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Investigating classroom dynamics in Japanese university EFL classrooms

Matsumoto, Yasuyo (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Since 1868 to the present day, the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Culture (MEXT) has implemented many reforms to enhance English education in Japanese universities. However, much still remains to be done to improve the situation and one of the biggest hurdles is the fact that there are many unmotivated students in Japanese university EFL classrooms. This thesis explores the reasons for this problem by focusing on inter- and intra-relations between teachers and students in this context. Data were collected through classroom observations, interviews and questionnaires. The study employs both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and uses space and methodological triangulation in order to overcome parochialism. My conclusions are that: 1) Visible and invisible inter-member relations exist between members of university classes and their teachers; 2) The teacher's behaviour affects the students' behaviour and impacts on their learning; and 3) Cooperative learning has a positive influence on language acquisition; 4) Japanese university students may not perceive how little interaction they have with their teacher; 5) Students exhibit gender differences in terms of the types of problems encountered and the ways in which they deal with them, but some problems are dealt with negatively by female and male students alike; and 6) Teachers appear not to perceive the problems and when they do they often deal with them by using negative strategies.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Littlemore, Jeanette
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English
Subjects:P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:296
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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