Practicalities of Team Teaching: Recent Research and Experience in Japan

Page No.: 
Daniel G. C. Hougham, Hiroshima University; Brett R. Walter, Hiroshima University; Aaron C. Sponseller, Hiroshima University

The compulsory introduction of foreign language (English) activities into Japanese elementary schools (ESs) has transformed the Japanese educational landscape in recent years and this transformation is expected to continue with English being allocated considerably more curriculum time in ESs in coming years. A forum at the JALT2016 International Conference was therefore convened to (a) discuss findings from recent research on team teaching including Walter’s survey of preservice homeroom teachers’ perceptions of ALTs and Sponseller’s survey of JTE and ALT role perceptions during preinstructional and postinstructional phases of team teaching; (b) share experiences on what is actually happening in many primary school teaching situations where team teaching is considered impractical and contractually outlawed; and (c) discuss practical, transformational steps that can be taken to support teachers during the transition to more English in ESs. In this paper we report on the new research, experiences, and practical ideas discussed in the forum.