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Table 1 Objectives, Suggested Communicative Activities, and Actual Classroom Practices for the 1994–2002 and 2003–2012 Courses of Study*

From: Application of diffusion of innovation theory to educational accountability: the case of EFL education in Japan

Course of Study General objectives Suggested communicative activities % of teachers who (often or sometimes) conducted the suggested activities (2002 Survey: n = 836–846;** 2005 Survey: n = 887) % of students who understood the suggested activities (2002 Survey: n = 25,355)
1994–2002 To develop students’ basic abilities such as understanding what they hear and read, expressing their own ideas, and fostering a positive attitude toward communication through English A. Listening
1. Understanding what they hear
2. Understanding the gist of a coherent text
3. Summarizing their ideas based on what they hear
A-1: 96.0 for helping students understand what they hear 29.0
  B. Reading
1. Reading silently or aloud and understanding the meaning of the text
2. Understanding the gist of a coherent text
3. Reading a coherent text as fast as possible
4. Reading aloud to express the meaning of the text more efficiently
B-1: 100.0 for helping students understand what they read 40.3
  C. Speaking
1. Asking and answering appropriately based on what they hear in the given situation and for the given purpose
2. Speaking their ideas about what they read
3. Speaking the gist of what they understand
C in general: 92.9 for helping students say what they want to say 20.4
  D. Writing
1. Writing what they hear
2. Writing the gist of what they hear
3. Writing the gist of what they read
4. Writing the gist of what they want to express
D-4: 94.1 for helping students write what they want to express 22.3
2003–2012 To develop students’ basic communicative abilities such as understanding what they hear and read, speaking and writing the information gained along with their own ideas, and fostering a positive attitude toward communication through English A. Listening for understanding the given information and the speaker’s intention or grasping the main points 38.2 Not Surveyed (N/S)
  B. Reading for understanding the given information and the speaker’s intention or grasping the main points 51.2 N/S
  C. Discussing and exchanging their ideas or the information gained through listening and reading 16.7 N/S
  D. Writing by sorting their ideas or the information gained through listening and reading 18.8 N/S
  1. * All statements cited in this paper were translated by the author
  2. ** Numbers vary depending on the number of teachers who responded to some or all of the items