An investigation of the impact of Japanese educational culture on Japanese language learning in an international context

Winch, Junko (2012) An investigation of the impact of Japanese educational culture on Japanese language learning in an international context. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Southampton.

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The current language teaching and learning environment in British higher educational establishments appears to have two main characteristics. Firstly, an unprecedented number of students from various cultural backgrounds now study in the UK, including students with a cultural background that is very different from the Anglophone educational culture. Secondly, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) remains the prevailing teaching method used in higher educational establishments, however, CLT is based on assumptions that relate closely to the Anglophone language teaching and learning environment. This study poses a question of whether CLT should continue to be valued and relied upon in this new international teaching and learning environment. Out of many non-Anglophone educational cultures in the world, Japanese educational culture was selected as the focus of this study to help explore this question. In the empirical study, two teaching methods, Japanisation and CLT, were used to investigate the impact of Japanese educational culture in a British university’s Japanese language teaching classes where the British educational culture currently dominates. The study was conducted for one semester at the University of Southampton. The concept of Japanisation is drawn from the study of the Japanese car manufacturing industry and is transferred to a language teaching context. The study was investigated by tests (two assignments and Reading and Written Test) that provided quantitative data, questionnaires that provided quantitative and qualitative data and classroom observation that provided qualitative data. There was no statistically significant difference between the two teaching methods regarding attainment in the two assignments. However, Japanisation was associated with significantly improved results in the Reading and Writing Test, compared with CLT. These results seem to suggest that embedding elements of Japanisation and Japanese educational culture into the teaching of Japanese to non-Japanese speakers in British language classrooms might possibly enhance students’ learning of reading and writing skills. This study also presents possibilities as to how the Japanese educational cultural method of teaching could be incorporated into the teaching of Japanese to non-Japanese speakers. In addition, this study indicates that language teachers facing a multicultural classroom might consider the international students’ educational cultural expectations and needs in learning. Those who develop the teaching curriculum are encouraged at a strategic level to examine other educational cultures and teaching practices from non-Anglophone countries and assess how they may be combined with CLT to reflect the new international characteristics of teaching and learning environments.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Sussex Centre for Language Studies
Depositing User: Junko Winch
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2017 12:53
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50

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