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Japanese language teaching in Malaysia and New Zealand: Recent history, current practice and curriculum

Comparisons of curriculum have been shown to be useful in terms of finding new ideas to raise the standard of education in one country and to enhance global competitiveness (Adamson & Morris, 2007). The purpose of the research reported in this thesis was to examine Japanese language education in Malaysia and New Zealand. The study compared the approach to Japanese language learning and teaching in both countries and also compared the curriculum and syllabus for both countries. This study employed three methods: semi-structured interview, autoethnography, and document analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to find out the recent history and current practice of Japanese Language teaching in Malaysia and New Zealand. Four participants, one from Malaysia and three from New Zealand were involved in the interviews. Autoethnography was also infused in the research which permitted the author to share her knowledge and experiences as an experienced Japanese language teacher in Malaysia. The analysis of the curriculum and syllabus documents were carried out to look at the content of both countries‟ Japanese Language Curriculum to investigate its underpinning approach to language teaching, and to analyze the similarities and differences between the Malaysian and New Zealand Japanese Language Curricula. The results show that both Japanese language curricula shared many similarities in terms of their types of syllabus, language learning aims and language areas focused in the curricula content. This indicates that Malaysia and New Zealand, like other countries in the world, follow international trends in language teaching. Both countries‟ Japanese language syllabi have strong characteristics of Skills-Based and Outcomes-Based Syllabi. The curricula emphasize the acquisition of four very important language skills: listening, writing, reading and speaking. Both curricula promote teachers autonomy in decision-making and designing or planning programs. However, in comparison, New Zealand shows more teacher-autonomy than Malaysia. The findings also indicate that, although Japanese Language Curriculum in both Malaysia and New Zealand follows the global trends in language teaching, each also reflects its nation‟s visions and the needs of its people: Malaysian Japanese Language Curriculum was established to enable students to recognize and embrace the values that had brought Japan to its economic level now. While, Japanese language education in New Zealand starts because of the government‟s desire to trade and do business with Japan, a new economic power at the time.
Type of thesis
Abdul Jabbar, S. (2012). Japanese language teaching in Malaysia and New Zealand: Recent history, current practice and curriculum (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6637
University of Waikato
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