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Volume 20 Number 1, Spring 2023, Pages 1-214   

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Posthumanist Approach to the Role of Textbooks that Underpins Student Engagement in English Language Learning under Covid-19: A Case from Japanese Universities

    Hiroyuki Ida & Yaoko Matsuoka

This study investigates how paper-based textbooks were used in online English language teaching in Japanese universities during the COVID-19 pandemic, applying a posthumanist approach. Two online surveys were conducted with 126 students to examine their perception of the role and the use of paper textbooks in online classes in 2020 and 2021. Results of the obtained data and free description showed that students effectively engaged in online learning in both home space and classroom, and paper-based textbooks assisted them in developing a sense of community by sharing the same contents remotely. These results suggest that paper-based textbooks worked effectively in the pandemic-driven online learning environment. The findings are also underpinned by Japan's education policy of providing free textbooks from elementary to secondary education. At the same time, it appeared that students gradually got accustomed to online learning and began seeking new materials that would give them more options and fit online teaching. Future research would include uncovering the relationship between teachers' beliefs and students' actual sense-making processes.

Keywords: textbook use, online learning, posthumanist approach, post-pandemic English teaching