Barriers to Effective Team Teaching with ALTs

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Akiko Kano, Sophia University Junior College Division; Atsuko Sonoda, Sophia University; Daniel Schultz, Shizuoka Salesio; Ayano Usukura, Sophia University; Kiyotaka Suga, Sophia University; Yuriko Yasu, Hitotsubashi University

Reference Data:

Kano, A., Sonoda, A., Schultz, D., Usukura, A., Suga, K., & Yasu, Y., (2016). Barriers to effective team teaching with ALTs. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

Assistant language teachers (ALTs) in Japan have played a unique and important role in English education in public schools since the launch of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in 1987. After the introduction of foreign language activities for the 5th and 6th grades of elementary school in 2011, ALTs have become a significant presence in both secondary and elementary schools. A large-scale study, based on questionnaires collected from 1,545 ALTs teaching in elementary and junior high schools, highlighted the varied backgrounds of ALTs and the differing conditions they face in English classrooms. Issues that hinder effective teaching by ALTs are also discussed. Considering these barriers to effective team teaching at the elementary and junior high school level, we conclude with recommendations regarding the future of ALTs in Japan.