This study examines reading and integrated skills tasks in MEXT-authorized Reading course books for senior high school students in Japan. Its purpose is to evaluate the tasks before the course disappears in the next Course of Study. The course books are divided into five sections, and the tasks are categorized into 10 groups. The categorized tasks are scored and compared between the course books, between the course-book sections, and between the reading skills categories. The results are: (a) the course books have similar distribution of the tasks; (b) main categories used for reading skills tasks are comprehension strategies, discourse structures, vocabulary and grammar, and the main category for integrated skills tasks is comprehension strategies; and (c) post-reading sections are where the most tasks are placed. It is shown that reading and integrated skills tasks have problems in fostering overall reading proficiency. Implications for the succeeding course books are also revealed.
This article describes the results of a study on the effectiveness of planning in English composition by Japanese high school students. The study was based on previous researches on pretask planning, incorporating several methodological revisions. In this study, the students in the experimental group were instructed to plan in advance using concept maps, while the students in the control group had no such opportunity and were asked to write a composition in the same limited time. The compositions in each condition were analyzed in terms of their quantity, quality and language accuracy. It was found that there were significantly more words and clauses in the compositions of the experimental group than those of the control group. As for quality, there was a significant difference in content evaluations, indicating that the experimental group outperformed the control group. In terms of language accuracy, there was no significant difference in the percentages of error-free clauses. Overall, it can be said that the instruction of planning using concept maps was effective particularly to encourage students to generate more ideas, and organize them in a coherent manner.
The aim of this study is to develop a class for clothing management in the Junior High School Home Economics. Students acquire a scientific concept of laundry by this study of clothing management. An experiment to evaluate detergents was developed and practiced for this class. Students' experiment work sheets were analyzed. All students could confirm that when the surface tension decreased, it was one of the functions of the detergent. The surface tension was measured by using a variety of detergents and the hardness of water. The results were evaluated by comparing the numerical values of the properties of the detergent solution. It was understood that the experiments introduced into the class was effective. The educational content related to the detergency is necessary for the following.
The purpose of this study was to investigate methods for improving the use of motivational strategies by language teachers. The research questions were as follows, (1) Which motivational strategies do students consider most important? (2) Which motivational strategies are underutilized compared to their relative importance? (3) Do student perceptions regarding motivational strategies change as the course progresses? Two questionnaires were administrated to 70 first-year university students enrolled in English communication classes. Analysis showed students consider the creation of a supportive atmosphere, promoting group cohesiveness and reducing fear to be most important, regardless of course progress. Analysis also revealed that teachers did not sufficiently promote language value, create realistic beliefs or reduce anxiety compared to their relative importance. The identification of these differences demonstrated the usefulness of this research model as a framework for identifying areas of instruction in need of improvement.
The present study attempts to explore how L1 sociopragmatic knowledge and pragmalinguistic selection influence the Japanese and Chinese EFL learners' interlanguage (IL) requests in terms of syntactic and lexical downgraders in English. Forty-eight Japanese and fifty-four Chinese English-major university students participated in the experiments. Their use of syntactic and lexical downgraders as internal downgraders in their L1 and IL requests was analyzed and compared. Thirteen English native speakers' responses were also taken as the baseline data in order to make the analysis more objective. The data were collected by means of an open Discourse Complete Test (DCT) with four academic situations in their campus life which were different in terms of Power factor including 'make a request to a friend' (-P situation) and 'make a request to a professor' (+P situation). A two-way ANOVA was employed to examine if Power difference factor and Language difference factor influenced their IL requests significantly. The results showed that different from the Japanese EFL learners and English native speakers, Chinese EFL learners tended to use strong hints instead of internal downgraders when they made a request to a professor in their IL English requests, suggesting the possible failure caused by L1 influence in cross-cultural communications.