Spoken communication and its assessment in large classes in upper secondary schools in Japan

  • Kimihito Ando,

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    There is awareness and concern in Japan that the process of teaching and learning English as a foreign language in the school system does not produce students who can communicate in the target language. This is especially true of communication in the spoken mode. Attempts have been made to move towards more communicative language teaching, despite constraints such as large class size, compulsory use of structurally-organized textbooks, and grammar-based university entrance examinations. However. such attempts do not seem to have been particularly successful. The purpose of this study is to suggest modifications to the teaching of English in upper secondary schools in Japan which could enable students to develop their communicative competence and also to consider implications for the assessment of spoken communication. Chapter I describes the scope and background of the study. Chapter ll looks at the teaching of English in upper secondary schools in Japan, discussing aspects such as the place of English in the total school (ii) curriculum and constraints on the introduction of spoken communicative activities. Chapter III discusses the theory and practice of the Communicative Approach to Language Teaching in the English teaching context in Japan. Chapter IV offers suggestions for incorporating spoken communication in English lessons at upper secondary school level. In Chapter V, the problem of assessing oral communicative performance is considered in practical terms. The final chapter highlights major constraints and points to recent developments which may give an impetus to a move towards more communicative teaching of English as a foreign language in Japanese schools. It is intended that this Study Report will provide guidelines for the feasible introduction of spoken communicative activities in large classes at upper secondary level and that it will offer practical suggestions for assessing students’ performance in such activities.

    Date of Award1987
    Original languageEnglish

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