Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 9, no. 10 (March 27, 2001).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c March 27, 2001
Japanese EFL teachers' perceptions of communicative, audiolingual and Yakudoku activities : the plan versus the reality / Greta Gorsuch.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856

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1 of 27 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 9 Number 10March 27, 2001ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2001, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .Japanese EFL Teachers' Perceptions of Communicative, Audiolingual and Yakudoku Activities : The Plan Versus the Reality Greta Gorsuch Texas Tech UniversityAbstract In recent years, the learning of English as a Forei gn Language in Japanese high schools has become the focus of new e ducational policies applied at the national level. One of these is The Course of Study issue by the Ministry of Education, in which teachers are for the first time in a long series of curriculum guidelines, adjured to de velop students' "positive attitudes towards communicating in Englis h." Another is the JET program, which has put thousands of native Engl ish speaking assistant language teachers (ALTs) into Japanese se condary classrooms for the purpose of team teaching with Japanese teac hers. Data resulting from a survey project of 876 Japanese high school E nglish teachers was used to provide empirical evidence of teachers' lev els of approval of communicative, audiolingual and traditional ( yakudoku ) activities. Teachers were also asked to rate the strengths of a variety of influences on their instruction, including university entrance exams, and preand


2 of 27in-service teacher education programs. Teachers' pe rceptions of both activities and instructional influences were examin ed in light of teachers' length of career, type of school (private versus pu blic, academic versus vocational), and level of contact with an ALT. The data revealed the complexities of imposing broad, national educationa l policies on a diverse group of teachers, and in an educational cu lture which likely precludes teachers' use of communicative activities Introduction In recent years, the teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Japanese secondary schools has become the focus of a variety of new educational policies applied at the national level. In 1989, the Ministry of Edu cation issued a new set of curriculum guidelines and course descriptions for the instruct ion of English in high schools, called The Course of Study (Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture, 1992 ). For the first time, descriptions for the mainstream, four skills English I and II courses in the new Course of Study included the startling injunction that high school teachers were to instill a "positive attitude towards communicating in Engli sh" in their students (McConnell, 1995). Another major change in foreign language ed ucation policy in secondary schools applied at the national level was the 1987 advent o f the JET program, which brought native English speaking "assistant language teacher s" (ALTs) into Japanese junior and senior high school English classes (McConnell, 1995 ; Wada & Cominos, 1994). The purpose of the JET program was to "provide increase d opportunities for interaction in the schools between [ALTs] and Japanese teachers of for eign languages," and by extension, promote the teaching of communicative English (Wada & Cominos, 1994: 1). The JET program is well endowed, with an annual operating b udget of US$222,000,000 (McConnell, 1995). The JET program is currently in its twelfth year, and employs 5,361 ALTs from numerous countries ("JET program," 1998). Given the conservative leanings of the Japanese education sector (Lincicome, 1993), these two policies are radical. However, there are several obvious aspects of the Japanese high school educational culture that work against teachers' acceptance of a ctivities designed to promote students' communicative abilities (McConnell, 1995), implying a mismatch between this politically inspired plan and the realities of Japa nese high school EFL education. Further, it is not even clear what Japanese high school Engl ish teachers believe about communicative activities. No empirical research on teachers' perceptions based on a generalizable sample has been done, even though The Course of Study has been in force in the majority of Japanese high schools since 1992 Observers note that the beliefs of the teachers have not have been taken into account in The Course of Study (LoCastro, 1996; Pomatti, 1996; Wada, 1994). There is evidence of th is in the JET program as well. According to McConnell (1995), the decision to requ est ALTs for schools is often made at the prefectural level for political reasons. At the local level then, the day-to-day supervision of ALTs is often left to Japanese teach ers of English, who resent the extra workload (Gillis-Furutaka, 1994; McConnell, 1995; U ehara, 1992). The traditional style of reform done by the Ministry of Education is well described by Markee's notion of the center-periphery model of innovation diffusion, in which teachers "merely implement the decisions that are handed down to them" (1997: 63). This lack of regard for teachers' beliefs a bout language teaching may be a fatal


3 of 27omission. In contexts in which educational innovati ons are being implemented, teachers' attitudes take on tremendous importance. Teachers' attitudes and beliefs are the single strongest guiding influence on teachers' instructio n (Cuban, 1993; Doyle, 1992; Fang, 1996; Freeman, 1989, 1998; Reynolds & Saunders, 198 7; Thompson, 1984). This article reports Japanese high school E nglish teachers' approval of communicative and non-communicative activities thro ugh empirical data resulting from a recent nationwide survey of 876 Japanese EFL high s chool teachers in nine randomly selected prefectures. The article also describes te achers' perceptions of the circumstances in which they operate, and discusses what effects t hese circumstances likely have on teachers' approval of communicative activities. Thi s juxtaposition of attitudes and circumstances is suggested by Ajzen (1988), who was concerned about the links between personal attitudes, intentions, circumstances, and personal action; and Markee (1997), who was concerned about the effects of an education al culture on teachers' acceptance of a language education innovation.The presentation an d discussion of the data will be used to characterize, from the teachers' point of view, the current state of Japanese EFL education in high schools during a period of time i n which sweeping, nationally applied policies have been instituted. Understanding Teachers' Attitudes: Limitations Because this study explores teachers' attit udes towards various types of instruction, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between teacher attitudes and actual behavior. For this purpose, Ajzen's model (1988) was adopted. Use of Ajzen's model in EFL/ESL research contexts has been reported in Kennedy and Kennedy (1996). According to Ajzen, an attitude is a person's "evaluative reacti on" to some object of interest (1988, p. 23). Ajzen suggested that attitudes then "predispos e" the person to creating a cognitive response (a belief) about the object, and a potenti al to act on the object (an intention). However, positive attitudes towards communicative a ctivities and even positive intentions to do them in the classroom may be influ enced by what Ajzen called "subjective norms" and "perceived behavioral contro l" (p. 133). Ajzen defined "subjective norms" as an influence on intentions ar ising from a person's "perception of social pressure to perform or not perform the behav ior under consideration" (p. 117). Thus, for Japanese high school English teachers, so urces of subjective norms would be their students, or colleagues. Ajzen defined "perceived behavioral contr ol" as "the extent to which people have the required opportunities and resources" to do som ething (p. 127). Thus, teachers may be hindered in doing communicative activities by "inte rnal" and external" factors of perceived behavioral control (pp. 128-130). Example s for Japanese high school English teachers would be adequate training in communicativ e methodologies, or textbooks that aided them in creating communicative activities. Ac cording to Ajzen's model, then, teachers' attitudes may not be predictive of their behavior. Even though they say they approve of particular types of activities, they may not actually do them in their classrooms. Thus, any data on teachers' attitudes m ust be interpreted carefully in terms of the realities of teachers' every day work. The Realities of Japanese High School English Educa tion There are several aspects of current Japa nese high school English education which constitute potential impediments to teachers' accep tance of communicative activities, and thus, the policies of Japanese educational authorit ies. These are: yakudoku an entrenched


4 of 27traditional method of instruction; high stakes univ ersity entrance exams, and inadequate preand in-service teacher education programs. Yakudoku a traditional method of foreign language instruct ion, focuses almost exclusively on the translation of English literary texts into Japanese, and direct grammatical instruction in Japanese (Bamford, 1993; Bryant, 1956; Gorsuch, 1998; Henrichsen, 1989; Hino, 1988; Law, 1995). Yakudoku has been characterized as an impediment to earlier efforts to change EFL instruc tion (Henrichsen, 1989, p. 104). In two yakudoku classrooms, Gorsuch (1998) observed strongly teach er-centered instruction focused largely on the translation of a difficult E nglish text into Japanese. Both teachers in the study reported that they did not ask the stu dents to produce their own original spoken or written English utterances or sentences, because it would be too "difficult" for students. Clearly, students' abilities to communica te in English could not be developed in such classrooms, in that one of the cornerstones of communicative activities is to create semi-realistic situations in which students can exp ress intended meanings in the second language (Hatch, 1992; Richards & Rodgers, 1986; Te rrell, Egasse, & Voge, 1982). There are historical reasons why yakudoku remains firmly in place. In postwar Japan during the late 1940s and early 1950s, English lang uage education in secondary schools was marked by a real shortage of English teachers w ho could speak English and who had sound pedagogical training (Henrichsen, 1989). As a result of post-war teacher education policies designed to quickly increase the number of certified teachers in all fields, large numbers of college graduates who were not proficien t in spoken English were made English teachers at secondary schools as a "stop ga p measure" (p. 163). Such teachers likely used yakudoku because this is what they knew, and did not have to speak English in order to teach it, a trend which continues today (Kawakami, 1993; Pomatti, 1996; Wakabayashi, 1987). University entrance exams in Japan are high stakes, and affect the lives of Japanese high school students in many school settings. Many observers have noted strong effects of university entrance exams on classroom instructi on in Japan (Eckstein & Noah, 1989; National Institute for Educational Research, 1991; Rohlen, 1983), including English language instruction (Brown & Yamashita, 1995a, 199 5b; Gorsuch, 1998; Hildebrandt & Giles, 1983; Kawakami, 1993; Kodaira, 1996; Koike & Tanaka, 1995; Law, 1994, 1995; Miller, 1998; Yukawa, 1994) and on teachers' attitu des towards communicative activities (Gorsuch, 1999a). Reportedly, Japanese high school English teachers feel they are expected to prepare students for university entranc e exams by having students translate English passages into Japanese, taking vocabulary q uizzes, and focusing their instruction on developing students' linguistic knowledge at the expense of linguistic skills (Law, 1995; Miller, 1998). Many students at academic high schools seem to believe that the purpose of high school English education is univers ity exam preparation (Kodaira, 1996; McConnell, 1995; Pomatti, 1996). Students may influ ence teachers' instruction through their expectations that teachers are supposed to pr epare them for the exams, a phenomenon noted in Japan (Gorsuch, 1999a; Hildebra ndt & Giles, 1983), and in other contexts in which high stakes tests are in place (M acDonald & Rogan, 1990; Madaus, 1988; Morris, 1985). Inadequate pre-service teacher education programs are a third impediment to teachers' acceptance of activities designed to deve lop students' communicative skills. Current EFL pre-service teacher education programs lack vision and depth of instruction in teaching methodology, and do not provide suffici ent teaching practica experiences (Kawakami, 1993; Kizuka, 1997). Many would-be teach ers get teaching certificates from universities that do not have an education faculty. Such programs may have little actual interest in teacher preparation (Kizuka, 1997; Koba yashi, 1993). In these programs for


5 of 27EFL teachers at "course approved" universities, wou ld-be teachers need only take a minimum numbers of courses related to English, such as English literature or linguistics. They do not get enough courses which bridge "Englis h language theory and practice" (Kizuka, 1997; National Institute of Educational Re search, 1989). The result is a pre-service teacher education system that is inadeq uate to the task of supporting the development of fundamental changes in instruction i mplied by policies presented in The Course of Study and the presence of ALTs in high schools. Inadequate in-service teacher education programs are a fourth impediment. On the face of it, it does not seem likely that Japanese i n-service programs can produce teachers who have the tools to analyze and change their own teaching, as proposed by Combs (1989), Lortie (1975), and Kanu (1996). Government mandated in-service teacher education in Japan consists of first year induction for new teachers, and very limited in-service courses for experienced teachers. Respon sibility for the planning and execution of these programs along Ministry of Education guide lines is left in the hands of prefectural and municipal Boards of Education (Koba yashi, 1993). This has two implications. First, inservice teacher education varies widely in frequency and content from prefecture to prefecture. And second, first ye ar induction and in-service programs are generally provided for public high school teach ers, but not for private high school teachers. "Instructional technique" training for new high school English teachers in Kyoto consists of thirty days of "TEFL training" (GillisFurutaka, 1994, p. 34). In Fukui Prefecture, new English teachers at public schools have their teaching observed once by a "High School English Teacher's Consultant," who giv es the new teacher "feedback and guidance." In addition, new teachers must undergo a two day seminar in which teachers "learn about game and activity design, motivational strategies, and teaching communicatively" (male Japanese prefectural English faculty in-service program coordinator, personal communication, December 4, 19 97). Public high school English teachers are als o required to undergo limited in-service training at later points in their careers. Inserv ice programs can potentially promote the use of communicative activities in Japanese classro oms among senior teachers who may not have had the opportunity to receive training ot herwise, and who are "farther away" from their university pre-service training than jun ior teachers. Indeed, Cohen and Spillane (1992) note that teachers' length of career can inf luence their attitudes towards instruction. In-service training, if effective, may change senior teachers' attitudes. Unfortunately, at least one observer, a hi gh school EFL teacher herself, questioned the quality of board of education sponsored in-serv ice education programs, and noted that such programs are offered only for short periods of time (Okada, 1997). Data provided by teaching consultants in Fukui, Nagano, Shizuoka, an d Yamaguchi prefectures suggested programs that run from one to three days. The brevi ty of in-service training for Japanese teachers runs counter to the suggestions of Cohen a nd Spillane (1992) and MacDonald and Rogan (1990), who stated that effective in-serv ice teacher education should be extended for long periods of time, and conducted wh ile teachers continue their usual teaching schedule. Finally, due to budget constraints, some prefectures may not offer any specialized EFL in-service teacher education, as in the case of Toyama Prefecture, which discontinued their "English Teacher's Workshop" in 1997 (male Japanese prefectural English faculty in-service program coordinator, per sonal communication, February 25, 1998). It is apparent that specialized in-service t eacher education for EFL teachers is not uniform at the national level. Data from this study may indicate whether teachers' length of career has an effect on their approval of commun icative, or other activities, and


6 of 27whether teachers at different stages in their caree r report that participation in in-service programs influences their instruction. Diversity in Japanese High School Education The Japanese high school education system i s surprisingly diverse, and The Course of Study a broad national policy, and the JET program, a n ational level program, are being applied to it. In the research project used t o generate the data for this article, teachers at both public and private academic and pu blic vocational and night high schools were surveyed, in order for the data to be generali zable to the population of high school English teachers in Japan. Combined teachers' lists for the nine prefectures revealed that Japanese English teachers at public vocational scho ols constituted a sizable minority, 783 (12.7%) of all 6,167 teachers in the nine prefectur es. Private high school English teachers accounted for 21.8% (1,345)(Gorsuch, 1999a). From the prefectural teachers' lists, it is apparent these high schools are located in urban areas, and are university-preparation oriente d. There is essentially no literature extant focusing on EFL instruction in private acade mic high schools as specific contexts. There is more literature extant on public vocationa l and night high schools, although still virtually nothing on EFL programs and teachers spec ifically. Unfortunately, what there is describes a system of schools which currently have no clear purpose, and where the students have been labeled "low ability." While voc ational education at the upper secondary level has been historically intended to f ill the labor needs of commerce and industry, vocational and night high schools later b ecame the territory of students who could not successfully compete for admission into c olleges or universities (Cantor, 1985; James & Benjamin, 1988). Of direct relevance to hig h school teachers, Cantor stated "vocational courses find it difficult to recruit go od, well qualified teachers" and "both teachers and students suffer from low morale" (p. 7 1). James and Benjamin (1988) painted an equall y stark picture, suggesting that the Ministry of Education creates guidelines ( The Course of Study ) that keep high school curricula "hard" and fast paced. The guidelines thu s act as a screening mechanism to place high school age students in secondary schools appropriate to their academic abilities, as defined by their ability to score wel l on examinations. The effect of applying a difficult, unitary set of guidelines on a whole p opulation of students with varying abilities in test taking is that high schools in wh ich "low ability" students are concentrated "are given little leeway to address the needs of th ese students" (39). This may also be true for EFL teachers in vocational high school settings The data presented in this article may indicate whether such teachers constitute a unique group which responds to the needs of a specific group of students. The data may also indic ate whether The Course of Study is really applicable to students in vocational and nig ht high schools. Assistant Language Teachers: The JET Program The overt purpose of the JET program is to have the assistant language teachers (ALTs) and Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) inte ract in English and raise JTEs' awareness of English as a communicative medium (Wad a & Cominos, 1994b: 1). As such, the JET program offers a powerful potential f or instructional change among Japanese teachers of English. Yukawa (1992, 1994) d ocumented changes in the teaching of a male JTE at a high school as a result of team teaching with an ALT. Generally, the JTE stopped using the traditional yakudoku translation method and began using communicative methods in class. When the JTE and AL T's teaching relationship ended,


7 of 27however, Yukawa found that the JTE reverted back to teaching in traditional ways. It is possible that the JTE, without the support of the A LT, "disconfirmed" his previous decision to use an educational innovation, in this case, communicative activities (Markee, 1997). Futher research on the persistence of the ef fects of ALTs on JTEs' instruction seems in order. It should be noted that team teaching with ALTs is not universally available, or applied. ALTs in the JET program are sent only to s chools which formally request them (male Ministry of Education JET functionary, person al communication, September 26, 1997). This means that teachers in some prefectures have more opportunities to teach with ALTs than in others. For example, heavily popu lated Kanagawa Prefecture has 62 English speaking ALTs in the JET program, while les s populous Shizuoka Prefecture has 152 (Ministry of Education, 1997). In addition, sch ools schedule ALTs for classes in quite different ways, with some schools sending ALT s to a new school every day ("one-shot visits"), to schools that have JTEs and ALTs maintain a regular thrice weekly team teaching schedule in one classroom. Purpose/Research Questions The Ministry of Education Course of Study has been applied at a national level to Japanese high school EFL teachers at different stag es in their careers in very different types of schools, and with variable access to ALTs. It is important to document teachers' responses to the communicative ethos of The Course of Study in light of these three variables, and to learn more about their attitudes towards activities associated with other language learning approaches known to be in use in Japan. The research questions are: What teaching activities associated with communicat ive, audiolingual, and yakudoku approaches to foreign language instruction will Ja panese high school English teachers report as being appropriate or not appropriate for English I and II courses? Will teachers' responses differ according to teachers' length of career, type of school, or leve l of involvement with an ALT? In addition to documenting teachers' attitu des towards various language learning activities, it is necessary to document teachers' p erceived circumstances. Elements of teachers' circumstances would include: teachers' pe rceptions of the strength of influence of university entrance exams, students' expectation s, colleagues' expectations, preand in-service teacher education programs, etc. (For a full description of postulated influences in teachers' instruction see Cohen & Spillane, 1992 ; and Gorsuch, 1999a). In order to compare these data effectively with the results of research question #1, teachers' responses will also be examined in the light of the three variables of teachers' length of career, type of school, and level of involvement wi th an ALT. What influences on instruction will Japanese high s chool English teachers report as being strong or weak? Will teachers' resp onses differ according to teachers' length of career, type of school, or leve l of involvement with an ALT?MethodParticipants


8 of 27 The participants for this study were 876 Ja panese high school English teachers at public academic, public vocational, and private aca demic high schools in nine randomly selected prefectures (Fukui, Kanagawa, Nagano, Saga Shizuoka, Tokushima, Toyama, Yamagata, and Yamaguchi). Teachers' names were samp led using a systematic random sampling procedure from nine teachers' lists obtain ed from prefectural boards of education, and from high school teachers in the pre fectures. The number of 876 represents a 85% return on the target sample size o f 1,035. 340 of the respondents were public academic high school teachers, 277 were publ ic vocational and night high school teachers, and 259 were private academic high school teachers. Materials The main data collection instrument providi ng data for this article was a Japanese-language questionnaire (for the English-la nguage version see the Appendix). The questionnaire had four subsections. Subsection A was designed to capture teachers' attitudes towards classroom activities associated w ith communicative, audiolingual, and yakudoku approaches to foreign language instruction. All th ree approaches are known to be in current use in Japanese high schools. Teacher s were asked to respond to twelve activities in terms of their appropriateness for En glish I and II courses they were currently teaching by circling a score from 1 ("strongly disa gree") to 5 ("strongly agree") under each questionnaire item. To develop the construct v alidity of the items in this section, eight EFL educator panelists (four of them Japanese four of them native speakers of English) were asked to categorize a list of 30 acti vities into the three approaches. Only those items which the panelists were able to unanim ously categorize were included in the questionnaire. Subsection B was designed to establish the grouping variables for the study: teachers' length of career, type of school, and lev el of involvement with ALTs. Teachers responded to the items by checking one category for each item that fit their situations. For length of career (B1), the three categories were 08 years of experience, 9-16 years, and 17+ years. For type of school (B2), the categories were public academic high school, public commercial or industrial high school, public night high school, and private academic high school. Teachers' responses to public commercial, industrial, and night high schools were combined and treated as one categ ory (public vocational high schools). For level of involvement with ALTs (B3), the three categories were teaching English I or II with an ALT at least once a week, less than once a week, and not at all. These grouping variables and their categorical breakdowns were sug gested by the literature (Cohen & Spillane, 1992) and a pilot survey conducted by the author (Gorsuch, 1999a). Subsection C provided the researcher with a dditional information about the teachers, including their educational experiences. Subsection D was designed to capture teachers' perceptions of the strengths of various influences on their instruction in English I and II classes. On seventeen items, teachers were asked to rate their agreement that a given influence influenced their instruction on a scale f rom 1 to 5, with 1 indicating "strong disagreement" (a weak influence) and 5 indicating strong agreement" (a strong influence). The items were inspired by Cohen and Sp illane's (1992) notion of "instructional guidance," a model designed to enume rate all possible influences acting on teachers' instruction. The items included in the ma in questionnaire were items that displayed an adequate degree of construct validity through the earlier pilot survey. The five page questionnaire was mailed out to teachers in the nine prefectures in three successive waves during spring and summer, 19 98, about three weeks apart. Included in each of the first wave of questionnaire envelopes were the questionnaire, a


9 of 27 postage paid addressed return envelope, and the gif t of a pencil. Teachers were not asked to provide their names when returning the questionn aire. Teachers' responses to items were coded and the data were entered into a MacInto sh PowerBook 5300cs computer on a statistical program, StatView 4.5 (1995). All analyses were conducted using StatView 4.5 Questionnaires with missing data were not include d in subsequent analyses. Analyses Descriptive statistics for all items in que stionnaire subsections A (activities) and D (influences on instruction) ( k = 29) were calculated including means, standard de viations, skewness coefficients, minimum/maximum scores, and modes. Descriptive statistics for each item split by the three grouping variables (te achers' length of service, type of school, level of involvement with ALTs) were also calculate d. Factoral ANOVAs were calculated for each of the 29 comparisons per group ing variable with statistical significance set at p < .0017 (.05 divided by 29) to check for significant differences in mean scores on subsection A and D items based on te achers' group memberships. Cronbach's alpha was used to estimate the reliabili ty (internal consistency) of subsection A and D items. Results Descriptive statistics for Subsection A ar e in Table 1. They have been reported from highest mean to lowest.Table 1 Descriptive Statistics for Activities ItemsItemApproach/SkillDescriptionMeanSDSkewA12 Communicative Reading Students unscramble sentences to make a paragraph. 3.893.759-1.15 A11 Communicative Reading Students match pictures to a story. 3.892.727-.97 A5 Audio Lingual Listening/Speaking Choral repetition of minimal pairs. 3.773.844-.81 A3 Communicative Listening/Speaking Information gap.3.659.896-.59 A6 Audio Lingual Listening/Speaking Students recite memorized sentence patterns. 3.619.802-.56 A8 Audio Lingual Listening/Speaking Students practice memorized dialogs in pairs. 3.579.828-.56 A10 Yakudoku Reading Students unscramble an English sentence suggested by aJapanese translation of the sentence. 3.543.823-.83


10 of 27 A1 Yakudoku Reading Students translate English text into Japanese for homework. 3.463.952-.59 A9 Communicative Listening/Speaking Opinion gap.3.376.939-.34 A2 Communicative Writing Students write predictions of the ending of a picture strip story. 3.372.900-.49 A7 Communicative Writing Students write letters to each other. 3.364.885-.37 A4 Yakudoku Reading Studentsrecite their Japanese translations in class. 3.0801.065-.30 Teachers gave centered responses on the dat a. The highest mean score (item A12) was 3.893 and the lowest was 3.080 (item A4). Such centered scores above a "3" indicate a very mild approval of all twelve activities prese nted to teachers. Teachers in general dwelled in the area between "don't know" (3) and "a pprove" (4), a conservative and cautious place in which to be. All of the items had a negative skew, which indicated that teachers' responses tended to be bunched up towards the upper end of the distribution created by their scores. This, taken with mode of 4 ("approve") on all items, suggests that as a group, teachers responded in quite similar way s on each item. Relative approval ratings between items ass ociated with communicative, audiolingual, and yakudoku approaches were not entirely clear cut, although t eachers were less approving of yakudoku activities than expected. However, when items were grouped by level of control of teachers over the la nguage used by students, a more unambiguous pattern emerged. The yakudoku items (A1, A4, and A10) aside, teachers approved of controlled activities more than they di d activities involving student generation of extemporaneous (non-scripted) languag e. If items were ranked by mean score from 1 (highest mean score) to 12 (lowest mea n score), the six "high teacher/language control" items all rank 6 or above (items A11, A12, A3, A5, A6, and A8), indicating higher approval by teachers. The th ree "low teacher/language control" items (A2, A7, and A9--all of them communicative it ems) were ranked at 9, 10, and 11, indicating lower approval by teachers. Descriptive statistics for Subsection D are in Table 2. These are ranked from highest mean score to lowest.Table 2 Descriptive Statistics for InfluencesItemDescriptionMeanSDSkew Min/Max Mode D16Students' English speaking abilities.4.318.652-1 .031/54 D12Number of students in class.4.026.800-.861/54D2University entrance exams.3.905.987-.941/54D15Students' expectations.3.855.770-.901/54D3Textbook.3.701.839-.801/54


11 of 27 D17Teacher's English speaking ability.3.620.846-.57 1/44 D6Teacher's English learning experiences.3.558.986.781/54 D7Colleagues.3.094.925-.301/53D11Locally written syllabus.2.986.907-.191/53D1Monbusho Course of Study. 2.961.927-.061/53 D14Parents' expectations.2.6341.00 .181/52D5In-service teacher education.2.4621.19-.510/53D4Pre-service teacher education.2.379.956 .291/52D13Assistant language teacher.1.8791.88 .200/50D8Principal.1.782.8401.041/51D9Teacher development courses taken privately.1.401 1.72 .610/50 D10Academic organizations. .5871.272.600/50 Teachers' responses were more varied and less centered for subsection D items than on subsection A items. The highest mean score was M = 4.318 (students' abilities in English) and lowest was M = .587 (membership in an academic organization). F or whatever reason, teachers saw no reason to restrict their responses to 3 and 4 on the one to five point Lickert scale as they largely had on subsection A items. Negatively skewed items indicated that teachers' responses tended to be concentrated around the upper end of the distribution created by teachers' scores, while positively skewed items indicated that teachers' responses tended to be concentrated aroun d the lower end of the distribution. The highest mean score items were D16 ( M = 4.318, mode = 4) (students' abilities in English) and D12 ( M = 4.026, mode = 4) (class size). Both indicated st rongly that teachers felt these influences in their instruction Both items represent very "local" influences, which would act directly upon the teach ers inside their classrooms. The third, fourth, and fifth highest ranked mean scores belong ed to items D2 ( M = 3.905, mode = 4) (university entrance exams), D15 ( M = 3.855, mode = 4) (students' expectations), D3 ( M = 3.701, mode = 4) (textbook), all of which indicat ed still fairly strong perceptions overall that these influenced teachers' instruction The sixth and seventh highest mean score items D17 ( M = 3.620, mode = 4) (teachers' English speaking abi lity) and D6 ( M = 3.558, mode = 4) (teachers' experiences learning En glish as students) indicated moderate agreement that these influence teachers' instructio n. Between the sixth and seventh highest ranke d mean score items and the eighth, ninth and tenth highest mean scores is a rather large bre ak of nearly half a point, down to items D7 ( M = 3.094) (colleagues), D11 ( M = 2.986) (locally written English I and II syllabuses), and D1 ( M = 2.961) (Ministry of Education Course of Study ). These three items were very centered (mode = 3), indicating nei ther agreement nor disagreement that these influence teachers' instruction. The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth highe st mean score items were also in a league of their own, numerically. Items D14 ( M = 2.634, mode = 2) (expectations of students' parents), D5 ( M = 2.462, mode = 3) (in-service teacher education), and D4 ( M = 2.379, mode = 2) (pre-service teaching license program) al l represented rather "distant" influences, distant either through time or proximit y. Teachers' responses indicated mild disagreement with the notion that these influence i nstruction.


12 of 27 The lowest four mean score items indicated stronger levels of disagreement that the notions expressed in them influence teachers' instr uction. These were D13 ( M = 1.879, mode = 0) (ALTs), D8 ( M = 1.782, mode = 1) (the principal), D9 ( M = 1.401, mode = 0) (teaching courses taken privately), and D10 ( M = .587, mode = 0) (membership in an academic organization). On the teacher's length of career grouping variable, six mean scores on Subsection A (activities) and D (influences) items were signific antly different by group at p < .0017. See Table 3. br> Table 3 Significantly Different Mean Scores by Teacher's Le ngth of CareerItemItem Description Significantly Different Cells F-Value A1 Yakudoku reading activity1 ( M= 3.312) vs. 3 ( M =3.596)6.43 A3Communicative information gap activity1 ( M =3.821) vs. 3 ( M =3.524)7.90 D6 Influence of English learning experiences on instruction1 ( M =3.696) vs. 3 ( M =3.431)5.319 D7Influence of colleagues on instruction1 ( M =3.263) vs. 3 ( M =2.973)5.85 D9 Influence of privately taken teacher development courses oninstruction1 ( M =1.058) vs. 2 ( M =1.619)7.397 D15 Influence of students' expectationson instruction1 ( M =3.962) vs. 3 ( M =3.751)5.633 There were some significant differences bet ween teachers on the basis of their length of teaching career. The most senior group of teache rs with 17+ years of experience were more likely than the most junior teachers (0-8 year s) to approve of a traditional yakudoku reading activity (A1). The same senior teachers wer e less likely to approve of a communicative information gap activity than the mos t junior teachers (A3). In terms of instructional influences, the junior teachers repor ted being more strongly influenced by their own language learning experiences, colleagues and the expectations of students than the senior teachers did (D6, D7, D15). Finally the middle group of teachers with 9-16 years of experience reported being more strong ly influenced by teacher development courses they took privately than the junior group o f teachers (D9). On the type of school grouping variable, el even mean scores on Subsection A (activities) and D (influences) items were signific antly different by group at p < .0017. See Table 4. Table 4 Significantly Different Mean Scores by Type of Scho ol


13 of 27 ItemItem Description Significantly Different Cells F-Value A1 Yakudoku reading activity2 ( M =3.3) vs. 3 ( M =3.564)6.216 A3Communicative information gap activity1 ( M =3.762) vs. 3 ( M =3.471)8.479 A4 Yakudoku reading activity1 ( M =3.009) vs. 3 ( M =3.367) 2 ( M =2.899) vs. 3 ( M =3.367)14.595 D2 Influence of entrance examson instruction1 ( M =4.162) vs. 2 ( M =3.451) 2 ( M =3.451) vs. 3 ( M =4.054)48.427 D5 Influence of in-service EFL teacher education on instruction1 ( M =2.724) vs. 3 ( M =1.977) 2 ( M =2.596) vs. 3 ( M =1.977)33.711 D7Influence of colleagues on instruction1 ( M =3.209) vs. 3 ( M =2.965)5.258 D8 Influence of school principalon instruction1 ( M =1.674) vs. 3 ( M =2.058) 2 ( M =1.657) vs. 3 ( M =2.058)20.631 D11 Influence of locally written syllabus oninstruction1 ( M =3.079) vs. 2 ( M =2.827)6.530 D12Influence of class size on instruction2 ( M =4.123) vs. 3 ( M =3.869)7.599 D13 Influence of assistant language teacheron instruction1 ( M =2.168) vs. 3 ( M = 985) 2 ( M =2.361) vs. 3 ( M =.985)47.167 D14 Influence of students' parents'expectations on instruction1 ( M =2.656) vs. 2 ( M =2.397) 2 ( M =2.397) vs. 3 ( M =2.857)14.641 Both public vocational high school English teachers and private academic high school English teachers emerged as singular groups, implying that teachers in these groups have quite different priorities. In terms of influences on instruction, public vocational high school teachers indicated that they were less influenced by university entrance exams than both public academic and privat e academic high school teachers (D2). Public vocational teachers also reported less influence from their English I and II syllabuses than public academic high school teacher s (D11). Finally, public vocational teachers reported being less influenced by students parents' expectations than private academic high school teachers (D12). The differences that set private academic h igh school English teachers apart from teachers in the public sector were more numerous, a nd point to Japanese private academic high schools as being unique environments. In terms of activities, private academic teachers were more approving of traditional yakudoku reading activities than public vocational high school teachers (A1) and public aca demic and vocational teachers combined (A4). However, private academic high schoo l teachers were less approving of a communicative information gap activity than public academic high school teachers were (A3). Perhaps related to private academic high scho ol teachers' attitudes towards activities is the fact that such teachers reported being less influenced by prefectural in-service teacher education programs than both pub lic academic and vocational high school English teachers (D5). This may imply that s uch public funded in-service programs are simply not available to private high s chool teachers. If that is the case, then


14 of 27 private high school teachers may have fewer opportu nities for professional development, and do not learn about activities such as the commu nicative information gap activity. In terms of the influence of human agents o n instruction, private academic high school teachers reported being less influenced by t heir colleagues than public academic high school teachers (D7). However, private academi c high school teachers reported being more influenced by their school principals th an teachers at either public academic or vocational schools (D8). Finally, private academ ic high school English teachers reported being much less influenced by ALTs in Engl ish I and II courses than either public academic or vocational teachers (D13). This can mean two things: First, private high schools may not have ALTs, and second, private high schools may not use ALTs to team teach in their mainstream English I and II cou rses and are instead assigned to "oral communication" classes which are less widely offere d (the latter has been strongly suggested in Gorsuch, 1999a). On the level of involvement with an ALT gro uping variable, only two mean scores on Subsection A (activities) and D (influences) ite ms were significantly different by group at p < .0017. See Table 5. Table 5 Significantly Different Mean Values by Level of Inv olvement with an ALTItemItem Description Significantly Different Cells F-Value A3Communicative information gap activity1 ( M =3.876) vs. 3 ( M =3.518) 2 ( M =3.879) vs. 3 ( M =3.518)17.440 D13 Influence of assistant language teacher oninstruction1 ( M =3.601) vs. 3 ( M = .856) 2 ( M =3.327) vs. 3 ( M =.856)380.547 Teachers teaching with ALTs more than once a week, or less than once a week approved of the communicative information gap activ ity more than teachers with no ALT contact (A3). And, not surprisingly, teachers teach ing with ALTs more, or less, than once a week reported being much more influenced by ALTs than teachers with no ALT contact (D13). Cronbach's alpha internal consistency coeff icient for subsection A and D items was only .6878, which was only moderate. Subsection A a nd D items purportedly measure several different constructs, which will depress in ternal consistency estimates. In addition, teachers' responses to subsection A items (activities) were very centered (values all around "3"). Such homogeneous values will proba bly depress internal consistency estimates. In addition to the constructs the resear cher intended to measure, there was some measurement error, as indicated by the moderat e reliability coefficient.Discussion What activities do teachers approve of? The results indicated that teachers have generally positive attitudes towards communicative language teaching (CLT) activities. However, teachers seemed to prefer the more highly controlled, passive skill, CLT


15 of 27activities over CLT activities that called for stud ents to engage in extemporaneous (non-scripted, non-memorized) speech and writing. T eachers' greater preferences for controlled CLT activities were matched by strong pr eferences for the audiolingual activities, which involved the students' use of mem orized speech in pattern practice drills or dialogs. Thus, the teachers seemed to indicate t hat CLT activities were alright, as long as the teachers could control students' language wh ile using them. The teachers seemed to be responding in a cautious, although positive, way towards communicative activities. Gorsuch (1998) described the two high schoo l English teachers she observed as being overwhelmingly concerned with student accurac y. There may be perfectly justifiable reasons for teachers' desire for contro l. Japanese classes typically have at least 40 students in them (Gorsuch, 1998; Kawakami, 1993) With such a large class, it would be easy to "lose control" of students during a comm unicative speaking activity. In addition, teachers night feel hard pressed to effec tively monitor 20 or more pairs of talking students. Yet The Course of Study specifically mentions helping students develop a positive attitude towards communication. If stude nts are to do so, they have to be allowed and encouraged to communicate in class. The reasoning behind this is, how can students develop a positive attitude towards commun ication if they do not actually experience communication? In the end, teachers may have to learn to give up a measure of control over students' use of English, and deman d smaller classes. The communicative information gap activity A3 seemed to be a kind of litmus test for approval or non-approval of CLT activities base d on group membership. Teachers who approved of A3 more highly were younger teacher s, teachers at public academic high schools, and teachers who had at least some co ntact with ALTs. Teachers who did not approve of A3 as much were older teachers, teac hers at private academic high schools, and teachers with no contact with ALTs. Co ncerning teachers' length of career, more senior teachers may not approve of A3 because they have been out of pre-service teacher education programs longer than junior teach ers. This, coupled with what seems to be a real lack of inservice teacher education pro grams, and a lack of interest on the part of teachers in taking professional development cour ses privately or belonging to academic organizations (Table 2) may imply that sen ior teachers have not had sufficient training to feel comfortable trying out an activity like A3 for themselves. Most interesting, though, was the greater a pproval of A3 by teachers teaching at least once a week or less than once a week with ALT s than teachers not teaching with an ALT at all. Perhaps teachers who have regular conta ct with ALTs find it easier to model CLT pair work activities for students. It could als o be that when an ALT is in the classroom, students expect to do something differen t than highly controlled language practice. There may also be a link with teachers' s elf-perception of English speaking skill--in a separate analysis of teachers' self rat ings of English speaking skill, it was found that teachers teaching with ALTs at least once a we ek rated their English speaking skills significantly higher than teachers who had less or no contact with ALTs (Gorsuch, 1999a). Whether a causal factor or not, presence of an ALT is linked with greater approval of A3 and higher self reports of teacher E nglish speaking ability. There was one difference on teachers' appro val of yakudoku item A4 due to group membership. Teachers at public academic and vocatio nal high schools were less likely to approve of having students recite their Japanese tr anslations in class than private academic high school teachers. One possible reason is that private academic high school teachers seem to be largely excluded from in-servic e teacher education offered by prefectural or municipal boards of education, where they may receive training in other methodologies. Teachers' responses to all of the activity items in the questionnaire were centered


16 of 27around "3" (Table 1). When "significant" difference s in level of approval or disapproval are discussed above, such differences were very sub tle, sometimes representing half a point or less of difference on a five point scale. This was a disappointing result, yet not altogether unexpected, given the general conservati sm of educators in Japan. The Course of Study is asking teachers to do something quite new--deve lop students' communicative abilities--and teachers are responding cautiously, and obviously only within the bounds of their understanding of what both spoken and written communicative activities entail. What influences teachers? Teachers responded to items in subsection D in non-centered fashion. Perhaps they felt less cautio us and constrained when asked to respond to "safer," less ideologically laden, items Unfortunately, teachers' responses indicated that there were powerful impediments work ing against their acceptance of CLT activities, such as the strong influences of univer sity entrance exams and students' expectations, and the surprisingly weak influences of preand in-service teacher education programs, and privately undertaken course s. With the exception of the entrance exams it em (D2), teachers generally agreed that students' English abilities (D16), class size (D12) students' expectations (D15), the textbook (D3), teachers' English speaking abilities (D17), and teachers' English learning experiences (D6) exerted powerful influence on thei r instruction. Some of these may prevent teachers from teaching communicatively. It is not surprising that teachers consider their students' abilities to be a crucial factor in planning instruction. No teacher wants to go into a classroom with a lesson plan tha t is too easy or too difficult for the students. Activities of the first type will bore th em, and the second type will stymie and then bore them. Either case implies teachers' loss of control over the class, something Japanese teachers have indicated through their acti vity preferences as undesirable to them. Unfortunately, Japanese teachers seem to cons ider communicative activities to be "difficult," even for students in top ranked high s chools (Gorsuch, 1998). If other teachers with less able students share this perception, then teachers will likely not use communicative activities, regardless of their cauti ous approval suggested in this study. As noted above, class sizes are large (40+) Teachers are likely concerned whether they will be able to control such a large group of students. This perception, coupled the high influence rating teachers gave to the student expectations item (Table 2), gives the feeling that teachers may be very sensitive to losi ng control of the students by going against students' expectations. Recall the observat ions of scholars cited earlier that the majority of students expected their English class w ork to prepare them for entrance exams. In such a climate, teachers are unlikely to feel they can comfortably use communicative activities in class. In terms of teachers' ratings of the influe nce of textbooks, current Ministry of Education approved English I and II textbooks large ly focus on developing students' intensive reading skills for entrance exam preparat ion, and do not provide aid to teachers in developing communicative activities (Gorsuch, 19 99b). This does not bode well for communicative activities, in that appropriate textb ooks are necessary to successful implementation of educational innovations (MacDonal d & Rogan, 1990). There really is no escape from the influenc e of university entrance exams, apparently. Not only did teachers give exams a high rating, exams make their influence known through students' expectations, and through t extbooks. There was one difference on the grouping variable B2 (type of school) on the university entrance exam items, however. Public vocational high school teachers wer e less likely to report that university entrance exams influenced their instruction than te achers at public and private academic high schools. Vocational public high schools may be the perfect venue in which to introduce programs with genuinely communicative aim s. Because teachers (and, possibly


17 of 27the students) in these schools feel less influenced by the need to prepare their students for university entrance exams, teachers could, with con certed help, develop English courses making use of suitable communicative activities. If well designed, such activities can be motivating to students who traditionally have littl e desire to learn English, especially in the traditional exam preparation oriented way ( yakudoku ). Rather than being seen as the sad realm of students who cannot compete academical ly in the prevailing educational culture, the public vocational high school sector c ould be an important venue for meaningful instructional change that can later be a dapted to the public and private academic high schools. This view of public vocation al high schools is in accord with recent efforts to revitalize vocational high school education in Japan ("Vocational school curriculum urged to include scuba diving," 1998). Teachers reported "colleagues," "locally wr itten syllabuses," and The Course of Study as having a neutral influence on their instruction (Table 3). However, the youngest group of teachers (0-8 years of experience) reporte d colleagues as being more influential than middle (9-16 years) and senior teachers (17 ye ars years) did. Given junior teachers' newness to teaching in specific contexts, it is not surprising that they need the help of more senior teachers to show them the ropes. Whethe r this help centers on actual teaching in English classrooms is not known. Providing yet another argument for the adop tion of alternative language programs in public vocational high school, teachers at those sc hools reported that locally written syllabuses influenced their instruction less than t eachers in academic high school contexts did. With students who cannot compete to enter univ ersities, vocational schools are left behind in terms of their locally written syllabuses which are local tokens of The Course of Study A syllabus may be written, but teachers will not, or cannot follow them, perhaps due to students' low academic interests and abiliti es. One of the most distressing findings of thi s study was the low influence status accorded by all teachers to pre-service, in-service and privately undertaken teacher education courses (Table 2). Either in-service or p rivate courses are not available to teachers, or teachers do not avail themselves of th em. Pre-service courses may simply not be attuned to current and future teachers' needs. T hese circumstances are a negative indictment of foreign language education in Japan. Without adequate pre-service and continuing teacher education, teachers cannot learn about the theoretical bases of different language learning approaches, nor get gui ded experiences in using them. In this non-teacher-development climate, it is difficult to see how teachers can realistically try communicative activities. However, there was a ray of hope in that teachers with 9-16 years of teaching experience were more likely to re port that privately undertaken teacher education courses were influential than the younges t teachers (Table 3). It may be that these middle-aged teachers represent a group of pot ential users of communicative activities in that they may have confidence in thei r teaching seasoned by experience, yet feel they want further knowledge and variation in t heir working lives. The Ministry of Education and local boards of education may wish to develop more intensive and flexible in-service programs aimed specifically at this grou p of teachers. Conclusion It is clear that there is no one solution t o enhancing teachers' approval of the communicative activities called for by The Course of Study and the continued presence of ALTs in Japanese high school EFL classrooms. This a rticle has given empirical evidence suggesting that teachers mildly approve of communic ative activities, yet the data also suggested there are potent impediments working agai nst teachers actually using such


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19 of 27Research 38: 47-65. Freeman, D. 1989: Teacher training, development and decision making: A model of teaching and related strategies for language teache r education. TESOL Quarterly, 23: 2745. Freeman, D. 1998: Doing teacher research: From inquiry to understandi ng Pacific Grove: Heinle and Heinle. Gillis-Furutaka, A. 1994: Pedagogical preparation f or JET Programme teachers. In M. Wada and T. Cominos, editors, Studies in Team Teaching Tokyo: Kenkyusha, 2941. Gorsuch, G. 1998: Yakudoku EFL instruction in two Japanese high school classr ooms: An exploratory study. JALT Journal, 20: 6-32. Gorsuch, G. 1999a: Exploring the relationship betwe en educational policy and instruction in Japanese high school EFL classrooms. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Graduate School of Education, Temple University, Tokyo. Gorsuch, G. 1999b: Monbusho approved textbooks in J apanese high school EFL classes: An aid or a hindrance to educational policy innovat ions? The Language Teacher 23 (10, 5,7,8-9, 11-15. Hatch, E. 1992: Discourse and language education Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Henrichsen, L.E. 1989: Diffusion of innovations in English language teachi ng: The ELEC effort in Japan, 1956-1968. NY: Greenwood Press. Hildebrant, N. & Giles, H. 1983: The Japanese as su bordinate language group: Ethnolinguistic identity theory in a foreign langua ge context. Anthropological Linguistics, 24 : 436-466. Hino, N. 1988: Yakudoku: Japan's dominant tradition in foreign language learning. JALT Journal, 10 : 45-55. James, E. & Benjamin, G. 1988: Public policy and private education in Japan New York: St. Martin's Press. JET program kicks off 12th year 1998, July 23: The Daily Yomiuri : 1. Kanu, Y. 1996: Educating teachers for the improveme nt of the quality of basic education in developing countries. International Journal of Educational Development, 16: 173-184. Kawakami, H. 1993: Factors influencing English educ ation in Japanese high schools: A survey of teacher perceptions. Unpublished master's thesis, Brigham Young University. Kennedy, C. & Kennedy, J. 1996: Teacher attitudes a nd change implementation. System, 24: 351-360.


20 of 27Kizuka, M. 1997, October: A consideration of the problems in secondary school pre-service teacher education in Japan Paper presented at the meeting of the Japan Association for Language Teaching, Hamamatsu, Japan Kobayashi, T. 1993: Japan's teacher education in co mparative perspectives. Peabody Journal of Education, 68: 4-14. Kodaira, F. 1996: Why not the "Japanese way"?: The traditional approach of learning English as a foreign language at secondary schools in Japan. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Tokyo, Columbia Teacher's College.Koike, I. & Tanaka, H. 1995: English in foreign lan guage education policy in Japan: Toward the twenty-first century. World Englishes, 14:13-25. Law, G. 1994: College entrance exams and team teach ing in high school English classrooms. In M. Wada and T. Comonos, editors, Studies in team teaching Tokyo: Kenkyusha, 90-102. Law, G. 1995: Ideologies of English language educat ion in Japan. JALT Journal, 17 : 213-224.Lincicome, M. 1993: Nationalism, internationalizati on, and the dilemma of educational reform in Japan. Comparative Education Review, 37: 123-151. LoCastro, V. 1996: English language education in Ja pan. In Coleman, H., editor, Society and the language classroom Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 40-58. Lortie, D.C. 1975: Schoolteacher: A sociological study Chicago: University of Chicago Press.MacDonald, M.A. & Rogan, J.M. 1990: Innovation in S outh African science education (part 2): Factors influencing the introduction of i nstructional change. Science Education, 74: 119-132. Madaus, G. 1988: The influence of testing on the cu rriculum. In Singerman, A.J., editor, Critical issues in the curriculum Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 83121. Markee, N. 1997: Managing curricular innovation Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McConnell, D.L. 1995: Japan JETs international: Imp lementing innovations in educational policy. In Montergomery, J.D. and Rondi nelli, D.A., editors, Great policies: Strategic innovations in Asia and the Pacific Basin Westport, CT: Praeger, 75-97. Miller, T. 1998, June: Comparing the "fit" between communication-oriented teaching and the ELT landscape in Japan. Paper presented at the Temple University Japan colloquium on Applied Linguistics, Tokyo, Japan.


21 of 27Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture 1992: The course of study for senior high school: Foreign languages (English) Tokyo: Author. Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture 1997: ALTs in the prefectures Tokyo: Author.Morris, P. 1985: Teachers' perceptions of the barri ers to the implementation of a pedagogic innovation: A South East Asian case study International Review of Education, 31: 3-17. National Institute for Educational Research 1989: Teacher training in Japan (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED313 360).National Institute for Educational Research 1991: Toward formulating goals, aims, and objectives of secondary education for the 21st cent ury. Tokyo: Author. Okada, J. 1997, October: Teacher education programs: Problems and solutions. Paper presented at the meeting of the Japan Association f or Language Teaching, Hamamatsu, Japan. Pomatti, D. 1996: English language education in the Japanese public schools: Obstacles to a communicative approach and Ministry of Educati on policies. Unpublished manuscript. Reynolds, J. & Saunders, M. 1987: Teacher responses to curriculum policy: Beyond the "delivery" metaphor. In Calderheard, J., editor, Exploring teachers' thinking London: Cassell Educational Limited, 195-214. Richards, J.C. & Rodgers, T.S. 1986: Approaches and methods in language teaching Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rohlen, T. 1983: Japan's high schools Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Statview 4.5 (Computer software). 1995: Berkeley, CA: Abacus Co ncepts. Terrell, T.D., Egasse, J., & Voge, W. 1982: Techniq ues for a more natural approach to second language acquisition and learning. In Blair, R.W., editor, Innovative approaches to language teaching Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers, Inc., 174-1 75. Thompson, A.G. 1984: The relationship of teachers' conceptions of mathematics and mathematics teaching to instructional practice. Education Studies in Mathematics 15: 105-127. Uehara, S. 1992: AET seido no naka de kuno suru eig o kyoshitachi [Teachers who are annoyed with the JET program]. The New English Classroom, 8: 8-10. Vocational school curriculum urged to include scuba diving. 1998, July 24: The Daily Yomiuri 2. Wada, M. 1994: Team teaching and the revised course of study. In Wada, M. and


22 of 27Cominos, T., editors, Studies in team teaching Tokyo: Kenkyusha, 7-16. Wada, M. & Cominos, T. (Eds.). 1994a: Studies in team teaching. Tokyo: Kenkyusha.Wada, M. & Cominos, T. 1994b: Language policy and t he JET program. In Wada, M. and Cominos, T., editors, Studies in team teaching Tokyo: Kenkyusha, 1-6. Wakabayashi, S. 1987: Nihon no Eigo kyoiku no ayumi Shin eigo kyoiku Tokyo: Sanyusha, 145-146.Yukawa, E. 1992: Team teaching and changes in teach ing routines. The Language Teacher, 18: 9, 11, 13. Yukawa, E. 1994: Team teaching and changes in teach ing routines in a Japanese high school reading classroom. In Wada, M. and Cominos, T., editors, Studies in team teaching Tokyo: Kenkyusha, 42-60. About the AuthorGreta Gorsuch, Ed.D., taught EFL in Japan for fifte en years. Former editor of the The Language Teacher (The Japan Association for Languag e Teaching) and co-author of the Impact series (Lingual House Publishers), she is no w Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Te xas. Her research interests include: Rasch analysis, second language testing, teacher le arning, performance assessment. Contact information: e-mail:, address: Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, Box 42071, Texas Tech Un iversity, Lubbock, TX 79409-2071, U.S.A. AppendixQuestionnaire (English Version)This questionnaire is designed for teachers who are currently teaching English I and/or English II. If you are not teaching these courses t his year, please give this questionnaire to a colleague who is teaching English I and/or Englis h II this year. Thank you! Please read the activity descriptions below and wri te a circle or check in the blank that best describes your level of agreement. Please cons ider each activity carefully, and let your response reflect your true impression about th e appropriateness of the activities for your current English I or II classes. If you choose "5" for example, this means you would be strongly willing to use the activity in your cla ss. If you choose "1", this means, you would not be at all willing to use the activity. Pl ease choose only one response. Items are rated on a 5-point scale from Strongly Ag ree to Strongly Disagree with "DonÂ’t Know" as the middle option.A-1. The teacher asks students to translate English phrases or sentences into Japanese as preparation for class. I think the above is an appr opriate activity for my English I or English II classes: SA A DK D SD


23 of 27A-2. The teacher has students look at a page that h as a "picture strip story." Students can uncover only one picture at a time. Before uncoveri ng the next picture, the students predict, writing the prediction in English, what wi ll happen in the next picture. Students can then look at the next picture to confirm or dis confirm their predictions. I think the above is an appropriate activity for my English I o r English II classes: A-3. The teacher has the students work face to face in pairs. One student sees a page that has some missing information. The other student see s a different page that has that information. The first student must ask questions i n English to the other student to find the missing information. I think the above is an ap propriate activity for my English I or English II classes:A-4. The teacher asks students to translate English phrases or sentences into Japanese in preparation for class. Then in class, the teacher c alls on individual students to read their Japanese translation of an English phrase or senten ce, and the teacher corrects it if necessary and gives the whole class the correct tra nslation with an explanation. I think the above is an appropriate activity for my English I o r English II classes: A-5. The teacher has students chorally repeat word pairs such as sheep/ship and leave/live. I think the above is an appropriate act ivity for my English I or English II classes:A-6. The teacher has students memorize and practice a short English sentence pattern. The teacher then gives the students a one word Engl ish cue and has the students chorally say the sentence pattern using the new word. I thin k the above is an appropriate activity for my English I or English II classes:A-7. The teacher pairs off students. Then the teach er asks the students to write a letter in English to their partner. I think the above is an a ppropriate activity for my English I or English II classes:A-8. The teacher has students memorize an English d ialog and then has the students practice the dialog together with a partner. I thin k the above is an appropriate activity for my English I or English II classes:A-9. The teacher has pairs or small groups of stude nts ask each other and then answer questions in English about their opinions. I think the above is an appropriate activity for my English I or English II classes:A-10. Students read a sentence in Japanese, and the n see an equivalent English sentence below where the words been scrambled up. The studen ts must then rewrite the English sentence in the correct order suggested by the Japa nese sentence. I think the above is an appropriate activity for my English I or English II classes: A-11. On one page students see a picture. Underneat h the picture are several short English stories. Students have to choose which stor y they think best matches the picture. I think the above is an appropriate activity for my E nglish I or English II classes: A-12. On a page, students see an English paragraph in which the sentences have been scrambled. The teacher then asks the students to pu t the sentences into order so the paragraph makes sense. I think the above is an appr opriate activity for my English I or


24 of 27English II classes:A-13. What activity do you feel is most effective f or your students in your English I or II class? Please write a brief description here: (Opti onal) Please answer the following questions by writing a check next to the most correct answer. Choose only one response.B-1. How many years have you been teaching in high school?_____ 0-8 years_____ 9-16 years_____ 17+ yearsB-2. What kind of high school are you currently tea ching in?_____ public academic high school_____ public commercial or industrial high sc hool_____ public night high school_____ private academic schoolB-3. Are you currently teaching English I or Englis h II with an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher)?_____ Yes, at least once a week._____ Yes, but less than once a week._____ No, I do not teach English I or English II with an ALT Please read the sentences below and write a check i n the blank that best describes your level of agreement. Choose only once response.C-1. My English speaking ability is good enough for me to use in class. C-2. As a student I studied English primarily throu gh translating English stories, essays, or literary works into Japanese.C-3. I think the pace we have to teach English at m y high school is:much too fast____ fast____ about right____ slow____ much too slow____C-4. The average size of my English I or English II classes is:over 50____ 40-49____ 30-39____ 20-29____ below 19____Please read the sentences below concerning your cur rent instruction in English I and II classes and write a check in the blank that best de scribes your level of agreement. Choose only one response.D-1. The Monbusho guidelines for English I and Engl ish II influences my classroom practice.D-2. College and university entrance exams influenc e my classroom practice. D-3. The textbook my students are using influences my classroom practice. D-4. The teaching license program I completed at un iversity influences my current classroom practice.D-5. In-service teacher education specifically desi gned for English teaching offered by my prefectural or municipal board of education infl uences my classroom practice. In-service teacher education for English teaching i s not available from the Board of


25 of 27 Education for me.D-6. The way I learned English as a student influen ces my current classroom practice. D-7. My English teaching colleagues influence my cl assroom practice. D -8. The principal at my school influences my clas sroom practice. D-9. Teaching courses I have taken privately influe nce my current classroom practice. _____ I have not taken teaching courses privately.D-10. My membership in a private academic organizat ion influences my classroom _____ I am not a member of an academic organization D-11. The English I and English II syllabus used at my school influences my classroom practice.D-12. The number of students in my English I or II classes influences my classroom practice. (i.e., Would you teach differently if you r classes had many students or few students?)D-13. The ALT I teach English I or II with influenc es my classroom practice. _____ I do not currently teach English I or English II with an ALT. D-14. The expectations of my studentsÂ’ parents infl uences my classroom practice. D-15. My studentsÂ’ expectations about how to study English influences my classroom practice.D-16. My studentsÂ’ abilities in English influences my classroom practice. D-17. My level of English speaking ability influenc es my classroom practice. D-18. What is one influence not listed above that y ou feel strongly influences your instruction of English I or English II? (Optional)Copyright 2001 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University


26 of 27 John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers Ann Leavenworth Centerfor Accelerated Learning Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education David D. Williams Brigham Young UniversityEPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de


27 of 27 Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State Rollin Kent (Mxico)Departamento de InvestigacinEducativa-DIE/ Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)Fundao Instituto Brasileiro e Geografiae Estatstica Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los


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