Preparing Japanese students’ digital literacy for study abroad: How much CALL training is needed?
Study abroad programs provide an excellent opportunity for students to accelerate their language learning and acquire cultural capital (Byram & Feng, 2006). Research into returnees from a variety of study abroad programs, however, has revealed that this is not always the case (e.g., Kinginger, 2011; Sato & Hodge, 2015; Yoshimitsu, 2009). To promote a more positive academic and culturally-inclusive study abroad experience, one recommendation is for language teachers to focus on students’ digital literacy (Kinginger, 2011). Given the reported poor levels of digital literacy among Japanese freshman students (see Lockley 2011; Murray & Blyth, 2011), the researchers in this current study were attempting to determine if this wider trend also applied to students at their private university in Tokyo. The authors surveyed first-year College of Tourism and Hospitality (CTH) students preparing for a year-long study abroad program. This paper will report on student responses to two sections of a computer literacy questionnaire created by Son, Robb and Charismadjiri (2011). The first section considers students responses to the digital self-assessment items, and in the second section, student results in a 10-item digital skills knowledge test will be reported on.
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