Textbooks or E-learning? Learners’ Preferences and Motivations in a Japanese EFL Classroom

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Kazunari Shimada, Takasaki University of Health and Welfare

This study investigates Japanese EFL learners’ attitudes and preferences towards textbooks and web-based materials in a blended learning context. Sixty-four undergraduate students of a two-semester English course were asked to complete a questionnaire, which was designed to measure their satisfaction with each type of learning material and their motivation and autonomy in learning English, especially in grammar practice. The results revealed that a greater number of students preferred web-based materials to paper-based ones. Additionally, the results of SEM analysis indicate that learner satisfaction with e-learning materials has a positive effect on their attitudes towards self-study. However, students who preferred textbooks appreciated their advantages, such as the ability to take handwritten notes and the ease of understanding grammar points with face-to-face feedback. Therefore, the findings suggest that a well-balanced blend of materials may meet a wide variety of learners’ needs and promote positive attitudes towards autonomous language learning.