused path to improve their English.
This paper investigated how Moodle affects academic achievement in two lecture-style courses, where students would use Moodle outside of the classroom for home learning. In the General Psychology I course, slides used in class were distributed using Moodle. However, though questions were accepted on the discussion forum, it was rarely used. In addition to distributing slides and accepting questions, the Evolution and Human Behaviors course utilized Moodle to set tasks using online texts. These tasks were not mandatory, but students would receive bonus points for answering them. The relationship between the frequency of Moodle access and the results on the end-of-term examination was analyzed; a significant positive correlation between the two variables was found for both courses. However, this correlation disappeared for the General Psychology I course when the percentage of class attendance was controlled, but the correlation was retained in the other course. Furthermore, this paper found a significant positive correlation between the frequency of submitting online text tasks and the final exam results.
Self-regulated learning is a process that comprises three major phases-planning, monitoring, and evaluation-for emphasizing autonomy and improving students' achievement outcomes. However, there has not been sufficient research to verify its effectiveness in remedial education. In this study, the author attempted to employ self-regulated learning with a class of low English proficiency Japanese first-year university students to examine its validity. The students underwent 24 sessions of planning, monitoring, and evaluating their own learning. The results confirmed the progress of their English learning and their realization that self-regulated learning is an effective method to develop an understanding of what they are learning. Moreover, their self-efficacy significantly improved; specifically, they gained confidence in their English learning.