Past research has shown that students at higher grades tend to lose interest in English learning. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce an English program which satisfies their needs. This paper shows how content-based instruction (CBI) was introduced into the "period for integrated study" at an elementary school. This research investigated two aspects: the relationship between CBI and motivation, and the effect of visual aids on students' comprehension of content. A volunteer group of university students at Tsuda College provided a three-day CBI project entitled the rice project, to eighty-one 5th grade students at a public elementary school in Tokyo. To collect data, researchers asked students to complete closed questionnaires before and after the program and teaching assistants observed the students. The results showed that the participating students developed positive attitudes toward foreign countries and higher motivation for learning English after the program. As for the effect of visual aids, videos and pictures helped students to activate the schemata formed by previous studies in social science or home economics to understand unfamiliar 'anguage. Thus, it might be said that the English program based on CBI is suitable for upper grade elementary students.
The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology c 2002 initiative to begin English education in primary schools provides educators with an important opportunity to create a curriculum of sequential learning outcomes. Previous studies comparing vocabulary featured in top selling textbooks indicate a lack of coordination in the vocabulary selected for junior and senior high school texts (Ozasa and Erikawa, 2004; Hasegawa and Chujo, 2004,), and a preliminary analysis of primary level texts (Higuchi et al., 2003) reflects this same trend. In this study, the authors examine vocabulary currently taught at each level and, based on an analysis of the vocabulary in widely published textbooks, have created a list of 514 basic but essential primary level words, 552 words for junior high school, and 1,089 terms for high school. From this list of 2,155 words, an estimated 40% are presented two or more times in textbooks taught at derent levels; therefore, without repetition, the core presented two or more times in textbooks taught at derent levels; therefore, without repetition, the core list contains 1,288 words. By constructing a sequential vocabulary curriculum, learners can continue to build on EFL learning as they proceed through each level. Although an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 words are said to be necessary for practical English competence, the vocabulary compiled in this study represents a positive step in coordinating learning outcomes for Japanese EFL learners.
The aim of this paper is to develop a method for classifying English nouns according to the commonality of co-occurrence verbs from a lexicographical perspective. A one-million-word corpus created at the Nagoya Institute of Technology was parsed, one sentence at a time, using a syntactic parser called Machinese Syntax. The occurrences of Noun- Verb collocations obtained from the parsed output were counted under each syntactic category. Categories were a subject-verb construction and a verb-object construction, among others. Based on the distributional hypothesis, the similarities between each noun were calculated according to the similarity between the patterns offrequency distribution of co-occurrence verbs. For many nouns, appropriate sets of semantically similar nouns that shared many co-occurrence verbs were found. As an example, it was shown that method, technique, and approach share use, apply, base, obtain, develop, and so on. No existing collocation dictionaries have provided such information on the commonality of co-occurrence verbs between semantically related nouns to date. This method can be used effectively to build a useful collocation dictionary.
This paper reports on a study that investigated the effects of text information that a reader must understand to be certain of the correct answer (necessary information) in a listhning comprehension test. There is general agreement that the d(fficulty of listening comprehension tests is affected by many factors, such as speech rate. However it has been unclear which factor causes item dflIculty most because only a few studies have been done to empirically examine several variables and identify significant ones. This study focuses on the location and the characteristics of the necessary information and examines how these factors affect item dflculty of STEP listening tests. The results showed that (a) the location of the necessary information affects item dfJIculty. Items whose necessary information existed in the first clause were harder than those that included their necessary information at different locations, that (b) among several characteristics of the necessary information, only speech rate (words per second) and the proportion of pronouns significantly correlated with the item difficulty, and that (c) a tendency was found that STEP tests have changed the location of the necessary information in the last three years.
The present study attempts to investigate how the listening process works in cases where the listening text is repeated. The experiment in this study set up two types of questions: global questions referring to top-down processing and local questions referring to bottom-up processing. The data collected from 165 Japanese senior high school students showed that repetition could improve the scores of both global and local questions, and that the two types of questions were scored equally by every proficiency level. The results suggest that the subjects were not able to use bottom-up processing effectively due to a lack of decoding skills. This study also attempts to investigate the relationship between proficiency level and repetition. The results indicated that repetition could affect proficient listeners more positively than less proficient listeners.
The present study primarily aims to investigate how extensive reading for Japanese EFL high school students interrelates with their attitudes toward English and English learning, and the recognition of reading strategy used. The participants chose and read English graded readers outside the class freely for about eight and a half months. The same questionnaire was given to them before and after the reading. The results of the factor analysis, the following ANOVA and the Bonferroni multiple comparison, multiple regression, and correlation analysis showed the following: 1 extensive reading improved the attitudes and motivation toward English and English learning in many different ways, 2. extensive reading showed an increase in recognizing global strategies used when making inferences and predictions, which were useful for reading fluently and abundantly, and 3. the students' willingness to improve grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing, and positive attitudes toward English learning affect the amount of reading, but only to a little degree. These results suggested that there is a good possibility that extensive reading can improve the Japanese high school students' attitudes toward English learning and the effective reading strategy use and that these improvements contribute to enhanced reading English for the students.
The present study investigates whether the depth of vocabulary knowledge L2 learners have can affect their comprehension in a listening test. The 70 words to be tested were elicitedfrom the listening test by computer software. To assess each wordc depth of vocabulary knowledge, two versions of word recognition tests were developed from the Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (Paribakht & Wesche, 1997); a lexical version and a phonological version. These word recognition tests and the listening test were assigned to 150 high school students, who were divided into two groups; Group A (72 students) for the lexical version, and Group B (78) for the phonological version. To analwe the correlation between the word recognition test and the listening test, a Pearson correlation test was performed. The results revealed a statistically siyzficant correlation only between the phonological version and the listening test. However the strength of the correlation was found to be weak.
It is well known that the expert teachers have practical thinking style presented by impromptu, multi-viewed and contextualized thinking in teaching. However previous studies have not clarified what makes the characteristics of such an expert teacher's practical thinking style. In this paper, foundation of an expert teacher's thinking style was examined through the regulated class observation and the interview. The English classes subjected to video observation were the first graders in junior high school which were taught by a teacher who has 26 year teaching experience. The interview to the teacher was conducted and transcribed into protocol in order to investigate his teaching / learning beliefs and career history. As a result, it was revealed that this teacher had two characteristics; 1) multiple educational goals and 2) clear teaching syllabus for all three years as well as each grade and daily teaching.
This paper reports a theoretical and empirical approach to the study of oral reading. First, reviews are conducted on the classification of oral reading issues, an oral reading model and assumptions about oral reading practice. The model explains the oral reading mechanism and many anecdotally asserted oral reading issues. The assumptions state functions that oral reading practice performs in helping to improve learners' reading comprehension. Next, reports are made on two studies that examined the relationship between oral reading and reading comprehension. The results, confirming a significant correlation between them, fulfill a precondition in seeking to improve reading comprehension through oral reading practice. it is discussed whether there is a causal link between oral reading abilities and reading comprehension for Japanese learners of English. Finally, a hypothesis is addressed concerning oral reading and reading comprehension.
in the present paper we analyzed electroencephalogram (EEG,) measured at 8 positions while Japanese subjects were learning English rhythm, and found that the increase of theta power at F3 andF4 was the highest, but that of alpha and beta rhythms was the highest at Ozposition. in addition, we measured EEG of an Indian speaker of English during the rhythm instruction and found that the increase of his EEG power, including alpha, beta, and theta rhythm, was lower than that of Japanese L2. These results suggest that theta power at F3 or F4, and alpha and beta power at Oz may be related to the learning process of English rhythm and the alpha, beta, and theta rhythm measured while Japanese L2 are learning English rhythm may have characteristic changes. We found that theta power at F4 position was the highest while all the subjects could orally reproduce every line of the rhythm instruction materials (RIMs, henceforth). These results suggest that the change in F4 theta power may be the most closely related to the L2's English rhythm acquisition.
This study discusses how teachers can motivate their learners to learn in the English classroom. For this purpose, the ARCS model developed by Keller (1983) was used. The model is an application of educational psychological theories to instructional design and offers a repertoire of practical and specific motivational strategies. The participants in this study were 104 Japanese students attending an English conversation class at a nursing school and their teacher. In Study 1, classroom observations, a questionnaire administered to students, interviews with the teacher revealed that the teacher intentionally used many motivational strategies. In addition, the teacher seemed to succeed in changing her classroom design by using motivational strategies. In Study 2, tasks based on the ARCS model were designed and used in the classroom to ascertain the effectiveness of these strategies. The results showed that students seemed to be responsive to the introduction of new tasks, and that they responded especially well to tasks focusing on "Attention" strategies. These findings indicate that the ARCS model is a very useful model for teachers who want to analyze their classes through action research. Moreover, it can be a 'teacher-friendly model' that is effective when teachers use motivational strategies that are suited to their students and observe students' reactions closely.
In order to survey the effects of pause on EFL learners' listening comprehension, two experiments were conducted. The purpose of Experiment 1 is to examine the influence of the following three parameters: (1) The grammatical complexity of the sentence; (2) the location of silent pauses; and (3) the frequency of pauses within the sentence. The results of the experiment show the following effects of pause on listening comprehension: (1) Listeners achieved higher scores when listening to sentences with one pause, two pauses, and no pause, respectively. (2) The shortest sentence (7 syllables in length) with no pause inserted was the hardest to perceive for the EFL listeners. That is, sentence length does not seem to have much effect on perception. (3) The score of sentences which have longer subjects (noun phrase +propositional phrase) was lower than in other sentences with different grammatical constructions. (4) The listening score increasedfor words immediately followed by a pause. The purpose of Experiment 2 is to analyze the effects that pause length have on Japanese EFL learners' listening performance. The result shows that pause length does not affect the overall listening process except for in cases of a certain sentence type. The above findings lead us to conclude that one pause in a sentence of 9 to 14 syllables in length facilitates learner s listening process regardless with the length of each pause.
Word familiarity is one of the lexical attributes that has a great influence both on language comprehension and production. We define word familiarity as the degree to which one feels a certain word is heard or seen in his/her daily life. Our large-scale research project has already surveyed English word familirity presented in a visual manner by Japanese EFL learners, using an off-line method (Yokokawa,ed., 2006). In this paper, we report the results offamiliarity ratings for English words presented in an auditory manner by Japanese EFL learners, and compare the effects of auditory and visual presentation on English word familiarity ratings.
This study investigates the effects of different display methods of reading units on EFL college students 'reading efficiency in the CALL environment. The purpose of this study is to examine the following two questions: First, do different display methods lead the learner to a different level of reading efficiency? And second, does the same display method affect learners of differing levels differently? To examine these questions, we carried out an experiment in which we customized the multimedia display system called Multimedia Player Mint, developed by Mint Applications, CO., LTD., to create identical display environments, except for the dynamic display method of the same reading materials given the same chunking, such as 'the next reading unit will appear by clicking the mouse' or 'the reading unit will disappear after clicking the mouse'. The result shows that while a computer-assisted dynamic display method of chunking may deteriorate higher-level learners' reading efficiency, it may help lower-level learners improve cognitive skills of either reading speed or comprehension, as well as their motivation for reading activity. Further discussion and pedagogical implications for CALL material development, particularly the importance of incorporating reading efficiency, are provided in the final section.