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Students’ abilities to use English as an international language (EIL) have become one of the most important graduate knowledge and skills in globalised economies in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. However, many Japanese students lack motivation to learn this important language and disengage readily from the learning process. This chapter discusses the findings derived from an ethnographic study on an innovative course design for promoting the learning and use of English in a leading private university in Japan. Based on a variety of qualitative data, this study identified four important factors, including a high level of personal relevance, opportunities for inter-cultural communication, genuine language situations, and the silent teacher phenomenon. These factors crafted a motivating course environment for promoting Japanese students’ intrinsic motivation in learning and using English as an international communication with their Korean counterparts using internet and computing technologies. The significance of these factors was discussed from a self-determination perspective.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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