Role of Study Abroad in the Path to Teaching English in English Among Japanese Teachers


Even with the newly issued and adopted Course of Study by the Japanese Ministry of Sports, Education, and Science, and Technology (MEXT), the use of English in junior high and high school English classrooms is far from 100 percent. The current project used individual interviews to investigate the professional development of English teachers at public schools in Okinawa, Japan, using the Trajectory Equifinality Approach (TEA, Valsiner & Sato, 2006). In this paper, the TEA charts of two junior high school teachers and six high school teachers are compared, with an emphasis on the effects of their study abroad experiences on attaining the Teaching English in English (TEE) stage (i.e., equifinality point). The findings revealed that the nature of their overseas experience caused the differences in the acquisition of practical means to pursue TEE. More specifically, majors other than TESL significantly improved the participating teachers’ English command. They did not, however, necessarily provide practical ideas for conducting TEE, whereas studying TESL served as a psychological foundation for not abandoning TEE even when the students’ proficiency levels were insufficient to understand the teachers’ English use. TEE is thought to be important in developing students’ classroom proficiency, and study abroad experience for teachers is often thought to be desirable. However, the impact of such experiences must be carefully examined during professional development.

Author Information
Mitsuyo Toya, University of the Ryukyus, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the SEACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Toya M. (2023) Role of Study Abroad in the Path to Teaching English in English Among Japanese Teachers ISSN: 2435-5240 The Southeast Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon