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Copyright and Multimedia Classroom Material: A Study from Japan


Computer Assisted Language Learning Volume 21, Number 2, ISSN 0958-8221


This paper outlines the knowledge and attitudes that 57 language teachers in Japan have regarding copyright laws in relation to using external materials in the classroom. A 13-item online survey was distributed, and semi-structured interviews were conducted, to ascertain what teachers know about Japanese copyright laws, and the teachers' resultant attitudes and actions regarding these laws. After introducing the theoretical background to the problem, this paper delineates how the survey was carried out and then presents the data obtained. By examining themes culled from the survey and the interviews, three distinct categories were found: participants' knowledge about copyright laws; participants' intentions and actions in using external materials; and participants' attitudes toward copyright laws. The results indicate that while most teachers are aware of the existence of copyright laws, they do not act in a manner that suggests they are particularly concerned about them. That is, teachers in Japan use copyrighted material because it suits their lesson planning, and do not always consider the consequences of their actions. Further, the researchers demonstrate that teachers view copyright laws as being too vague and strict, ultimately affecting teachers' actions when producing and using materials. The study reveals the need for educational institutions in Japan to take the appropriate steps in providing adequate copyright law training for their teachers. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)


Heffernan, N. & Wang, S. (2008). Copyright and Multimedia Classroom Material: A Study from Japan. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(2), 167-180. Retrieved September 19, 2020 from .

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