Commerce High School Students’ Interests in and Attitudes Towards English

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J. Tyler Kinkade, Komazawa University

Reference Data:

Kinkade, J. T. (2016). Commerce high school students’ interests in and attitudes towards English. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

Commerce high school students’ English learning attitudes and interests are understudied in comparison to their peers in academic university-bound schools. This study compares commerce and academic high school students’ interests in and attitudes towards English learning by means of a 4-item questionnaire administered to 553 students from 3 similarly ranked public high schools in western Japan. Chi-square tests and effect size were utilized to test for significant differences between school types and grade levels. The results indicated that English learning was significantly less important to 1st- and 2nd-year commerce students compared to their academic peers. University entrance exams had a significantly weaker effect on commerce students as a reason to study English. The commerce students were more interested in studying commerce-related topics in English classes than were academic students. The findings suggest the need for differentiated instruction that addresses commerce students’ interests.