This paper intends to show four practical steps for content analysis; one of the most common data reduction approaches in qualitative analysis for applied linguistics. Although content analysis can help to draw conclusions from textual data by interpreting them effectively, the available literature lacks detail on how to conduct content analyses, especially in the context of study abroad research. In this paper, each of the four steps of content analysis (segmenting data, formulating codes, developing categories, and identifying main themes) is explained by utilizing actual sample data related to studying abroad; the sample study investigated a single participant’s perceptions of a general English language course in the United Kingdom.
Keywords: content analysis, study abroad, qualitative analysis, applied linguistics
Japanese English Majors’ Experiences and Attitudes to Study Abroad: A Case Study of Students at a Private University in Tokyo
This study investigates both the benefits of and recent trends in studying abroad for Japanese students and examines the results of a survey on study abroad taken by students majoring in English at a private university in Tokyo. Statistics from JASSO showed that the trend in study abroad before 2020 was for an increasing number of Japanese university students to spend a period of time studying abroad, though most of the increase was in short-term study. The English language questionnaire sought to discover what proportion of a group of seventy-two students had already studied abroad, or planned to do so, and to establish whether those who had gained experience had benefitted from it, as well as detailing student anxieties which may have deterred students from studying abroad. The survey on study abroad, taken in January 2018, had a 100% response rate. Twenty-three (32%) of the students answered that they had already studied abroad, mostly for short durations in English-speaking countries. Most of the students who studied abroad had a positive experience, reputedly improved their English skills and recommended that other students study abroad. Twenty-six (53%) of the students without study abroad experience were planning to study abroad, even though they had some issues which concerned them, such as their ability to communicate in English, personal safety, and financial matters. The main reason for not electing to study abroad for this particular sample was found to be related to the overall costs of overseas travel, accommodation, and tuition.
Keywords: Japanese study abroad, overseas study motivations, university-level study abroad trends in Japan
This paper describes the usage of Instagram (the social networking platform) in sophomore English classes at a private Japanese university. Instagram was used to help students prepare for their study abroad semester. Students created private Instagram accounts and used this platform for group exercises with a mixed group of students and staff at potential study abroad sites in the United States of America. The participants posted images and video of their daily lives and routines at their schools, and created posts based on tasks set by the instructor. Group members were then encouraged to ask each other questions and communicate through Instagram. The study found that Instagram usage has the potential to help students prepare linguistically and culturally for study abroad semesters. The paper recommends follow-up studies that use Instagram and other social networking sites to help students prepare culturally and linguistically for study abroad semesters. This has implications for language teachers who are teaching prospective study abroad students or are interested in incorporating technology into their classes, as well as coordinators of study abroad programs interested in modernizing their study abroad orientation programs.
Keywords: CALL, Instagram, social media, social networking sites, study abroad
The purpose of this article is to examine the personal, academic, and professional experiences of five Japanese university students who did short-term academic internships in three southeast Asian nations. Since students in Japan often associate international opportunities with inner-circle English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States of America or the United Kingdom), this article highlights the perceived benefits of choosing Southeast Asia as an educational destination. In limited published studies, researchers have revealed that Japanese students may gravitate towards Southeast Asia for multilingual language learning opportunities, lower perceived discrimination, and reduced financial costs. This article provides additional insight into the discerned advantages and disadvantages. Data for this qualitative exploratory study include weekly written reflections from students who were in southeast Asian countries from late 2018 to early 2019, followed by a focus group and individual questionnaires in the months following the participants’ return to Japan. Based on thematic analysis of self-reporting, results suggest that the participants found value in their experiences due to the (a) proximity and costs involved, (b) comfort with using a non-native variety of English, and (c) development of intercultural competences and soft skills. More specifically, participants felt that their experiences were less financially burdensome on parents, compared to similar experiences in inner-circle destinations. Also, participants reported feeling comfortable using English as a lingua franca, despite communicating in lower-context environments. This, in turn, contributed to the development of their adaptation, negotiation, and communicative skills. If higher education stakeholders and recruiters can better promote the educational experiences of Japanese university students in Southeast Asia, such as those featured in this article, then it is possible that access and participation may increase in the future.
Keywords: study abroad, overseas academic internships, English acquisition, intercultural competences