Identifying and Exploring Discrepancies in Study Abroad Intent Amongst First-Year Japanese University Students

Nowlan, A
(2017) Identifying and Exploring Discrepancies in Study Abroad Intent Amongst First-Year Japanese University Students. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Liverpool.

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As participation in study abroad grows at higher education institutions around the world, involvement amongst Japanese students is decreasing. Action has been taken by various stakeholders to address the downward trend; however, this is being done under conflicting interpretations of internationalization. Applying an explanatory sequential mixed methods design (quantitative N=311, qualitative N=10) and pragmatic worldview, this study aims to identify some key factors that contribute to study abroad intent amongst first-year Japanese university students while generating actionable knowledge that may lead to improved domestic curriculum and interest in international opportunities. To accomplish this, the theory of planned behavior is employed alongside second-language (L2) acquisition models that reflect the inherent nature of study abroad involving a foreign language for most Japanese students. Through interpretation of the data, the research first aims to address the primary research question, involving differences between those with strong intent to study abroad and those with weak intent. Particular focus is placed on the attitudinal variable of international posture, as well as perceived benefits and deterrents to study abroad. Secondly, based on identified differences, the defining of a predominantly willing group of students as self-selecting is proposed. These students generally have higher achievement in the L2; prior international experience; greater international posture; a positive association between study abroad and purpose; and a flexible outlook on the traditional higher education practices and traditions in Japan. Finally, this thesis examines how certain self-selecting traits can be fostered in a classroom environment, thus potentially increasing interest in study abroad. If L2 educators can integrate an international dimension into the language curriculum, by means of transformative learning and internationalizing the curriculum, then domestic studies may benefit not only students who plan to study abroad, but also those who genuinely lack the means to participate.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Additional Information:
Divisions: Fac of Humanities & Social Sci > School of Education
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 15:10
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 07:31
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