Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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While Australian academic contexts generally prioritize verbal participation, Japanese educational environments expect students to participate silently. This research project explored why Japanese students remain silent in Australian classrooms despite knowing the expectations of western universities. Contrary to prevailing conceptions of silence in classroom contexts, findings revealed that some participants’ silent in-class behavior does not necessarily suggest reluctance or inability. Rather, participants assumed that verbally contributing to the class would impede the teacher’s lecture and their peers’ learning. Additional findings indicated that while cultural, identity traits, and previous education in Japan may have shaped their silent in-class behavior, some participants acknowledged the need to participate verbally to satisfy their teachers and peers in Australian classrooms. Peripheral factors such as the size of classrooms and lack of genuine rapport between classmates also influenced their classroom behavior. The findings expand upon existing literature which shows that Japanese students’ silence in Australian classrooms is often juxtaposed with teacher and student expectations.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Classroom; Culture; Identity; Learning style; Silence; University
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