Online English Study: Perceptions of Language Ownership in Japan

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Christian Misuro, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University

Online English lessons compete increasingly with traditional classroom lessons. When these lessons are given by nonnative teachers, they provide a platform to challenge notions of the ownership of English by native speakers in addition to changing the way the language is taught. In this study I examined the motivations of Japanese students for taking online lessons versus classroom lessons, overall satisfaction levels with online lessons, and teacher preferences versus teacher choices. I also examined attitudes towards correct models of English held by both students and nonnative instructors. The results indicate that convenience and affordability are significant factors in the overall satisfaction expressed by students with online lessons. They also show that, despite strong notions of native speakers as ideal English models in Japan, convenience and affordability of online lessons from nonnative teachers as well as their individual skills and attitudes make their lessons a competitive alternative for Japanese students.