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Running head: CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

Culture Shock Of Japanese Students:


A Look at University Japanese Students
James J. Wang
University of Kentucky

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

Abstract
Current research shows that there are a lot of differences between Japanese students
and other country students. Their studying style, classroom, day life or their education
systems. We usually meet Japanese students in our campus and we will be curious
about their learning style and their study culture. This paper helps us to realize
Japanese students their study ways and life. The essay will talk the details of Japanese
students culture shock.

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

Culture Shock Of Japanese Students:


A Look at University Japanese Students

Intro:
There are more and more Japanese students go America to study. Thus, we meet a lot
of Japanese students and we make friends with them. Gradually, we learn some of
Japanese culture and we know some culture-shock about Japanese students. Actually,
There are a lot of different between Japanese students and American students. Such
as, the education system differences, the in-class differences and the differences of
students, etc... Japanese students have their own study culture and education culture.
This paper explore the culture-shock in Japanese students and the differences between
Japan and America.

1st point:
Japanese and American school differences
1American students are more independent than Japanese students (Takeya)
In japan. Teacher teach students what they should do and how to study. Teacher tells
students what person is a good person and let students to be like that. And all students
have to follow that and try to be like that. In America, teacher dont tell students a lot
about what they should be or what is absolutely correct.
Japanese people have priority as cooperativeness,and teamwork. So we care
about someones feeling or emotion(unspoken meaning) too much at least compared
to American people. It is sometimes hard to say whatever I want to say because of

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

these reasons. And also, we tend to be too hamble especially for American people
because we are afraid of making mistakes(English) then disrupting someone's
feeling. However, American people are different. They have strong self confident,
and their will.It seems that their priority is leadership skills, willingness to try
everything, and aggressiveness(good meaning) rather than cooperativeness.
(interviewee)

America education emphasizes students have more group discussion and presentation.
There are a lot of groups or presentations grades in American class. Everybody have
to actively participate in the class. But in japan, They dont have a lot of presentation
or group activity so that a lot of students are very shy.

2.Culture shock between teacher and students.


In America, teachers are very close to students. Teacher also ask students what they
want to be called in the first class, and teacher always call their first name. Besides
this , teacher and students are not very formal in class. They talk to each other very
friendly. But in Japan is very different. Students have to be very respectful to teacher.
Teacher think manners is very important. They cant just call teachers first name and
teachers call students by their family names. In Japanese classes students will expect
the teacher to call them by their first names but might continue calling each other by
their family names- in fact, they probably wont know each others first names.
(Case)Beside this, In US, It is very often to see students have drinks and drink them in
class. But we can not see Japanese students drink Coke in their class.

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

3.In class different.


In American class, all students participate in class. They pay much attention to what
teachers say. They shows their opinion when they have questions or they want to
express their mind.They wont care about that they will interrupt teacher. And
American teacher think participation is very important. So they hope students can ask
more questions. These is very completely different from Japan. In Japan, Students are
not allowed to say anything without permission. Teacher hope that class can be quiet
so that they can teach much better.
The teaching ways is different too. In America, teacher seldom to write every
important thing on blackboard instead of explaining all important information. And
all students have to listen very carefully. it is very easy to miss some information and
they cant answer once teachers ask question if they dont listen. But in Japanese
class, Japanese students focus on listening what teachers say because they need to be
quiet in class, so they seldom ask questions during the class. They also ask questions
after class to their classmates or teacher. Although classes are quite, it does not mean
that all students are concentrating on class.(Takeya) All classes are boring because
they are quiet. Students have nothing to do unless listen what teacher say. So it is very
easy to distract for students. They probably think something else during class. When
I was a high school students, I often fall asleep, especially on warm spring days. The
teachers powerless lecture became my lullaby, and I fall asleep easily as if I had been
hypnotized.(Takeya)

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

4 Japanese education system


Japanese students have to study very hard in high school in order to pass the entrance
exam to get into a good university. And the entrance exam is very hard. Everybody
has to study a lot at the last year in high school. So once they get into college. It is
easier a lot to graduate the college for them. So everybody becomes relaxed and they
dons hard anymore. This is very different from America. In America, it is easy to
entrance but hard to graduate.

5 Japanese learning style.


Japanese education focus on rote learning and memorize. Rote-learning and memorize
can help them to pass exam easily. And books are central to Japanese learning style.
As with a teacher, a book imparts information in a more passive style of learning.
Books are also conducive to rote memorization.(Jie) All information are recorded by
books. Teacher follows contents of books to teach and students rote all books for
exam. The Japanese educational system is hierarchical and depends heavily on the
ancient master-student relationship. This relationship has been transmitted to the
currents school. Teachers care about their students a lot. They are very responsible for
their students. And Japanese students also depend on their teacher to study. So
Japanese students are not good at Self-study. But American teacher dont have private
responsibility as much as Japanese teacher. They would like students to study more by
themselves.

CULTURE SHOCK OF JAPANESE STUDENTS

Conclusion:
Culture-shock of Japanese students is amazing. Through the research of Japanese
students, We could recognize and learn Japanese students culture a lot. the Japanese
students class differences from American students class and they really have a
different education system from America. Because of the study culture differences,
Japanese students have their unique way to learn knowledge from the class and
develop from their life.