Journal of the Institute for Second Language Development

Journal of the Institute for Second Language Development




March 2006
Gender and Academic Performance in English Communication Courses
July 2007
A Case Study Of A Japanese Learner In The UK
September 2007
Course Blogs for Overseas Study Preparation: A Survey of Student Opinions
September 2007
An Emerging Japanese English
February 2009
Observations on One Japanese University's General English Program
December 2013
Incentivization and In-class Participation in the Japanese University English Language Classroom


Course Blogs for Overseas Study Preparation: A Survey of Student Opinions

Sept, 2007


Philip Beech, (MA Asian History, Dip. TEFLA)

Assistant Professor


John C. Westby, (Bachelor of Arts, Doctor of Jurisprudence)

Associate Professor

In answer to the question "Using varied methods - computers, videos, CDs, speaking activities makes learning more fun" the figures show a large majority of students' responses in favor.

Figure 13

Fig 13.

In answer to the question "Using computers in kaigaikenshu improved my general computer skills" the figures show a small positive response.

Figure 14

Fig 14.

In answer to the question "Using computers makes me more independent as a learner" the figures show that 46% of students replied negatively and did not feel using CALL helped them to develop as autonomous learners. Only 19% of students replied positively.

Figure 15

Fig 15.


Overall the results show that English language instructors in the average, mid-ranking Japanese university environment have some work to do in addressing the problem of creating self-motivated, autonomous learners who are able to make the best use of the new media and technology now available to instructors and students.

Similar to the results of Suwanthep & Seepho with Thai university students, Japanese secondary education from middle school on inculcates a passive response to learning with students only called on to respond when directly requested by the instructor. "Lecture classes in middle schools mean that student participation is limited to teachers stopping to briefly probe students for answers, opinions, or reiterations." (LeTendre). English classes are largely "teacher-centred, text-orientated" and tailored to meet the demands of high-school and university entrance exams.

Research by Thompson, Ishii, and Klopf (1990) revealed Japanese students showed "less assertiveness and more apprehension and reticence about interacting orally with others than Americans did." (Nippoda, 2002). Instructors using CALL in a Japanese educational environment must be aware that the media offers both possibilities for group interaction and for students to work individually with the new media without the need for group or pair work.

Student attitudes in the survey showed a decidedly mixed response to using CALL regularly as the major focus in the language classroom.

Some of the data collected also appears contradictory. For example, if we ignore those students who chose the answer 3 (which we have equated to mean neither positive or negative, holding no strong opinion either way) 37% of the students surveyed replied that they would prefer not to use computers for studying English, whereas in the very next question "Computers are a useful tool for learning English", 40% of students gave a quantifiably positive response as opposed to 27% who replied negatively.


Books & Journals

Levy, Mike & Stockwell, Glenn. Call Dimensions: Options and Issues in Computer Assisted Language Learning (2006)

McVeigh, Brian J. Japanese Higher Education As Myth (2002)

Rohlen, Thomas & LeTendre, Gerald. Teaching and Learning in Japan (1995)

Son, Jeong-Bae (Editor). Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Concepts, Contexts and Practices (2004)

Suwanthep Jitpanat & Seepho Sirinthorn. Exploration of Students' Attitudes toward Learning English through CALL (KOTESOL Proceedings 2005)

Zaphiris, Panayiotis (Editor), Giorgos Zacharia (Editor). User-Centered Computer Aided Language Learning (2006)

Zhong , Y. X. & Shen H. Z. (2002). Where is the technology-induced pedagogy? British Journal of Education Technology, 33(1), 39-52.


Internet Resources

Blood, Rebecca. Weblogs: A History and Perspective, Rebecca's Pocket. 25 October 2006.

Campbell, AP. Flickr for “Low Level” EFL Students

Nippoda, Y. (2002). Japanese students' experiences of adaptation and acculturation of the United Kingdom. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 8, Chapter 5)

Observations on the use of Web 2.0 tools for English Language Teaching.

Using YouTube For Vocabularly Development.

Weblog Applications for EFL/ESL Classroom Blogging: A Comparative Review.

Wen-shuenn Wu. Using blogs in an EFL writing class. Department of Foreign Languages & Literature, Chung Hua University, 30 June 2007.

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