Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.3 Summaries

Contributed Theses

Patterns in News Broadcasting and Their Application to the Teaching of Japanese

OKAZAKI Shizuko (School of Business and Commerce, Tokyo International University)

The writer recorded NHK radio news broadcasts four times a day, during August 1989 and March l99l, and made scripts from parts of the recording. The purpose was to consider how effetively news materials could be introduced and utilized in Japanese classes.
Based on the analysis of the scripts, in l99l a syllabus for vocabulary lessons was created for foreign students at BEKKA of Tokyo International University, and experimental lesson material for listening practice was prepared and used for foreign students studying at Tokyo International University.
Analysis of the test scores during a one year period showed the favorable effect of incorporating news patterns and vocabulary in the classroom.
This article first considers the patterns and unique radio news vocabulary and then suggests ways of using radio news broadcasting as material for teaching Japanese.

Exploratory Japanese Language at Middle School: Foreign Language Selection and Learning Outcome

SHIMIZU Ritsu (Japanese Language Teacher, Shaler Middle School, U.S.A.)

In public schools in the United States, the foreign language exploration/experience (FLEX) program has a long history, with an ebb-and-flow tidal phenomenon in practice. Along with the emergence of the Japanese language in the high school foreign language curriculum in the United States, it is apparent that a gradual top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top curriculum expansion has been taking place.
This paper focuses on Japanese language in the FLEX program, offered in the first year in a suburban middle school, progressing to a formal sequential Japanese language course establishment. An examination of the learners' selection of a foreign language after their participation in the FLEX program has revealed that the initiation of formal Japanese language courses and their solidification as viable subjects in school curricula,(without referring to curricular evaluative measurements) are affected by such variables as the following: curriculum policy decision by school administrators, support by other foreign language teachers, community residents' interest, learner characteristics, and the availability of competent teachers. These variables are intertwined in the establishment and implementation of Japanese courses.
A side from such external elements, the learning outcome of the seventh grade students is articulated in behavioral terms in three areas: affective domain (achieving general education goals): oral activities ; and kanji learning. Thus, this article provides a glimpse of surrounding educational environments and a middle school FLEX classroom specific to Japanese language instruction.

The Role of Nonlinguistic Clues in Inferencing in L2 Listening Comprehension

UMINO Tae (The Graduate School of Languages, and Linguistics, Sophia University Japan)

Researchers and teachers may be intuitively aware of the need for L2 learners to develop their ability to infer the overall meaning of the speaker's utterance from nonlinguistic sources such as the physical environs or the speaker's facial expressions. To develop this ability, video materials are frequently used.
However, although such intuitions are probably correct, not much systematic attention has been paid to the kinds of information in the environment one needs to look for that make inferring possible, nor to how we might instruct the learner to use this information. This is partly due to the lack of empirical studies of the kinds of information L2 learners actually use in their inferencing processes and of the factors that determine the ways in which learners use this information.
The present paper is an attempt to uncover the inferencing procedures of L2 learners of Japanese in listening to conversation along with the classes of clues used in its process. In the study, two groups of subjects of different linguistic proficiency levels draw inferences from the lines contained in the popular video series "Yan and the Japanese People" (produced by the Japan Foundation) and report their thought processes and the "clues" they have used through immediate retrospection.
The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the reported clues indicated that the number and type of clues that the subjects used are determined by the linguistic proficiency levels of the subjects and by the effectiveness of inferencing. This also seemed to result from the differences in approaches of the two groups. Through the comparison of number and type of clues reported by the two groups of subjects and their different procedures to inferencing, some roles of the nonlinguistic clues in L2 inferencing are discussed. Some pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research are also touched upon.

Designing Tasks for Learner-Centered Teaching: Suggestions for Meaningful Tasks

OHASHI Jun and OHASHI Hiroko (The Scottish Centre for Japanese Studies, The University of Stirling, United Kingdom)

Based on two surveys implemented in English-speaking countries (U.K. and New Zealand) concerning teaching materials, the authors point out that there is a great demand for supplementary materials which enable the teacher to further his/her personal teaching techniques.
First, activities and tasks of some popular textbooks are observed and a comparison is made of what teachers need with what the textbooks offer, and how the gap can be narrowed is discussed.
Secondly, the importance of "process" as the central priority, which should be taken into consideration when designing activities, in teaching/learning the language, is stressed.
Then, four criteria are established in order to evaluate activities. These are:

  1. 1.Do the learners have a real need to act their roles?
  2. 2.Are the learners practically solving their problems or merely taking their assigned Parts?
  3. 3.Do they use the language because they need to or just because they are assigned the role?
  4. 4.How likely is it that they will become policemen, hotel receptionist, attendants at rental shops and so forth?

And also two types of tasks are presented comparatively to uncover problematic features.
The definitions of "meaningfulness" and "communicative" are discussed. Learner-centered teaching where the learner's decision-making and experience are primarily taken into account, and meaningful tasks are sought.
Finally, it is pointed out that formal teaching which aims at the learner's conscious learning cannot be ignored in order to consolidate what the learner has learnt and to increase the efficiency of language teaching and learning.

American Pedagogy, Japanese Cultural Expertise: A Hybrid Distance Learning Model for Teaching Japanese to Americans

Gerald A. Knezek.(Department of Computer Education and Congnitive Systems, University of North Texas, U.S.A.)
MIYASHITA Keiko T. (Department of Systems Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Greg Jones (Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Instructional Technology, University of Texas at Austin,U.S.A.)
Angela Bills (Department of Computer Education and Congnitive Systems, University of North Texas, U.S.A.)

Results are presented for a two-year study of alternative facilitator modes used with Japanese language courses delivered by the satellite-based TI-IN distance learning system in the United States during 1990-92. In 1990-91, secondary school students at an experimental site in the Texas Center for Educational Technology were provided with four modes of local site course facilitation, varying from no content or teaching expertise to a native Japanese speaker leading local conversation based upon lesson plans provided by the distance learning teacher. During 1991-92, the progress of one of the original four students was followed through the second year of Japanese, which utilized a "normal" TI-IN model of instruction and local facilitation. Student and facilitator ratings, interviews with students, facilitators, and the instructor, and performance data were analyzed to produce major findings.

Applying New Methods to Support Communicative Language Teaching

Otto Maderdonner (Professor, BHAK Wien 22, Austria)

The present paper deals with teaching Japanese to teenagers within the framework of secondary education in Austria. Instruction is based on the guidelines of the general curriculum which aims at communicative competence in three dimensions: code competence, knowledge of the target culture and attitudinal values. As these dimensions are to be developed simultaneously, both teaching material and course design have to meet these standards.
Besides cultural information and development of positive attitudes, a communicative approach requires a wide array of structure and vocabulary. As the volume of language material introduced at the same time is generally larger than in grammar-based methods, additional support must be provided. It is most effectively given by recent methods, such as Total Physical Response, Suggestopedia, and associative techniques for character learning.
All these approaches aim at providing multi-sensory input through vision, audition and movement to ensure high motivation and long-term recall. A silent initial period helps to build early competence by understanding and acting out commands the teacher gives. Early introduction of the script through NLP visualization techniques also accelerates learning speed. Later, four-phase suggestopedic presentation and a variety of follow-up activities maintain the playful atmosphere which motivates students to put the language to communicative use in the classroom.

Issues in Developing a Program for Japanese Language Teacher Training

James H. Cook (Lecturer in Japanese Language Studies, Australian Catholic University, Australia)

Japanese language learning has boomed during the last few years in Australia, creating a greater demand for teachers of Japanese. In response to this need, teacher training programs have to be planned and developed. This paper looks at some of the issues and problems that should be considered by teacher educators when they are creating and establishing a Japanese language teacher training program. The setting of this examination is within a pre-service Bachelor of Education degree, a Diploma of Education course, or a conversion course for teachers who are upgrading their qualifications at university. The paper looks at issues and problems associated with basic assumptions, aims, and methods of Japanese language teacher training programs, and notes the effects of the type of student, the location of a program, the duration of a course, the availability of resources, and the educational approach used by the teaching institution upon the development and operation of a program. The article also examines distance education and makes some suggestions about satellite courses networking, and apprentice-style learning modes.

Language-as-Resource for Whom? Foreign Language Planning in Higher Education: Its Goal and Implementation

IINO Masakazu (Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)

It seems that issues involved with ethnic languages have attracted wide investigation in the academic field, while relatively little research has been conducted on the issues of foreign languages in the United States.
It is true that today English is recognized as a world language in most spheres of business and diplomacy. Therefore, it is not a difficult task to explain why English-speaking Americans traditionally have a low incentive to learn foreign languages, when English is considered internationally as a lingua franca and a language in power. However, there has been an emergent nation-wide trend and a growing awareness among "policy makers" for the past decade that "internationalization" is an urgent issue for the American education system and that foreign language education is the key to actualize that cherished goal. The University of Pennsylvania (PENN) is not an exception. The provost's council on international programs has recently released the "International Mission Statement of the University of Pennsylvania" as one of the on-going efforts of internationalization situated in the University's Five Year Plan which was established back in the fall of 1988.
In this paper, I would like to attempt to clarify the position of foreign language education in the United States and then look into the current situation of PENN, particularly its Japanese language program as a case study.
The points I attempt to raise in this paper are the following two: l) more attention must be paid to directing foreign language (FL)'s ontological position in a larger social setting ; 2) an adequate allocation of resources should be considered.

The Background and Form of "Ga" and "Wa" : From the Viewpoints of Cognition and Expression

CHUNG Sung Yeo (Hyoryung Senior High School and Taegu Junior College, Korea)

In this paper I analyzed and described the usage, meaning, background and form of meaning of the particles, "ga" and "wa."
The methods of analysis used were Gestalt Psychology and the human inner cognition accepted in pre-language. From the view points of cognition and expression, I tried to find the natural features which have not been solved from the usage of "ga" and "wa" in sentence structure and context.
The results can be summarized into these five facts:

  1. 1. "ga" and "wa" have the following co-occurrence forms in the noun phrase and the predicate. Of course, it can be decided by the constraints of time and space in the time of utterance:
    • Concrete, Individual Noun Phrase---the momentary state and act, or
    • Conceptional (Abstract), Generic Noun Phrase ---the stable state and attribute.
  2. 2.The development from "ga" to "wa" coincides with that of psychological philosophy. That is, Cognition-->Synthesis-->Episteme-->Concept.
  3. 3. "Wa" works in two ways ; one is "inward" and the other is "outward," on the basis of inward. By them the usage of "wa" is divided into "attributive theme," "contrastive theme of incompatible" and "contrastive theme of compatible."
  4. 4. "Ga" is used in the objective description and "wa" in the subjective description. In a "~wa~ga~" sentence, the usage of " ga " is restricted by that of "wa." It chooses " neutral description " in " contrastive theme of incompatible " and " take-out " in "attributive theme." The contrastive features of "wa" result from the polarity of "take-out" and from the negative and antonymy of "marked of theme."
  5. 5."~Wa~ga~" sentences are related in the background and form. Verb sentences without "wa" have the concept of time and space in the background and, at the same time, is considered a theme.

On the Grammatical Functions of the Ru-form of Predicate Verbs: Its Relation to Result-Potential Expressions

ZHANG Wei (Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University, Japan)

This paper proposes a new class of expressions called the result-potential and attempts to give it a theoretical basis. It takes a different point of view from previous research, and analyzes the grammatical functions of the ru-form by looking at its relationship to result-potential meaning.
The result-potential is defined as a class of expressions revealing whether, as a result of the actor's having performed an action with the intention to bring about a change of state, that intention can be realized as intended or not.
The paper shows that any verb capable of expressing achievements can be a result-potential expression. Based on this fact, it is proposed that the ru -form of Japanese predicate verbs is capable of expressing the result-potential meaning.

Description of Meaning of the Form "Darooka"

JUNG Sang Cheol (Department of Japanese Studies (Linguistics), The Faculty of
Letters, Osaka University, Japan

In this paper, we discuss the form "darooka" from the point of view of the theory of communication, and analyze the following points.
First, we propose the classification of the form "darooka" by the theory of its prototypes in order to investigate the continuum found between declarative sentences and interrogative sentences.
Type of Question

  1. 1.self-directed question,
  2. 2.quiz-question,
  3. 3.judgment question,
  4. 4.indirect question

Type of Statement

  1. 1.exclamation,
  2. 2.irony,
  3. 3.indirect statement,
  4. 4.uncertain component

Next, we describe the differences between the two types according to the above classification.

On Noun Sentence Construction: An Attempt at Discourse Analysis

SHIMAMORI Reiko (University of Lyon III, France)

The core of noun sentence construction is a noun predicate which is composed of a noun and da. Until now, these types of sentence have been studied principally with regard to their semantic features. However, if we examine this question at discourse level, we can give a coherent explanation to no da sentences by making a parallel between that construction and the noun sentence construction.
The following is a new classification of noun sentences based upon the notion of "focus" and "presupposition," two principal factors of a discourse grammar: l) "focus sentences," 2) "extensive-focus sentences," 3) "pointed-focus sentences," 4) "double-focus sentences" and 5) "non-focus sentences." The first type of sentences has no presupposition and the sentence as a whole gives new information ; in the second type of sentence, the speaker adds new information to old information ; the third one gives precise new information missing in the presupposition ; in the fourth type of sentence, both theme and theme give new information, and the last type is characterized by a repetition of one and same old information in both theme and theme that gives confirmation.
This classification enables us to interpret correctly, at discourse level, the structure of so-called unagi-sentences, which has been hotly debated from different syntactical view points. Various meanings of no da sentences can also be explained systematically by this classification, namely "explanation," "emphasis," "confirmation," and so on, which have been simply enumerated one after another without any relation between them.
This paper is an essay at discourse analysis of noun sentence construction.

Absolute and Relative Honorifics: A Japanese- Korean Contrastive Study

PAEK Dong Sun (Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University, Japan)

It is usually said that Japanese has relative honorifics and Korean has absolute honorifics. That is correct as a rule. There are many usages, however, that we cannot explain by a general rule. So many extra expressions are observed not only in traditional but also in current usages.
The phenomena of relative honorifics in Korean are typically found in family-honorifics, that is, in conversations among family members. Such usages of relative honorifics are traditional ones. But, relative honorifics are also observed when the speaker is a family member and the listener is an outsider, although in such cases, absolute honorifics are traditionally the norm.
On the other hand, a typical example of absolute honorifics in Japanese is the Imperial family-honorifics (Koshitsu-keigo), which has succeeded the traditional feature of absolute honorifics. In Japanese, however, absolute honorifics are often observed in current usages. They appear in everyday language in new variations and as new tendency.
Japanese as well as Koreans are not bound by the traditional norm of honorific behaviour. They use honorifics as occasion calls. In the long run, honorifics will be accepted as the expression of personal relationships and situations, rather than social status. As a point of contrast, however, Korean usages lay emphasis on social status, and Japanese ones on personal relationships.

Correspondence Between Initial Consonants in Modern Sino- Japanese and Modern Standard Chinese Character Readings, and Their Historical Origins

Enju Norris (Faculty of Education, Griffith University, Australia)

Although the writing system and the readings of characters in the Japanese language was originally borrowed from Chinese, current readings of many characters in both languages are surprisingly different even with due regard to the difference in phonological systems of the two languages. This causes confusion to students of Japanese and Chinese. Such differences are partly due to the fact that the Sino-Japanese readings are a mixture of Go-on and Kan-on (Go and Kan readings). The existence of two readings as the major strata in Sino-Japanese is due to the fact that most Japanese borrowing from Chinese took place from two different dialect areas at two different historical periods. Also there is confusion arising from the arbitrary choice among Go and Kan readings in modern Sino-Japanese. And even if one sorts out this confusion, there still remains a marked lack of simple correspondences between Modern Sino-Japanese (MSJ) readings and their Modern Standard Chinese (MSC) counterparts, which demands linguistic explanation. Such an explanation was found by examining the ancestors of the two modern languages as they were at the time when the loans from Chinese into Japanese took place. The lack of simple correspondences is due in part to phonological adjustments made at the time of the borrowing, and in part of subsequent phonological changes in the lines of development leading to MSJ and MSC.
This paper addresses a problem of a synchronic-comparative nature that is bound to suggest itself to any student of modern Chinese and Japanese: how to make sense of the seemingly unsystematic phonetic correspondences, especially in initial consonants, between the two languages. Though it seeks to solve this problem by examining the associated diachronic facts, it has a pragmatic concern and a present relevance that are generally lacking in existing historical linguistic studies.

On the Stylistic Function of Japanese Script

Evgeni V. Mayevski (Institute of Asian and African Countries, Moscow State University, Russia)

The writing system of Japanese is so complex and permissive that one and the same word or sentence often can be written in more than one way, taking the opportunities provided by various forms of the same kanji, various combinations of kanji and kana, and various typefaces and handwritings. The purpose of the article is to show that the choice between the possible notations of a speech unit is not arbitrary, if not always conscious. The difference in notation tends to be interpreted as a difference in meaning, as a kind of aura or flavor that usually is described as stylistic. It is suggested that the relatively new field of research that deals with such means of expression existing solely in script and not paralleled in speech be called graphostylistics, with a subdivision into orthographic stylistics (a part of linguistics proper) and calligraphic stylistics (a part of paralinguistics). The necessity is stressed of explaining these phenomena when teaching Japanese to foreigners. An attempt is made at describing stylistic connotations of the use of various notations (standard and nonstandard kanji, kanji vs. kana, hiragana vs. katakana) in terms of such semantic oppositions as old: new, basic: derived, soft: hard, inner: outer, Yin: Yang and the like.

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