Teacher Cognition and Grammar Teaching in a Japanese High School

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Masateru Nishimuro, Kwansei Gakuin Senior High School, Nishinomiya; Simon Borg, School of Education, University of Leeds, UK

In this paper we examine the relationship between teachers’ practices and cognitions in teaching grammar. A qualitative analysis of classroom observations and interviews with three experienced Japanese teachers of English highlights both the key features of these teachers’ pedagogies in teaching grammar and the cognitions underpinning their work. Their practices were characterized by detailed teacher-fronted explanations of grammatical forms, metalinguistic explicitness, and the use of the L1. These practices were underpinned by the teachers’ beliefs about the value of grammar, though there was little evidence that the teachers’ pedagogical choices were consciously informed by current theoretical or methodological ideas in the field of L2 teaching. Rather, the approach to grammar adopted by the teachers had a strong experiential basis and was influenced by a desire to motivate and promote the well-being of their students as well as by contextual factors such as learners and colleagues.

近年、教師認知の観点からCommunicative Language Teaching (CLT) の導入に関わる考察が多くなされているが、本稿は日本の英語教育の主な関心であり続ける文法指導にその焦点をあてた。日本の高校に勤める経験豊かな3人の日本人英語教師各々に授業観察と観察前後のインタビューからなる質的調査を実施し、文法指導の実践とその実践の根拠となる彼らの教育的信条や認知との関係性を探った。日本語を用いた教師主導の文法形式の説明とメタ言語学的明示性に象徴された彼らの実践は、文法指導に価値をおく彼らの信条が根拠となっていたが、その指導法を採用する判断においては第二言語(外国語)教育分野の理論、方法論を基にしたという根拠はほぼなかった。むしろ彼らの指導法は、教師自身の学習・指導経験が大きな基礎をなし、学習者の動機を高め彼らに人間として良く成長してほしいという願い、学習者や同僚といったコンテクスト要因に影響されていた。