Traditionally Japanese Learners of English (JLEs) were regarded as rather poor language learners who underachieved in international comparisons. Cultural and attitudinal factors are often blamed for this under-performance, and the aim of the paper was to find out whether these attitudes are changing. A university group of JLEs (N=259) was investigated to discover whether their attitudes towards language learning are becoming more flexible and communicatively-oriented. It was found that there is a growing trend of self-assertiveness, especially among females who are twice as willing as males to rate themselves good at speaking. However, many men students value correctness over fluency, and believe themselves to be quiet and shy in English classrooms. They assess their English competence more negatively than do their female counterparts. Both genders regard the lessons of Assistant English Teachers (AETs) as important, but women enjoy them much more than men. The conclusion of the study is that attitudes of both genders are moving away from the traditional reticence and passivity, but that there is a divergence between young Japanese men and women in their attitudes towards language learning.
|Journal||Journal of Studies in International Education|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2006|
- Japanese learning English