The purposes of this study were to investigate how international students evaluate Japanese university classes, and to exaime future possible directions of instruction to improve teaching methods for both Japanese and international students. 374 international students who attended three major universities in western parts of Japan were surveyed from September, 1988 to January, 1989. They were asked about their opinions on characteristics of what constitutes a "good class" at the respective universities which they were attending.
Answers to the closed questions were analyzed by employing cross-tabulation analysis and factor analysis. They were also compared with the previous findings on Japanese students' opinions about what constitutes a "good class" at Japanese universities. Answers to the open-ended questions were analyzed by content analysis.
The data from the survey of international students revealed that they evaluated most highly the classes in which there was considerable interaction between the teacher and students, and among students themselves. The data from the previous survey of Japanese students showed that these students preferred classes in which the teacher was enthusiastic, provided clear lectures, and considered their attitudes empathetically. Japanese students' attitudes in class seemed to be passive, compared with those international students, who were not satisfied with such "one-way" lectures. They valued active participation in classes from all who were involved in class.
The results also indicated that international students tended to highly evaluate seminars and graduate classes which were effective and allowed room for creativity. It appeared that, for them, many undergraduate classes were more problematic than graduate courses. Also a number of international students tended to evaluate Japanese professors more highly as scholars and researchers but less highly as teachers.
Many Asian students, particularly from China, expressed their satisfaction with the free atomosphere in Japanese schools, and with the elective subject system.
Additionally, the results indicated that those international students who were older, attended graduate schools and felt adjusted to Japanese ways of living tended to be more satisfied with classes at Japanese universities.
Lastly, the number of international students has been dramatically increasing on Japanese university campuses, and it is expected that they will continue to increase over the coming several years. In order to accommodate and educate students from different parts of the world, it is necessary for teachers to understand each international student's needs, including his/her language competency, as well as his/her different cultural and educational background. At the same time, it appears that international students' perspectives of Japanese university classes will help Japanese educators to examine their traditional teaching methods and to improve and internationalize education for both international and Japanese students.