Accents Asia Journal of the Teachers College Columbia University Japan Alumni Association
Accents AsiaJournal of the Teachers College Columbia University Japan Alumni Association

Current Issue: Volume 16 Issue 2, February 2023

A Duoethnography of the Elucidation of Teacher Agency of Digital Tools for Teaching English as a Foreign Language During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japanese Universities

Dan Ferreira, Seikei University, and John Peloghitis, International Christian University

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, a lack of decisive leadership from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) resulted in each Japanese university implementing ad-hoc emergency measures for teaching. Although the majority of universities started teaching online three years later (in 2022), university teachers are expected to teach in a variety of contexts — online, face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two. To date, there is scant literature reporting on the ongoing tension between teachers who want to exert agency over the use of instructional and communication tools (ICT) under such circumstances and university policy on the sanctioned use of digital tools during this ongoing crisis. Adopting a duoethnographic approach, this study aims to elucidate teacher agency of digital tools for teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Japanese higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. In duoethnography, new knowledge is discoverable from the individual lived experience, and the study findings offer societal implications to enhance the meaning of the phenomenon or inform educational leadership with further insights regarding teaching English as a foreign language in Japanese tertiary education. The findings of this study show that the insights provided by the duoethnographic method not only provide a cathartic salve by which teachers can constructively overcome negative teaching circumstances on an individual level but also warrants further research to explore teachers’ similar experiences in other teaching contexts on a global scale. 

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Accents Asia = ISSN 1948-3503