EFL proficiency level and differences in Japanese secondary school students' views on the need for pedagogical change

Article


O'Neill, Shirley. 2009. "EFL proficiency level and differences in Japanese secondary school students' views on the need for pedagogical change." International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning. 5 (1), pp. 49-71.
Article Title

EFL proficiency level and differences in Japanese secondary school students' views on the need for pedagogical change

ERA Journal ID39917
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorO'Neill, Shirley
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Pedagogies and Learning
Journal Citation5 (1), pp. 49-71
Number of Pages23
Year2009
Place of PublicationMaleny, Australia
ISSN1833-4105
Web Address (URL)http://www.atypon-link.com/EMP/doi/pdf/10.5555/ijpl.5.1.49
Abstract

This research focuses on Japanese high school students’ views about EFL pedagogy and investigates whether their views differ according to their English language proficiency level as measured by the STEP test and their teachers’ pedagogical approach. It explores in greater depth this aspect of a larger study conducted by Ingram, Kono, O’Neill and Sasaki (2008). The views of those who performed at a higher level on the STEP test were compared with the views of those who reported lower levels of performance on the STEP test. Comparisons were made in relation to the two groups’ views on perceived changes to the way they may learn English given the opportunity. Insights into pedagogical issues are gained when these student views are considered in relation to teachers’ reports about their frequency of use of a range of language learning experiences. It was found that higher proficiency students tended to be more aware of the kinds of language learning experiences that would best facilitate their acquisition of the language and that their recommendations for change concurred substantially with the gaps identified in the teachers’ current practice. Overall, the research identifies a need for pedagogical change to facilitate students’ practical and functional use of English and the uptake of ICTs to link into communicating for real-life purposes in English. It highlights that students become more aware of the way they learn the language as their English proficiency increases. It also raises the issue of potential professional learning needs of EFL teachers and the priority for further research to investigate in more depth the possible constraints for both students and teachers in facilitating pedagogical change.

Keywordsenglish as a foreign language; language pedagogy; language testing; secondary EFL learners; use of ICTs in EFL
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470202. Asian cultural studies
390104. English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
470306. English as a second language
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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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