A Case Study of Japanese Language Teaching in a Multicultural Learning Environment

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Author: Junko Winch, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Email: dr.junko.winch@gmail.com
Published: January 2016
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijll.2.1.01

Citation: Winch, J. (2016). A Case Study of Japanese Language Teaching in a Multicultural Learning Environment. IAFOR Journal of Language Learning, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijll.2.1.01


Abstract

An increasing number of international students, whose teaching and learning practices are very different from that of the UK, is studying in the U.K. This study poses the question of whether Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is the most optimum language teaching approach in today’s multicultural society regardless of cultural differences. The Japanese teaching method (Japanisation) was presented as an alternative teaching method to CLT, and the study investigates any impacts on multicultural students in Japanese language teaching at a university in the South of England.

The study was conducted for one semester using two classes in 2009/2010. Two teaching methods, Japanisation and CLT, were applied. The concept of Japanisation is drawn from the study of the Japanese car manufacturing industry and transferred to the language teaching context. Three tests provided quantitative data to generate data. The quantitative results showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the two teaching methods regarding the attainment in the first two tests. However, Japanisation was associated with significantly higher results in the final test, compared with CLT.

The implication of this study is embedding elements of Japanisation and Japanese educational culture in the Japanese language teaching will possibly enhance students’ learning of reading and written skills. 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 new international characteristics of teaching and learning environments.

Keywords

culture, higher education, Japanese language teaching, multicultural