Descriptive Quantitative Study Investigating Japanese Perceptions About English Language Usefulness in Singapore

Date
2020
Authors
de Villiers, Annemarie
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Abstract
Research suggests negative perceptions about English usefulness are adversely impacting motivation in English learning of Japanese students. The study contributed to the understanding of how expatriate Japanese living abroad perceive English and the value of learning English. Research on the Japanese community in Singapore was limited, offering a unique opportunity to expand knowledge and fill a gap in the research literature. Transformational leadership and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, both strongly founded in a sensitive approach to empowering and supporting growth through active participation, underpinned the research. Four questions guided the research: (a) What are perceptions regarding the age of English introduction to Japanese children expressed by the Japanese community in Singapore? (b) What are perceptions of the usefulness of English by the Japanese community in Singapore? (c) How does the general use of English differ according to gender within the Japanese community in Singapore? and (d) What are the changes in perception about English learning and the usefulness of English of the Japanese community since living in Singapore? The purpose of the descriptive quantitative study was to understand perceptions regarding the usefulness of English and the value of learning English as reported by the Japanese community in Singapore. Through an online survey quantitative data were collected from parents of a private preschool to understand the perceptions about the usefulness and value of learning English outside of Japan. Major findings of the study were positive perceptions regarding the early introduction of English to Japanese children, enthusiasm about learning English, and the regular use of English for daily tasks and business communication. Statistically significant positive changes in perceptions about English usefulness and English learning were reported by the Japanese community since living in Singapore.
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Keywords
English Second Language Learning, Japanese Education Policies, Japanese culture, Singapore, Transformational Leadership
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