Bridging Pedagogical Gaps with Learner Agency

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Kathryn M. Tanaka, Otemae University; Robert Sheridan, Kindai University; Daniel Tang, Otemae University; Jeanette M. Kobayashi, Konan University

Currently, many educators in Japan seek student-centered approaches to language learning. Yet, the ways these pedagogies are understood and implemented remain uneven, and there is little research to support effective methods. Here, the researchers examine Japanese EFL university students’ attitudes towards student-centered learning. We elucidate how student perceptions of their language gains change when teachers, students themselves, or their peers are responsible for the preparation and teaching of lessons and material. Researchers had students from four classes teach lessons individually, in pairs, or in groups. Students designed and taught lessons based on articles from the teacher. The four groups completed surveys with quantitative aspects. After the study, follow-up questionnaires provided deeper insight into the results which point to a significant difference in answers for self- and peer-led lessons and also demonstrate that the significance of the results varied based on whether student-taught lessons were led by pairs, groups, or individuals.