An Innovative Approach to In-Service Teacher Training for Teaching English at Japanese Public Elementary Schools

  • Maiko IkedaEmail author
  • Hiroyuki Imai
  • Osamu Takeuchi
Part of the New Language Learning and Teaching Environments book series (NLLTE)


Public elementary schools in Japan are currently tackling the enormous challenge of preparing to teach English as a formal academic subject to their pupils, an endeavor which will officially begin in 2020. Unfortunately, however, it has been reported that teachers are not well prepared for this endeavor, and their anxiety regarding English instruction has been dramatically increasing. To help partially ameliorate this situation, an innovative in-service teacher training approach was developed and then validated. Data collected by questionnaires as well as reflective reports, interviews and field note entries were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings suggest that positive or constructive relationships between school administrators and teachers are crucial for the successful implementation of this experimental approach.


Teaching English to children Elementary school In-service teacher training Teacher anxiety Course of Study Foreign Language Activity English as a formal academic subject Activity theory 



This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (the Grants-in-aids for scientific research) grant number 16K02989. The authors would like to express their gratitude for the support and cooperation of the teachers, students, school administrators and the local Board of Education involved in this project.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Foreign Language StudiesGraduate School of Foreign Language Education and Research, Kansai UniversityOsakaJapan

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