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Volume 10 Number 2, Summer 2013, Pages 1-148   

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Native vs. Non-Native Teachers: Who Is the Real Model for Japanese Elementary School Pupils?

    W. L. Quint Oga-Baldwin and Yoshiyuki Nakata

Native English speaking teachers (NESTs) are employed throughout Asian countries for the purpose of modeling the foreign language and providing support to non-Native English speaking teachers (NNESTs). At the same time, the exact influence of NESTs on students' learning behaviors has not been fully documented, and some studies have indicated a negative effect on overall learning. Based on the social cognitive theory of observational learning, this study attempted to address the following research questions: 1) How do students perceive classes lead by NESTS and NNESTs with regard to teacher modeling and students' own spoken output? and 2) How do teachers' modeled behaviors influence student output? Using repeated measures MANOVA, this study found differences in the amount of English spoken by NESTS and NNESTs, though no meaningful differences between different teacher groups' perceived affect when speaking English were found. Multiple regression analyses indicated that in the Japanese elementary classroom, the homeroom teacher exerted a greater effect on students' language learning behavior than language specialist NNESTs and NESTs. Findings indicate that the homeroom teacher may act as a behavioral role-model for language learning, and thus their involvement in foreign language classes may benefit students' foreign language acquisition.

Keywords: NEST/NNEST, social cognitive theory, behavioral modeling