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Intercultural teaching and learning. English as a foreign language education in Finland and Japan PDF

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JYV ÄSKYLÄ STUDIES IN COMMUNICATION 8 Mikel Del Garant Intercultural Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language Education in Finland and Japan Esitetään Jyväskylän yliopiston humanistisen tiedekunnan suostumuksella julkisesti tarkastettavaksi yliopiston Villa Ranan Paulaharju-salissa kesäkuun 7. päivänä 1997 klo 12. Academic dissertation to be publicly discussed, by permission of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Jyväskylä, in the Building Villa Rana, Paulaharju Hall, on June 7,1997 at 12 o'clock noon. "=7 UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ JYVÄSKYLÄ 1997 Intercultural Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language Education in Finland and [apan JYV ÄSKYLÄ STUDIES IN COMMUNICA TION 8 Mikel Del Garant Intercultural Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language Education in Finland and [apan ... UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ JYVÄSKYLÄ 1997 Editors Raimo Salokangas Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä Kaarina Nieminen Publishing Unit, University Library of Jyväskylä ISBN 951-34-0981-3 ISSN 1238-2183 Copyright © 1997, by University of [yväskylä Jyväskylä University Printing House, Jyväskylä and ER-Paino Ky, Lievesuore1997 ABSTRACT Garant, Mikel Del Intercultural teaching and leaming: English as a Foreign Language Education in Finland and Ja pan Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä 1997, 322 p. (Jyväskylä Studies in Communication; ISSN 1238-2183; 8) ISBN 9978-951-39 (nid-4013-3978-951-39-4013-3 978-951-39-4013-3978-951-39-4013-3951-34-0981-3 Diss. In Finland and [apan, as in all countries, cultural assumptions and norms underpin pedagogic decisions which determine the outcome of foreign language teaching and leaming. This study was undertaken to offer a framework for studying how teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is planned and executed in relation to the educational culture present in specific leaming environments. The focus extends the use of Hofstede's (1980; 1986, 1990) model of cultural difference and examines how collectivism vs. individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity vs. femininity as well as aspects of context (Ha111976) and politeness (Scollon and Scollon 1983; 1995) influence TEFL and to what extent there are cultural similarities and differences between [apan and Finland in the specific junior high school educational cultures studied. The research model was applied to language planning and textbook design, testing, leamer and teacher attitudes, transcribed c1assroom discourse and lesson segmentation data gathered in the two countries over a five-year period. Results provide an overall perspective of phenomena, including the [apan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. While communication in English was an expressed goal in the [apanese setting, entrance tests were a major motivational factor. In the Finnish setting, test taking was only a minor factor in English education and communication was paramount. Classroom teaching methods, lesson segmentation and teacher- student/ student-student interaction in both countries were found to be influenced by textbook design and curriculum goals as well as cultural factors. The Finnish setting reflected a more learner-centered teaching approach in which teachers encouraged pupils to interact with themselves .and each other. This was conducive to communicative language teaching. The Japanese educational culture in the TEFL c1assroom tended to be more teacher-centered with an emphasis on test training and structural teaching approaches. The Finnish TEFL methods at the junior high school level appear successful in establishing communication in the c1assroom and could prove useful in other settings, inc1uding [apan, that seek to provide pupils with the necessary language skills to become successful participants in the emerging English- speaking global community. Key words: TEFL, Intercultural Communication, Finland, [apan, Education, JET Program, individualism, collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First,I W2uld liketothankthe studentsand teachersofEmäkosld and Nokianvirta junior high school in Finland and the students .and teachers ofthe junior high school system 'and the.townoffice.of Kanra-machi,Guruna-ken, Japan for.. their collaboration withth1s project.: They are toonurnerous to mentioIl individually,but each one deserves a warm, personai thanks.Without their generous help this I'roject could not have been completed. The Department of Applied Linguistics, Universityof Jyväskylä provided valuable advice,. encouragement and understandiIlg which contributed tothe completion of this project.. AssociateProfessor Liisa Salo-Lee, the supervisor of this research, has eamed a warm thanksfor her encouragement and >support 1 during the completion of thisproject. and for providing writtencornrnents ... would like to thank Professor Jaakko Lehtonen for his support. and serving as my Ctlstosduring the doctoral defense. li1addition, 1 am grateful to Docent Sauli Takala (Ulliversityof Jyväskylä) and AssistantProfessorMutsuko Takahashi (Miyazaki International. College) who, as .. opponents for . this dissertation, provided countless. coIlStructives .u. ggestions which contributed to the completion of this work. Johann Garant, M.A. (University of Helsinki)also helpedin perfecting the larjguage andclarity of the work. For mistakes which remain in the work, 1 alone am responsible. The Departrnent of English at Nara. University of Educationprovided inyaluable insight into Japanese educational culture which were incorporated into the pr sent study. Professor Hiroshi Kita, who acted as myguarantor-and Monbusho Research Scholarship supervisor, deserves a warmthanks forhis support and.useful cO:mrnents on how to better describe contemporary English asa foreign Ian.guage teaching in Japan. Inaddition,.I would liketo. thank Professors Harurni Ito, Tazuko Savvada and ShinichiYamabe ofNara University of Education Senior Lecturer La.. rry Walker (Osaka University of .. Busin.ess andLaw) andProfessor Masaru Tongu (Nara Universityof Education) were. also a great heIp and deepened my understanding of Japanese language and culture. 1 am grateful to Professors Matti Leiwo, Maija-Liisa Nikkiand Kari Sajavaara from the University of Jyväskylä for their valuable cornrnents. 1 would also like to thank my professors in Tampere, Mika Merviö, Jukka Paastela, Osmo Apunen and Olli Vehviläinen. Professors Marni Atsuta,·Junko Kobayashi and Atsushi Kato from Osaka University of Foreign Studies were also helpful. 1 would also like to extend many thanks to Professors Antony Corninos (Kobe Gakuin Women's Jr. College), Minoru Wada (Meikai University) and Robert Juppe (Tsukuba University) for their help and encouragement. My lecturers from Aston University, Birmingham, England, Dr. Keith Richards and Dr. Julian Edge and Lecturer David Charles were supportive in the early stages of this work. 1 would also like to thank Professors Glen Hook (University of Sheffield), Susurnu Takahashi (University of Tokyo), Ryuhei Hatsuse (University of Kobe), Muneyuki Shindo (Rikkyo University) and Hidetoshi Taga (University of Niigata) .. for their. feedback during the seminar on 'Regionalism in East-Asia' in Tampere. Minrl.alfytti has eamed warm recognition for her assistatl.ce. in the layout, typing,sca:nning andediting of the worl< J appreciate:r<:airyndo PUblishing, -. Tokyo, WSOY,Helsinki and Weilin+GÖÖs,.Helsinld for graciously consenting' to allowme.to.include e?<cerpts fromfueir textbooks inthis .study. This research was funeledfrom 1991.-93 by my.participation in The Japan Exchange Teaching .ProgramwhiGh is.spO)1soredby fhe Japanese Foreign . Ministry, Home Ministry and Ministryof "Bdu.cation My research from 1993-94 .. wasfundedby.work atth I.atl.guage Center at .the University ofJyväskyUi. SpeciaLthanks .toDr.lv,IaisaMarM,Heli PE!:k:kolaand eyeryone in the . LanguageCenter The Japanese Ministry of Education providedfundirlg fqr ... the proj ctfrom 1994-96 though aMonbushoResearch Student Scholarship. A. special thanks to Consul Shimizu'.['il:k<ll1ashi(Japilnese Consulate, New Orleans) and Information Officer Steve Clark (Japanese Consulate,A tlanta). 1 wouldalso like to thank colleagues who provided feedback, rnaterials or otherwise.influenced this work; .Researcher Steve Buliard (Macquarie ... University),l'onyMondaa nd MiGhael Shultz. (Monbusho Research Scholarship Students), Dale Bay (Tokyo), Lecturer A.n.n.eMurray (Yamagata "University), Lecturer John .Clarke(Kawasaki ol1ege), Infor:mation Offic r Sanli lfilvo (Japanese Embassy, Helsinki), Docent AndrewChesterman. (University of Helsinki), Professor Risto Hiltunen. (University. of Turku), .DirectorJussi . Koivisto·. (Helsinki School of Econolllics), Lecturer Eija. Kjällström. (Arcada . Business .school), the Japan Association ofLanguageTeachin.g Junior Senior High SchoolNSIG, and countless others who aretoo numerousto mention .. On a personai note, 1 would like to thank my wife Johannafor her support and patience Whlle journeyin.g back and forth between two. continents, my two children, A.n.n.aandEric, who. were. born during the .research and. traveling process.and my parents, Sandra and Hank Garant, and parents-in-law, Erkki and.Ritva Hummelin, who.have had to adjust to.our long absences. Finally, 1 would like to thank. my students and colleagues at fue University of Helsinki Department of Translation Studies in Kouvola who have :made me feel welcomesince 1 begatl.teachi.ng here last August. Kouvola, May 5, 1997 Mikel.Del Garant CONTENTS 15 1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................... 1.1.1 Hypothesis And Research Questions ....................................... 16 1.1.2 Research Questions And Sub-Questions ................................. 18 1.2 Levels Of Investigation ........................................................................ 18 23 1.3 Data Base ................................................................................................ 1.4 Method Of Analysis ............................................................................. 25 1.5 Airn And Outline Of The Study ......................................................... 28 2 FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS .................................................................. 30 2.1 Hofstede's 4-D Model OfCultural Difference .................................. 30 2.1.1 Characteristics RelatedTo The Individualism Versus 33 Collectivisrn Dimension ............................................................... 2.1.2 Characteristics RelatedTo The Power Distance 35 Dirnension ..................................................................................... 2.1.3 Characteristics Related To The Uncertainty Avoidance 36 Dirnension ..................................................................................... 2.1.4 Cbaracteristics Related To The Masculinity VerslJ§.lFernininity , 37 Dirnension ..................................................................................... 38 2.2 Context And Culture ............................................................................. 41 2.3 Politeness ................................................................ ; ................................ 2.4 General Consideration For Classroorn Research .............................. 43 2.4.1 Exarnining Language Planning And Textbooks ...................... 46 49 2.4.2 Exarnining Testing ........................................................................ 50 2.4.3 Surveying Learner Attitudes ....................................................... 53 2.4.4 Eliciting Teacher Responses ........................................................ 2.4.5 Exarnining Methods, Activities And Tirning And 55 Classroorn Discourse .................................................................... 2.4.6 Observation Of The Videos ......................................................... 57 2.4.7 Methods Of Text And Discourse Analysis ................................ 58 2.4.8 Exchanges: Initiation,Response AndFollow-Up ..................... 60 62 2.5 Teacher Training ..................................................................................... 62 2.6 Surnrnary .................................................................................................. 3 GENERAL SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES ........................................ 63 63 3.1 Societal Sirnilarities ....................................................... , ......................... 3.2 Cultural And Historical Sirnilarities And Developrnent ................... 64 66 3.3 Tearn-Teaching In'[apan ......................................................................... 72 3.4 Surnrnary ................................................................................................... 4 LANGUAGE PLANNING AND TEXTBOOKS ........................................... 73 73 4.1 Background .............................................................................................. 78 4.2 Current Situation In[apan And Finland .............................................. 4.3 Comprehensive School EFL Textbooks In Finland And InJapan 81 ...................................................................................................... 4.3.1 Summary .......................................................................................... 89 4.4 Culture And Textbook Design 90 ............................................................... 4.4.1 Collectivism vs. Individualism ..................................................... 90 4.4.1.1 Textbooks In Collectivist Societies 90 ............................ 4.4.1.2 Textbooks In Individualist Societies 93 ......................... 4.4.2 Power Distance 4.4.2.1 Textbooks Re1ated To Strong Power Distance 95 ......................................................................... 4.4.2.2 Textbooks And WeakPower Distance 97 ..................... 4.4.3 Uncertainty Avoidance 99 ................................................................. 4.4.3.1 TextbooksRelated To Strong Uncertainty A voidance Dimension 99 ................................................. 4.4.3.2 Textbooks Re1ated ToWeak Uncertainty Avoidance Dimension 101 ............................................... 4.4.4 Textbooks Re1ated To Mascu1inity Versus .Femininity Dimension 101 ...................................................................................... 4.5 Surumary 103 ................................................................................................. 5 TESTING 104 ........................................................................................................... 5.1 Ro1e Of Testing In Finland And [apan 104 ................................................ 5.2 Leamers And Tests 106 ................................................................................ 5.3 Testing AndUniversity Admission 108 .................................................... 5.4 Surumary 116 .................................................................................................. 6 LEARNER AND TEACHER ATTlTUDES 119 .................................................. 6.1 Learner Attitudes 119 ................................................................................... 6.1.1 Why Do You Study English? 120 ...................................................... 6.1.2 How Many Foreigners Have You Talked To? 124 ......................... 6.1.3 How Far Do You Wish To Pursue Your Education? 125 ............... 6.1.4 Do You Like .English? 126 .................................................................. 6.1.5 Do YouTake Private English Lessons? 127 ..................................... 6.1.6 How Good Is Your English? 128 ....................................................... 6.1.7 How Many Hours A Week Do You Study English At Home? 129 ....................................................................................... 6.1.8 Will You Use English In Your Life? 130 ........................................... 6.1.9 Summary 130 ......................................................................................... 6.2 Teacher Attitudes 132 ......................................................................... 6.2.1.1 Teacher Attitudes Re1ated To Individualism 132 ........ 6.2.1.2 Teacher Attitudes Re1ated To Collectivism ........... 135 6.2.2.1 Teacher Attitudes Re1ated To The Weak Power Distance Dimension 140 ...................................... 6.2.2.2 Teacher Attitudes Re1ated To The Strong Power Distance Dimension 142 ......................................

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