The Time In Between: Socialization Training as a Learning Priority for Japanese University Students

| May 5, 2006
Title
The Time In Between: Socialization Training as a Learning Priority for Japanese University Students

Keywords: socialization training, group(s), circles, apathy, absenteeism, dedication

Authors
Stuart D. Warrington
Asia University, Japan

Bio Data
Stuart D. Warrington has taught EFL in South Korea and Japan for over 8 years and ESL in Canada for two years. He is currently a Visiting Faculty Lecturer and Professional Development Chair at the Center for English Language Education (CELE), Asia University, Tokyo, Japan. His research interests are Culture and EFL, Multiple Intelligences, Motivation, Teaching Learner Strategies, Teaching Listening, Video in the Classroom, and Needs Assessment.

Abstract
It is generally accepted and understood by many if not most countries around the globe that success in academics is the priority of learning at university. However, this does not mean that there are not unique understandings and perceptions of learning and the priorities it is given. In Japan, university student perceptions on what is to be learned at university are quite unlike those found throughout the world and are actively practiced today. Japanese university students’ learning of socialization or “socialization training” is a cultural phenomenon that is widely misunderstood, misinterpreted and critiqued by many in the EFL profession. For many, it is often deemed incomprehensible. This is especially true for EFL teachers at the university and tertiary levels in Japan. In this paper, an exploration of this unique cultural facet and how it is perceived is undertaken. This is done with the intention of revealing what university EFL teachers need to acknowledge, know and understand about the learning priority given to socialization training by Japanese university students in relation to their own perceptions of learning as teachers.

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 12