The correlation between learner autonomy and cultural sensitivity in Japanese university students studying abroad

2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of the mixed methods correlational research and grounded theory (GT) study was to investigate the direction and degree of association between cultural sensitivity and learner autonomy in a purposive sample of 32 Japanese university students in a 4-week, intensive English study abroad and homestay program at a Canadian university. Lack of English communicative ability may limit the career prospects of many Japanese graduates and employees (Aspinall, 2003; Hamada, 2008b). Low levels of learner autonomy in Japanese students may hinder the development of English fluency (Nix, 2002; O’Dowd, 2005). In addition to English ability, organizations increasingly require employees with high degrees of cross-cultural adaptability to function effectively in the global economy (Mead, 2005; Schmidt, Conaway, Easton, & Wardrope, 2007). The survey instrument in the study was the first Japanese translation of the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI; Kelley & Meyers, 1995). Qualitative data included bilingual, Japanese-English student journals, a collaborative DVD project, and a GT focus group interview (Charmaz, 2006; Rubin & Rubin, 2005). The majority of research participants experienced a significant increase in Personal Autonomy (PA). Test results indicated a highly significant, positive correlation between PA and Cultural Sensitivity (CS) for both pretest (r = .593, p < .001) and posttest (r = .476, p < .01) CCAI scores. The results of multiple regression analyses indicated that Emotional Resilience (ER) was the only significant predictor of PA in both the pretest and posttest models. Recommendations include 10 best practices and corporate sponsorship of study abroad programs as a cost-effective method to enhance the management and leadership training of Japanese students and employees.

Indexing (details)

Bilingual education;
Multicultural Education;
Educational psychology;
Organizational behavior;
Higher education;
Correlation analysis;
Cultural relations;
Study abroad;
College students
0282: Bilingual education
0454: Management
0455: Multicultural Education
0525: Educational psychology
0703: Organizational behavior
0745: Higher education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Social sciences; Acculturative stress; Axial coding; Bilingual education; CCAI; Communicative language teaching; Cross cultural communication; Cross cultural differences; Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory; Cross-cultural psychology and communication; Cultural intelligence; Cultural sensitivity; Curriculum development; Department of Defense; EFL; ESL; Education in Japan; Educational psychology; Emotional resilience; English as a Foreign Language; English as a Second Language; English fluency; Flexibility and openness; Globalization; Grounded theory; Homestay program; Humanism; Humanitarian operations; Innovation; International exchange; International relations; Internationalization; JSDF; Japan Business Federation; Japan Self-Defense Forces; Japanese; Japanese companies; Japanese corporations; Japanese education; Japanese government; Japanese national education policy; Japanese society; John Dewey; Joint operations; Keidanren; Kokusaika; Leadership training; Learner autonomy; Learner motivation; Learning organization; Lifelong learning; MEXT; Metacognitive learning processes; Mixed methods research; Multicultural education; Officer training; Open coding; Organizational behavior; Personal autonomy; Piaget; Piaget, Jean; Self-assessment; Self-directed learning; Self-evaluation; Sociocultural theory; Student journals; Study abroad; TOEFL; TOEIC; Transformational leadership; Vygotsky; Vygotsky, Lev Semenovich; Willilam Edwards Deming
The correlation between learner autonomy and cultural sensitivity in Japanese university students studying abroad
Edwards, Nathaniel Tyler
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Bingham, Patrick J.
University of Phoenix
University location
United States -- Arizona
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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