Gifu, Japan

English Studies

Research Interests

We’re primarily focused on improving both receptive skills and productive skills of Japanese university students using cognitive psychology and computer technology. Our students are expected to acquire the skills and attitudes needed to obtain information and efficiently access the biological literature particularly in pharmaceutical science, and improve professional communication skills of academic writing and oral presentations in English. Our research tackles major challenges in foreign language acquisition in Japan. First, we investigate the impact of using English pop songs on Japanese learner autonomy and second language acquisition. The deep and profound relationship between music and language supports their discriminate, concurrent use to improve outcomes for second language acquisition. Second, we design classroom activities to help Japanese students overcome foreign language anxiety. Our design concept is inspired from Exposure and response prevention (ERP) and self-disclosure methods in behavioral psychology. Classroom activities include one-minute weekly speech assignments, recording student discussions for each topic using cellphones, developing background information for vocabulary development using online dictionaries and corpora, and writing original dialogs and role plays. In addition Students post their written speeches online on class network web pages with gradual cognitive exposure to their classmates using Computer-mediated communication (CMC). These activities are designed to help Japanese students overcome foreign language anxiety by facing their fears to diminish naturally, so that they become gradually more confident with their speaking, writing and self-disclosure in English. Finally, we investigate how student TOEIC scores improve over time with relevant experience, instruction and usage of TOEIC preparatory materials.

Research Objectives
  1. To investigate how music can improve English skills
  2. To develop Computer-mediated communication (CMC) activities to help Japanese students overcome foreign language anxiety
  3. To investigate how exposure method can work effectively in the language classroom
  4. To develop ESP programs for pharmaceutical sciences
Research Results
  1. Serag, A.,” The Use of Music as a Pedagogical Tool “. Paper published in the 2015 JALT National Conference Proceedings, Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT), 2016.
  2. Serag, A., ” The Theory and Practice of Self-Access Language Learning: Redefining Learner Autonomy in the Japanese Context “. Paper published in the Conference Proceeding of the Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL2013).
  3. Serag, A.,” Self-Access Language Learning: Japanese autonomy “. Paper published in the 2012 JALT National Conference Proceedings, Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT), 2013.
  4. Serag, A.,” Teaching English Writing Skills: Developing Learner Autonomy in the Japanese Context “. Paper published in International Journal of Arts and Sciences: ISSN: 1944-6934: 4(10):223–237 (2011).
  5. Serag, A.,” Teaching Academic Writing and Oral Presentation Skills: A Japanese Framework for Understanding the Learning Motivation Process “. Paper published in International Journal of Arts and Sciences: ISSN: 1944-6934:4(11):337–346 (2011).
PAGETOP
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