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Title: Evidence from Learning Histories Elicited through Structured Conversations: Continuity in English Language Learning in Japan
Author: Toyoshima, Saeko
ISNI:       0000 0001 3535 8668
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2007
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The present research investigates how learners' experiences when they started learning English influenced their learning at later stages in the Japanese learning context. The hypothesis was that if learners experienced a relatively large number of interactions with teachers and peers at the early stages, the use of social strategies would become the basis of their learning behaviours, and they would attempt to continue their learning in the same style later, which would lead them ~ to develop a sufficient metacognitive awareness towards learning to use metacognitive strategies as well as the other strategies. The main research method was learning history interviews, and two questionnaires, Oxford's (1990) SILL and a learners' background questionnaire, were used as a second source. The informants were Japanese 'university students: 9 in the first pilot study, 14 in the second pilot study, and 20 in the main study. The process of the research made it clear that the interviews became more naturalistic conversations within the topics structured beforehand - structured conversations. Three findings were illustrated in the main study. First, four learners in the study who thought of English as a tool for' communication experienced a relatively large number of interactions with teachers and pe~rs both in English and Japanese, and used social and metacognitive strategies as their preferred strategies. Another four informants who thought of English as a school subject did not show any significantly different characteristics in their learning behaviours. Second, not only what they actually experienced in the classroom but also the relationships between two informants in the study and their first teachers affected their strategy use at later stages. Finally, an informant who had had a personal struggle derived from. the gap between what she had experienced at t.he early stages of learning and the later stages tried to control her learning in order to learn English enjoyably and freely, which led her to the use ofmetacognitive strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available