Publication Details

Yanagi, M. & Baker, A. A. (2016). Challenges experienced by Japanese students with oral communication skills in Australian universities. TESOL Journal, 7 (3), 621-644.


Due to ever-increasing demands to acquire effective communicative abilities in the English language, increasing numbers of international students choose to study in Western tertiary institutions; however, they frequently encounter difficulties in performing satisfactorily in English. This study aims to identify specific challenges that Japanese students face with oral communication skills while studying in Australian universities. Results from questionnaire data collected from 33 undergraduate and postgraduate Japanese students in Australia and interview data from five TESOL postgraduate students indicate that Japanese students have greater difficulty with speaking than with listening and pronunciation. It also sheds additional insight into two areas of major concern in Japan education: inadequate practice of oral communication skills in the Japanese education system and Japanese English teachers' difficulties using English in class. The article concludes by proposing several potential solutions for improving Japanese English education based on the recommendations of Japanese postgraduate students in a TESOL program.



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