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Title: Silence in the Second Language Classrooms of Japanese Universities
Authors: King, Jim
First Published: 29-Sep-2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Applied Linguistics, 2013, 34 (3), pp. 325-343
Abstract: Japanese language learners’ proclivity for silence has been alluded to by various writers (e.g. Anderson 1993; Korst 1997; Greer 2000) and is supported by plenty of anecdotal evidence, but large-scale, empirical studies aimed at measuring the extent of macro-level silence within Japanese university L2 classrooms are notably lacking. This article responds to the gap in the literature by reporting on an extensive, multi-site study which used a structured observation methodology to investigate the classroom behaviour of 924 English language learners across nine universities. A total of 48 hours of data were collected using a minute-by-minute sampling strategy which resulted in some surprising results. Students were found to be responsible for less than one per cent of initiated talk within their classes, while over a fifth of all class time observed was characterized by no oral participation by any participants, staff, or students alike. These results are interpreted from a dynamic systems theory perspective, which suggests that silence emerges through multiple routes and has now formed a semi-permanent attractor state within the study’s L2 university classrooms.
DOI Link: 10.1093/applin/ams043
ISSN: 0142-6001
eISSN: 1477-450X
Type: Journal Article
Description: Full text of this item is not currently available on the LRA. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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