Over the last 20 years, many teachers in Japan have witnessed the gradual decline in student motivation and ability with respect to English. Teachers want to create a suitable English environment in their classrooms but students continually revert to Japanese, especially during pair or group work. The aim of this research was to identify the reasons for this reversion, so that educators can modify their methodology to encourage maximal English usage by students. The research was carried out in the form of a questionnaire. Students were asked to identify classroom situations where they felt the need to revert to Japanese. Questions were based on the researcher's hypotheses that these situations might include; difficulty of the task, past learning experiences, peer pressure, lack of knowledge about language acquisition, and a lack of a speaking component in the assessment criteria. The questionnaire was administered to 180 first and second year students taking compulsory English classes in a sociology department. The results led the researcher to make various recommendations regarding ways to modify classroom management, teaching technique, and assessment in order to maximize student use of English in the classroom.This presentation will include results and implications of the research, as well as practical ideas for the classroom aimed at encouraging students to speak more English.
Frances Shiobara, Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan
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