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ERIC Number: EJ1003601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0142-6001
Silence in the Second Language Classrooms of Japanese Universities
King, Jim
Applied Linguistics, v34 n3 p325-343 Jul 2013
Japanese language learners' proclivity for silence has been alluded to by various writers (e.g. Anderson 1993; Korst 1997; Greer 2000) and is supported by plenty of anecdotal evidence, but large-scale, empirical studies aimed at measuring the extent of macro-level silence within Japanese university L2 classrooms are notably lacking. This article responds to the gap in the literature by reporting on an extensive, multi-site study which used a structured observation methodology to investigate the classroom behaviour of 924 English language learners across nine universities. A total of 48 hours of data were collected using a minute-by-minute sampling strategy which resulted in some surprising results. Students were found to be responsible for less than one per cent of initiated talk within their classes, while over a fifth of all class time observed was characterized by no oral participation by any participants, staff, or students alike. These results are interpreted from a dynamic systems theory perspective, which suggests that silence emerges through multiple routes and has now formed a semi-permanent attractor state within the study's L2 university classrooms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan