Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Outsourcing In-Service Education: The Effects of a Canadian Pedagogical Programme on Japanese Teachers' of English Teaching Practices
by Cook, Melodie Lorie, Ph.D., Macquarie University (Australia), 2010, 310; 3441294
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis reports on three studies examining an overseas pedagogical programme of study designed for junior and senior high school Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) and the impact of the programme on their teaching practices.

Several years ago, when the researcher was visiting the host university where she used to work as an ESL instructor, a former colleague mentioned that teachers were coming from Japan to learn Communicative Language Teaching methodologies in Canada. Thinking this would be an ideal topic for doctoral research, the researcher visited the Coordinator of Special Programmes, Emma (a pseudonym), to see if she would be willing to have a study of the programme undertaken. Because no such study of the programme had been completed, and because Emma honestly expressed that she didn’t know what happened after JTEs returned to Japan, she kindly consented.

In order to understand more about the programme’s conception, design, and delivery, the first study examined general recommendations for communicative language teaching (CLT) in-service education and training programmes for teachers who teach English as a foreign language and used such recommendations as a yardstick against which to measure the 2007 Canadian programme. In particular, the study examined three dimensions: the programme planning dimension, the programme execution dimension, and the cultural dimension. Three paradigms were used to compare cultural and educational differences between Japan and Canada: the interpretation-based versus transmission-based culture paradigm (Wedell, 2003), the collectionist versus integrationist educational paradigm (Holliday, 1994a), and the routine/uncertain culture versus non-routine certain culture paradigm (Sato, 2002). This qualitative study indicated that while the programme met almost all of the recommended criteria, especially at the programme execution dimension, a more thorough knowledge of Japanese educational culture and a re-examination of some assumptions on which the programme is constructed may be useful to programme planners and trainers in helping JTEs overcome barriers to adopting CLT practices into their lessons.

The second and third studies tracked Japanese teachers of English after returning to Japan; the second study examined outcomes six months after completing the Canadian programme, and the third, one year later. Both case studies found that JTEs could effectively incorporate what they had learned overseas if they were not bound by practical constraints, such as grammar or translation-based entrance examination pressures; external influences, such as a perceived need to conform to colleagues’ teaching practices, or if they were teaching specifically communication-oriented classes. Overall, findings implied that host programme planners and instructors could benefit from a closer look at constraints faced by third-year public school high school teachers in particular, since this group of teachers faces the greatest number of obstacles incorporating CLT into their regular teaching practice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Varshney, Rachel
School: Macquarie University (Australia)
School Location: Australia
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Teacher education
Keywords: English as a foreign language, Inservice, Japan, Japanese teachers' of English, Outsourcing, Pedagogical program
Publication Number: 3441294
ISBN: 978-1-124-46147-2
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