STEM Education in English: A Case Study of a Japanese Technical College


Attempts to teach subject courses in English have become more widespread in Japanese universities. Methods such as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is sometimes used to educate students in subject knowledge as well as English language. However, such practices hardly exist in Japanese technical colleges, where students are educated in vocational mechanical and engineering subjects. In view of the fact that technical colleges supply workers and engineers to rapidly globalizing technical fields, it is important for technical colleges to educate their students to gain specialist knowledge and communication skills in English and Japanese. This paper reports one such attempt at a Japanese private technical college, where science courses are taught in English. The purpose of this paper is to report results from a research designed to gauge how much science learning was achieved in English–medium subject courses and whether English was a barrier in learning such subjects. We compared grades of 112 first year students who took English–medium courses and Japanese-medium courses in academic year 2016-17. We also analyzed course feedbacks and assignments of the students. The results show that grade average of students in English-medium classes and Japanese-medium classes did not differ significantly. The grades and feedbacks of individual students indicate that students can gain sufficient subject course knowledge and technical abilities from English-medium courses if they are taught by active-learning methods. Research limitations do exist, but the results suggest the possibilities of educating subject courses to technical college students in English.

Author Information
Nagwa Fekri Rashed, Kanazawa Technical College, Japan
Kana Oyabu, Kanazawa University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis

This paper is part of the ACE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon