English in the real world: what classroom pedagogy has not taught

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    This article narrates the experiences of eight Japanese individuals who travelled to Melbourne, Australia, not to study English in a formal classroom, but to activate their language skills in a genuine social context. Speakers were willing to take risk in the social process to acquire fluency and develop confidence. Based on data generated from two years’ observation of and interviews with the participants, the author documented the pleasure and the challenges that occur in their unique experience. The project reveals a range of preferences, strategies and tension in the language using environment. Educational implications are drawn from several key characteristics of this self-motivated experiential model that may be absent in the current academic discourse in English-language teaching practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-126
    Number of pages18
    JournalTransitions: Journal of Transient Migration
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • informal learning
    • language exchange
    • individual experience
    • social authenticity
    • self-motivation
    • self-directed strategies

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