The present study examines the use of EFL CALL materials in a limited self-study environment by students enrolled at Kumamoto University (the facilities were available from 9 am. to 5 p.m. weekdaysi, and evaluates this environment from the perspective of language development, and from the learners perspective towards the environment. Student attitudes were elicited from questionnaires asking how the students themselves felt about the environment, and how they felt that it could be improved. The feedback from the students suggested that the ovenchelming majority of learners found the CALL environment useful, but that they would prefer to have more access to the materials from both on and off campus. Our analysis of the CALL laboratory usage revealed that the first-year students spent more time using the CALL facilities than the second-year students and the difference found in CALL usage between first-year and second-year students was statistically signficant English language proficiency was measured by an English proficiency test called G-TELP at both pre- and post-treatment stages, and the results of the G-TELP analysis demonstrated significant gains in grammar reading and vocabulary but a small and not statistically significant decrease in listening. Furthermore, comparisons with the data obtained by mock TOEIC tests at both pre- and post-treatment stages showed a marked increase in all areas. Implications of the results of the study for teaching are discussed.
This paper reports on a study that compared electronic and printed dictionaries in terms of empirical and perceived efficiency of meaning and example retrieval. Seventy-seven university students took a speed test that measured efficiency with which word meanings (Part 1) and examples (Part 2) were accessed. The participants used electronic or printed versions of the same English-Japanese dictionary. A post-experiment survey explored participants' perception of the two dictionary types. Participants' pre-experiment familiarity with electronic and printed dictionaries was also examined. Multiple regression models were fit in search of meaningful relationships between the variables. The results indicated that (1) in identifying word meanings. e-dictionaries were markedly more efficient; (2) this advantage was multiplied by the users'familiarity with e-dictionaries: (3) in accessing examples, there was no significant difference between the two dictionary types; and (4) participants overwhelmingly preferred e-dictionaries. The paper concludes with an argument that in light of much less degree of reluctance to use e-dictionaries, the electronic-printed gap in real-life use frequency is expected to be larger than was observed by the speed test in this study.
Learning strategies have been widely investigated, however, there have been few detailed investigations of the listening strategies employed by Japanese EFL learners, The main purpose of this study is to investigate the listening strategies used by Japanese senior high school students, analyze their learning styles, design a listening strategy training program for them and confirm the effects of the training. The experimental procedure is pre and post self report questionnaires and pre and post tests design after three months strategy training implemented by the present writer. The subjects were high school students and their proficiency level is rather low, with less motivation to learn English. The results indicate an increase in frequency of strategy use in general, a significant difference in the gains of mean scores in the post listening test, and different effects of the training on different learner types in the use of some strategies. Some educational implications from this study are also presented.
Two empirical studies were conducted, in which Japanese EFL learners' searching behavior was compared in using an electronic dictionary (ED condition) with using a conventional one (PD condition). In the first study, to clarify how learners differ in using dictionaries, the authors focused on the learners searching behavior such as search time, retention of words, and impressions or comments on dictionaries. The results indicated that, between the two conditions; 1) there were no significant differences in respect to either the number of words they looked up or the time they needed for a search in a dictionary in comparison between the printed dictionary group and the electronic dictionary group; 2) no significant differences in the learners' retention of words were found. In addition, 3) some differences were shown in the comments on dictionaries between college and high school students; and 4) most students highly evaluated an electronic dictionary in respect to its handiness and its ease of use, while they considered that, owing to its interface design, it did not provide sufficient information to them, as did a printed dictionary. To provide some supportive evidence to the results found in the first study, the think-aloud procedure was employed in the second study, and influences of dictionaries' interface design on their searching behavior were confirmed.
It has been suggested that lexical context seems to play a robust and direct role in phoneme restoration (more generally. perception) and the effect is considered to be a true feedback mechanism, whereas sentential context does not directly influence phoneme level processing and the effect is merely a post-perceptual decision bias. The experiment reported here examines how word-final ambiguous phonemes as artifacts of phonological processes such as consonant deletion and devoicing are restored by utilization of sentential context. The results show the possibility that sentential context can directly influence phoneme level processing. The data also provide evidence which supports the view that there is a level of phoneme representation in spoken word recognition as has been claimed in TRACE model, a connectionist model of speech perception and word recognition. I suggest that the nature of the role of context is not necessarily dichotomous between the purely true feedback and the post-perceptual decision bias, and is dependent on the degree of the constraint intrinsic to context.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the most decisive factor among those that are presumed to exert significant influence on the improvement of student writing: teacher feedback, rewriting, or a combination of both. Three experimental groups with one control group (each consisting of approx. 40 students) were set up for this semester-long study: Group I produced rewrites based on teacher feedback; Group 2 was not required to produce rewrites after receiving teacher feedback; Group 3 produced rewrites without teacher feedback; and Group 4, the control group. The students in Group I achieved the greatest improvement in both writing quality (measured by holistic score) and fluency (measured by word count). Both the students in Group 2 (feedback-only) and Group 3 (rewrite-only) also showed significant improvement both in terms of holistic score and word count, though not as remarkable as the first group. while the students in the control group made no significant improvement in either respect. The study showed that making students rewrite in response to teacher feedback is the most effective way to improve student writing, but either providing feedback without rewriting activity or making students rewrite without feedback can induce considerable improvement, and thus can be a secondary alternative.
This study sought to re-examine the effects of oral reading ability (ORA) and English ability (EA) on metacognition of oral reading (MOR) for Japanese senior high school students. Mivasako (2002) surveyed the students' (n = 120) MOR with a questionnaire and extracted four factors with fifty-one items relevant to them, and showed that their MOR had a significant relationshzp with their ORA and E.A. However, the research did not reveal how their MOR would be different depending on their ORA and E.A, which was the purpose of the present study. In this study, the participants 'MOR was compared between the upper and lower groups of ORA and E.A. The results showed: (a) the upper-ORA group had significantly higher means of MOR than the lower group mainly in Factor I (perceptions on what you can do or strategies you can use in reading aloud); (b) the upper-EA group had significantly higher means of MOR than the lower group mainly in Factors I and IV (perceptions on performing reading-aloud); and (c) E.A. was a significant predictor of MOR in Factors I, II (perceptions on effective strategies in reading aloud) and IV for the upper- and lower-ORA groups, but ORA significantly predicted MOR only in a few items for the E.A. groups.
The new course of study has provided for a "Period for Integrated Study" beginning with the third year of public elementary schools since April 2002. Many public elementary schools have introduced English activities since this time. However, from grade three to six, now all English teaching activities are unified within most of the elementary schools. Some of them have undertaken a curriculum and teaching methods which have little reference to the childhood developmenta] stages and learning experiences. The objective of this paper is to address the English activities in elementary schools which take into account the children's developmental stages and learning experiences. First, [ will deliberate on the relationship between the English activities and the language awareness and readiness of the children. Then, I will provide effective English teaching methods which will use childhood developmental characteristics based on cognitive psychology. Finally on the basis of the above I will evaluate Practical Handbook for Elementary School English Activities which was published by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. I will also suggest teaching materials and tools for Sunshine Kids Book J/Book2 based on both cognitive psychology and Practical Handbook for Elementary School English Activities. These books are intended to use English activities, considering the childhood developmental stages and learning experiences. In addition I will also present a case study using these books.
The main purpose of this paper is to make suggestions concerning combination of quantitative and qualitative research in order to utilize the advantages of both types of research. Although there are many kinds of studies that combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies, it seems that few of them can be called "publicized" because of the absence of discussion concerning the method of qualitative research in particular. Showing our possible combined research design like a "catalogue", we would like to give rise to implications for future research. Our suggestion as a catalogue can be called a "hypothesis-succeeding" study (Saijo, 2002) using the KJ method (Kawakita, 1967):
The effects of repetition and planning as variabLes of task implementation have received much attention in second language acquisition research. Both repetition and planning reportedly impact learners' fluency, accuracy and complexity in a favorable manner. However, very few studies have shed light on the different effects that repetition and planning might exert on learners' oral production. The present study investigates the different influences that repetition and planning might exhibit in oral tasks given to Japanese EFL students. First, a standardized proficiency test was administered to 108 university students, and four groups with two levels of proficiency (N=35, in total) were established as participants for later comparison. Next, two types of oral task (picture narration and speech) were given to the participants under different task implementation conditions (i.e., repetition and planning). A two-way ANOVA (task condition and proficiency) revealed that the repetition groups were significantly more fluent and produced more information bits in both tasks, and that the upper proficiency groups were significantly more accurate and complex in their oral production only for the picture narration task. It was also observed that the types of task influenced accuracy, especially in the case of the lower proficiency groups. Further discussion and some pedagogical implications will also be offered.
Teaching English to children is getting more attention in the field of education because of the educational reform of 2002 set by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which allows the implementation of English teaching as an option. to international understanding in the public school system in Japan. This may lead educators and teachers to explore effective teaching ways of English for children. Tbis paper will show theories and practices of teaching children English as a Foreign Language (EEL), based on second language acquisition theories. Included are three main parts: 1) differences between English as a Second Language (ESL) and EFL 2) mental preparation for teachers before teaching children, and 3) approaches and teaching techniques for children.
This study explores the relationship among English learning motivation, attitudes toward English class, and self-directed learning of Japanese college students with regard to computer possession, computer literacy, and CALL experience. A survey of 871 college students was conducted for the purpose of developing a questionnaire to assess Japanese students' motivation and attitudes as well as their self-directed learning style. Six English teachers analyzed the responses and identified 16 items on self-directed learning, 31 items on motivation, and 27 items on attitudes toward English class. The questionnaire was administered to 547 college students. In analysis of their responses, it was found that CALL experience facilitated various types of self- directed learning. Factor analyses confirmed four motivational factors (English as a Communication Tool, Socially Directed Motivation, Instrumental Motivation, and Leisure or Pastime) and four attitudinal factors (Computer Dependence, Demand for Assignments, Leisure or Pastime, and Earnest Attitude toward Assignments). Results of a follow-up 3-way ANOVA (computer possession × computer literacy × CALL experience=2×2×2) indicate that computer literacy is more influential than CALL experience in motivating students.
This study discusses the application of Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) to the real TEFL classes in a Japanese high school. In this theory, it is postulated that the three psychological need factors influence human motivation; the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The authors hypothesized that the three factors may also influence learners' motivation for English learning in real classroom settings. Studies, which consisted of four steps, were conducted. Firstly, a self-report questionnaire that assesses students' perceptions of the three psychological needs in English learning was developed. Secondly, this scale was administered to 109 first grade high school students. Thirdly, a confirmatory factor analysis was carried out, using structural equation modeling technique, and also the reliability of the components was assessed. Finally, the interrelationship among these three psychological needs was examined. Results indicated that the perceptions of relatedness were not directly linked to those of competence, however, they were associated with perceptions of autonomy, and hence indirectly related to those of competence. In addition, it is suggested that the role of homeroom teachers, as well as English teachers, is significant to make a classroom climate that enhances students' perceptions of competence.