Factors Impacting on Teacher Cognition and Teachers’ Approaches to Language Teaching in Japanese High Schools


An investigation of cognitive factors that impact implementation of Communicative Approaches to Language Teaching, CALT, by public high school teachers in Osaka, Japan. Furthermore, it examines factors that would enable implementation of CALT. The experiences, beliefs and knowledge of 46 teachers were investigated using a questionnaire. Of those, 4 were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews, as were 3 student teachers. This mixed-methods approach triangulates qualitative and quantitative data. The results showed that early experiences as learners affect the development of values and beliefs about approaches to language teaching. English teachers in Osaka are increasingly likely to have experienced CALT themselves as learners, and to be somewhat knowledgeable about CALT. Accordingly, teachers hold increasingly positive attitudes towards implementing appropriate amounts of CALT in class. However, teachers in Osaka prefecture apply CALT cautiously, due to a range of concerns about proximate and systemic issues that they face. Teachers' responses to these concerns were affected by beliefs they hold, resulting from their experiences as learners, about language teaching. The results suggested two enhancements for CALT implementation. The first is university exam reform, to assess communicative language use. The second is for learners and teachers to have more opportunities for skills practice, to promote greater meta-cognitive awareness and encourage developments in language or teaching skills. Finally, the results shine a light upon demographic trends in education policy in Osaka prefecture that will affect implementation of Communicative Approaches to Language Teaching, which could have implications outside this context and provide avenues for future research.

Author Information
Thomas Stringer, Konan University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2017
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ACLL2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon