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  TOP >> 2009 Monthly Meeting >> 2009/11/14̌Last updated on October 22, 2009
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2009-2010 JACET Kanto Monthly Meeting

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uFactors that impact on the English oral performance of Japanese studentsv

\Tv Over the past couple of decades, the ability to communicate in English has increasingly been considered a desirable skill in Japan. For almost a decade, the government has been pursuing an objective of gall citizens acquiring a working knowledge of English by the time they take their place in society as adultsh, which was recommended in 2000 by the Prime Ministerfs Commission on Japanfs Goals in the 21st Century. Many more Japanese are taking English lessons after school or after work, and going overseas with the improvement of their English communication skills as one of their goals.

Speaking is the most salient aspect of an individualfs ability to communicate in any given language, including a second language they may be learning. However, compared to reading comprehension and writing, not as much research has been carried out on the factors that influence an individualfs ability to speak in a second language. There are even fewer studies available on the factors that impact on the speaking performance of Asian students studying English or any other languages, as most of the research studies that have been published have focused on American or European students studying languages like French or Spanish.

In this lecture, I will describe research findings we have reported about the impact of several factors on the oral performance of Japanese speakers of English. The factors we examined were personality, anxiety, language contact, and vocabulary knowledge. We sought to find out the influence of these factors on the fluency, accuracy, complexity, and overall impression made when Japanese students spoke in English. The participants in our studies were native speakers of Japanese who were studying English at various language schools in Auckland, New Zealand. I will discuss the implications of our findings on educational practice, particularly in considering the question of what we might be able to do to better facilitate the development of Japanese students speaking skills in English.

Dr. Emmanuel ManaloiI[Nhwj

Dr. Emmanuel Manalo has been Director of the SLC since 1993. He completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science at the University of Auckland, then a PhD in Psychology through Massey University. He is author of over 70 academic publications, including 17 refereed full-text research papers in international journals.

His areas of research interest include student use of learning strategies; memory and mnemonic processes; intercultural education; specific learning disabilities; strategies and interventions for academic performance improvement; postgraduate education; language learning; and academic motivation. He is a member of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC), the Cognitive Science Society, the Psychologia Society (based at Kyoto University in Japan), the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, and the Association for Academic Language and Learning (AALL). He was elected President of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa New Zealand (ATLAANZ) for five consecutive years from 2004 to 2008, and is currently on its Executive Committee as its immediate past president. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Psychologia, and the Open Rehabilitation Journal.