Back-to-the-Future Essays Aid Study Abroad Gains

Page No.: 
172
Writer(s): 
Harumi Kimura, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University; Brenda Hayashi, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University

Positive long-term outcomes can result from short-term overseas programs despite the fact that past research has not demonstrated tangible language outcomes. In this exploratory study, we investigated how a 2-week interactive, participatory overseas language experience positively impacted a group of Japanese university students. Through mindful participation in a variety of activities, the participants were able to develop life skills, expand their life options, and renew L2 learning motivation. After the program, the students composed “back-to-the-future” essays, which they wrote pretending they were their future selves, writing as if they were looking back on their past. They elaborated their vision and realistically narrated the progress towards the plausible future state they desired to be. The essays could guide them to actively exert agency on learning behaviors they believed match the vision they nurtured in relation to their study-abroad experiences.

この探索的研究は、日本人大学生が参加した相互交流を図る目的で行われた2週間のプログラムを例に挙げ、短期の留学プログラムであっても長期的に見て肯定的な結果を生むことができると論じる。これまでの研究では短期プログラムによる成果は具体的に示されていない。留学中、参加者は様々な活動に真摯に参加する中で、生きる力を身につけ、将来のキャリアについて視野を広げ、第二言語学習の動機づけを新たに自覚した。帰国後は留学で得た経験を基に「未来から見た自分史」を書き、将来なりたい自分(第二言語使用者としての自己)を詳細に描いた。その過程で、ビジョンとして描いた自分の姿に近づくための具体的な行動・対策を練り上げ実行に移した。留学時の体験を元に「未来から見た自分史」を書いたことが自分の望む自分の姿を豊かに育て、自発的な学習行動につながったことを示す。 

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