Category Archives: Research

Helping people become better language-learners

My University of Shiga Prefecture (USP) colleague Dr Maki Taniguchi and I have been awarded a scientific research grant by the Japanese government. The grant (kakenhi number 18K00874) is worth 1.56 million yen over three years.

The goal of our research is to help people become better language-learners through personal goal-setting. Our “toolkit” is CEFR-J, the Japanese version of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which takes the complex process of learning a language and breaks it down into a series of manageable steps. We are working with university students and high schools to investigate how the CEFR framework can help individuals take responsibility and ownership of their language education, and boost lifelong learning.

Maki will be presenting a summary of our initial findings at this year’s conference of the International Society for Language Studies, which is being held at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada from June 28th to 30th.

Maki and I are enormously grateful to seven of our fabulous USP colleagues who helped us carry out a survey of first-year students at the end of last semester: Carl Boland, Armando Duarte, Walter Klinger, Yuichi Nishizawa, Hatsumi Seki, Ashley Stevens and Aya Yoshida (now at Kyoto University). Thank you!


Image credit: Andy Jamieson/Wikimedia Commons