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Developing a Syllabus for Teaching Communication Strategies to Japanese Students
The purpose of this paper is to develop a syllabus for teaching students communication strategies in Japanese secondary school English courses. Communicative competence consists of several major competences. One of these is ‘Strategic Competence,’ which is utilized by the use of different communication strategies (CSs). Numerous studies have been conducted on the uses of communication strategies by different language users. Different features have been found, examined, and compared between native speakers and language learners, or between good learners and poor/slow learners of the target languages. However, very few suggestions have been made as to when and how those communication strategies should be learned or acquired by students, especially in Japanese junior and senior high schools.
The author of the present paper has previously reported on the strategic competence of Japanese senior high school students and university students (Tatsukawa 2007a, 2007b). The survey was conducted with 264 Japanese high school students and 245 college students, so that the results would show us which specific strategies are familiar to Japanese students and also what differences are seen between the two groups. Further research was conducted to analyze Japanese senior high school English teachers’ perceptions of their own CS use in English, their views in relation to the necessity of providing CS training to their students, and their perceptions of the actual CS instruction they provide in class. (Tatsukawa 2008). The two major findings were (1) the above three components are closely related to one another; and (2) CS training is not practiced in class as much as expected.
Based on the above findings and obtained insights, a syllabus model for communication strategy instructions in class is made for pedagogical purposes. The model shows four different categories from the following perspectives: the ease of acquiring specific CSs by learners and the necessity and difficulty of providing CS training in class. This syllabus model can be very useful for secondary school teachers of Japan to make their classroom activities more practical and communicative.
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