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A Study of Native English Teachers' Perception of English Teaching: Exploring Intercultural Awareness vs. Practice in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Michelle Kawamura
Abstract:
Intercultural awareness as part of English language learning is pivotal because English is currently the most-studied foreign language in many countries in the world. The use of English to bring understanding as well as social and economic exchange between countries is well recognized and is the reason for its importance in the compulsory education of many non-English-speaking countries. In Japan, English-as-a-foreign language is an important part of the educational process, and the cross-cultural aspect of English learning is recognized among language educators in Japan. The Ministry of Education in Japan promotes the learning of other cultures and English language competency in order to be able to communicate with people of different cultures. However, although there is recognition by educators on all levels, the actual practice of integrating issues and awareness of different cultures is left to each individual teacher. This qualitative multiple-case study was designed to identify the discrepancies between the perceptions of English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) education with a world view multi-cultural focus and the instructional behavior among the native-English-speaking university teachers in Japan. In-depth interview with the native-English-speaking university teachers, focus group interview with students and course syllabi were analyzed. Twenty-five native-English-speaking university teachers from different universities were the main participants for the in-depth interview. Focus group interview with the students of the participants' institutions and the syllabi used in their classes were studied to evaluate the gap between the main participants' perceptions and their actual class instruction. Six themes were revealed, providing evidence for the perceived need for incorporation of a worldview in EFL instruction in Japan, the potential benefits of greater levels of inclusion of cultural awareness, and English as a global language in teaching materials and texts. Results of the study suggest that teacher preparation and professional development as well as more culturally based instructional materials, reflective of this need, should be incorporated into the EFL instruction in Japanese universities, aligning with government recommendations. This study catalyzes teachers of EFL globally to review and align their own perceptions of EFL teaching with their instructional behavior.

Table of Contents List of Tables ix Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Background 3 Problem Statement 5 Purpose of the Study 7 Theoretical Framework 10 Research Questions 11 Nature of the Study 12 Significance of the Study 14 Definition of Key Terms 15 Summary 16 Chapter 2: Literature Review 18 Historical Background of English as a Foreign Language in Japan 20 English in Other Asian Regions Today 25 The Teaching of English Worldwide 28 Japanese University Students' Attitude Toward English Studies 33 Textbooks and Content for College-Level English-as-a-Foreign-Language Instruction 34 Technology Integration: More than Textbooks 38 Native Teachers' Identity 39 Non-Native English Teachers' Perceptions 41 Theoretical Concept of Cultural Psychology and Lay Theory 45 Intercultural Competence 49 English Teachers and Their Intercultural Competence and Responsibilities 54 Overcoming Difficulties in Implementing Intercultural Learning 59 English for Intercultural Awareness 60 The International Dimension of Higher Education 64 Summary 66 Chapter 3: Research Method 69 Statement of the Research Questions 70 Research Methods and Design 71 Participants 79 Material/Instruments 80 Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis 82 Teacher Interview: Correspondence of Research Questions and Interview Questions 85 Student: Correspondence of Research Questions and Interview Questions 88 Textbooks and other materials: Correspondence of Research Questions and Interview Questions 90 Data Analysis Process 95 Methodological Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations 96 Ethical Assurances 99 Summary 100 Chapter 4: Findings 102 vii

Results 103 Evaluation of Findings 131 Summary 136 Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions 137 Implications 138 Recommendations 147 Conclusions 150 References 152 Appendix A: 167 Introductory Letter 167 Appendix B: 168 Informed Consent Form 168 Native-English Teachers 168 Appendix C: 169 Informed Consent Form 169 University Students 169 Appendix D: 170 Demographic Information 170 Appendix E: 171 Questions to Guide Personal In-Depth Interview 171 Appendix F: 173 Student Questions 173 Appendix G: 174 Content Analysis Reflection Questions 174 vm

List of Tables Table 1 85 Table 2 88 Table 3 90 Table 4 95 Table 5 107 Table 6 110 Table 7 112 Table 8 113 Table 9 115 Table 10 116 Table 11 119 Table 12 121 Table 13 123 Table 14 124 Table 15 125 Table 16 127 Table 17 129 Table 18 131 ix

1 Chapter 1: Introduction English is the most-spoken second language in the world (Herther, 2006). Both native and non-native English speakers often communicate in English, as do non-native English speakers with each other (Alptekin, 2002; Byram, 2008). In addition, English is the most studied language and the most-used international language in business and travel (Herther, 2006). The English language significantly affects today's world economy and acts as a world language for global communication on all levels (Tochon, 2009). There is no denial of its place and significance in cross-cultural understanding and economic development. Despite some claims that English is a dominant language, its place not as a language in the inner circle of native- English-speakers but as a tool for global communication has suggested other important considerations (Tochon, 2009). An English-as-a-foreign-language instruction containing intercultural awareness, cross- cultural learning, and communication is not only necessary but vital in global language instruction. These courses can potentially assist learners in developing social and cultural competence and can foster intercultural awareness (Savignon, 2006). English as a foreign language was adopted at least 50 years ago by many countries throughout the world as the main foreign language in their educational instruction (Brumfit, 2004; Byram, 2008). Japan has an even longer history of English- as-a-foreign-language study in its compulsory education program—over 150 years (Sasaki, 2008). Since the adoption of English instruction in non-English-speaking countries, the four skills of language—reading, listening, writing, and speaking—have been emphasized (Butler, 2007). Recently, however, scholars have recognized the importance of the intercultural aspects of language learning (Tochon, 2009). The native-

2 English-speaking teachers of English-as-a foreign-language in non-English-speaking countries are said to be the students' initial contact with foreign cultures and have a great influence on how students see the world, significantly affecting their interest in future interaction with different cultures (Young, 2008). Native-English-speaking teachers' perceptions of how English is taught are critical in today's globalizing world. The recognition of the English language's importance as a communicative tool between people of different cultures in today's language instruction needs exploration. The purpose of this research was to understand the native English-as-foreign language teachers' perceived importance of English language instruction as a communication tool with a world view multi-cultural focus in an international context and to investigate whether there was a discrepancy between their perceptions and their actual instruction. This research involved the study of current native-English-speaking university teachers, students and the teaching materials (course syllabi) to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real life situations, which contribute to new knowledge (Yin, 2009). Yin (2009) wrote, "Case studies can cover multiple cases and then draw a single set of 'cross-case' conclusion."(p.20). This is also referred to as multiple-case studies. This research employed the qualitative multiple-case studies methodology of collecting and studying three types of data: in-depth interview with the native-English- speaking university teachers, focus group interview with the students, and teaching materials (course syllabi). Data were analyzed to discover the native-English-speaking teachers' perceptions, their instructional activities, and the materials they use in class. Student focus group interviews were conducted to confirm the teachers' claims about

3 their teaching instruction. Background English language instruction in Japan has traditionally focused primarily on grammar, reading, writing, and translation (Sullivan & Schatz, 2009). Although students in grades seven through 12 and in the first two years of university are required to study English as a foreign language, the compulsory instruction does not involve any emphasis on intercultural awareness (Okuno, 2006). In response to a rapidly changing global society, there has been a recent shift to communicative competence in the teaching of English (Igawa, 2008), but many teachers have not adjusted their instruction accordingly. English-language learning in Japan began in the middle of the nineteenth century, when people in Japan first made contact with the West (Sullivan & Schatz, 2009). Over time, English became part of the compulsory requirement for university entrance examinations and university graduation. Officials of the Japanese Ministry of Education have proposed various methods to improve the compulsory English instruction, such as a five-year action plan implemented in junior and senior high schools in 2003 (Butler, 2007; Igawa, 2008). The purpose of that plan was to prepare students to have daily English communicative skills upon graduating high school. After the plan was examined in detail, however, it was concluded that the goals set by the Ministry officials could not possibly be attained for several reasons (Butler, 2007). The Ministry proposal was vague, and Japanese teachers voiced that they needed further professional development for designing practical instruction for English communication (Butler, 2007). Surveys conducted among Japanese English teachers showed that the teachers still emphasize teaching English for the purpose of university

4 entrance exams (Butler, 2007). The outcomes of the various action plan proposals were not successful primarily because of the influence of these exams, which focus on the traditional reading, writing, and grammar (Hagerman, 2009). Junior and senior high schools did add oral communication to adhere to the action plan but still emphasized preparing students for the university entrance exams. It was eventually concluded that the goals set by the Ministry of Education were not able to be obtained (Hagerman, 2009). It is commonly believed in Japan that studying the English language leads to native-like fluency. In Europe, some learners have the misconception that the purpose of English learning is to conform to the native-English speakers (Hulmbauer, Bohringer, & Seidlhofer, 2008). Although such beliefs are misconceptions, the development of intercultural communicative competence is seen as an attainable and reasonable goal (Bryam, 1997, 2008). Goals to foster intercultural awareness and communicative competence can be implemented by selecting textbooks and material containing materials on the cultural aspects of other countries (Elola & Oskoz, 2008). Using technologies in our current educational practices, such as the Internet, 1-pod, email, and many other new inventions can facilitate global learning and enhance learning on topics (Albrini, 2006; Davis, Cho, & Hagenson, 2005). The emergence of English as a global language and the advancement of communication technology present both the technology and a challenge to English language educators to expand their current teaching methods (Savigon, 2006). In Japan, as in other East Asian countries such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea, English learning begins as early as grade seven, and in most universities, it is part of the compulsory education (Jeon & Lee, 2006). However, the teaching of English as a tool to learn about other cultures, as well as the gathering of

5 information through the Internet to communicate with people of different cultures, is still marginalized in English-as-a-foreign-language instruction (Yamanaka, 2006). In addition, the role of intercultural communication via language study remains relatively unexplored (Sakuragi, 2008). Problem Statement The rapid increase in the rate of globalization is influencing cross-cultural relations and increasing the need for international cooperation. Cooperation involves communication; thus, foreign language study is now recognized as more than just acquiring linguistic proficiency but also includes learning about other cultures to develop intercultural competence (Dimitrova, 2006). As such, the focus of foreign language studies is evolving from simply acquiring language skills to achieving a depth of understanding that can lead to tolerance, acceptance, and awareness of the broader world (Knutson, 2006; Sercu, 2006). The importance of using English to learn about other cultures has been recognized by many educators, including the native-English-speaking teachers, but this recognition has not reached the students in the English as foreign language courses (Yamanaka, 2006). Native-English-speaking teachers' perspectives and values, with regard to the importance of English language for their students, influence the decisions they make in their instruction (Ligget, 2009). The degree of the native-English-speaking teachers' cultural understanding and the recognition of the importance of English language, used in the international context as a communication tool with a global view, can positively influence the English learners' intercultural competence (Harris, 2008). English is taught as the main foreign language in Japan and many other Asian

6 counties, but today's English-as-a-foreign-language teachers have not yet achieved competence in the cultural context of foreign languages (Sercu, 2006). In Japan, this is evidenced by the overall lack of English communication skills, inclusive of both verbal and non-verbal communication and nuances of the spoken language, among Japanese university graduates, despite years of instruction (Kikuchi, 2009). Further evidence is that the attitude of Japanese university-level English learners' contrasts greatly with that of Asians and Europeans (Kobayashi, 2010). The notion that English is used only to communicate with native-English speakers such as Americans still holds true in many university English programs in Japan (Iida, 2007). The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology stated that the English language plays a central role in linking different people around the world (Dimitrova, 2006). The instructional practice to use English as a tool for international communication proposed by the Japanese Ministry's policy is expected in Japanese English Education, but the level of intercultural awareness in foreign study is still low (Sakuragi, 2008). The relationship between the native-English-speaking university teachers' perceptions of English teaching with the importance in cultural learning and communication, and their instructional practice needs to be investigated to add to the current literature regarding English-as-a-foreign-language. The problem to be addressed by this study is the gap between the native-English- speaking university teachers' perception or recognition of the need for English as foreign language teaching in an intercultural context and their actual instructional practice (Xiao, 2006; Samimy & Kobayashi, 2004; Enping, 2007). This problem results from the notion of the importance of investigation into the English teachers, who are ultimately

7 responsible for interpreting and executing the instructional practice and learning environment for the students. The need to investigate teacher practices and beliefs derives from the notion that teachers are not transparent entities who fulfill curriculum plans and goals as prescribed by their authors, but who filter, digest, and implement the curriculum depending upon their beliefs and environmental contexts. (Sakui, 2004, p. 155) Although there has been much research on English teachers' perceptions of teaching and students' English learning progress, currently there is no literature available investigating the discrepancy between the native-English speaking teachers' perceptions of teaching English within a global, multi-cultural perspective and their actual instructions, using multiple cases study approach. This research has added to the literature in the studies of English teaching by the native-English-speaking teachers in Japan and internationally. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research was to understand the native-speaking English-as- foreign language teachers' perceived importance of English language instruction as a communication tool with a global perspective and multi-cultural focus in an international context and to investigate whether there was a discrepancy between their perceptions and their actual instruction. In a global context, the English language is widely accepted as a tool for international communication; however, the instructions of the native-English- speaking teachers in English-as-a-foreign-language classrooms have not sufficiently developed to accommodate this recognition (Sakuragi, 2008). It is important for English- as-a-foreign language learners to understand as wide a variety of cultures as possible for

8 effective intercultural interaction as the "cultural dimensions" of English usage continue to expand internationally (Yamanaka, 2006). This required the study of the native- English-speaking teachers' claims of the importance of English learning and teaching. The current native-English-speaking teachers' claims of the importance of English learning and teaching and the variance of their instruction from this perspective of importance required exploration through an in-depth interview method to analyze the inconsistencies between what is claimed and what is practiced. The importance of English learning and teaching, serving as tools of international communication in a global context as well as serving to foster the understanding of variety of cultures may or may not be claimed by the native-English-speaking teachers. The claims of native-English- speaking teacher participants were verified by analyzing the data from the focus group interview with the students and the data collected from the teaching materials (course syllabi). Results from the analysis enabled further understanding of the reasons for the lack of instructional practice that emphasizes the importance of English as a tool for international communication in a wide a variety of cultures. Discrepancies between the native-English-speaking teachers' instructional practices and these teachers' claimed perception of English importance (i.e., whether they believe English should be taught as an international communicative tool in a global context) were indicated in the results of the analysis of all three types of data collected in this research (teacher interviews, student focus groups, and instructional materials). A qualitative multiple-case study methodology was used to collect and analyze the data from the teacher interviews, student focus group interviews, and the teaching materials(course syllabi). This methodology was selected to strengthen the findings to

9 answer the research questions. The three kinds of data were chosen to deliberately compare and contrast the data collected (Yin, 2009). These data also acted as triangulation to understand whether the teachers' claimed perceptions of English teaching and its purpose as an international communicative tool align with the data collected from the student focus group interviews and the teaching materials (course syllabi) collected. The first type of data were collected through the in-depth interviews with approximately 25 native-English-speaking teachers, currently teaching English-as-a- foreign language in compulsory university courses in several regions of Japan. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted to determine the participants' views of the importance of the English language in an international context as a communication tool, within a global, multi-cultural focus, and the participants' individual instruction in English-as-a-foreign-language courses. Questions were asked about the participants' perceptions of English language teaching, classroom content, instruction for a particular class, and whether they thought English was important as an international communicative tool with a global, multi-cultural focus. Responses were coded into themes for further analysis. The second type of data were collected through conducting focus group interviews with the students attending university compulsory English courses. Volunteer students from the same universities as the native-English-speaking teachers were interviewed in groups regarding the knowledge they learned in their English class. Similar questions with the native-English teachers and the students regarding the materials and textbooks used in their English-as-a-foreign-language classes were part of the interview questions. The third type of data, course syllabi were requested of the

10 native-English-speaking teachers and collected if they are available. Data collected from all sources were coded into the same theme and summary in order to triangulate the teachers' interview responses and allowed the analysis of possible discrepancies between the teachers' beliefs and practice. Qualitative coding by taking key words from the data, and using descriptive coding by summarizing parts of interview data into topics were used to assist the consistency of coding (Saldana, 2009). Careful consideration of the selection of key words and summarization were given due to the required recognition of relevant themes for later interpretation, which supported the research purpose (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane, 2006). Theoretical Framework The purpose of this research was to understand the native English-as-foreign language teachers' perceived importance of English language instruction as a communication tool within an international context (world view) and with a multi cultural focus as well as to investigate whether there was a discrepancy between their perceptions and their actual instruction. The link between language studies and intercultural awareness is well recognized (Tochon, 2009). The English language, in particular, has become a part of the core studies in many non-English-speaking countries due to rapidly globalizing societies. The teaching of English is vital to students' language skills and their awareness of other cultures (Dimitrova, 2006). This study involved native-English-speaking teachers in Japanese universities who have had teaching experience both in Japan and in other non- native-English-speaking countries. These teachers' perceptions with regard to English language teaching and the connection between the language and other cultures were

11 explored in this research. Native-English-speaking teachers' instructional plans are typically formed by the requirements of the administration and by their personal experiences, culture, values, beliefs, and customs (Harris, 2008). Although the importance of English as a global communication tool is widely recognized (Tochon, 2009), in practice, English instruction may still be affected by the teachers' choices, which have been formed by the various factors of their personal history (Harris, 2008). The intention of the research results was to provide a reference to the native-English teachers teaching English-as-a-foreign- language in any part of the world, rather than only in Japan. Interviews were conducted with each teacher using open-ended questioning, in order to allow participants to expand upon their answers without constraints. In addition, three to five English-as-a-foreign-language learners attending universities of the teacher participants were interviewed for triangulation and verification. Furthermore, the material used by the teachers as identified through the class syllabus and through the interviews with students were documented and analyzed for connections to the teachers' perceptions. Incorporation of the three types of data collected (teacher interviews, student interviews, and teaching material documentation) served the purpose of achieving a more accurate and valid result for this particular construct (Oliver-Hoyo & Allen, 2006). The study result allowed the reflection of teachers on their perceptions of the importance of English and whether their instructional behavior aligns with their perceptions. Research Questions This qualitative multiple case study was designed to investigate issues of current native-English-speaking teachers' perceptions of English language teaching as a

12 communication tool with a global view and multi-cultural focus in an international context and their actual classroom instructional practice. The following research questions served to guide this research: RQ1. How do native-speaking English-as-a-foreign language teachers view their role as English-as-a-foreign-language teachers and do they perceive teaching English in a multi-cultural global context to be an important element of their role as an English-as-a- foreign-language teacher? RQ2. To what extent do native-speaking English-as-a-foreign language teachers supplement traditional English instruction with materials and activities that foster intercultural awareness? RQ3. What are the lived educational experiences of the English-as-a-foreign language students, specifically in terms of whether they learned English within a multi cultural, global context? Nature of the Study This qualitative multiple-case study research analyzed data from teacher interviews, student interviews, and documentation of the materials teachers use in class to answer the research questions of this study. The native-English-speaking teachers were the main participants of the in-depth interviews. Individual interviews were conducted with 25 English-as-a-foreign-language, native-English-speaking teachers using open- ended questions. The interview questions were to explore the native-English-speaking teachers' perceptions of the importance of English language used as an international communicative tool in the world, their instructional behavior, and materials they use. Focus groups of three to five volunteer students from the same universities from

13 which the teacher participants were recruited and given a short interview. Student interview questions were on students' English learning and their learning of other cultures and issues of the world in their English-as-a-foreign language classes. The name of the textbooks used and teaching materials indicated in the syllabi were questioned in both the in-depth interviews with the native-English-speaking teachers and the focus group interviews with the students. Possible teaching materials were gathered by requesting a copy of the course syllabi received from the native-English-speaking teachers. The contents of the teacher interviews were first be read and coded, which allowed further analysis of their perceptions of the importance of English teaching and their instructions. Some examples of the code concepts likely to appear are "focus on grammar," "focus on communication," "communicative exercises," "world issues," "different cultures," and "comparative cultures." The data from the student interviews and from the materials used in class used the same coding strategies as the data from the teachers. Summarizing parts of interview data into topics, "descriptive coding," (Saldana, 2009) was also be employed as part of the data analysis process. An important step after coding was the organization of codes from the interview data. Organization of the codes for further analysis is necessary in the research process (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane, 2006). The organization of codes were determined after the data are coded to prevent personal bias by predicting the kind of categories that may exist before the interviews. Repeated codes in certain key words or summarizations assisted in understanding the native-English-speaking teachers' claimed perceptions of English teaching. The number of repeated codes from the student interviews and the materials teachers use in the same key words and summarizations

14 were verify the consistency of the teachers' interview data. Codes and summary mismatches between the teachers' interview data, the students' interview data, and the materials collected indicated a possible discrepancy between the teachers' perception of English teaching and their actual instruction. A discrepancy occurs when the teachers' claimed perception is different from their teaching instruction and the materials they use; this was verified by comparing the codes from the student interviews and the materials used as data documents. Charts were developed to further explain the alignment between the interview questions that gathered relevant data and the research questions (Table 1 & 2.) The first column of the chart included the research questions, and the second column of the chart included the interview questions for the teachers and the students; articulation of the reasoning of alignment between the research questions and the interview questions were written below each table. Significance of the Study The significance of this study is to identify any discrepancies between the native English-as-foreign-language teachers' perceptions of the importance of English in an international context as used among different nationalities with a multi-cultural focus and the teachers' actual classroom instruction. As a result of rapid globalization, English learning is expanding in many countries, is spoken by more people as a foreign language, and has become a prominent core course of educational instruction worldwide (Herther, 2006; Wedell, 2008; Yamananka, 2006). Furthermore, English is now spoken by more people in Asian countries than those in western countries of English native speakers (Tsui & Tollefson, 2007). Many terminologies, such as "world Englishes" and "English as lingua franca," have been used to describe how English is used as an international

15 communication tool. The emphasis of English as a communication tool is prevalent in the literature and seemingly recognized by the English teachers in this study. However, the recognition of the importance of English should be aligned with the teachers' instruction to not only teach the skill of the language but to also develop students' broad cross- cultural awareness and to encourage tolerance for other cultures (Harris, 2008). This study provides information for university native-English teachers, other English educators, and school administrators regarding the current English-as-a-foreign language education reality. This information applies not only to the native- English- speaking teachers in Japan but also to those who teach in other non-English speaking countries. This study also provides teachers an opportunity to reflect on how their perceptions of teaching English and its importance on a global scale are derived and whether their instruction is conducted according to their perceptions. Definition of Key Terms The following terms are commonly used within literature related to the study: Action plan. A government action plan was proposed and implemented in 2003 to raise the English competence of Japanese citizens to the level found in international settings (Taguchi, 2006). Cross-cultural understanding. Personal growth of understanding the self and the world; challenges of how we believe things "are" or "should be" (Montuori, 2004). English as a foreign language. The study of English by non-native speakers, with a focus on language learning and pedagogy (Venema, 2009). Globalization. A concept synonymous with internationalization, liberalization, universalization, westernization, and deterritorialization; the removal of boundaries

16 separating peoples, states, and cultures, as well as boundaries created by physical obstacles (Chapagain, 2006). Intercultural awareness. The awareness that oral and cultural practices in different cultures are associated with different conversational patterns and that, therefore, the same statements serve different purposes to different groups of people; taught so that the conversant does not appear to be rude, insincere, or socially inept (McConachy, 2008). Oral communication. An essential, learned skill consisting of clear, eloquent, and effective speech and involving the interaction between people across cultures, circumstances, conflicts, and resolutions; essential for success in modern society (Emanuel, 2007). Traditional English instruction. English language studies focus on grammar, reading and translation (Sasaki, 2006). Summary English as a foreign language has evolved from just a language tool into a bridge for the learning of different cultures. Cultural learning has been added to the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking of the English language by many scholars (Tochon, 2009). Due to technological advancement, borders between countries are becoming less distinct. English is a major contributor to this globalizing development as people use it to communicate for business and social exchange. Today, English is used to a greater degree among non-native English speakers than it is between non-native and native-English speakers. This phenomenon calls for the recognition of integrating cultural learning in English-as-a-foreign-language instruction. The speed of global development has created a challenge for many English-as-a-foreign language teachers to acknowledge

Full document contains 184 pages
Abstract: Intercultural awareness as part of English language learning is pivotal because English is currently the most-studied foreign language in many countries in the world. The use of English to bring understanding as well as social and economic exchange between countries is well recognized and is the reason for its importance in the compulsory education of many non-English-speaking countries. In Japan, English-as-a-foreign language is an important part of the educational process, and the cross-cultural aspect of English learning is recognized among language educators in Japan. The Ministry of Education in Japan promotes the learning of other cultures and English language competency in order to be able to communicate with people of different cultures. However, although there is recognition by educators on all levels, the actual practice of integrating issues and awareness of different cultures is left to each individual teacher. This qualitative multiple-case study was designed to identify the discrepancies between the perceptions of English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) education with a world view multi-cultural focus and the instructional behavior among the native-English-speaking university teachers in Japan. In-depth interview with the native-English-speaking university teachers, focus group interview with students and course syllabi were analyzed. Twenty-five native-English-speaking university teachers from different universities were the main participants for the in-depth interview. Focus group interview with the students of the participants' institutions and the syllabi used in their classes were studied to evaluate the gap between the main participants' perceptions and their actual class instruction. Six themes were revealed, providing evidence for the perceived need for incorporation of a worldview in EFL instruction in Japan, the potential benefits of greater levels of inclusion of cultural awareness, and English as a global language in teaching materials and texts. Results of the study suggest that teacher preparation and professional development as well as more culturally based instructional materials, reflective of this need, should be incorporated into the EFL instruction in Japanese universities, aligning with government recommendations. This study catalyzes teachers of EFL globally to review and align their own perceptions of EFL teaching with their instructional behavior.