This study investigated how different modes of micro-level emotion have different impacts on foreign language (LX) memory formation in shallow/perceptual processing. Participants were instructed to orally imitate the words they heard and saw while trying to replicate the emotional tone of the presented sound. Each word corresponded to either positive (LexVal+), neutral (LexVal=), or negative (LexVal-). The valence data for each word were retrieved from the proto-ANEW-JLE (Kanazawa, 2016b; for LX) and ANEW database (Bradley & Lang, 1999; for L1). The emotional prosody of each auditory prime voice clip was either positive (PercVal+), unemotional (PercVal=), or negative (PercVal-). The test session consisted of a free recall memory test, where the numbers of correct responses (dependent variables) were calculated according to (a) PercVal and (b) LexVal (independent variables). It was revealed that (a) PercVal- had a significant facilitatory effect compared to PercVal=; whereas the facilitatory effect of PercVal+ was not statistically significant. (b) LexVal+ and LexVal- were significantly better recalled than LexVal=. Contrary to Kanazawa’s (2016b) positivity effect under the deep/semantic condition, the present results were more congruent with the negativity effect (Bąk, 2016). The results and the rationale further corroborated the Deep Positivity Hypothesis (Kanazawa, 2018; 2020a).
A growing number of universities in Japan have adopted English-medium instruction (EMI) and started offering classes in English. However, EMI has been implemented at such an unprecedented speed that the research in this area has fallen behind the practice. While the literature includes several case studies on student experiences at a single institution, very few studies have attempted to compare those at different institutions or in different departments. This exploratory study aims to contribute to filling this knowledge gap by comparing the experiences of students who enrolled in an EMI course in human sciences with those who took an EMI course in medicine. Employing a quantitative survey, the present study examined human sciences students’ EMI experiences, focusing on motivation, expected outcomes, coping strategies, perceived difficulties, and learning support needs. Despite the disciplinary differences, the comparative analyses revealed considerable similarities in motivation, expected outcomes, perceived difficulties, and coping strategies. However, the findings also highlighted differences in learning support needs, such as in the degree of importance that students placed on specific types of assistance.
To assess the influence of amount and quality of elementary school English classes on listening comprehension when entering junior high school, three cohorts, 2015, 2016, and 2017 entrants, were tested. Each year entrants came from the attached elementary school or from regular elementary schools. Students from the attached elementary school had English activities that increased in frequency and evolved into regular courses during their tenure at the school, and increased for subsequent cohorts as “the new course of study” was implemented. Students at the regular elementary schools only had English as an activity. Listening comprehension test data showed that scores were significantly higher for the 2017 attached group (who had taken English classes twice a week from the 5th grade) than the 2015 attached group (who had taken English activities once a week in the 5th grade and English classes once a week in 6th grade) and the 2017 regular group. The data also showed there was no difference in the scores for the students from regular elementary schools over the three entrance years. We conclude that having more and better English classes in elementary school was effective in raising listening ability for students entering junior high school.
This paper describes how learner autonomy can be enhanced through adapting extensive listening activities in an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom. Seven non-English major junior students participated in a small-scale action research project, conducted in a listening class. They were encouraged to listen to English materials outside the classroom and to write a listening report (a summary of the content and their reflection on it). The teacher-researcher and students shared their reports in class in English. Analyses of research notes and participants’ reports, as well as their end-of-semester reflections, showed how they became more autonomous learners and why. All the students enjoyed the activity, valued sharing their reflection, and increased perceived self-efficacy in their English skills. These findings are compatible with previous research claims that extensive listening enhances self-efficacy and that metacognitive knowledge gained by engaging in activities and reflections influences behaviour and positively affects learning. Focus group interviews confirmed the benefits of encouraging extensive listening activities and sharing reflections in the classroom. Their appreciation of the activity indicates enhanced learner autonomy.