Intercultural Communication in the Japanese Language Classroom in Singapore: A Comparison of Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions

Lai Siew Hoon (1) , KATO Tomiko (2)
(1) National University of Singapore , Singapore
(2) National University of Singapore , Singapore


Exploring the communicative behavior of teachers and students in the Japanese language classroom in Singapore is one important way of looking at intercultural communication between Japanese and Singaporeans. Ease in effective communication is often hindered by differences in expectations resulting in communication gaps. In this study, attempts were made to explore the differences in perceptions held by students and Japanese teachers of (i) a good teacher versus a Japanese teacher; and (ii) a good student versus a university student. A questionnaire based on previous findings was constructed using a 5-point semantic differential scale for this purpose. A comparison of results showed that there were significant differences in students’ and teachers’ perception of a good teacher/student versus the teacher/student in reality.

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Lai Siew Hoon
(Primary Contact)
KATO Tomiko
Author Biographies

Lai Siew Hoon , National University of Singapore

Ms Lai joined the National University of Singapore as an Instructor in Japanese language in 2005. She obtained her M.A. from the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies in Kyushu University, Japan in 2001. Her research interests include intercultural communication, classroom communication, and Japanese language linguistics and pedagogy.

KATO Tomiko, National University of Singapore

Ms Kato has been teaching Japanese as an Instructor in National University of Singapore from 2004 to 2006. She obtained her M.A. in Applied Japanese Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. Her research interests include second language communication, second language acquisition and bilingualism. She is currently teaching at various institutions in Japan.

Hoon , L. S., & Tomiko, K. (2008). Intercultural Communication in the Japanese Language Classroom in Singapore: A Comparison of Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 8(1), 1–11.

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