Transition from learning English to Learning in English: Students’ Perceived Adjustment Difficulties in an English-Medium University in Japan

| December 29, 2006
Title
Transition from learning English to Learning in English: Students Perceived Adjustment Difficulties in an English-Medium University in Japan

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Authors
Naoko Taguchi
Carnegie Mellon University

Naeko Naganuma
Akita International University

Bio Data
Naoko Taguchi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. She holds Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University. She is currently teaching Japanese and Second Language Acquisition. Her research interests include second language pragmatics, classroom-based research, and foreign language teaching.

Naeko Naganuma is an Associate Professor in EAP Studies at Akita International University in northern Japan. She teaches integrated-skills content-based courses and introduction to computers courses. Her major research interests include Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Pragmatics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

Abstract
In 2003, the Japanese Ministry of Education officially announced an action plan that aims to produce Japanese citizens who can function effectively in English in international settings. The 2003 Action Plan also corresponds with the on-going reform of higher-education system in Japan. In 2004, all national universities became private entities and gained flexibility in promoting unique education. One notable trend born out of this reform is the establishment of an English-medium university a university where content courses are taught in English to develop students functional ability in English. This case study, conducted in one English-medium university in a prefecture in Japan, examined how Japanese students who graduated from regular Japanese high schools in the prefecture have adapted to a new English-only university environment. The study revealed the students’ adjustment difficulties and explored the extent to which the difficulties stem from their previous experience in high school English classes.

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See pages 52-73

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 8 Issue 4