Departmental Bulletin Paper Case study of an international joint class with international and japanese students : learning effects and approaches taken regarding language

Takahashi, Mino

2pp.151 - 169 , 2016-03 , Graduate School of Human Sciences
This paper is based on a framework for creating mutual coexistence between Japanese and International students by overcoming the language barrier between them, which is described in a previous study by the author. This framework is based on Allport’s theory, which was established through examining an environment where black and white employees worked together. Allport suggested 3 conditions (equivalent level, common purpose, institutional support) are necessary to make them work in harmony and establish friendly relationships. By applying this theory in the International Joint Class, a new perspective, namely “dialogue” between students, with each other and with teachers, is added as necessary. Also, a universal study theme is needed for students to start a discussion regardless of their back¬grounds, and “human rights” could be one effective study theme. The purpose of this study is to analyze the study outcome of one Project-Based-Learning (PBL) class based on the above theory. However, this practice is different in that introduce a different study theme, “Museums.” Also, this class is particularly unique, since there are more than 90 students in one class, and 90% of the students are Japanese. The remaining 10 students are from China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Korea and Singapore. It is not easy to conduct PBL with such a large number of students and with an unbalanced mixture of Japanese and International students, thus it is worth examining the problems faced in this practice. In analyzing the implementation, this study discusses whether the theme is effective or not, the language barrier between the students, and the learning outcome. Exhibi¬tions in museums have the potential for students to discuss their own interpretations no matter where they are from, since they are already interpreted in a certain way, but there is still the possibility of different interpretations is contained in each exhibition. In conclusion, the potential of museums could be utilized for students to successfully complete their projects even if the class size is massive, the student backgrounds are different, and group projects could not smoothly proceed.

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