Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.1 Summaries

Invited Theses

Towards New Perspectives in Japanese Language Teaching

J. V. Neustupny (Monash University, Australia)

Japanese language teaching is growing throughout the world. It is important that this growth is not only quantitative but also qualitative in establishing new patterns for Japanese language instruction.
The social roles of teaching Japanese within the Post-Audiolingual Paradigm of language instruction will undergo serious questioning. It can also be expected that teaching about Japanese culture and society will be incorporated as two basic curriculum components. Teaching methods that disregard the use of authentic interactive situations cannot be considered relevant for the new paradigm of the future. The Interactive Competence Approach (Neustupny,1989) advocated in this paper accounts for all these problems.
The author introduces the concept of "Japan literacy" as a broad framework for the discipline of Japanese-language teaching. In Japan literacy 3 (corresponding roughly to Japanese Language Teaching) there is a radical need to introduce more concern for sociolinguistic and sociocultural competence. The second major component of the approach requires that activities used in the process of teaching include a considerable number of "authentic use" (performance) situations along with "interpretations" (explanations) and "exercises" Some examples of such authentic use activities are discussed in the paper.

Issues in ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Oral Proficiency Interview

MAKINO Seiichi (University of Illinois, U.S.A.)

The present paper has two objectives: one is to explicate the ACTFL's Proficiency Guidelines and Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) based on the Guidelines, and the other is to give constructive critiques of the Guidelines and the testing method of guideline-based OPI. The writer gives justifications for the Guidelines as a functional linguistic approach. Regarding the Guidelines, he argues for the necessity of (l) integrating the Text Type into Grammar; (2) investigation of the degree of respective predictive contribution of Function, Content/Context, Text Type and Accuracy; and (3) clearer definitions of key concepts used in the proficiency descriptions for each level. The writer argues for assigning more vital role-to-role plays in the OPI method so that the tester can assess the testee's functional competence more accurately. After a critical discussion of Bachman's criticism (l987) of OPI, the paper concludes with a list of positive impacts of the OPI on the teaching of a foreign language.


Desiderata for a New Generation of Nihongo Kyôzai in Germany

Kay J. Genenz (Seminar fur Orientalische Sprachen, Bonn University, Germany)

In Germany more than 8000 learners attend classes every year to learn Japanese. The author takes the view that, probably due to the one-hundred-year-old academic tradition of Japanese-language teaching in Germany, a great deal of the basic concepts of courses and textbook design have gone out of date. On the one hand, it is stressed that methodological improvements which proved to be successful in teaching European languages should be taken into consideration in the classroom and by authors of new textbooks. On the other hand, much more research in applied linguistics and the pragmatics of the spoken language is needed, because many fundamentals for Japanese-language teaching (separate frequency lists of vocabulary and grammatical structures for different target groups, exercise design for communication-orientated courses, etc.) are still lacking. Other basics are taken for granted though their legitimacy has never been proved.


Contributed Theses

Logic of Japanese Demonstratives

SHIMAMORI Reiko (University of Lyon III, France)

This paper aims at clarifying the logic of the Japanese demonstrative system. The Japanese demonstratives ko-, so-and a- reveal a complicated opposition: they are neither triplet (ko-/so-/a-) nor double binary (ko-/so-; ko-/a-) as has been interpreted so far, but are a combination of the two oppositions, that is, ko-/a-, ko-/so-/a-, and ko-/so-. The value of ko- is "proximity," and that of a- is "distance" (they are "marked"), while so- means "non-proximity" and "non-distance" (it is "un-marked"). Two different approaches to the topic in this paper are (l) a psychological approach for dcscribing the Japanese apprehension of the world based mainly on the distinction between "inside" and "outside" and (2) a scientific approach using two formulas to objectivize the meaning of demonstratives: one formula is a degree of empathy (E) which reflects the viewpoint of the speaker or the hearer, and the other is the location of the referent on a spatial and temporal axis in relation to the speaker. Both analyses show the deictic use of ko-, so- and a-, thereby helping to explain the principle of their anaphoric use.


Inside vs. Outside Information: An Analysis of Sentence-Final Elements in Japanese

MURAYAMA Yasuo (Bunkyo University, kanagawa, Japan)

Sentence-final elements in Japanese express the speaker's attitude toward the message. Kamio (l979, l985) and Uyeno (l97l, l972) offer two distinct analytical perspectives: Kamio emphasizes the relationship of the speaker to the information, and Uyeno raises the question of who renders the final judgment on the proposition -the speaker or the addressee.
In this paper, a dichotomy is drawn between inside information, based on the speaker's subjective judgment, and outside information, originating from a secondary source. Auxiliaries at the end of the sentence indicate which group the information belongs to and are accordingly divided into two groups. Each group is distinguished by both semantic and syntactic features. Some sentence-final particles co-occur only with auxiliaries belonging to the first group.
The semantic features above also distinguish nara (if, as long as) from kara (as, because). The information expressed by the former is outside information, and the information by the latter is inside information.


Request and Invitation: Expressions of the Beneficiary in Japanese and English

HIMENO Tomoko (Saitama University, Saitama, Japan)

A single English sentence often can be used both to request and invite action. The Japanese expressions used to perform one of these speech acts are quite different from those used to perform the other: to request and to invite action are two distinct speech acts in Japanese, because the beneficiary is the speaker in a request expression and the hearer in an invitation expression.
It is particularly important to use giving and receiving verbs to make a request sound polite in Japanese, as these verbs show that the beneficiary is the speaker.
This phenomenon can be explained by assuming a preparatory condition: "It is not obvious to both S (speaker) and H (hearer) that H will do A(action) [for S] in the normal course of events on his or her original version by Searle, but it seems necessary in Japanese. In the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language, the students shouId always be advised to pay attention to the beneficiary of the actions performed.


On the Aspect of Sentence-Final Verbs in Modern Japanese

ZHANG Ping (Naruto University of Education, Tokushima,Japan)

In this paper I argue that the meaning of a verb + shite iru should be captured at the level of speech (the sentence level), as the contrast with suru/shite iru is determined by choosing which of these forms to use in speech. In addition, I suggest that suru/shite iru forms must be deeply related to the entire category of verbs to obtain a unified explanation for the contrast of suru/shite iru by form and meaning. I divide the shite iru forms into two types according to sentence structure: one indicates the duration of a sentence, and the other indicates the duration of the subject of a sentence. I also divide the time involved into two kinds: time that depends on our consciousness originating from our existence, and time that is objectively measurable. I maintain in this paper that tense and aspect hold only in the cases of speech based on the time of which we are conscious.


The Teaching of Japanese and Japanese Honorifics: The Point of View or Honorific Avoidance

MIYAZAKI Satoshi (Monash University, Australia)

The study of honorifics in TJFL has focused so far on their grammatical features and on grammatical errors produced by L2 learners. The process of corrective adjustment of honorifics, however, has been neglected. Honorific avoidance, which constitutes the subject of this paper, is one of the characteristic examples of such corrective adjustment strategies.
The paper discusses differences in honorific avoidance strategies employed by native speakers in native and contact situations and by foreign learners of Japanese.
The paper also discusses how teachers should vary classroom situations to provide more natural contact situations for acquisition of honorifics and what participants (e. g., native teaching assistants, native-speaker visitors) should be used. The introduction of a number of native participants and varying interactive networks in the classroom are indispensable for developing L2 learners' interactive competence.


Indirectification of Benefactive and Directional Verbs in Japanese

Ô NO Kiyoharu (University of Newcastle, Australia)

Kuno (1978: 273ff.) examines the empathy phenomena in indirect discourse in Japanese and proposes what he calls direct discourse analysis to account for conflict in the speaker's empathy in indirectified benefactive and directional constructions. He uses the following examples:

1. a. *Taroo-wa boku-ni okane-o kasi-te yat-ta.
Taro has lent me money.
b. Taroo-wa [boku-ni okane-o kasi-te yat-ta] to iihurasi-te i-ru.
Taro is spreading the word that he has lent me money.
c. Taroo-wa "Boku-wa X-ni okane-o kasi-te yat-ta" to iihurasi-te i-ru.[where X=the speaker of the entire speech]
Taro appears to be saying to Hanako, "Go to X for advice."
2. a. *Boku-no tokoro-ni soodan-ni ik-e.
Come to me for advice.
b. Taroo-wa Hanako-ni [boku-no tokoro-ni soodan-ni ik-e] to it-te i-ru rasi-i.
Taro appears to be telling Hanako that she should come to me for advice.
c. Taroo-wa Hanako-ni "X-no tokoro-ni soodan-ni ik-e" to it-te i-ru rasi-i.[where X=the speaker of the entire speech]
Taro appears to be saying to Hanako, "Go to X for advice."

Kuno considers why 1b and 2b are acceptable while la and 2a are unacceptable and attempts to explain the acceptability of the former direct discourse; specifically, the Speech-Act Participant Empathy Hierarchy, in which the speaker has to empathize more with himself than with anyone else, is satisfied while 1b and 2b are still in direct discourse as are 1c and 2c, respectively.
   Kuno's (1978: 276ff.) hypothesis depends upon who is the addressee of indirect discourse in the discourse level of speech where the Speech-Act Participant Empathy Hierarchy that should be satisfied is different. If the speaker of the entire speech is the addressee of indirect discourse, it should be satisfied more at the indirect discourse level than at the direct discourse level. If the speaker of the entire speech is not the addressee of indirect discourse, it should be satisfied more at the direct discourse level than at the indirect discourse level.
   This article is the result of a small-scale survey of native speakers' acceptability judgments on indirect discourse sentences containing benefactive and directional verbs. The goal of the survey was to find out if there are any principles like Kuno's hypothesis in which they prefer not to indirectify verbs in otherwise indirectified reported speech.


Descriptive and Communicative Elements of Language: A Proposal for a New Approach to Grammar

HESHIKI Kazumi (University of Alaska at Anchorage, U.S.A. )

Thirty-five years after its revolutionary debut, Chomsky's grammar seems to have proven itself to be not a truly universal grammar but a failure by its own criteria: the "explanatory adequacy."
This essay proposes a new approach to a universal grammar. A new grammar that is intended to replace Chomsky's, however, must satisfy Chomsky's criteria. To overcome the limitations of Chomsky's grammar, it must expand its scope to include social as well as cognitive factors.
The new grammar described in this essay reflects the views of sociolinguists and psycholinguists who have argued against Chomsky's concept of innate linguistic competence. They have pointed out that both social competence and cognitive competence are indispensable to properly account for language.
This essay offers a model that explains how the two essential competencies interact with each other while also interacting with the environment, and how these dual interactions eventually develop a mental schema that stores in memory metaphors of our experience. The writer attributes language to this metaphor system in the cognitive structure. The proposed grammar is based on this model.


Helping Students Acquire Reading Proficiency: A Model that Employs Learning Strategies

ITÔ Hiroko (Associated Kyoto Program Center)

The recent trend of foreign language education is its emphasis on "communicative competence" or "proficiency." The ACTFL Language Proficiency Guidelines helped to define each proficiency level of the four skills, and we now know what we should be looking at, given a level and a skill area.
To help students acquire proficiency, various changes have been made in the areas of teaching materials, methodology, and the curriculum. However, what about the changes of the learners themselves? All of the so-called student variables, such as aptitude, motivation, hard or impossible to alter, except for the use of learning strategies. Various research findings indicate that language-learning strategies contribute to the learners' achievements and are teachable and learnable.
This paper is a report of a pilot study conducted at the Associated Kyoto Program Center (AKP) involving twelve students in the intermediate reading group. The students were given instruction on language-learning strategies and were guided to use them in completing the reading assignment. The result was promising, and the paper proposes to improve the students' reading proficiency by teaching them to make good use of language-leaning strategies.


Classroom Decentralization: One View of the Communicative Approach

JIN Rongyi (Liaoning Normal University, China)

Young learners, including middle school and high school students, comprise 60 percent of all Japanese-language learners in the world. From this point of view, Japanese language teaching in normal universities has special meaning.
The article relates the author's view of the communicative approach learned during long periods of Japanese-Ianguage teaching in the university. He introduces decentralization of classroom learning activities that are based on the idea of a communicative approach, giving some concrete examples.


Development of Japanese Programs for Graduate Students in America's International Business Programs

SAKAKIBARA Yoshitaka (University of South Carolina, U.S.A.)

Due to the rapid growth of the Japanese economy, the number of American students studying Japanese has escalated. In addition to gaining professional skills, these students are increasingly interested in acquiring practical Japanese language skills. To meet this demand, many American universities are establishing international business programs focusing on Japan or business-Japanese language courses.
The University of South Carolina's International Business Program is now considered the most successful international business program in the United States. The Japanese Specialization of the Program is a three-year study of the Japanese language in addition to business education through internship training and intensive academic studies.
This paper introduces the Japanese Specialization of the International Business Program and reviews the development of the Japanese language curriculum.


Do Second-Language Learners of Japanese Process Kanji in the Same Way as Japanese Children?

Mary Flaherty (Osaka Gakuin Junior College, Japan)

When confronted with a kanji, do second-language learners of Japanese and Japanese children employ similar strategies in reading and memorizing it?
At the basis of the experiment was the generally accepted finding that semantic and articulatory information becomes available at different rates for pictures and words. Categorization of an object or word is a task that requires access to semantic information; naming requires access to articulatory information. Thus, the rate of kanji access meaning and pronunciation was tested in comparison with the rate at which photographs access verbal and semantic codes.
It was found that when Japanese children read kanji they access the phonetic code prior to the semantic code. Alphabet-habituated, second-language learners of Japanese at the beginner and advanced levels of mastering kanji have equal access to the verbal and semantic information in reading kanji; the second-language learners at the intermediate level process the phonetic code prior to the semantic. However, in a questionnaire concerning kanji, the second-language learners of Japanese found the semantic aspect of kanji to be far more important than the pronunciation of the particular character. Linguistic and psychological realities do not always match.
It was concluded that it is not the nature of the kanji but rather the familiarity with the script that determines the cognitive strategies employed in reading a word. Suggestions were made about the teaching of Japanese script to second-language learners.


Techniques and Strategies for Teaching Culture in Japanese Classrooms

HIJIRIDA Kyôko (University of Hawaii, U.S.A.)
Diane Uyetake (Punahou School, U.S.A. )

The history of teaching Japanese language in a school curriculum in the United States is relatively short, and while teachers presently employ a number of good culture teaching methods, a greater variety of techniques and strategies have been developed and used by European language teachers.
Adapting some of these strategies, this study gives examples of how Japanese language teachers can help students internalize the process of language learning by way of cultural interaction. In this paper twenty-two strategies and techniques for teaching Japanese culture, with explanations of usage, and some applications are given.
Teachers can make a world of difference in helping students increase empathy for greater cultural understanding. Equipped with a rich collection of culture teaching strategies and techniques to employ in their classroom, they help to raise the students' level of consciousness and proficiency as well as internalize Japanese language learning through culture.


Language and Culture Learning with "Kyoto, Nara: Hyper-Travel"

HIRATA Kayoko (Japanese Program, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences,
California Institute of Technology, U.S.A.
)

This article introduces "Kyooto, Nara: Hyper-Travel," a computer-assisted Japanese-learning program made by the author. The program is for students at the elementary to intermediate level of learning Japanese language and culture. In this paper, computer display-screen examples are given to illustrate how the program is used, and how its lessons are linked with a pop-up dictionary, a map, and other learning aids. (These features were made by applying Hypercard for Macintosh computers.) In addition, the usefulness of cultural learning in language study will be discussed; this program introduces historical sights in the Kyoto-Nara area, which is considered to be the cultural center of Japan.


Experience with Teaching the Japanese Language to Elementary School Children in Hungary

Ilona Kiss (Experimental Elementary School at Törökbálint, Hungary)

Japanese is taught experimentally at a Hungarian primary school as part of a reform curriculum. In the past three years, nine-to twelve-year-old children learn to read, write, and communicate in Japanese through a whole system of projects and activities. Projects include shiritori, origami, card games, songs, children's plays, nursery rhymes, encounters with Japanese children, correspondence with pen pals in Japan, cooking simple Japanese dishes, and celebrating Japanese holidays. The idea is to provide a complex cultural message through the acquisition of a second language. The school is also involved in teaching judo, folk dances, chess, computing, ikebana, and a number of unusual "school subjects."
It is clear that three groups of students have picked up Japanese with unexpected ease due to the benefits of Zsolnai's method and the support of the Japanese community worldwide. The children are taught grammatical terms and standards that are used for teaching Japanese at higher levels in two other locations in Hungary, making sure that the continuity of their studies will be secured.


Teaching Japanese at a Public High School as an ACT Teacher of the Jorden Method

KAWAI Yasushi (College of Education, University of Alabama, U.S.A.)

The Educational Exchange Program (EEP) started two years ago and has sent more than a hundred Japanese native teachers to the United States and Canada. This program provides Japanese teachers for rural institutions where such teachers are not available.
Trained as an ACT teacher of the Jorden Method, the author taught Japanese in an American public high school for one year, using Japanese: The Spoken Language (JSL) as a textbook.
The Jorden Method is the most famous method used for Japanese education in the United States. It is characterized by team teaching, speech primacy, natural talk, contextdriven drills, pedagogical grammar, primary introduction of katakana, and instruction of functional culture.
This method has been utilized primarily in intensive language training courses used to develop language professionals. When the method is used in an ordinary school setting, various problems arise. The author points out the urgent need to develop a textbook for high school students.

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