'The Eikaiwa/ALT Black Hole. A Corpus Linguistic approach to analysis of NESTs' informal online discourse relevant to teacher development in Japan

Kirkwood, Hugh (2015) 'The Eikaiwa/ALT Black Hole. A Corpus Linguistic approach to analysis of NESTs' informal online discourse relevant to teacher development in Japan. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

Native English-Speaking Teachers (NESTs) in Japan are often employed by

private language schools (known as eikaiwa) and work as Assistant

Language Teachers (ALTs) in public schools. Teachers working, or seeking to

work, in these contexts may use the Internet to exchange informal online

communications or view the communications of others.

This study suggests analysis of this online discourse can provide insights into

these teachers’ context specific knowledge, and these insights can

contribute to efforts to understand and improve NEST teacher development

in Japan. In attempting to develop a framework for this analysis, Internet

sites hosting large quantities of these informal communications were

identified and used to provide texts for a corpus of teachers’ informal online

discourse. Key words in this discourse were then identified using corpus

software and a larger reference corpus.

Subsequent analysis of these key words within Key Word In Context (KWIC)

lines identified frequent expressions of dissatisfaction with eikaiwa and ALT

work and a sense that working in these contexts impeded the development

of NESTs’ teaching identities and careers. The analysis also drew attention to

the importance of teachers’ knowledge of employment conditions as

exchanges of information required to enter and leave eikaiwa and ALT

featured prominently in teachers’ discourse.

The results of this analysis suggest that accessing informal online discourse

may help NESTs achieve their career and development goals, but they also

suggest that the employment prospects of NESTs seeking long-term

positions in Japan are becoming increasingly uncertain and subject to

increased competition.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 09:12
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2016 16:07
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/29475

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