Promoting English-Major Students’ Intercultural Understanding through Active Learning


Hideo Kojima 小嶋 英夫
Bunkyo University 文教大学
Email: deokoji@koshigaya.bunkyo.ac.jp


Today, many teachers in Japan are involved in education reforms promoted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) which, taking 21st century skills and competencies into account, encourage teachers to develop students’ generic skills as well as their subject knowledge and skills through Active Learning (AL). In this article, I report on a study where I aimed to examine to what extent I could help my first-year English majors to develop their intercultural understanding through AL in a flipped classroom. The students, who would like to become primary or secondary school English language teachers after graduation, continued to learn autonomously and collaboratively in an Introduction to Intercultural Understanding class. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, I found that they tended to raise their intercultural and professional consciousness as teacher learners. Reflecting on this study, I conclude that we need to promote innovation in teacher education, critically exploring different issues around AL and learner autonomy.




Active Learning, intercultural understanding, flipped learning, teacher-learner autonomy, teacher education