Date of Successful Defense
Date Degree Awarded
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Michael W. Firmin, Ph.D.
speak English, Japanese, elementary students, bilingual
Japanese schools have invested much money and effort in teaching English, yet why do most Japanese people not speak English? Their reticence has been attributed to various factors including communication apprehension or language anxiety. In this study, qualitative, phenomenological interviews were conducted with 24 Japanese upper elementary students at a bilingual international school in Japan to investigate influences on their willingness to communicate in English. Through open coding of the students’ responses, four themes emerged. Intrinsic factors which made students reticent to speak in English were internal stress and the perceived difficulty of English speaking. Social groups and identity issues were extrinsic factors which were also found to influence Japanese students’ attitudes toward English speaking.
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Rohrer, Steven B., "Why Do Japanese People Not Speak English? Japanese Elementary Students in a Bilingual School" (2011). Master of Education Research Theses. 35.