Turning the Japanese High School Homeroom Period Into an Opportunity to Communicate in English

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Hatsuko Itaya, Hokkaido Musashi Women’s Junior College

This paper reports on an attempt to increase students’ exposure to communicative English in a senior high school environment. Despite common awareness of the importance of exposure “to develop students’ communication abilities” (MEXT, 2011, p.1), research shows that activity-based all-English classes are not always conducted. Other research has also revealed that even with classes taught entirely in English, the total hours are not enough for the acquisition of basic skills of English. Therefore, in order to increase exposure to communicative English, I conducted morning and afternoon homeroom periods in English for two years [EHR]. In addition, one student per lesson gave a one-minute speech in English during the morning HR every day. Most of the students reported that EHR was instrumental in developing their comprehension and speaking skills, and at the end of each school year, they chose to continue EHR in the following school year.