Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.13 Summaries

Contributed Theses

Membership Category in “multicultural dialogue activity” of Local Residents: An Ethno Methodological Analysis

SUGIHARA Yumi (Graduate Student, Ochanomizu University)

The increase in cross border movement of multiethnic people has brought about a surge in the number of foreign residents living in Japan. To cope with the sudden increase in foreign residents, various Japanese-language support activities have been on the increase since the 1990s. More recently, activities aimed at mutual accommodation like problem sharing via dialogue, which involves the participation of both Japanese local residents and foreign residents, are on the rise.
This is contrary to the usual practice of interaction where the Japanese are the teachers and foreign participants the learners. In this study, I focus on interaction in a multicultural dialogue activity by local residents to reach some points for review.
The aim of this research is to find out how the participants can establish a more diverse relationship that is not only based on an individual’s nationality. I use conversation analysis as a method of research and analyze how members categorize, identify, and describe themselves and others when talking. I also analyze the reason for the categorization and what maintains the categorization till the end of interaction.
The results of this resarch are as follows:

  1. 1.Categories of “Japanese / foreigner” and “family” and “sex” were evident.
  2. 2.These categories were the result of question and answer interaction. Especially, “ marked nationality category question” caused and maintained the “Japanese / foreigner” category pair.
  3. 3.Another reason that led to the surfacing of the “Japanese / foreigner” category was when the Japanese explained anything associated with the Japanese language. To explain Japanese on the assumption that Japanese people are the sole authority on the language causes and maintains the “Japanese / foreigner” category.
    These results give us concrete suggestions as to how we can maintain diversity in relationships in a multicultural dialogue activity.

Effects of Mnemonics on Immediate and Delayed Recalls of Hiragana by Learners of Japanese as a Foreign Language

MATSUNAGA Sachiko (California State University, Los Angeles)

This paper reports a study which investigated the short-term and long-term effects of picture and sound mnemonics on remembering hiragana by learners of Japanese as a foreign language (FL). The study tested two hypotheses. One was that FL learners of Japanese, with or without prior experience in learning non-Roman scripts as their L1, would not benefit from the picture-plus-sound mnemonics on the immediate recall test. The other was that those learners without such experience (the Roman group) would benefit from these mnemonics on the delayed recall test while those learners with such experience (the non-Roman group) would not benefit.
In this study, 66 beginning learners of Japanese at an American university participated in four computer-generated tutorial sessions of 40 hiragana. In each session, one of the four sets of ten hiragana was introduced in one of the four teaching methods:(a) picture and sound mnemonics (P + S), (b) picture mnemonics (P), (c) sound mnemonics (S), and (d) flash cards (F). Each session consisted of (a) a learning phase, (b) a review phase, and (c) a self-test phase.
Each session was followed immediately by an oral interview and by recall tests two to
five days later.
The analyses of valid data from 50 participants on the self-test half supported the first hypothesis; the P + S method was effective only for the Roman group. The analyses of valid data from 45 participants on the delayed recall test also half supported the second hypothesis; the P + S method was not effective for either group. The results from both tests are discussed in relation to a previous study (Quackenbush, Nakajo, Nagatomo, and Tawada, 1989) and transfer of L1 script recognition strategies (Chikamatsu, 1996; Koda, 1989; Mori, 1998). In addition, an observation is made as to why the P + S method was effective, and future studies are suggested.

Implications of Representations of Casual Conversation: A Case Study in Gender-Associated Sentence Final Particles

KAWASAKI Kyoko (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Melbourne)
Kirsty McDougall (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Cambridge)

One of the key features by which Japanese speakers traditionally denote separate men’s and women’s languages is sentence final particles (SFPs). In recent years it appears that female speakers are shifting from using the traditional feminine forms to neutral and even masculine forms, whilst in Japanese language textbooks a more traditional, gender-specific portrayal of language is maintained. This study compares the distribution of gender-associated SFPs in Japanese language textbook dialogues with that in natural conversation across several age groups, to investigate the extent to which Japanese teaching materials reflect actual spoken language. Female characters in the textbooks examined used feminine SFPs more often than real female speakers from all age groups, indicating that textbooks are promoting a more traditional and stereotypical view of women’s language. In the natural conversation data, the younger the age group, the smaller was the number of feminine SFPs used, with the youngest group’s usage of SFPs actually resembling that of male characters in the textbooks. It is argued that the discrepancy found between Japanese language as presented in foreign language textbooks and as spoken in Japanese society has significant implications for Japanese language teaching.

Personal Narratives Spoken by Japanese Native Speakers: The Functions of “tara/soshitara” and the Motives for Using Them in Discourse

KATO Yoko (Graduate Student, the University of Tokyo)

This study deals with the discourses that describe the past personal experience (hereinafter“ personal narratives”) spoken by Japanese native speakers. A total of approximately 125 minutes of television talk show programs were analyzed. Among several connectives that appear in the personal narratives, this study focuses on “tara” and “soshitara,” which were the second most frequent connectives after te forms that appeared in the transcripts. This study aims to investigate their functions and the motives of their use.
First, the syntactic and semantic features of “tara/soshitara” are sketched. Then, “tara/soshitara” is classified into four usages based on the results of previous studies. The four usages, namely, “hakken” (discovery), “hatsugen” (emersion), “hannoh” (reaction), and “renzoku” (sequential actions), are examined in terms of the information structure, that is, foreground and background in discourse.
This study concludes that the most important motive for using “tara/soshitara” in personal narratives is to describe simultaneously a proposition and express the speaker’s evaluation (i.e., “unexpectedness”), which is derived from the syntactic and semantic features of “tara/soshitara.”

The Difference of Motivation between Korean Learners of Japanese as Second Language and Japanese as Foreign Language

LEE Su hyang (Graduate Student, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)

The purpose of this study is to clarify the relationship between the motivation for learning Japanese; factors intensifying the motivation, such as learning strategy and perceived attainment; and experiential factors, such as the experience and length of a learner’s stay in Japan and the experience of visiting Japan. Subjects of the study were 139 Learners of Japanese as a Second Language (JSLLs) in Japan and 164 Learners of Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFLLs) in Korea. All subjects were Korean. Results showed that the motivation of JFLLs was higher than that of JSLLs. However, the JSLLs’ perceived attainment of their ability in Japanese, which is a factor that intensifies motivation, was higher than that of the JFLLs. It was also suggested that experiential factors strengthened motivation indirectly by influencing perceived attainment. The most important difference between JSLLs’ and JFLLs’ motivation was the tendency among JSLLs to have a feeling of self-efficacy, which lead to the maintenance of their motivation. We discuss in this study the need to provide an environment that is similar to that of JSLLs, which promotes a feeling of self-efficacy for JFLLs, so as to maintain high motivation.

Additional Bilingualism and a Supporting Classroom: The Power Relation between Languages (L1 and L2) in Society

HARA Mizuho (Graduate School, Ochanomizu University)

Japanese-language education for school students in a multilingual environment is different from that for adults in that teachers should be aware that the students are still developing their first language (L1) and cognitive competence. To students, language encourages their cognitive development as well as plays a communication role. Therefore, it is important to have an additional bilingualism perspective, which tries to keep L1 in addition to Japanese-language acquisition. According to Landry & Allard (1992), students are inclined to become monolingual in case the social status of L1 is low and there is a big gap between L1 and predominant language in the society. They also pointed out that creating a classroom environment in which students can find their L1 important is the key to success in additional bilingualism. However, there is a tendency for the structure of society to be reproduced in the school classroom (Wilcox 1982), and the interaction between participants shows the power relation between languages (L1 and L2) in the society and conveys it as messages (Martin-Jones 1995). This study tries to clarify the power relation between two languages and messages transmitted among participants by way of interpersonal interactions in a communitybased bilingual support class based on the philosophy of additional bilingualism in Japan, for the purpose of exploring the possibility of realizing additional bilingualism. This bilingual classroom involves mostly shifting languages and using interpretation. As an observed result, two languages are used equally in the support class. In the end, the study indicates the relationship that “society provides schools/classrooms” is not firm, but it is possible to create a new relationship in a classroom.

Speech Levels of Aizuchi and Their Shifts: Differences between Native Japanese and Korean Learners of Japanese

NAITO Mariko (Lecturer Japan-Malaysia Consortium for Higher Education)

In this paper, I have investigated speech levels of aizuchi and their level shifts in Japanese conversation among native Japanese and advanced-level Korean learners of Japanese who study outside Japan.
Native Japanese speech levels are mostly fixed in casual style, while those of Korean learners are not fixed. Moreover, although the level shifts that take place among native Japanese only occurred slightly at the beginning of conversations and at the conclusion of each unit of discourse, such features were not found among Korean learners.

Clothing Verbs in Japanese, Chinese, English, Swedish, and Marathi: A Contrastive Study

TOHNO Takayuki (Graduate Student, Kobe University)
LU Renmei (Graduate Student, Kobe University)

The present study is a typological-contrastive study of clothing verbs in Japanese, Chinese, English, Swedish, and Marathi.
The reason for choosing clothing verbs is the well-known fact in the field of Japanese language pedagogy that they are difficult for non-native speakers of Japanese to master.
This paper addresses the following two crucial issues:

  1. (1)Japanese and Chinese use different verbs in accordance to type of clothing, while English, Swedish, and Marathi are immune to this distinction, using the same verb irrespective of type of clothing.
  2. (2)With regards to morphological encoding of clothing verbs, Japanese and Marathi behave alike, using verbs (V) alone, while English, Chinese, and Swedish share a common pattern of using a concatenation of verb and particle (V+ P). The aforementioned similarities and differences are not accidental but rather systematic as tabulated below.
  Verb-framed language Satellite-framed language
Presence of primary vs.
secondary distinction
(Goal/body part distinction
also lexicalized)
Absence of primary vs.
secondary distinction
Marathi English,Swedish

(A) Japanese and Chinese classify clothing into two groups: primary and secondary, the former being more intimately related than the latter for day-to-day life. In addition to the foregoing distinction, Japanese further makes a fine-grained distinction in terms of the destination (body part) of the clothing in question. English, Swedish, and Marathi, on the other hand, shy away from a such distinction.
(B) The distinction of “verb-framed” vs. “satellite-framed” languages proposed in the linguistic typological literature is reflected in the encoding of clothing verbs. Canonical verb-framed languages, like Japanese and Marathi, use verbs alone (e.g., kiru), while prototypical satellite-framed language, such as English, Chinese, and Swedish, use a concatenation of verb plus satellite (e.g., put on).

A Study of the Communicative Function of ~ teageru

YAMAMOTO Hiroko (Lecturer, Nagoya Women’s University)

This paper attempts to describe the function of “~ teageru” from the point of view of communication.
~ teageru” has the following four functions: 1) It can indicate the speaker’s recognition that the actor is psychologically superior to the receiver; 2) it can indicate the speaker’s recognition that the actor feels close to the receiver; 3) the speaker is especially involved in the subject matter, perhaps as a specialist in the field; and 4) it can indicate the speaker’s feeling of support for others who work hard.
The first two functions both serve to adjust the relationship of giver and receiver in terms of benefit. The other two functions, on the other hand, serve to indicate the speaker’s recognition of the situation and his or her position.
These differences in function cause “~ teageru” to have two pragmatic traits. One is that it can indicate that the actor is superior to the benefit receiver. The other is that “~ teageru” cannot be used, because of the speaker’s focus. Furthermore, through conversation using “~ teageru,” both speaker and listener build a base for communication together by indicating the way each thinks about the other.

A Study on tokorode

KATO Rie (Lecturer, Kagoshima Immaculate Heart University)

This paper aims to analyze tokorode. It shows that tokorode is a concessive expression that reflects the aspect of the verb preceding it and relates this meaning to other structural characters of this expression. For example, negation tends to be used in the main clause and the subordinate clause cannot be repeated. This paper also shows differences between temo and tokorode. They cannot replaced each other when the event of the subordinate clause is compared with other events.

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