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Issues and conditions of English Activities in elementary school in Japan: An analysis in Kumamoto City municipal elementary schools

Murayama, Yohei (2010) Issues and conditions of English Activities in elementary school in Japan: An analysis in Kumamoto City municipal elementary schools. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study explores the conditions and issues of English Activities (EA) in municipal elementary schools in Japan. The overall purposes of this study are (1) to clarify what the Japanese education system requires from EA, (2) to describe how far EA goes in meeting such demands in practice, and (3) to illuminate factors which facilitate or inhibit students’ learning within EA. Firstly, it was found among various theoretical approaches to language learning, that social constructivism best describes the nature of EA. It was also revealed that EA in practice is related to various educational issues, and we cannot understand what EA is until we view it from a broader perspective. In particular, it appeared that EA is strongly related to the following key issues on current students in Japan: the lack of communication skills, self-confidence, and unwillingness to study. Therefore, EA actually serves an important role to tackle such issues. Based on these perspectives towards EA, the empirical research was conducted in municipal elementary schools in Kumamoto City. The methodological approaches adopted in this research were the survey approach and the case study approach. Firstly, a postal questionnaire sent to all municipal elementary schools in Kumamoto City, and an interview of the teachers’ consultant on Education for International Understanding at the City Board of Education were undertaken to confirm the general state of EA. The case study was then undertaken in two schools utilising questionnaires, interviews, and observations. The research revealed that (1) some progress in EA was confirmed and it appeared not only in the classroom, but also outside, and (2) some key educational issues on current students actually appeared in EA in practice which affect students’ learning in EA.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Educational Studies (York)
Depositing User: Mr Yohei Murayama
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2011 15:43
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1499

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