Communication vulnerability in the digital age: A missed concern in constructivism

Fusa Katada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The current wave of globalization aided by ubiquitous computing necessarily involves interaction and integration among people and human institutions worldwide. This has led to a worldwide awareness that professionals in academia need to have effective communication skills. Such communication-driven academic discourse puts much demand on language education, particularly tied to English as a medium of global communication. There is, however, a critical but unidentified gap. The targeted students are technically and academically capable but often with general communication difficulties, and such a student population is growing. This poses a challenge to constructivist classroom that is marked by student-centered, interactive, and group-oriented learning. This paper reports on exploratory studies on the temperamental, autistic tendencies of university students carried out in Japan and their preference in academic subjects including the English language. Results indicate that the university students are in general more toward drawing into themselves; that is, they are neither sociable nor communicative. The survey also shows a clear preference for less communication-driven subjects within their major, as opposed to study of the more communication-driven English language. These findings indicate the necessity of calling for complementary constructivism that would accommodate a student population with communication vulnerabilities. As far as English classroom is concerned, the relevance of adopting ESP (English for Specific Purposes) is clarified, which focuses on the knowledge structure of the subjects that find the students' strength. ESP is expected to compensate for their communication vulnerabilities, and thus to offer a hint for a meaningful form of complimentary constructivism for educational settings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event13th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age 2016, CELDA 2016 - Mannheim, Germany
Duration: 2016 Oct 282016 Oct 30


Other13th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age 2016, CELDA 2016


  • Communication Vulnerability
  • Complementary Constructivism
  • ESP
  • Science and Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Education


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