Teaching Younger Learners College and University Education Research-Oriented Presentation
Bridging Compulsory English Classes from Elementary to Junior High in Japan
In this presentation, we will report on research in 2021 with 99 5th grade elementary students from three different elementary schools and 242 7th grade students from one junior high school in southern Japan. We will look at some ideas on how to help bridge the gap between Eigo Katsudo and regular compulsory English classes. Although our pilot research showed higher student motivation in junior high school, most research has shown that students like elementary school English lessons but do not prefer junior high English lessons. Ideas as to why there is a gap will be explored. Furthermore, the results from this initial pilot study showed that 77% of JHS students feel learning English in elementary school is useful in junior high. Our study also showed that 70% of junior high students reported that their English lessons progressively got harder. Reasons why this might be true and ways to help smooth the transition from elementary school Eigo Katsudo to junior high school compulsory English classes will be explored.
Tamiko Kondo, from Japan, has international experience which includes teaching in Belgium/the UK and completing her PhD study in the UK, and is currently a lecturer in English language education and applied linguistics at University of the Ryukyus, Japan. She has been practising action research since her master’s study as a teacher educator. In her recent project, she has been working with local school teachers towards a smooth transition from primary to junior high school English class.
Dr. Osterman has been teaching in Japan since 1993. Originally from a small Midwestern town in the United States, he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from the University of Maryland. After a short hiatus, he completed his doctorate degree from Northcentral University in educational leadership. Over his career, he has taught at elementary schools, junior high schools, universities, and is an administrator at a private international school in Okinawa. His volunteer works includes being the coordinator for JALT’s Teaching Younger Learners Special Interest Group, Okinawa Chapter Membership Chair, and the SIG Representative Liaison for JALT.