Reflective practices in the foreign language classroom

Mariko Fujita & Ethel Ogane

Reflection is the practice of thinking analytically about one’s experiences and activities. This paper describes how reflective activities have been incorporated into junior high school, high school, university, and pre-service English teacher education classes. As part of the goal of learning activities in these classes, students were asked to critically reflect upon their experiences and activities. As a result, students appeared to have improved their language skills and more importantly, they gained experience in self-regulating their learning. Three factors deemed necessary for effective reflective practice are also discussed: opportunities for student choice and initiative, manageable yet challenging tasks, and supportive and sharing classroom relationships. This paper also argues that student reflection has a great influence on teacher reflection and may help to motivate teachers to incorporate changes in their teaching approaches.