Assistant Language Teachers inJunior High School: Do Programs Stressing Their Inclusion Produce Better Listeners?

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James Sick, Chuo University

Recently, most secondary schools in Japan have been employing native speakers
as assistant language teachers (ALTs) in their English programs. However, the
frequency of such classes may vary from school to school. In spite of the resources
invested in this program, little empirical research has been done that directly
tests its effectiveness. This paper reports an empirical study which compared
the listening comprehension ability of graduates of junior high schools which
frequently employed ALTs with graduates of programs that employed them less
frequently or not at all. It was found that mean scores on a listening test varied
signifkantly among graduates of high, average, and low ALT utilization programs.