This paper focuses on the process and structure of Australia’s history curriculum, which was established as a national curriculum in the last decade. The study traces the background of major political and social debate in formulating that curriculum and analyzes its structure. This research deepens the analysis of how two pillars were created in constructing the curriculum: content, which is historical knowledge to be acquired; and competency, which signifies skills to be developed. In the development of Australia’s history education, content-based teaching transformed into a competency-based approach around the 1960s. However, because of “history wars,” history teaching widely became public controversy. Conservative politicians believed that students should learn chronological narrative history, and they promoted a national curriculum for history. Accordingly, Australia’s history curriculum was launched in 2011. The curriculum structure comprises two main strands: historical knowledge and understanding; and historical inquiry and skills.
The aim of this study is to analyze the style and content of five intercultural communication EFL (English as a foreign language) textbooks aimed at the Japanese higher education market. Japanese publishing companies produce a wide range of textbooks which are commonly designed to be used as the basis for the EFL courses offered as part of the general education curricula at universities in Japan. This study is a survey of five such textbooks covering the subject of intercultural communication. The results of the analysis reveal a common omission in all of the textbooks. In addition to a general avoidance of controversial topics which can be serious barriers to intercultural communication, the textbooks in this survey also appear reluctant to encourage students explicitly to engage proactively in intercultural communication for themselves. This paper hypothesizes that this may be a conscious avoidance of putting pressure on students to do something which some of them may consider challenging.
The objective of this study is to uncover the process of how EFL Japanese university students of intermediate or higher proficiency fail to engage in collaborative dialogue in a group project. When students work on a content-based group project, they are not only required to attend to the target language use, but also to the content of the project. In this study, the author qualitatively analyzed students’ interview data to explain how their feelings and thoughts affected the way they interacted with their peers, and how such interactions led to their failed attempts of collaborative dialogue. The findings suggest that the difficulties in simultaneously managing the contents and the process of the project using their L2 negatively affected students’ motivation for engagement, thus resulting in failure to engage in collaborative dialogue. The study also revealed that students found their L1 as a useful tool to deal with those challenges.