A Pre-Telecollaboration Training Course for Japanese EFL Learners

A Pre-Telecollaboration Training Course for Japanese EFL Learners

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7080-0.ch002
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This chapter aims to explore the effectiveness of a newly designed pre-telecollaboration training course in helping Japanese EFL learners improve their speaking skills and enhancing their learner agency. A pre-telecollaboration training framework was constructed and implemented using an original audience design to increase effectiveness. As the course progressed, the number and type of audiences were expanded. To effectively integrate the framework into the course, a reflection activity was conducted. The analyses of scores on the versant speaking test and the results of questionnaires using the foreign language classroom anxiety, willingness to communicate, and shyness scales revealed that students' speaking skills in English improved, their foreign language anxiety was alleviated, and their willingness to communicate improved. Furthermore, monitoring results of the students by the teacher in charge indicated that their attitude toward participating in the course became more positive than before.
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Theoretical Background

Learner Agency

O’Dowd and Ritter (2006) conducted a systematic review of studies on failed communication in intercultural communicative competence (ICC) activities and analyzed the causes of such failed communication at three levels: socio-institutional level, classroom level, and individual level. The individual level addresses everything a learner brings to the learning process, that is, the learner’s educational background. The learners’ educational background includes not only their current level of ICC but also their motivation, expectations, and learner agency (Kohn & Hoffstaedter, 2017), which is defined as an individual’s will and capacity to act (Gao, 2010). Kohn and Hoffstaedter (2017) claimed that “fostering learner agency related to communicative participation is an obvious quality of any foreign language teaching and learning approach aiming to support communicative and intercultural competence development” (p. 7). Xiao (2014) investigated the effects of learner agency on language learning in distance learning and showed that agency has a significant impact on learners’ self-efficacy, identity, motivation, and metacognition. This is a new shade on learner agency.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Foreign Language Anxiety: Foreign language anxiety in this chapter is defined as worry and negative emotional reactions that occur when learning or using English as a foreign language.

Willingness to Communicate: Willingness to Communicate in this chapter is defined as willingness to speak English as a foreign language with a person or persons at a specific time.

Engagement: The extent to which students’ cognitions, behaviors, and emotions are activated, directed, and sustained in their learning and other academic activities. Three types of engagement are recognized: behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement.

Audience Design: Audience design in this chapter is defined as gradually increasing the number and type of listeners in order to control the level of anxiety that speakers feel when communicating in English as a foreign language.

Shyness: A syndrome that exists beyond a specific social context and is characterized by the emotional state of social anxiety and the behavioral trait of interpersonal inhibition.

Learner Agency: An individual’s willingness and ability to act.

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