Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.18 Summaries

The academic papers section

The New Role of Native Japanese Speaking Teachers in Asia ―From the View Point of Nativeness and Japaneseness―

(Graduate student, Waseda University・Lecturer, Tokyo University)

Asia is of growing importance for Japan and Japanese language education. A feature of this is the high level of Japanese language education conducted by non―native teachers. The goal of this study is to examine how future native speaking teacher roles should be fulfilled. Semi―structured interviews were conducted with experts from Japanese language education institutions in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Russia and were analyzed utilizing Grounded Theory. It was established through this that expectations regarding teaching ability, humanity and internationality among native speaking teachers are almost equal and that“Nativeness” and “Japaneseness” can be considered as background to this. Native speakers are generally associated with positive value as the personification of language standards. “Japaneseness” was incorporated from the term“Whiteness”and is a concept that comprises structural privileges for groups not included in these. This disposition is not something that native speaking teachers have acquired through choice but in an Asia where relations with Japan are complex, “Nativeness” tends to be associated with categorical correctness and bound together with “Japaneseness.” In some cases, this causes feelings of oppression for non―native speaking teachers. In the interviews, there were many requests for “local understanding and adaptation,” “humility” and “placing significance on Japanese education.” It is possible that this arose because the development of Japanese language education in Asia relied on native speakers who were expected to take on instructive roles(Morita 1983)and that there is now an ongoing change toward coexistence and the expectation of a partnership with native speakers. Hence, it can be concluded that the new role of native speaking teachers in Asia is not only to provide their predominant “Nativeness” and “Japaneseness,” and while still maintaining these attributes, to also connect Japan and the country in which they teach as a member of the international community.

To What Extent does Knowledge of Sino-Vietnamese Words Have a Positive Effect on Japanese Learning in Native Vietnamese Speakers? ―Analogy Between Sino-Vietnamese Words and Sino-Japanese Words―

(International Student Center, Nagaoka University of Technology)
THAN Thi Kim Tuyen
(Vietnam National University Hanoi University of Foreign Language)
NGO Minh Thuy
(Vietnam National University Hanoi University of Foreign Language)
(Faculty of Law, Nagoya University)
(Nagaoka University of Technology)
MIKAMI Yoshiki
(Nagaoka University of Technology)

Although Chinese characters are not used in the Vietnamese language, Vietnamese vocabulary has many loanwords from the Chinese language (Sino- Vietnamese); and the Vietnamese language also be-longs to the cultural area of Chinese characters similar to the Korean and Japanese languages. Therefore, native speakers of Vietnamese can use their knowledge of Sino-Vietnamese as a learning strategy in the study of Japanese(Tuyen 2003). However, the extent to which Sino-Vietnamese effects the study of Japanese is not clear. In this study, in order to clarify the effect of a knowledge of Sino-Vietnamese on native Vietnamese speakers’study of Japanese, we compared the meaning of about 4000 Sino-Vietnamese compound words that include two Chinese characters among a total of 8000 words found in the Japanese language proficiency test. The result is a follows:

  1. (1) Among compound words that include two Chinese characters, 50% of all words are homogeneous or similar words.
  2. (2) Among compound words that include two Chinese characters at level 1 and level 2, the similarity rate of Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Japanese is 60%. Furthermore, the ratio of compound words that include two Chinese characters among the total number of words at level 1 is 56% and level 2 is 46%, which is markedly high.
  3. (3) For words at levels 3 and 4, the similarity rate is low
  4. (4) The similarity rate of Sino-Japanese and Sino- Vietnamese is over 60%; and the rate may be higher for academic words and lexicons. Accordingly, knowledge of Sino-Vietnamese is very useful in studying Japanese, especially, the fact that such knowledge is more useful from the intermediate level or in studying academic words or lexicons is made clear.

However, in order to clarify the effectiveness of Sino-Vietnamese on studying Japanese, it is not only necessary to conduct research on meaning, but also on the recognition of Chinese characters in the relation of phonetics and script.

Characteristics and Influences on Japanese Language Learners’Image of the Japanese ―A Comparative Analysis of Korean University Student Learners and Non- Learners―

OH Jeong-bae
(Graduate Student, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University)

The main aim of this paper is to explore images of Japanese people held by Korean university student Japanese language learners and non-learners. This study examines(1)differences in the image of the Japanese held by learners and non-learners of Japanese; and(2) the factors that influence differences in that image. Respondents were 527 Korean university undergraduate students (368 learners of Japanese and 159 nonlearners) living in Korea. In order to ascertain contemporary images of the Japanese held by respondents, a free response task was used. Respondents’reported images of the Japanese were classified into 23 categories.
First, the frequency of response among the 23 categories between learners and non-learners was compared. Findings showed that images related to personal relations were more frequent among Japanese language learners, whereas images related to Japan were less frequent compared to non-learners. Second, factors and information sources that influenced the images reported by learners and non-learners were compared. Results indicated three possible factors leading to the differences in the image of the Japanese held by learners and non-learners: knowledge obtained from Japanese language classes, personal contacts with the Japanese, and variety of information sources.
The implications of these findings suggest that Japanese language learning influences the image of the Japanese in two ways. One is direct influence from Japanese language classes and the other is indirect one from acquisition of the Japanese language that increases personal contacts with the Japanese and information sources.

An Analysis of the Request Behaviour of Japanese and Turkish Students ―Exhibiting Consideration for the Interlocutor―

(Graduate Student, Hiroshima University)
(Professor, Hiroshima University)

In this study we have investigated the similarities and dissimilarities of request behaviour of Japanese and Turkish individuals, by examining role-play conversations engaged in by Japanese and Turkish students.
The results of our investigation are as follows:(1) In Japanese, unlike Turkish, repetitions are numerous, while the actual content of the communication is limited.(2)The behaviour of the requestee is similar in Japanese and Turkish conversations, but the behaviour of the requestor was very dissimilar. Japanese speakers make direct requests, while Turkish speakers tend to repeatedly check the situation of the interlocutor, and explain in detail their own situation.(3)In Japanese conversations, even after the requestee offers‘information that would impede acceptance’of the request, the request was repeated using direct request expressions, while in Turkish conversations under similar conditions direct requests were not used.(4)With regard to the form of the request, in Japanese, direct requests were frequent, whereas in Turkish, indirect requests were preferred. (5)In Turkish, unlike Japanese, the use of confirmations and explanations of the situation were not only more numerous, but also made the expressions richer.(6)With regard to‘Thankfulness and response to after the granting of the request’, in Turkish, regular salutations were employed, while in Japanese these were infrequent, with an apparent repetition of the request and response sequence being common.
The results of the present study do not necessarily agree with what is generally thought about the behaviour of Japanese speakers. The authors believe that it is better to think of these results as highlighting one aspect of the linguistic behaviour of Japanese speakers rather than considering them as being closer to the real behaviour. Finding the connection will be an important step in making possible the smooth communication between Japanese learners and native speakers of Japanese.

Contrastive Study on a Turn−taking System for Multi−participant Discussion between Japanese and Chinese

(Graduate Student, Kyushu University)

This article examines how turn-taking is organized during a multi-participant discussion by the native speakers of Japanese and Chinese, respectively. Previous studies exhibit discrepancies between their definitions of “turn” and the meaning of “turn” observed in actual conversations. We give a new definition of “turn” and propose a new turn-taking system to observe the quantitative and qualitative differences between the two native-speaker groups.
First, the turn-taking system is classified into “selfselection” and “selection by current speaker.”The former is further classified into two categories based on whether the turn-taking takes place at TRPs (Transition Relevance Places) or non-TRPs. At TRPs “initiation by one participant” and “initiation by more than one participant” are proposed. At non-TRPs four categories are proposed: “turn-usurpation," ”failure in turn acquisition," ” parallel turns,” and “turn-insertion.” ”Parallel turns” is a new phenomenon, unidentified in previous research, in which more than one participant speaks at the same time or in which participants speak alternately within a period of time even if they are conscious of the overlap. This is only found in the Chinese data. Furthermore, since “parallel turns” and “failure in turn acquisition,” in which the current speaker does not yield the floor when interrupted, are much more frequently observed among the Chinese speakers in our data, they appear to place more value on their right to speak than on that of others. The more frequent usage of “turn-insertion” among the Japanese speakers shows that they tend to add some information to the current speaker’s utterances to show listenership. Lastly, the analysis of “selection by current speaker” reveals that the Chinese speakers are more contents-oriented who tend to use it to clarify the contents of the discussion, while the Japanese speakers are more relation-oriented who are likely to use it to ensure every participant has opportunity to speak.

What Efforts to Maintain One’s Native Language Stimulate Cognitive Development in Both Japanese and One’s Native Language ―A Study of Juvenile Native Speakers of the Chinese Language―

MU Hong
(Graduate Student, Ochanomizu University)

In this paper I have focused on the cognitive proficiency in two languages of children whose native language is Chinese and who attend elementary and junior high school in Japanese public schools, and I have attempted to examine what efforts to maintain one’s native
language stimulate cognitive development in both the native language and in the Japanese language. More specifically, after conducting OBC tests on 52 children whose native language is Chinese and conducting surveys with their parents, I have analyzed the relationship between the effort to maintain one’s native language and oral proficiency in the two languages. I have analyzed this in elementary school students and junior high school students separately. As a result, I have found that among the efforts exerted to maintain one’s native language, academic learning in the native language is the most important to the development of conversational proficiency in the two languages. This is true for both elementary and junior high school students. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that with elementary school students, in addition to academic learning in one’s native language, study of the native-language is also important. On the other hand, in the case of junior high school students, native-language study alone is not a sufficient factor in stimulating cognitive development in two languages, but that native-language academic learning is also vital. I have predicted that building the foundation of the native language as early as infancy has the potential to increase one’s cognitive proficiency in two languages.

The Influence of Groupwork Experience upon Language Learning Beliefs of Chinese Learners ―An Empirical Study Provided for Japanese Major Students of a Core Subject―

(Lecturer, Beijing Language and Culture University
Graduate Student, Ochanomizu University)

Adopting “groupwork” as its core subject, this study examined its influence upon the language learning beliefs of Chinese learners of Japanese. Language learning beliefs were analyzed using the results of questionnaires conducted before and after the implementation of groupwork. Analysis of responses given before implementing groupwork indicates that there are two aspects of the language learning beliefs of learners, which include traditional and the non-traditional points of view. Questionnaire responses before and after practice were analyzed by one-sample t-test. As a result, changes were found in 4 among 27 question items. Examination of the changes of these 4 items revealed that 2 items changed in a direction that was expected, and that 2 items changed in a way that was against expectation. This study revealed that Chinese learners are poised for groupwork if their language learning beliefs are taken into consideration when class activities are designed.

Alternation of the Object Markers "Ga" and "O" in Potential Expressions

AOKI Hiromi
(Associate Professor, Kanda University of International Studies)

There are two possibilities in the object case-marking of Japanese potential sentences; as in “Eigo ga hanaseru.” or “Eigo o hanaseru.” In textbooks for Japanese language learners, the object case-marker “ga” is generally shown. However, it is a fact that “o” is used not only in daily communication but also in novels and other types of writing. Simply describing it as a stative is not a sufficient explanation for why “o” can be used in place “ga” in potential sentences. This paper investigates, using properties of Transitivity (Hopper & Thompson 1980), the alternation of object casemarking when there is an agent and an object.
The results showed that “o” is used when the relationship between the agent and the object has a high degree of volitionality, activity and telicity. These high components would cause a change to the case-marker “o” in potential sentences. The results also suggest ways to improve the instruction of object case-marking in potential sentences in the textbooks for Japanese language learners.

The Influence of "Problem-posing Learning" upon a Native Japanese Speaker’s Positive Attitude toward Multi-cultural Coexistence ―A Case Study by PAC Analysis―

(Lecturer, AOTS Yokohama Kenshu Center)

In response to the increase of foreign residents living in Japan, mutual learning oriented to multicultural coexistence has recently been attempted in Japanese education, where both native Japanese speakers(NS) and non−native speakers(NNS) living in communities get together.
This paper examined how the practice of “Problem− posing Learning” (Okazaki/Nishikawa, 1993) aimed for the promotion of multi−cultural coexistence affected a participant’s attitude toward coexistence, adopting PAC analysis. The attitude of a NS strongly oriented toward cultural exchange was compared between before and after her participation in Problem−posing Learning.
As a result, before participation, the NS perceived coexistence as “exchange,” “individualization” and “making coexistence more difficult.”After participation, the perception changed into “understanding others,” “the courage of both NS and NNS’ to compromise” and “NS consideration of the surroundings.” It was shown that the NS discovered her own role independently and that her attitude toward coexistence transferred to be positive.
This study has exposed three characteristics which were triggered by interactive Problem−posing Learning: 1. NS and NNS alike are learners; 2. The topics taken up are related to participants’daily lives; 3. The purpose is dialogue between NS and NNS.

The Acquisition of Non-deictic Demonstratives between Learning Japanese as a Second and as a Foreign Language ―The Case of Taiwanese Learners of Japanese―

SUN Ay-Wei
(Graduate Student, Ochanomizu University)

In this study, the acquisition of non-deictic demonstratives by Taiwanese learners of Japanese as a second language(JSL) and Japanese as a foreign language (JFL) was compared. Data were obtained from a three-choice questionnaire based on the framework provided by Soong(1991) in order to investigate the influenceof learning environment on the acquisition of non-deictic demonstratives. The results of this study were as follows: Comparison between learners of low and high Japanese proficiency on non-deictic demonstrative acquisition showed no difference between JSL learners and JFL learners when the level of Japanese proficiency was low; however, the score for JSL learners was significantly higher than that of JFL learners when the level of Japanese proficiency was high. Moreover, there were more ”ko” errors among JFL learners than JSL learners, which might be explained by a negative transfer from the subjects’ Chinese mother tongue; and more “so” errors appeared among JSL learners than JFL learners when the level of Japanese proficiency was low. This may be due to influence from the input of native Japanese speakers. Additionally, results indicated that JSL learners made gradual improvements in non-deictic demonstrative acquisition as the level of Japanese proficiency increased. However, similar changes were not found among JFL learners.

The Value of Causative Sentences in Japanese and the Tibetan Amdo Dialect from the Perspective of Japanese Education

Zha Xi Cai Rang
(Assistant professor, Qinghai Nationalities University)

This paper the targets Japanese causative sentences containing‘-aseru / -saseru’ and causative sentences in the Tibetan Amdo dialect containing ‘keu jeug’. Three types of causative sentences are classified into‘participated,’‘ exempted’ and ‘mixed’ and their pragmatic meanings are subclassified. The results show that the two languages are consistent in the pragmatic meaning in the expressions of ‘induction’ in the participated type and ‘allowance or release’ in the mixed type; however, the following differences are revealed when other pragmatic meanings are expressed: first, in the expression of ‘forced supply’in the participated type, the ‘Keu jeug’ in Tibetan corresponds to ‘-aserareru / - saseteageru’ in Japanese at the morphological level; second, in the expression of ‘supply’, the causative expressions can not be applied to the requirement placed on elders in Japanese, though there is no such limitation in Tibetan; third, in the expressions of ‘dependence and retreating’ in the mixed type, the causative expressions can be applied in Tibetan, while they cannot be used in Japanese; and forth, in the expressions of‘responsibility or scolding’, there is only ‘Shinu’, which can be used as a predicate in Japanese, while almost every verb can be used as the predicate in causative expressions in Tibetan.

The practical / current-status reports section

A Study of Kanji Error Analysis of Malaysian Japanese Students

(Special Japanese Preparatory Program, Center for Foundation Studies in
Science, University of Malaya)

The present study examined writing errors collected from student essays. Errors were classified using the classification system developed by Hatta et el (1997). Among the categories developed by Hatta, “substitution of non-kanji characters” was the most frequent.
“Substitution of non-kanji characters” is re-classified into 5 categories. Among them, “use of other kanji parts” was the most frequently seen category. Results suggest that learners tend to memorize kanji through the part most familiar to them, and they attach a part that they are unsure about to the rest of it (Ito 2006). In other words, the part of kanji that the writer is most unsure about is the additional part. Students are required to pay attention to the additional part. And many mistakes based on “one stroke more or less” were found.“One stroke less” was the more frequent factor.
“Errors in the arrangement of kanji parts” and “addition or omission of a part” were a low-mistake factor. Comparing these 4 factors, that is, “use of other kanji parts,” “one stroke more or less,” “errors in the arrangement of kanji parts” and “addition or omission of a part, ”the first two factors are writing errors con- nected to the grasping of the overall shape of the kanji, and the latter two are factors concerning the detail of the kanji. It is possible to say that “the detail of a part” means concretely “remembering an additional part proprerly” and “distinguishing one stroke more or less.”
“Kanji learning is processed from the overall structure to the detail of a part (Okita: 2001).” According to Okita, the subjects are now at the point of between “overall structure” and “the detail of a part.”

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