Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of EFL Team Teaching in Japan

Saturday, August 27, 2016 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Event Speaker: 
Takaaki Hiratsuka (University of the Ryukyus)
Fee for JALT members: 
Fee for non-JALT members: 
1,000 yen
Contact or Queries: 

Part 1: Focusing on teachers: Eliminating the false dichotomy between native and non-native English speaking teachers

By enhancing the understanding of particular aspects of native English speaking teachers (NESTs) and non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs), teachers and students can come to make better sense, both linguistically and culturally, of their own experiences in language teaching and learning. In Japan, there has recently been a growing interest in teachers' and students' perceptions of local Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) who are NNESTs and foreign assistant language teachers (ALTs) who are NESTs hired through almost 30 years of the JET program. This study included JTEs, ALTs and their students, thereby adding valuable insights to the discussion of N/NESTs and team teaching in Japan. Data were collected using multiple qualitative methods at two public high schools in order to examine the perceptions of JTEs and ALTs. Findings suggest that political, cultural and educational contexts, as well as the teachers' traits as N/NESTs, crucially affected the participants' perceptions. In conclusion, I discuss the importance of eliminating the false dichotomy between NESTs and NNESTs and provide implications for language teachers, students, teacher educators and policy makers.

Part 2: Focusing on practices: Unpacking team teachers' and students' perceptions of team-teaching practices

In this study I explored the perceptions of JTEs, ALTs and their students of team-teaching practices. Data were collected from two pairs of team teachers and four of their students in two high schools via a myriad of qualitative methods, including interviews, pair discussions and focus group discussions. Findings suggest that the participants considered team-teaching practices to be: unique, because of the participation of a native English speaker in the team, and also because of the particular nature of teamwork by both teachers; open-ended, due to vague definitions; and less important than other commitments at school. The complex perceptions derived from the participants' personal experiences, contextual factors and research conditions.

Biography: Takaaki Hiratsuka is an Associate Professor at University of the Ryukyus. He received his PhD from University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research and teaching interests lie in the areas of teacher education, teacher research and qualitative research methods.

After-meeting social:
Social: Grand China buffet restaurant, ACROS Fukuoka B1
Cost: 3,100 yen / person; please RSVP to Miho Tani by August 24th to hold your place.
PLEASE NOTE, because the social meal is completely unrelated to JALT finances, any person cancelling their reservation after the specified deadline, or not showing up, will be asked to pay the full amount, unless a replacement is found.