The present study applies social psychological constructs to the acquisition of English in the Japanese EFL context, and attempts to determine the relationship between two theoretical frameworks and their corresponding sets of variables that approach the topic of motivation from conventional viewpoints. The first framework of variables, described by Clement and Kruidenier (1983), comes from the social sciences and humanities research. The second psychological framework is Gardener (1985) socio-educational model, which proposes that motivation is based on intergroup attitudes and an attraction to the target language and culture. The current research is conducted in an attempt to combine the orientations described by Clement and Kruidenier (1983) with the intergroup constructs discussed by Gardner (1985) for a better understanding of the development of particular orientations and their role in language learning motivation. Furthermore, structural equation modeling, a relatively recent procedure which allows researchers to test cause-effect relations based on correlational data, can have an excellent fit, and all the predicted paths in a path diagram can be significant, and yet it is still quite possible that other patterns of causality could work equally well or better. These results are discussed with respect to the influence of the Japanese EFL context on orientations and in terms of their implications for further studies.
The primary interest of the present study was to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity and reading comprehension for Japanese senior high school students of English. This relationship was a precondition for the speculation that practice in oral reading would develop students' reading comprehension skills by improving the efficiency of their working memory in the sense of Capacity Constrained Comprehension (Just & Carpenter 1992). Also examined were: (a) the effects of passage djfficulty in the reading tests on the relationship between the two constructs; and (b) the relationship between working memory capacity and errors in the reading span test, a measure of working memory capacity. The results were: (a) there was a signfIcant correlation between the students' working memory capacities and reading comprehension as measured by the appropriately-dfficult-passage reading test, (b) students with higher and lower working memory capacity had significantly better and poorer reading comprehension respectively in the more- and less-dfficult-passage reading tests, and (c) students with higher and lower working memory capacity, processing words more semantically and more phonologically respectively, made fewer and more errors respectively. Implications were also suggested concerning oral reading and working memory.
This study sought to examine the beliefs of Japanese university EFL students. A questionnaire was used to investigate the relationships between the students' beliefs and strategies. The following findings were made in this study. First, it was found that many of them were strongly motivated to learn English and to make friends with native English speakers, although they had low self-efficacy in general. Second, in terms of the relationship between beliefs and strategies, it was suggested that successful learners could show us the ideal attitude of effective learning by emphasizing their own learning style. They were well motivated by the desire for authentic communication and believed that their continuous learning and reflective learning would result in their attaining their goals, such as success in examinations. Repetitive and reflective learning can make learners more positive, more tolerant of errors, and more confident and autonomous.
This study investigated (a) what strategies Japanese university students employed in taking a recall test and (b) whether there were differences in reading patterns, strategies and reading tithes between test-takers with high andlow reading abilities measured by two reading comprehension tests. 100 Japanese university students were required to immediately write sellreports about what kinds of strategies they had employed in order to comprehend and recall a text. Results indicate that there was no significant difference in reading patterns between the two groups. Moreovei both groups of readers used similar kinds of strategies in terms of comprehension, memory and note -taking strategies: skimming the text to get the general meaning, guessing the meanings of unknown and difficult word identifying the main idea, utilizing text structure, focusing on details, skipping, translating, focusing on ke,v words. identifying and marking sense groups among sentences, underlining, marking and other strategies. However both groups differed in their use of comprehension, memory and note-taking strategies and the lengths of their reading times. The students with high reading ability reported a significantly greater use of top down or global strategies in terms of memory strategies, while those with low reading ability employed more comprehension and memory strategies having to do with Japanese translations.
The main purpose of this paper was to consider the problem concerning the dfficulties that most researchers of the qualitative studies are confronted with. From an overview of recently conducted studies in the academic field of English language education in Japan, it appeared that most researches using qualitative verbal data were categorized into hypothesis examination or hypothesis generation studies. Nevertheless, few of the hypothesis generation studies were able to help the researchers overcome the difficulties of objectivity and generalizability in treating the data. This suggested that most of the researchers did not give a sufficient amount of consideration to the transfer of their knowledge to future studies. To overcome the difficulties, we proposed to add a new approach, the hypothesis succeeding approach, to the traditionally used hypothesis generation approach. The hypothesis succeeding approach is conducted by a combination of hypothesis generation and hypothesis testing. The former is for interpreting verbal data qualitatively and the latter is for complementing the generated hypothesis. We have shown the extent of the effectiveness of this approach in overcoming the difficulties.
This paper discusses the benefits of one-on-one e-mail correspondence between language learner and teacher focusing on motivational development, belief changes, and writing ability. After three months of e-mail correspondence with their teacher the participants became intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated and improved the fluency of their writing as welL Additional benefits that a teacher receives from e-mail correspondences with students are also clarified.
This paper attempts to reveal learning styles, cultural beliefs, and classroom activity preferences of Japanese students and their relationships in a Japanese EFL context. Understanding learning styles of students has been considered important not only for the teachers but also the students for their better learning. Although many researchers widely investigated each component of learning styles, cultural beliefs, and the relationships between learning styles and cultural beliefs, there is still further research to be done. The present study employed a self-reporting questionnaire to investigate the learning styles, cultural beliefs and classroom activity preferences of Japanese EFL learners. A total of 161 students from two national universities participated in this study The results indicated that (1) the learning style preference of the Japanese EFL students dffer depending on their majors and their reported rating proficiency; (2) two types of cultural beliefs were related with certain learning styles; (3) the preference of classroom activity was not attributable to their cultural beliefs. There are also some pedagogical implications presented in this paper
This study examined the effects of video materials in listening comprehension, especially the djfferences between motion pictures and still pictures on 111 Japanese female English-major college students. A short news clip from 'ABC World News Tonight' was selected for this experiment and was made into three differenr kinds of materials: 1) an unedited original video for kideo Group; 2) an edited video with seven still pictures related to the news context for Picture Group; and 3) an unedited original video sound track without any visual information for Audio Group. Three groups of subjects answered 10 multiple-choice type comprehension questions after the experimental material was presented to each group. Our findings were: 1) visual information from both motion pictures and still pictures help learners understand contents of the material in listening comprehension if the visual information adequately matches the audio information, and 2) if the visual information does not match the audio information, it hinders learners' listening comprehension unless they understand the contents only from the audio information.
Junior and senior high school (JSH) English textbooks in Japan are written in accordance with the Course of Study guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education, Science. and Culture: these guidelines are revised about every ten years. In this study we examined the vocabulary of three sets of serial JSH textbooks, each of which was written in the 1980s, and then re-written in the 90s and again in the 2000s based on the revised Course of Study guidelines for each decade. The purpose of this study was to in vestigate both the alteration in vocabulary size and the efficacy of the three serial JSH textbook vocabularies. The study found that the number of types within JSH textbook vocabulary in the 2000s was larger than that of the 1980s and 90s. On the other hand, the amount of tokens in the 2000 set was the lowest of the three serials. This means that the number of repetitions of exposure to words used in the 2000s version textbook was the lowest of the three. The study also found that the efficacy of the JSH textbook vocabulary gradually improved each time A Gourse of Study was revised, although the overall JSH text coverage over the vocabulary of practical activities remained insufficient.
The purpose of this study is to compare strategies for interpersonal conflict management used by Japanese speakers of English (JE) with ones by native speakers of English (EE) and ones by Japanese speakers of Japanese (JJ), and to clarify JE's characteristics of communication style in English. Data were collected by open role-plays with 5 situations and interviews. 13 Japanese subjects (JE) are adults who have a certain level of ability of using English. 16 native speakers of English (BE) are also adults. This research found that there were differences between JE and EE in frequencies of using some conflict strategies, being unable to refuse, and using direct refusals. However, there were some similarities in JE and EE's frequencies of using some indirect refusals. Totally the evidence of transfer from Japanese communication style to JE's conflict management style was found in some situations, where more Japanese subjects (JE) were unable to refuse their interlocutors' requests, and avoided answering them directly than native speakers of English. The interview with JE also revealed that some of them recognized lack of knowledge about effective expressions in English to negotiate with native speakers of English.
Recent reading research has consistently indicated the critical role of reading fluency for successful reading. The findings from eye-movement research and reading performances of monolingual readers of English have shown that good readers engage efficient, fast, and context-free word recognition, while poor readers involve inefficient, context-dependent stow word recognition. Since reading in L2 or FL is a far more laborious and slow process than that in L1, the need to develop a good method to enhance lower identfi cation skills is urgent. The present exploratory study investigates the effect of repeated reading by comparing it with extensive reading, an alternative and popular methodfor developing both lower identfication and higher comprehension skills of L2 or FL readers. Also, some suggestions are made to create a web-based repeated reading program for future extensive research on how repeated reading facilitates the development of reading skills and overall target language ability.