Japanese-Language Education around the Globe - Vol.19 Summaries

The academic papers section

The Resultative State -te iru as a Synonymous Expression of aru/iru: Focusing on the Difference in Usage between Native Speakers of Japanese and Chinese Learners of Japanese

CHEN Jaushin
(Graduate Student, Hiroshima University)

The purpose of this paper is to present the resultative state -te iru as a synonymous expression of aru/iru for Chinese learners of Japanese. The result of a survey conducted on native speakers of Japanese (JNS) and Chinese learners of Japanese (CNS) can be classified as follows: (1) Situations where both JNS and CNS tend to use aru/iru(i.e. both tend to use“keeki ga aru”when they find a cake upon opening the refrigerator.) (2) Situations where both JNS and CNS tend to use the resultative state -te iru (i.e. both tend to use“Sensei wa irassharu mitai ne. Denki ga tsuite iru kara”when they find the lights on in the professor’s office.) (3) Situations where JNS tend to use the resultative state -te iru, but CNS tend to use aru/iru (i.e. JNS tend to use“saifu ga ochite iru”when they find a wallet lying on the road, while CNS tend to use“saifu ga aru.”Moreover, JNS tend to use“okyakusan ga kite iru”when they find somebody else’s shoes at their doorstep, while CNS tend to use“okyakusan ga iru”.)
The difference between JNS and CNS observed in (3) can be attributed to the usage of verbs that express movement; and also to the usage of the Chinese“chuxian phrase”which expresses appearance. It can be explained that CNS tend to use aru/iru which means existence since“appearance”could consequently be considered as“existence.”Therefore, it can be suggested that the resultative state -te iru of verbs that express movement can be taught as a synonymous expression of aru/iru.

Japanese Compound-Postpositions -nisitagatte and -niturete

LIU Yi-Ling
(Assistant Professor, Department of Japanese Language and Culture, Soochow University)

The purpose of this paper is to describe the meaning and use of the Japanese compound postpositions –nisitagatte and -niturete. Previous research cannot explain the difference
between these two items. In this paper, I analyzed the difference between -nisitagatte and -niturete, and report the results as follows:
a. These two compound prepositions show the interlocking relation between two gradual situations. However, -nisitagatte expresses that the speaker believes the interlocking relation between the two situations to be inevitable. On the other hand, -niturete does not express such a meaning.
b. -nisitagatte shows a normative interlocking relation.
c. -niturete shows a passive interlocking relation.
Therefore, the basic meaning of -nisitagatte expresses an inevitable interlocking relation, and the basic meaning of -niturete expresses an individual interlocking relation. The difference between these two compound prepositions can be explained using the descriptions in this paper.

The Effect of Multiple-Choice Option Presentation Style on the Results of a Japanese Listening Comprehension Test for Native Speakers of Chinese

(Associate Professor, Tokyo Gakugei University)
HOU Renfeng
(Professor, Xi’an Jiaotong University)

This study aims to investigate the effect of multiplechoice option presentation style in written and recorded formats on the results of a Japanese listening comprehension test for native speakers of Chinese studying in China.
Sixty-three examinees underwent a listening test consisting of twenty-four items with written response options, and sixty-three examinees underwent a listening test consisting of twenty-four items with recorded response options. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the mean scores of the two styles. However, an analysis of each item revealed that four items appeared less difficult when the response options were printed and one item was perceived as less difficult when the options were presented in a recorded format. Four participants underwent a test comprising these five items and were asked to answer each question after listening to it. The results of the analysis were as follows: (a) items whose correct answer included a word unfamiliar to the examinees were less difficult in the written format and (b) items whose answer students could not discern after listening to the question were less difficult in the written format. The reason for one item being less difficult in the recorded format was not found.
Contrary to the hypothesis, the result indicated that the style in which the options were presented in the written format was not less difficult for Chinese learners. A possible explanation for this is that Chinese studying in China are not familiar with listening and
reading simultaneously, and are used to listening comprehension tests whose options are presented in a recorded format as practice for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.

Multidimensional examination of gender in a business Japanese textbook

Chihiro Kinoshita THOMSON
(Associate Professor, University of New South Wales)
(Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney)

In Japanese,“female language”and“male language” are “language resources” (Nakamura 2007), which people use or avoid using to construct individual gender identities. This study examined a business Japanese textbook from the perspective of gender. In order to understand Japanese language teaching and learning practices in terms of gender, the study carried out a content analysis of the textbook, email interviews of the textbook writers, classroom observations, as well as interviews with the teacher and students. The discussion of data includes how gender was understood and expressed in the textbook and how it was taught and learned using the textbook. The study found that it is difficult for even the most experienced teacher to critically
consume the textbook content; and the events surrounding the textbook are quite complex. We, therefore, suggest the need for textbooks to include explicit explanations
and tasks that enable learners to use“language resources”effectively. The paper also advocates multiperspective textbook analysis in order to grasp complexity.

When a Novice Contributes to an Expert's Language Learning Co-Constructing a Zone of Proximal Development through Interaction in the Classroom

(Lecturer in Japanese, University of Charles-de-Gaulle-Lille3
Graduate Student, Waseda University

This paper examines classroom recording in order to report the contribution of a novice (learner with relatively poor linguistic performance) to experts (other learners who are more competent) . There is no wonder that an expert can help a novice, however it seems illogical to say the opposite.
The assistance given by teachers or more knowledgeable peers is described as ‘scaffolding’. But this term is not appropriate to describe the accurate detail of the co-construction of a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) , for‘scaffolding’only means an expert’s assistance for a novice and includes neither the contribution of the novice to the expert nor other types of mutual cooperation.
The data is an audio recording of a university-level beginner Japanese class in France. This Analysis focuses upon a novice who was the least competent in linguistic performance when the class started. To investigate the stucture of the student’s participation, his utterances were examined for the following: to whom they were addressed, who listened to them and how they influenced others in the group.
As a result of the analysis, it was clarified that the novice learner contributed to the construction of a ZPD of others, not by‘scaffolding’but by drawing out the full potential of the other learners, creating new contexts and being an active participant.

Correspondence between Intransitive and Transitive Verbs in Japanese Compound Verbs: Focus on Correspondence Based on Derivation

ZHU Chunri
(Instructor Tonghua Normal University)

The formation of compound verbs in Japanese is restricted by such requirement as the coordination of intransitive verbs and the agreement of subjects, etc. Yet, there still exist irregular compound verbs that are not restricted by such rules. The irregular compound verbs are commonly considered to be derived from those corresponding between intransitive and transitive verbs; however, it is unclear under what circumstances irregular compound verbs are to be derived. By studying and analyzing this problem, this paper draws the following conclusions: the “transitive verb + unaccusative verb” type of irregular compound verbs are easy to derive namely under the condition that V1 dose not have concrete meaning or V1 has an abstract meaning, V2 has concrete meaning The “transitive verb + unaccusative verb” type of irregular compound verbs are not easy to derived namely under the condition that either V1 has physical meaning or V1 has abstract meaning, V2 dose not have concrete meaning. Comparing with this type, the“unaccusative verb + transitive verb” type of compound verbs are quite limited.

A contrastive study of the order and location of relative clauses in the Japanese and Chinese languages

SHENG Wenzhong
(Postdoctor, Beijing Foreign Studies University)

Few comprehensive studies have been carried out on the order among concurrent multiplied relative clauses and the relative order between relative clauses and other modifiers qualifying the same head. Based on the large corpus of Japanese-Chinese translation, this paper focuses on the interaction of the laws related to the order and location of relative clauses in Japanese: the Principle of Semantic Adjacency, Principle of Syllabic Length, Principle of Temporal Sequence, Principle of Identifiability Precedence. The compatibility of these principles leads to an uninterchangeable component order and their incompatibility leads to an interchangeable order. Although word order in Japanese is usually considered more flexible than word order in Chinese, the order between relative clauses and other kinds of nominal modifiers in Japanese is more rigid than the order in Chinese. This can be explained from the perspective of word order typology.

The practical / current-status reports section

Curriculum Design for the Tourism and Hospitality Japanese Course at the University of Guam

(Associate Professor, University of Guam)

The Japanese Language Program at the University of Guam developed and launched a new course JA 215“Japanese for Tourism”and offered in the Spring 2005 and 2006 semesters. This paper illustrates how JA 215 was developed and implemented using Turner’s curriculum development model with particular emphasis on curriculum design and the development of syllabus. A needs analysis was conducted through multiple methods which made it possible to establish goals of instruction and to identify the areas to be focused on and covered in this course. This process assisted in outlining and developing the JA 215 course curriculum, units, and lesson format. A barrage of student evaluation assessments led to many discussion forums, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the program. The latter was done for modification purposes to increase the efficiency of the program for future students.

Content and Community-Based Instruction in the U.S.A.: Japanese American History in Chicago

(Associate Professor, DePaul University)

In the U.S., content-based instruction (CBI) is viewed as an effective setting for advanced language learning and has been widely adopted in ESL and European language instruction. In this framework, a target language (L2) is used as a communication and learning tool to acquire specific academic knowledge, such as history and culture, and to enhance critical thinking. In addition, community-based instruction is often incorporated into CBI to enable learners to interact with and serve in local communities in L2, and to enhance their linguistic exposure and motivation. In this way, content- and community-based instruction can serve as an ideal language learning setting to implement the National Standard’s 5Cs beyond the “traditional” language classroom.
Despite these qualities, the implementation of CBI in Japanese is not without its challenges at the U.S. university undergraduate level. These challenges are often related to teacher preconceptions, such as the lack of Japanese student proficiency, teacher familiarity with a given academic topic, or local Japanese communities and courses.
In this paper, the theoretical background and application of current CBI instruction in the U.S. are reviewed first. Next, the design and implementation of a recent advanced Japanese CBI course are discussed. The course was entitled Japanese American History in Chicago, and offered at a U.S. midwestern university. The discussion includes a summary of course contents, participants, materials, tasks, and community-based activities, as well as course survey results examining learner attitudes regarding the course, tasks and selfachievement. Finally, this paper discusses conclusions and proposals regarding the significance and roles of Japanese CBI for today’s integrative Japanese Studies program as well as emerging non-European language instruction in undergraduate educational settings.

Writing Assessment Workshop for Japanese as a Second Language: Examining a Scoring Rubric

(Professor, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies)
(Professor, Keisen University)
NARITA Takahiro
(Former Lecturer of Sakharin State University)
SUGAI Hideaki
(Associate Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

This is a report on a writing assessment workshop that was conducted as part of an effort to develop a scoring rubric for academic writing in Japanese as a second language. Although the importance of writing performance has gained greater recognition, to date there are no common scoring rubrics, and scoring procedures are left to individual teachers. Scoring rubrics, however, are necessary in both large-scale examinations and at institutions. Classroom teachers must also be able to make fair and reliable assessments. In order to propose basic guidelines, the authors created a scoring rubric which can be utilized in various academic writing assessments. This paper aims to report on the progress and practice of the workshop, the effectiveness of the scoring rubric, and the teachers’responses.
A multiple-trait scoring rubric, in which each trait has a level of 0-6 was used for the workshop. The traits used were “Aim & Content,” “Organization & Cohesion,” “ Reader,” “Language Use A: Accuracy” and “Language Use B: Appropriateness. ”Twenty Japanese language teachers with experience in teaching writing and writing assessment participated in the workshop.
The results of their assessment of two types of essays showed highly reliable coefficients, and revealed that some essays and traits were easy for raters to agree on, while others were not. It was also revealed that occasional differences in assessment could be observed among raters. On the whole, however, the scoring rubric was functioning effectively.
The results of a questionnaire showed that the meetings among raters were considered to be meaningful, but that the procedure for conducting the rater meetings and definition of“Scoring rubric B: Level descriptor” should be further improved. Public workshops would be worthwhile for the development of common guidelines for assessing writing in Japanese as a second language.

Towards the Cultivation of Critical Thinking and Creativity in Japanese Language Learning: Textbook Revision Project

(Visiting Assistant Professor, Smith College)
FUKAI Miyuki
(Lecturer, Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies)

This paper discusses how principles of critical literacy can be incorporated into a Japanese language classroom by examining a project carried out in an intermediate-level Japanese class at a university in the eastern United States.
One of the goals of foreign language education is to develop the learner’s ability to think critically through the learning of a foreign language. In order for learners to express their thoughts in their own words, it is insufficient to simply accept “knowledge” presented by the teacher and in the textbooks; learners are required to have the ability to critically analyze a variety of information based on their knowledge and experience. Thus, regardless of the language level of the learner, critical thinking skills are essential to further language proficiency.
In an effort to incorporate critical literacy practices into Japanese language learning, a project was carried out in which learners revise one of the chapters in a textbook. The chapter used in the project is titled “Japan’s Educational System.” The chapter provides basic information about the educational system in Japan and a description of universities in the United States. Learners who participated in the project researched and collected information related to the topic and analyzed the content of the chapter in the textbook by comparing it to the information they gathered. Then, they discussed the findings in class and collaboratively revised the original text in the textbook using Wiki, which allows users to modify a text in collaboration online. The goal is to have the revised texts adopted by the textbook in the future.
In this paper, first, the key principles of critical literacy are introduced, followed by a description of the procedures of the textbook revision project. Then, the findings will be discussed based on the analysis of data such as in-class discussions, the revised texts, and the learners’reactions to the project.

Group Speech Contest and Peer Learning: a report from Chongqing University

(Part time Japanese Instructor, Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center)
(Japanese Instructor, Shanghai University)

In December 2007, a group speech contest was held by the Japanese Department of Chongqing University in China. This report demonstrates the effectiveness of peer learning by documenting student preparation, learning styles, and interpersonal relationships. It explains how this contest shifted the learning environment from teacher-oriented to student-oriented and how improvement was achieved through interaction among high-and low-level students. The speech contest was organized as follows: Students from Grade 1 and Grade 2 were required to make groups of mixed grade-levels.
Students from Grade 3 and Grade 4 did the same. Each group then prepared for their speech through group practice without teacher interaction. This required cooperation
with the other members of the group. After the speech contest, participants answered a questionnaire.
According to their responses, most students freely exchanged their opinions, taught each other, and advised lower-level students. They shared a feeling of accomplishment throughout the group and satisfaction in sharing their knowledge. In the end, students felt that this speech contest not only improved their level of Japanese, but also changed their learning style. Many of the groups continued to learn together, even after the contest. This report does note that a few respondents had a difficult time with this group experience and probes the reasons for these difficulties. The report concludes with advice on how to implement successful peer learning events, including tactics to help students work more effectively in groups.

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