Exploring the use of video-based materials in the Japanese university English language classroom

  • Marcus Grandon

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Use of video materials is widespread in language lessons today. Yet how video is used in the classroom by participants remains an under-researched area. My original contribution to knowledge is to identify ways in which participants use video and video-based materials in the classroom ecology. To do so, I synthesize literature on video for language teaching with research in the small but growing area of materials use. Through a data-driven approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008), I uncover details from the classroom context to explain relationships between video-based materials and classroom interaction of university learners and instructors at a private university in Japan. Using multiple case study, the data set includes audio recordings of lessons, non-participant observations, teacher interviews, student questionnaires, and classroom materials. Participants use one of two local textbooks, each of which features a different genre of video as materials. I track topics in learner interaction, and trace language common to a variety of classroom activities as related to the materials. While use of materials by both learners and teachers is examined, unlike much of the prior research on materials use, particular focus falls on the peer interaction of the learners in relation to the materials. I argue that participants’ use of video materials impacts the language-learning process through learning opportunities that emerge during interaction in video-based activities. These interactions demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between participants while engaging with video-based materials. My thesis expands knowledge of affordances in language education (van Lier, 2004) by detailing both established and previously unidentified examples of the notion. Furthermore, interaction elicited by use of the video materials shows consistent shifts from topics found in the materials to more personal topics, illustrating that learners take control of these activities by making materials more relevant to their lives in order to sustain interaction, which can lead to learning opportunities.
Date of Award11 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorClaudia Gremler (Supervisor) & Sue Garton (Supervisor)


  • materials use
  • classroom ecology
  • video
  • affordances
  • personalization

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