Innovations in Integrating Language Assistants: Inter-Collaborative Learning

Journal of Language and Education, 2018, 4(4), 88-96. doi: 10.17323/2411-7390-2018-4-4-88-96

9 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019

See all articles by Fumie Kato

Fumie Kato

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Date Written: December 31, 2018

Abstract

A language assistant (LA) program was introduced into a university-level Japanese program. The LAs in this program consisted of Japanese study abroad students, that is English as a second language students, coming to study from Japanese universities for either one semester or one academic year, as well as American learners returning from a one-year academic study abroad program in Japan. In the southeastern region of the United States, the Japanese language is not yet considered a major foreign language, thus few opportunities exist for American learners to connect with native speakers of Japanese. The LA program endeavors to ease this limitation. It has been extremely beneficial for our American learners to have opportunities to communicate regularly with Japanese study abroad students in the classrooms. Furthermore, it was found tremendously valuable for Japanese study abroad students and greatly helpful for the instructors as well. This paper describes the procedures and examines the effectiveness of introducing an LA program into Japanese language classes. To analyze the program, questionnaires were distributed to LAs (N=20); five department instructors wrote comments concerning the program; and five Japanese language learners submitted reflection papers. Analyses of the qualitative data indicate that the LA program has many advantages for everyone participating.

Keywords: Language Assistant, Teaching Practicum, Study Abroad Students, Japanese as a Foreign Language

Suggested Citation

Kato, Fumie, Innovations in Integrating Language Assistants: Inter-Collaborative Learning (December 31, 2018). Journal of Language and Education, 2018, 4(4), 88-96. doi: 10.17323/2411-7390-2018-4-4-88-96, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3389912

Fumie Kato (Contact Author)

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte ( email )

9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
United States

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