This research aims to examine the effect of explicit instruction of discourse-based graphic organizers in reading expository texts in view of text structure, which is assumed to influence the reading comprehension of Japanese EFL learners. An experiment on instructive intervention was carried out on subjects (60 thirdyear students) of a technical college. The subjects were divided into two groups, an experimental and control group. At the time of instruction, tasks including making maps by means of discourse-based graphic organizers were introduced to the experimental group after an explanation of the function of graphic organizers. A pre-reading comprehension test, immediate reading comprehension test, and post-reading comprehension test were conducted for both groups. The results showed changes in the experimental group as a whole. Overall reading comprehension improved especially for texts with global items in the immediate reading comprehension test. Significant differences in the lower level participants of the experimental group were found.
The next Course of Study for Senior High School Foreign Languages (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, hereafter MEXT, 2010) clearly aims at fostering students’ communicative abilities of English. Seeking to achieve this aim with integrated skills tasks in “classes with real communication scenes” (MEXT, 2011) it will transform Writing into English Expression courses to improve students’ speaking and writing proficiencies, while the Reading course will disappear. This paper tries to explore how reading instruction will be affected under the next Course of Study, conducting two studies based on Grabe’s (2009) comprehensive suggestions on reading instruction. The first study compares guidelines of the present Reading and new English Communication I / II courses concerning reading instruction. The second pilot study examines how reading and integrated skills tasks will be conducted in the MEXTauthorized course books of English Communication I. The results are: (a) the guidelines of Reading and English Communication I / II courses are basically similar; and (b) English Communication I course will have the following characteristics: its reading skills tasks center around vocabulary, grammar and comprehension, not paying much attention to fluency, and it is without enough integrated skills tasks. Implications for reading instruction under the next guidelines are also shown.
The purpose of the present study is to propose learning strategies for nurturing values in Home Economics Education. 35 senior high school students studied “Life Planning” and “Work Life Valance” in Home Economics classes, and recorded their thoughts about each lesson.
Upon verification differences in their recognition levels found in the students’ writing were divided into four types. The valuation level was given four points, relational level three points, comprehension level two points and emotional level one point. The average for “Life Planning” was 2.17 points while the average for “Work Life Valance” was 2.60 points. The average for “Work Life Valance” was found to be significantly higher than the average for “Life Planning”. (t(34)=2.04, p<0.05).
By comparing the lesson plans of Value Analysis and Value Clarification in the United States results showed differences in the learning strategies between “Life Planning.” and “Work Life Valance”. Value Clarification was observed to be the characteristic learning strategy used in “Work Life Valance” classes. While Value Analysis was observed to be the characteristic learning strategy used in “Life Planning” classes. The following are learning strategies recommended to be included in Home Economics Education: 1) teachers should use material showing reasonable amount of facts and ground in order for students to build the ability to judge on the truth or value of matters, 2) solve practical problems in order for students to form more permanent values through opposing viewpoints, and 3) students should be aware of the problems they are faced with in communication with their classmates.
This study reports the effects of education material and programs provided to 142 second grade junior high school students during “Family, Home and Child Growth” lessons in Technology and Home Economics classes (hereinafter collectively, “Home Economics classes”). The program was originally developed and put into practice for elementary school students in Moral Education lessons. The validation of this program was carried out from the consideration of three points: 1) analysis of review comments by students after the classes, 2) analysis of the learning effects of the education program based on questionnaires before and after the course, and 3) reflection from the lesson provider or teacher in charge of Home Economics. In the review comments, 67 out of 140 students said they would like to “cherish my family and life.” An analysis of the questionnaires before and after the course showed a significant difference in the students’ awareness of “someone’s death,” “the death of a family member” and “their own death,” and a residual analysis showed an increase in the number of students who, after the course, had become more aware of death. The lecturer formed an opinion through a review that providing lessons on death for junior high school students in Home Economics classes will serve as a good education tool to help the students think about their own death as well as to raise their awareness of death in their family and help them to realize the value of their family and life. This study concludes that a fair degree of education effect from the classes of junior high school was achieved with the use of education material and programs on death.
This research has two purposes: 1) to clarify how “teachers’ model reading” is practiced in Japanese language teaching, and 2) to investigate through experiment how effective it is on pupils’ reading comprehension.
Research 1 shows that the aim of model reading can be classified into two types – a type which help pupils to skim the passage and a second type which lets them enjoy the story of the passage. It also shows that most teachers instruct pupils to “read and listen” to a passage being read aloud. Model reading is, however, practiced by many different methods and most teachers are not conscious of the relationship between their aim and their method.
No significance was found in Research 2 from the experiment. But, from the distribution of the scores, an effect was found only on slow learners when they were instructed to read and underline what they thought was important in the passage while listening to the model reading. The results suggest that the method of model reading should be related to the teacher’s aim. And that model reading can be effective when pupils are instructed to underline what they thought was important in the passage while they “read and listen” to it being read aloud by the teacher.
Singing (Shoka-ka) teacher Zengo Aoyagi’s (1884-1957) theory of formal steps to singing was formed on a theoretical basis in Eiji Makiyama’s Kyojyu no Dankai ni Kansuru Kenkyu (The Study about Formal Steps of Teaching). A comparison of Aoyagi’s step theory and Makiyama’s work reveals that Aoyagi selected information on skill acquisition from Makiyama’s work but changed the wording when applying it to singing. Moreover, of the three steps of preparation, teaching, and practice, Aoyagi identified practice as the most important step. This is because Aoyagi recognized that, in singing as a technical subject, the aim is to demonstrate acquired skills. Regarding preparation, Aoyagi considered that it is possible to relate musical elements, based on the association of ideas, such as rhythm in previously learnt material to new teaching material and then assimilate them. He therefore understood formal steps in relation to the theory of teaching material, that is, the selection of teaching material. Thus, Aoyagi not only applied formal steps to singing as a teaching procedure but also attempted to establish a theoretical understanding.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of motivational climates in physical education classes on junior high school students’ perceptions of physical activity. We used the following model as the basis of our study. The presence of two motivational climates (performance and mastery) in physical education classes promotes goal orientations (ego and task), which in turn result in the enhancement of students’ perceptions of physical activity. The sample comprised 934 junior high school students (mean = 13.8 ± 0.9 years). The measures included a questionnaire regarding motivational climate in physical education, a goal orientation scale, and a physical activity scale. A multi-population simultaneous analysis demonstrated the validity of the causal model for both boys and girls. The main results showed that in both groups, the motivational climates (performance and mastery) in the physical education classes had positive influences on students’ perceptions of physical activity. In addition, while we observed slight differences between boys and girls, the motivational climates had positive influences on students’ goal orientations overall, which in turn had positive influences on their perceptions of physical activity. In conclusion, to promote better perceptions of physical activity in students, it is important that teachers cultivate climates of both performance and mastery in physical education classes. They should pay particular attention to the mastery climate, as it was the strongest predictor of students’ perceptions of physical activity in our study.
Our previous study reported a new teaching tool termed the “cap shooter” we developed in order to help third grade pupils understand the “stored kinetic force in rubber” during science classes in elementary school. A cap shooter consists of a clothes peg, a rubber band and a thick paper disk such as the cap of a milk bottle. The shooter propels the paper disk. In this study we investigated the pupils’ understanding of the learning content using a cap shooter and a previously introduced rubber-band driven car, by focusing on the actual state of pupils’ learning of “stored kinetic force in rubber”. A one-unit program of two science class hours was utilized for teaching third grade pupils of a public elementary school. Pupils in Group A took the first class hour with the cap shooter and the second one with the rubber-driven car, while those of Group B took two class hours in reverse order of the introduction of the two teaching tools. The results from pre-test and post-test questionnaires given to the pupils showed that the content of the classes affected pupils in both groups about their understanding of the rubber band. However, it was found the cap shooter was a more effective aid than the rubber-band driven car for gaining an understanding of how rubber produces power, which was one of the aims of the class. Compared with the class with a rubber-band driven car, the cap shooter class promoted the pupil’s understanding of the learning contents more effectively, and information exchange among pupils was found to be greater from class observations. Almost all pupils responded positively that the cap shooter was a more useful teaching tool. Moreover, analysis of VTR recordings of the class showed that, compared with the time needed to make the rubber-band driven car, time needed to make the cap shooter was much shorter and thus more time for the investigation activities was allocated to the pupils. Overall, the results suggested that the cap shooter is a better suited teaching tool for pupils to gain an understanding of the “stored kinetic force in rubber”.