Freshman International Students’ English Study at a Japanese University

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Regan Tyndall, Asia University

This paper reports survey results (collected over a 2-year period) from 63 Asian international students in their freshman year at Asia University in Tokyo. The survey concerns the importance of English study to the students, comparisons of norms in the students’ home country to norms in Japan, and international students’ perceptions of the English abilities of their Japanese classmates. Anecdotal information obtained in student interviews is also discussed. Results suggest that international students’ impressions of English study with Japanese classmates is relatively positive overall, but that Asian international students have difficulty understanding Japanese students’ spoken English—something some international students attribute to katakana dependence. I also suggest ways in which university English teachers can both aid Japanese students in their appreciation of Asian international students and address the concerns raised by the international students about English study in a Japanese classroom.


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