Learner Autonomy and Hand Raising in the Japanese University EFL Classroom


Foreign faculty teaching EFL in Japan often encounter a disconnect between their expectations of classroom participation and those of Japanese students. This begs the questions, 'How do Japanese university students view hand raising in the classroom?' and 'What inhibits or encourages Japanese students to hand raise in the classroom?' As a reflective practice project, we have undertaken a study of Japanese university students' willingness to communicate and raise their hands in front of instructors and peers. With consideration of the students' educational experiences and beliefs about classroom roles, a small group of second-year undergraduate students at a private university in western Japan volunteered to participate in focus group discussions. The discussion transcripts have been coded to identify response categories and themes. This presentation will focus on some of the findings from three focus groups about motivations for students to hand raise, including: grade incentives, advance preparation, intrinsic motivation, and classroom atmosphere. In addition, the presenters will discuss how this study's use of qualitative axial coding (co-axial coding) demonstrates the usefulness of the technique for other education professionals' reflective practice research.

Author Information
Tracy Friedrich, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan
Lisa Miller, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon