Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.2 Summaries

Contributed Theses

On the Characteristics of Passive Expressions Shown by the Function Verb Naru: Sewa ni naru, yô ni natte iru, etc.

SAWADA Naoko (Department of Japanese Studies (Linguistics), The Faculty of Letters, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan)

This paper gives special attention to the characteristics of passive expressions shown by the function verb naru and attempts to offer fuller descriptions for references in Japanese grammar and teacher' manuals for intermediate and upper level classes.
Sewa ni naru and gochisô ni naru are recognized as one type of collocation in which the function verb naru characterizes the contrast of "intransitive versus transitive" and the "lexical passive voice" by forming a pair with suru.
It became clear that this type of collocation has the same functional nature as "-te morau Benefactive " (Masuoka: 1981), so that it can be used without helping verbs of giving and receiving in the speech act of" Thanking. "
The analytically final sentential element -yo ni natte iru has the same syntactic nature in "Incorporation" as yô ni (purpose), and on analysis it is shown that the combined form of the function verb naru and -te iru makes a kind of "System of Expression" supported by the contrasting form suru + -te aru. Consequently, this analytic form is recognized as one kind of rhetorical expressive sentence pattern, which shows so-called Agent's backgrounding (typically seen in passive sentences) and Conditioncentric effect.


The Accuracy Order of Japanese Particles

YAGI Kimiko
(Graduate School of Policy Science, Saitama University, Saitama, Japan)

Many studies have been done concerning the accuracy and the acquisition orders in ESL over the last twenty years ; however, relatively few have been done in JSL. This paper reports on the accuracy order of Japanese particles, using the written data from JSL students at an American university.
All the particles used by the subjects in their compositions on a given topic are collected, and the ranges of the population mean percentages of the appropriate use of the particles are calculated, with the level of significance set at. 05. After this procedure, particles with a range under 0.2 (20 percent) are extracted and analyzed. There are seven of these: wa, no, ni, ga (case), o, ga (conj.), and kara (conj.).
It is found that in the case of the learners at the beginning intermediate level, there are three different levels of accuracy among the seven particles. Ga (conj.) and kara (conj.) are most accurately used, and ni and wa are in the second group. The last group includes ga (case). No may be in either the first group or the second group. O appears to be in the second group, but might be in the third (p< .05).
These results are consistent with Dulay and Burt's findings that the accuracy order is typically formed of groups of grammatical structures which share very close levels of accuracy, rather than a linear order (Dulay and Burt,1975).
As to the accuracy order among three of the most frequently used particles,ga (case), wa, and o, the results correspond to the findings by Doi and Yoshioka (1987): wa>o>ga (case). This paper also presents an analysis, based on functional categories, of the learners' errors in the use of ga, wa, and o.


Toward the Pedagogy of Style: Choosing between Abrupt and Formal Verb Forms in Japanese

Senko K. Maynard (Japanese Language and Linguistics, Rutgers University, U.S.A.)

This study analyzes Japanese verb morphology, da and desu/masu endings, in three genres of modern Japanese, i.e., conversation, prose, and dialogue in fiction. Advancing a step beyond the view that the choice between da and desu/masu endings depends on "styles" - such as formal versus informal, written versus spoken - I argue that motivations for the mixture of da and desu/masu endings in a single paragraph or a single speaking turn can be pragmatically explained. I conclude that the da style is selected (1) when the speaker expresses abrupt remembrance or a sudden emotional surge, (2) when the speaker takes a perspective internal to the narrative setting and immediately responds within that framework, (3) when the speaker presents background information semantically subordinate within the discourse structure, and (4) when the speaker finds the addressee close and the speaker uses a style similar to self-address. The cognitive and social source for the verb morphology in Japanese is sought in the philosophy of Watsuji and Mori which advocates the "betweenness" of self and other and, above all, the importance of "thou."
Based on the findings of this study, I conclude that a simplistic approach to maintaining the principle of stylistic consistency is satisfactory only for elementary level students. For intermediate and advanced students, discussing the discourse manipulation of the stylistic mixture is both useful and intellectually stimulatting. Above all, the importance of the synergy of linguistic research and its pedagogical application is emphasized.


The Use of Address Terms between Japanese Spouses

NAGURA Toshie (Nagoya Gakuin University, Aichi, Japan)

Despite their relative shortness, address terms clearly designate the degrees of politeness in the interpersonal relationship between the speaker and the addressee. It is generally accepted that the second person pronouns T and V of major European languages have come to be used on a reciprocal basis. In other words, those languages have become egalitarian languages.
In discussing Japanese honorifics, we tend to focus on factors such as status, differences in age and sex, and out-groupness, and in fact those are the factors which govern people's verbal behavior in the public domain. However, it is doubtful whether those prescriptive factors impose the same degree of constraint on the individual's verbal behavior in the private domain. Rather than the factors mentioned above, I am more interested in the underlying consciousness which works to determine the individual's linguistic behavior. In order to clarify the possibility of the egalitarian use of Japanese honorifics, I took, as a barometer, address terms exchanged between Japanese spouses.
The data required for this study, collected from questionnaires completed by l50 Japanese couples, are analyzed and discussed. The honorifics and the address system of Japanese based on Japanese social traditions are also described.


A Consideration on Teaching Kanji at the Introductory Level to Non-Kanji Area Students

Aldo Tollini (University of Pavia, Italy)

There are two problems which the teacher of Japanese often faces when teaching kanji to beginning (or intermediate) students. Both are seldom given special attention. The first is related to the difficulty that students encounter in recognizing and discriminating kanji. The second is the difficulty of reproducing kanji in the correct way and in the correct proportions.
I think that both problems have to do with the great difference between the two main writing systems: the alphabetic and the ideographic.
I tried to analyze some of the main differences between the two systems and point out the problems they cause to the learners. In short, the transition from a linear, analytical, sequential, and unidimensional system like that of the alphabet to one which is global, spatial, bidimensional, and complex like that of the kanji is surely a source of perplexity for the student coming from a non-ideographic environment.
In the teaching process, it is advisable to give students a propaedeutic series of exercises aimed at familiarizing them with pattern recognition. In the last part of the paper, a number of ad hoc sample exercises are provided.


Toward the Development of a Teachers' Training Program in Thailand

IKUTA Mamoru (The Japan Foundation Bangkok Language Center, Thailand)

Japanese-language education has been expanding yearly in Thailand. With the increase of learners, each institution has been increasingly concerned with the recruitment and "brush-up" of teachers. The Japan Foundation Bangkok Language Center, following this trend, has started to extend its services to the Japanese-language institutions in Thailand. In this paper, I review the center's activities, including teachers' training courses, consultation, and Japanese courses for teachers. I also discuss the present state and future development of the teachers' training program.
First, we hold a "Teachers' Training Course in Teaching Japanese" twice a year for one week each. This plays a central role in our academic program. Second, we organize a "Japanese-Language Course for Teachers," which seeks to improve the communicative abilities of Thai teachers of Japanese and revitalize their teaching. Last, we offer consultation and visiting services to various seminars in which we discuss problems of pedagogy and "feedback."
Our teachers' training program will continue to develop through the above three programs with a view to efficient application of academic knowledge of the Japanese language to actual classroom teaching. We are now endeavoring to establish syllabi for teachers' training and to provide opportunities for the improvement of teaching Japanese.


A College Course in Scientific Japanese: An Innovative Curriculum

TAGAMI Yukiko (University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan)

Described here in detail is an innovative curriculum for a college course in scientific Japanese, with its main objective, contents, and modus operandi used for many years. This curriculum, as one of its special features, is designed to serve at the same time as a fleeting introduction to traditional Japanese culture.
The curriculum was first instituted in April, 1985, at University of Tsukuba primarily for those foreign students majoring in the areas of science and technology.
Recently more and more foreign scientists and students majoring in science and technology have come to visit this country. In this respect, the present paper, which describes seven years of constant renewal and enrichment of the original curriculum, will no doubt provide many suggestions for the problems in establishing truly useful as well as systematic curricula for the Japanese-language education of those foreign visitors specializing in science and technology.


Classroom Analysis Procedures for Teachers' Self-Development

SAITA Izumi (Tohoku University, Miyagi, Japan)

This paper proposes three procedures for analyzing Japanese language classrooms. Although all three approaches mentioned here somehow adopt "contrasting conversation technique," which Fanselow (1988) developed, they are much easier to put into practice than the original Fanselow version. That is because the techniques presented in this paper focus on finding out the teacher's belief on language teaching and put little emphasis on describing what is actually going on in Japanese language classrooms.
The proposed approaches are as follows:

  1. 1.Utilizing the findings through watching VTR of the class performance.
  2. 2.Utilizing one's own lesson plan as a reflecting mirror to find out one's belief on language education.
  3. 3.Observing one's own class performance after having considered one's belief on education by answering a questionnaire.

EE The author regards it as indispensable to grasp one's belief and his/her teaching style objectively to improve one's teaching, as well as to cope with the diversity of learners.


Interactive Competence of Learners of Japanese in an Authentic Situation: A Case Study of a "Visitor Session" at Monash University

MURAOKA Hidehiro (Monash University, Australia)

There is a strong trend in teaching Japanese as a second language to go beyond traditional classroom situations in order to increase the amount of authentic interaction. However, our knowledge about the behavior of learners and native Japanese speakers in such situations is still extremely limited.
This paper deals with "visitor sessions," which can be regarded as a type of authentic situation. Learners' interactive competence was analyzed by means of learners' comments and analysis of recordings of visitor sessions.
The paper concludes that (l) learners' attitudes toward the visitor sessions were positive, even though their interactive competence was rather lower than expected, (2) the effectiveness of using authentic situations in a course was confirmed, and (3) the topic of conversation management should be stressed more in the syllabus. Management skills should be studied not only from the point of view of the learner, but also with regard to the reaction of native speakers to non-native speakers' management in contact situations.


A Longitudinal Case Study on Learning Japanese as a Second Language

MATSUDA Yumiko and SAITO Shun'ichi (Niigata University, Niigata, Japan)

A longitudinal case study was carried out to examine how a foreign adult learner learns Japanese as a second language. In study 1, a conceptual framework for an utterance was proposed on the basis of error analysis of two cases. Utterances were classified into three types: (l) automatic, (2) controlled, (3) quitted. Furthermore, cognitive strategies mainly used in each type were analyzed. The cognitive strategy in the automatic utterance was to produce the utterance in implicitly hypothesizing the structure of the target language. The strategy in the controlled utterance was to monitor and repair the utterance from the perspective of the target language. In study 2, the use of case particles (e. g.,ga,o, ni, etc.), which are very important for the novice learning Japanese, was examined in order to delineate the cognitive strategies.
It was found that some particles were frequently omitted or mischosen in the automatic utterance. This result shows that the novice used the strategy of implicitly hypothesizing the structure of the target language. The omission was persistent in the cognitive strategy of meaning-dominant type of target language in language production.


Development of a CAI System for Japanese-Language Learning on Television News

SUZUKI Yoko (International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan)
YOKOTA Atsuko (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan)
TAKAGI Hiroko (Kansai University of Foreign Studies, Osaka, Japan)
ISHIMOTO Sugao and NAGUMO Yaeko (International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan)

Based on "Development of Course-ware for Japanese-Language Learning on Television News: Selection and Organization of Learning Items," this study continues to develop a CAI system in this area. Television news broadcasts are presented by video, and vocabulary, example sentences, and exercises are presented on computer display together with audio presentation.
The material consists of one shot of a television news broadcast, simplified news recorded by an instructor, vocabulary learning, expression learning, and structure learning. This material is designed to practice listening comprehension of television news through the completion of several lessons.


Designing a Japanese-for-Specific-Purpose Course: Putting Theory into Practice

Elizabeth A. Mulvihill (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

Writing English-for-Specific-Purpose-Courses is commonplace in English language teaching these days. You need only look at the plethora of material available in any publisher's catalogue. Writing Japanese-for-Specific-Purpose Courses, however, is not quite as common-place.
This paper describes two Japanese-for-Specific-Purpose (JSP) courses commissioned by Qantas Airways Limited in 1988 for their ground staff employees: one for reservation staff(RSAs and PSAs), the other for airport ground staff (PAs). These two courses were developed within the framework of Language-for-Specific-Purpose (LSP) theory and course design.
They serve as one example of putting theory into practice.


The Use of Teaching Assistants in Japanese Language Teaching

J. V. Neustupny (Monash University, Australia)

This paper deals with the category of teaching assistants within the framework of Japanese language teaching. The author claims that the use of teaching assistants represents a most progressive trend that should further be emphasized, both in classroom teaching and in course components that take place outside the classroom. The category of teaching assistant is defined, and variation among teaching assistants and various aspects of their use are given attention. Teaching assistants should act under the guidance and supervision of qualified teachers. Suitable forms of training of both teaching assistants and the teachers who make use of them should be developed. The paper provides a list of activities in which teaching assistants can be used.

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