Japanese high school students’ emotional ratings of the four skills:
by Kazuya Kito (Temple University Japan) & Yo Hamada (Yokote-Seiryo Gakuin)
Since 1985, motivation has been considered a key facet of curriculum planning and problems underlying school education. In this study, some ideas regarding demotivation are combined with insights from a field known as emotional science. The perception of 57 Japanese high school students of the four English language skills was investigated using a Semantic Differential Method developed by Osgood. The results of a 25-item questionnaire analyzed by a hierarchical cluster analysis procedure suggest that respondents tend to feel most favorable about reading activities, then listening. The greatest degree of anxiety and negative emotions tends to be associated with speaking activities. Based on insights regarding strength-based education proposed by Anderson, we hope to transform demotivated high school EFL students by emphasizing their strength in writing.
Keywords: strength-based education, motivation, demotivation, EFL instruction, learner attitudes, four language skills
[ p. 8 ]Recent years have seen a surge in interest in the study of motivation (Gardner, 1985; Little, Ridley, Ushioda, 2003; Dornyei, 1994, 2001; Dornyei & Murphy, 2004). There are also several distinguished motivational theories: self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), goal-setting theories (Locke & Latham, 1990), attribution theory (Weiner, 1992), self-worth theory (Covington, 1992) and self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1993).
|1||the teacher||"The teacher shouted all the time."|
|2||inadequate school facilities||"Our classroom was cold in winter and hot in summer."|
|3||reduced self-confidence||"I don't have confidence in my English anymore."|
|4||negative attitudes towards the L2||"I simply don't like English."|
|5||compulsory nature of L2 study||"I have no choice: English is forced on me."|
|6||interferences from another language||"English is similar to German, which gets in the way sometimes."|
|7||negative feelings about the L2 community||"Anglophones are generally obnoxious."|
|8||attitude towards group members||"My class is full of obnoxious rascals."|
|9||attitude towards course book||"My text book is a boring piece of trash!"|
[ p. 9 ]Recently several studies based on Dornyei’s (1998, 2001) research have been conducted in Japan,. Some notable examples are listed in Table 2.
[ p. 10 ]
|"The semantic differential method is one means to explore the subtleties in which various people conceptualize different concepts."|
[ p. 11 ]Method
[ p. 12 ]
|Japanese adjective||[English translation]||Number of occurrences||Japanese adjective||[English translation]||Number of occurrences|
|Japanese adjective||[English translation]||F1||F2||F3|
[ p. 13 ]
[ p. 14 ]Discussion
|"the basic ideas of strength-based education . . . need to be brought about in Japanese high school EFL contexts"|
it has been shown, both in the field and the laboratory, that teachers who hold extremely positive images of their students tend to provide those students with (1) increased emotional support in comparison to others (Rist, 1970; Rubovitz and Maeher, 1973); (2) clearer, more immediate, and more positive feedback around effect and performance (Weinstein, 1976; Cooper, 1979); and (3) better opportunities to perform and learn more challenging materials (Brophy & Good, 1974; Swann & Snyder, 1980).
[ p. 15 ]
we view language ability as consisting of an inner circle, ‘feeling of the language,’ with an outer ring divided into the traditional four quadrants [four skills]…with this view, we can note that what is learned in one mode [one skill] is likely to feed through to other modes (p.14)This means that one strongest skill can pull the other skills and drive them to a higher level than by working on each weak skill, according to Buckingham (2005) and Childs (2005). By working on their strong skill, students can achieve more, according to Austin (2005) and Buckingham (2005).
[ p. 16 ]Boston Globe Newspaper (2006). Harvard's crowded course to happiness. Retrieved June, 21, 2008 from http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/03/10/harvards_crowded_course_to_happiness/
[ p. 17 ]Nagamachi, M. (1995). Kansei kougaku no hanashi [Story about kansei engineering]. Tokyo: Nihon Kikaku Kyoukai.