Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Edwina Pendarvis

Second Advisor

Linda Spatig

Third Advisor

David Holliway


This qualitative research study explores how Japanese teachers make sense of their American students’ communication styles. I conducted classroom observations in two Japanese classes by two different teachers and interviewed four Japanese teachers at high schools in Cabell County, West Virginia. The results indicate that the American students don’t communicate with others under the pressure of enryo (response to group pressure for conformity) in their Japanese classes. Furthermore, the Japanese teachers usually approve of their American students’ active communication styles without enryo. The results also show that the native Japanese teachers use high-context communication styles frequently in their Japanese classes and unrealistically expect their students to use sasshi (ability to understand indirect message) to understand their indirect communication styles. Based on this study, I offer suggestions for novice Japanese teachers so they can better adapt their teaching to American high school students.


Japanese language - Study and teaching


Japanese teachers - United States


Students - Language