Madoka Inui, Haruyo Yoshida
Tennoji High School (Osaka Kyoiku University), Japan


This study examines the effects of Can-Do statements in elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan. Can-Do statements indicate what students should be able to do and how well they should be able perform. It is the responsibility of language learners to identify and set learning goals and chart their progress towards language and intercultural proficiency, educators to write communication concerning learning targets for the curriculum, units and lesson plans, and stakeholders to clarify how well learners at different stages can communicate. CEFR-J descriptors were used in this study, a modified version of the original CEFR for English language teaching in Japan. The reason CEFR-J was adopted is that Japanese EFL learners skews towards the lower levels, suggesting a need for branching of the CEFR A1-B2 levels. The CEFR-J divides linguistic skills into listening, reading, spoken interaction, spoken production, and writing. Language ability is described based on the six common reference levels (Negishi, 2012). The statements can be used as a reference to help examinees and others get an idea of “what successful examinees of a particular level Can-Do in English”. Teachers made statements for this study according to the aim of each section in the textbook. Students created their own statements in small groups by analysing the details of their textbooks. This activity cultivates a sense of independence in the students. Learners demonstrate what they ‘Can-Do’ consistently in each mode and at each sub-level, in numerous situations throughout the learning process. Can-Do Statements describe what learners can independently do at each sublevel and help pave the way to higher levels. In this study, the students tended to set higher goals for themselves than teachers did, leading to increased motivation for each student.


Can-Do Statements, Descriptors, CEFR-J, Mutual Assessments, Self-reflection