A case study of learning in english as a foreign language (EFL) in Japan: high school students' english proficiency levels and fostering positive cross-cultural attitudes

O'Neill, Shirley (2008) A case study of learning in english as a foreign language (EFL) in Japan: high school students' english proficiency levels and fostering positive cross-cultural attitudes. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 4 (5). pp. 104-120.

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Abstract

This study reports on aspects of a larger study of over 600 Japanese high school students taken from ten schools in one prefecture and their attitudes towards learning English as a foreign language (Ingram, Kono, O’Neill & Sasaki, 2008). It compares the cross-cultural attitudes of those who performed highly on the STEP Test with those who had low performance on the STEP Test Students rated seventeen items on a semantic differential scale to elicit their attitudes towards English speaking people, Japanese people, European people, Asian people, the Japanese, Indigenous Ainu people, their own English language teachers and themselves. They also provided their opinions about cultural diversity in society, foreign language learning and their preferred ways of learning EFL at school. Based on percentage positive response ratings the results showed that those students who had achieved higher levels of English proficiency on the STEP Test tended to be more positive towards English speaking people and Europeans in general, and to a little extent more critical of their own culture, Asian people in general and themselves but in some respects more positive towards the Ainu people. There was also evidence of students who had higher proficiency levels recognising the need to engage more frequently in learning experiences that involved the English language and culture, and meaningful communication.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright.
Depositing User: Assoc Prof Shirley O'Neill
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2009 00:13
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-cultural attitudes; english as a foreign language; language policy; language testing; high school students
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200303 English as a Second Language
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/4926

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