A Case Study of English Teaching at Japanese Elementary Schools

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Kyoko Suwa, Kyoto Tachibana Women's University

The present classroom study was conducted to investigate current methods,
materials and language use in the fourth to sixth grades in three elementary
schools. Employing the observation scheme, Communicative Orientation of
Language Teaching (COLD, differences were found among the schools in teaching
objectives, methods, materials, amount of japanese, and amount of input and
output. No class was conducted entirely in the target language; the amount of
japanese (ll) used in class varied. The implications of the findings for instruction
are that there is a need for improvement in such areas as teacher-training and
team-teaching and, above all, a need for understanding how foreign languages
(Fl) are learned and taught in japan. The status of classroom research within
the community and society is briefly explored.