The University of Electro-Communications (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 4717-4723
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology in Japan made foreign language activities a compulsory course for all primary school students in grade 5 and 6 from a new term in 2011. Recently the Ministry announced an implementation program of English educational reformation towards the globalization which is aiming at earlier starting ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Language) from grade 3 and increasing the time to teach English for all classes in primary students, and also strengthening the leadership for all students from primary to senior high schools.

A statement of the Ministry’s official guidelines for school teaching in elementary schools published in 2008 describes that “When dealing with sounds, teachers should make active use of audio-visual materials such as CDs and DVDs.” A Japanese company developed a new type of sound based pen touched equipment with several functions of reading, speaking, and recording spoken English in place of CD’s. This equipment could enhance the learning effectiveness of the practical English for ESOL students.

On the basis of recently changed situation of Ministry’s policy for primary school students, we plan an experimental survey research at a Japanese private elementary school which collaborates with our research project in order to assess the effectiveness and usefulness of new type of equipment comparing with an existing CD’s materials. If we could confirm the usefulness of this equipment, the spread of new type of audio based material not only might enhance the practical English ability for early-aged students, but also could reduce the teacher’s burden in the situation of the lack of native speaker teachers in Japan.

The experimental survey targeted classes at a collaborated school are for grade 2 and 4, and the participants are all students in the classes whose parents agreed and signed consent statement to participate our survey research project. The experimental intervention study is separately performed for grade 2 and grade 4 students. This study uses cross-over designs in order to ensure the student’s impartiality, in which the students are randomly assigned sequence 1 or sequence 2, the sequence 1 group students learn a spoken English using new type of equipment for six weeks at the first, after one month washout period, they learn using existing CD’s materials for six weeks. The sequence 2 group is vice versa. The study period is between October 2013 and the beginning of 2014 March. The score tests to evaluate reading, writing, speaking, and hearing ability for each student are performed 4 times at the timing before and after each 6 weeks period. We will present statistically analyzed outcome and discuss the future perspective for Japanese early-stage practical English learning program.
English learning experience, foreign activities, audio based pen touched equipment, ESOL, experimental survey research.