Goto Butler, Yuko

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Associate Professor
Yuko Goto Butler is Associate Professor of Language and Literacy in Education at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are primarily associated with the improvement of second and foreign language education among young learners in the U.S. as well as in Asia in response to the diverse needs of an increasingly global world. Dr. Butler has been interested in identifying effective ESL/EFL teaching and learning methods and strategies that take into account the relevant linguistic and cultural contexts in which instruction takes place. She is also interested in how we can effectively assess children’s second/foreign language proficiency and how best to evaluate the effectiveness of various programs and policies for language education. Her most recent project examines various issues that have arisen in conjunction with the introduction of English language instruction at the elementary school level in select Asian countries.
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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Editors’ introduction: Emerging issues for educational research in East Asia
    (2010-05-12) Hannum, Emily C.; Park, Hyunjoon; Goto Butler, Yuko
    In recent decades, globalization and regional integration have brought significant economic and demographic changes in East Asia, including rising economic inequality, growing population movements within and across borders, and the emergence or renewed geopolitical significance of cultural and linguistic minority populations. These trends have coincided with significant changes in family formation, dissolution, and structures. How have these changes played out in the diverse educational systems of East Asia? In what innovative ways are East Asian governments addressing the new demographic realities of their student populations? This volume offers a snapshot of key educational stratification issues in East Asian nations, and their evolution in conjunction with changing student populations. Scholars of Japan, China, and Korea in this volume address issues ranging from curricular adaptations to globalization, to persisting and new forms of educational stratification, to new multiculturalism in educational policy. In addition, authors consider the ways that migration is shaping education in the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore. Collectively, the pieces in this volume represent a first attempt to investigate national responses to critical regional trends.
  • Publication
    Parental factors and early English education as a foreign language: A case study in Mainland China
    (2013-05-08) Goto Butler, Yuko
    As English has increasingly become associated with social and economic power in the context of globalization, there has been a growing concern regarding achievement gaps in English that appear to be correlated to learners’ socio-economic status (SES). The present study aims to examine how parents’ SES and their behaviors and beliefs about English education relate to their children’s English language learning, and how such relationships may differ across different grade levels. The participants were fourth, sixth and eighth grade students who had learned English from the third grade level (572 students in total) together with their parents in a medium-sized city in China. An extensive parental survey revealed that while parental beliefs about English education and their beliefs about their children’s success in acquiring English did not differ between different SES groups, their direct behaviors (such as providing direct assistance for their children to learn English) and their indirect behaviors (such as the home literacy environment and indirect modeling they provided) showed significant differences by the fourth grade level. Combined with the students’ learning outcome data, it was found that while the parents’ SES did not show much effect on their children’s listening and reading/writing performance during their elementary school years, it did indicate an effect on their speaking abilities at the fourth grade level, if not earlier. This paper suggests the importance of incorporating socio-economic dimensions in theorizing second and foreign language acquisition (SLA), which are largely missing in current major approaches in SLA.
  • Publication
    Second Language Learners' Theories on the Use of English Articles: An Analysis of the Metalinguistic Knowledge Used by Japanese Students in Acquiring the English Article System.
    (2002-09-01) Butler, Yuko Goto
    Although it is well known that many second language (L2) learners have trouble using articles “properly,” the primary causes of their difficulties remain unclear. This study addresses this problem by examining the metalinguistic knowledge of the English article system that learners employ when selecting articles in a given situation. By doing this, the present study attempts to better understand the process of “making sense” of the English article system by learners who are at different stages in their interlanguage development. Eighty Japanese college students with varying levels of English proficiency participated in this study. Immediately after completing a fill-in-thearticle test, a structured interview was conducted to investigate the reasons for their article choices. The quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal a number of conceptual differences with regard to their considerations of the hearer’s knowledge, specific reference, and countability, which may account for learners’ errors in article use across different proficiency groups.
  • Publication
    How Are Nonnative-English-Speaking Teachers Perceived by Young Learners?
    (2007-12-01) Butler, Yuko G
    The current study examined the effects of Korean elementary school teachers' accents on their students' listening comprehension. It also examined students' attitudes toward teachers with American-accented English (a native speaker model) and Korean-accented English (a nonnative speaker model). A matched-guised technique was used. A Korean American individual recorded texts in both American-accented English and Korean-accented English. The study randomly assigned 312 Grade 6 Korean students to listen to one of these two recorded oral texts and their comprehension was examined. Next, all of the students listened to both accented-English tapes and their attitudes toward the two speakers (which were in fact the same speaker) were examined. Although the popular belief appears to assume that nonnative accented English would produce a negative effect on students' oral skills, the results failed to find any differences in student performance in terms of comprehension. However, the Korean children thought that the American-accented English guise had better pronunciation, was relatively more confident in her use of English, would focus more on fluency than on accuracy, and would use less Korean in the English class. The students also expressed a preference to have the American-accented English guise as their English teacher.