First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language


English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Japan -- Japanese speakers, English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States -- Japanese speakers



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vi, 162 p.)


Students' use of language learning strategies (LLSs) is affected by their educational backgrounds and academic requirements, and so are their attitudes toward language learning. This study investigates Japanese students' perception of their English LLSs in different language environments: Japan and the United States. A group of 43 Japanese students from Otemae College participated in a cultural study program at Portland State University. The group consisted of 28 students who studied for two terms (ST Group) and 15 students who studied for three terms (LT Group). In this study, a combination of a self-assessment questionnaire, dialogue journals, and a card-ranking activity was employed. The self-assessment questionnaire, SILL (Rebecca Oxford's Strategy Inventory for Language Learning), was administered at different times during the learning period for identification of students' English LLSs in Japan (Ll) and in the United States (L2). The SILL provided this study with quantitative data; whereas, dialogue journals and the card ranking activity supplied qualitative data that more insightfully indicated students' perception of language learning, learning experiences, and insight into the students themselves. Dialogue journals allowed students to record their positive and negative experiences in the L2 related to language learning, emotions, concerns, problems, and questions. The students' LLSs increased in frequency and variety of use when the language environment changed from the Ll to the L2. The LLSs of the LT Group continued to improve during an additional term in the L2. Conversely, the LLS use by the ST Group regressed after only four months back in the Ll (except Affective and Social Strategies). The results of the SILL indicated direct strategies were adjusted according to English learning experience in a different learning environment. Three administrations of the SILL, dialogue journals, and the card ranking activity gave students opportunities to review the process of their English learning. This process functioned in raising students' awareness of language learning from cognitive, psychological, social, and cultural perspectives. Such conceptual development of metalinguistic awareness of the language and culture helped the students recognize their language learning experiences in the L2 as the process of human development.


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